Here is a Facebook message exchange I had right after the release of the audio book of Traveling in Space that sums up perfectly the importance and power of a spoken word version of prose writing. And how the use of a really fine actor -- as opposed an author who's just a happy ham -- is required.
Reader Peter Frazier had read Traveling in Space twice (and I thank him for that), but in this listening, a certain aspect of my words and what I do with them took on another dimension making my intentions stand out in a way Peter never saw before. It was almost as if the audio book was a good 3-D version of the text
Now, I have no problem with people just reading my words and getting my intentions in the lovely one-dimension of ink on paper, or even E-ink on screen, but as readers read in different ways -- some sound out the words in their heads, some don't and report that they just see "images," some read only for plot, some skip the descriptive parts (I shudder here in existential writer’s fear) -- that you can't trust that your author's "voice" will be "heard" as you want it heard. But in an audio book, especially if you have the opportunity and skill to direct the performance of your words yourself, you can strive to record a voice you trust will fully convey your voice.
Often it can even go beyond that The actor sometimes surprises you with an interpretation of an intention you didn't even know you were clever enough to have. In other words, the actor brings something of his voice to your "voice" and as long as it is not a 180 turn away from your intentions, it might just be a small revelation to you -- and for the audience.
Here's the whole thing in short -- I try to put music in my words; there is music in the human voice; it is only natural to meld the two.
You can purchase the audio book of Traveling in Space on Audible.com HERE
Print editions of Traveling in Space are available on Amazon.com HERE
Thanks for listening!