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Q&A with William Todd, Dead of Night


Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.

It was a fun process. This is the third book that I have turned into an audiobook. This one was a bit more daunting because it’s a compilation of 6 horror stories, so the narrator had to wear many more hats on this one than with my previous books. The settings are varied and the characters even more so. I go from American to British to Irish. From man to monster to little girl with Down Syndrome. But my narrator Ben Werling was up to the task.

Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?

Not at first, no. And this book certainly not. Most of these stories I wrote before audiobooks took off and certainly well before I thought I could get my books on audiobook. My most recent stories, however, I am rather cognizant of how I write, if only a little, thinking, “how would this sound on audiobook?”

How did you select your narrator?

Honestly, Ben Werling is my Sherlock Holmes and Watson story narrator. He’s been a great narrator with a wide range of styles and voices which is needed for the types of stories I write--late Victorian/ gothic horror. His voice is perfect for what I write so I have Ben do all my books.

Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?

Bumps in the Night was a story with my daughter in mind. She was born with Down Syndrome, and I thought it would be neat to tell a story through her eyes.

How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

I lead a pretty active life with my family, two teens--one gearing up for college and the other in integrated track (for special needs kids), and a full time job  that has me travelling 80 miles a day in commute. You would think I’d get burned out quickly trying to fit writing in between all that but I really don’t. At least it hasn’t happened yet. I’m not sure where I find my writing time but I do find it. I manage one or two books a year and that seems to be my sweet spot. Anything more than that then, yeah, I’d probably burn out rather quickly.

Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?

I have only recently come into audiobooks but I love it. My son makes fun of me because I have come kicking and screaming into the technology age (I have only owned a smartphone for about 5 years). As an old man of 50 I had heard of audiobooks but never really gave it much thought. Since becoming  a writer and wanting to get my stories out in as many formats as possible I finally gave audiobooks a try and loved it. In today’s hustle world where there’s no time for anything, you can listen to an audiobook just about anywhere. You can’t say that for a paperback.

Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?

I think with the way Ben does his audio he does sound effects in the background that harkens back to radio shows of old. I think the type of horror story I write lends itself very well to audiobook with those little sound effects giving you a little something different that you won’t get in book format. I think that helps heighten the experience of listening to a story rather than reading it.

What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?

In today’s hustle and bustle world we sometimes don’t have the time to “sit and read” a book. But hey, we all need our escape to other worlds, other times, other places, other people, and audiobook gives you that escape. You are able to listen while driving, exercising, or being otherwise predisposed where reading a book would be an impossibility. That will always be the ace in the hole for audiobooks.

What’s next for you?

I just finished my third Sherlock Holmes story, Murder in Keswick. I’ll market it over the summer then hit the keyboard again. I don’t have anything in the works at the moment, but inspiration is only one nightmare away!

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