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Category: Audiobooks

THE STORY BEHIND THE AUDIOBOOK PRODUCTION: Seventh Dimension – The Prescience: A Young Adult Fantasy

 

 

I am excited to announce the fifth book in the Seventh Dimension Series, Seventh Dimension – The Prescience, is now available on Amazon and Audible as an audiobook. 

Sometimes people enjoy hearing the backstory of significant works of art. The Seventh Dimension Series is a major work, having taken seven years to write and nine years to produce as six audiobooks

In 2021, I hired a new audiobook narrator to perform The Prescience. She had the perfect voice for the protagonist, Shale Snyder—young, vibrant, and an easy voice on the listener’s ears. 

Even though she had limited experience, I was willing to work with her. But after three months and only thirteen chapters completed, I concluded this book was too difficult for her. Not that she couldn’t narrate a “normal” book, but the Seventh Dimension Series is not a standard book series.

Some animals talka crow cackles, a pig stutters, a rabbit speaks like a wondrous babe, and a donkey cries. The two teen protagonists mature into young adults taking on the responsibilities of a vocal young child. Demons taunt and angels praise. There is singing, Middle-Eastern accents, and Asian accents—should I go on?

I needed a woman to narrate it because Seventh Dimension – The Prescience is written from Shale’s first-person POV. I paid the voice actress one-third of what she would have made had she been able to complete the project. While ACX did not require me to pay her anything because she did not meet the project’s requirements by the deadline, I wanted her to see that Christians operate on a higher standard than business contracts. 

My kindness blessed the young voice actress, and I wished her well in her voice-acting career. Hopefully, she will continue and not give up because she has a perfect voice for some types of books. We just weren’t a good match on this project.

Why do I share this? Because I believe the good works we do God will return to us. Disappointed and not knowing what to do, I pushed the project aside. I remembered my amateurish efforts to narrate Seventh Dimension – The Door and what a disaster that was. 

At the beginning of my writing career, I thought anybody could narrate a book. I dove in and did it without much forethought. I narrated some of it in my daughter’s gym in a back room. I didn’t know how to rewind the recorder when I made a mistake. Talk about how frustrating that was because even the best narrators make mistakes. I thought about how I couldn’t keep the animal voices straight—was the rabbit the high voice or the low voice? I thought about how I sucked at Daniel’s voice, but ACX accepted the narration and published it on Audible and Amazon even with all of those issues.

Then, to my delight, audiobook listeners started buying Seventh Dimension – The Door in audiobook. However, there was a problem. Remember the famous phrase, “Houston, we have a problem.”  Mine came in the form of a scathing review. 

A reviewer spelled out all the problems and gave it a one-star rating. You only have to imagine what she said based on my summary above. I cringed—was I a professional narrator? Did I have the right tools? Was that fair to the listener to charge them for something that I so unprofessionally produced?

Sometimes the hard lessons God gives us are the best. I hired a professional narrator, Rebecca Roberts (no relation), to redo Seventh Dimension – The Door. She subsequently narrated Seventh Dimension – The City, Am I Okay God, and Children of Dreams. But that was several years ago. Her prices for book narration had quadrupled and I couldn’t afford her rates now.

In the meantime, I had found an outstanding male voice actor, Matt Newbold. I had sent out a call for auditions for Seventh Dimension – The Castle. Thirty prospective male voice actors responded. 

I listened to each one, roughly five minutes each, and felt there were three that could do it, but none of them were perfect until I heard Matt Newbold. He was the very last audition. Five minutes of perfection, nothing to fix, with a pleasant voice, able to narrate different voices easily, and didn’t mispronounce any of the Biblical words. I found out later he was a Christian and that we even listened to the same personalities on YouTube.

Matt narrated Seventh Dimension – The Castle and Seventh Dimension – The Howling, books 3 and 6 in the Seventh Dimension Series. I wondered if it was professional to have a man narrate a first-person POV woman’s voice? If only I could find a woman in my price range that could do it. Matt suggested I do it, but I was reluctant to consider it after my fiasco with Seventh Dimension – The Door.

After some conversation, however, and his assurance if I did Shale’s voice, he could do the other voices and insert them where they belonged, I reconsidered. That didn’t sound easy, but if I could get the technical part of the narration figured out, maybe it might work.

I remembered my dear friend, Roger Hunt, who had recently passed away. He was a musician of incredible talent, and he used the studio of someone I knew from a distance. What if I rented Dan’s studio, and he did all the technical stuff? That way, I could focus on the narration. 

I contacted Dan, and we set up a test run. Later I gave the file to Matt to see if he could mesh my audio files with his—a little more complex than it sounds, and produce the audiobook for Seventh Dimension – The Prescience for me.

The project took about seven months to complete. Many hours of work went into it, and I am thankful for Matt’s graciousness in doing most of the hard “stuff.” I did not have the technical know-how to do it well. Matt is not only a voice actor but a professional musician, so—did God return the little grace that I extended to that struggling voice actress with Matt’s abundant grace?

Romans 8:28 (NLT) states, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Our belief in God’s good work is conditional in this verse on our love for Him, allowing us to be used by Him for His good purpose. Even though I am not a professional narrator, God provided what I needed. I didn’t have kids screaming in the background or cars honking as I sat in my car using a handheld recorder that I could barely operate. I had others who were professionals that helped me to do as good a job as possible so that the listeners of the story would enjoy the audiobook as much as if they were reading it.

All six books in the Seventh Dimension Series are now available as audiobooks. See below.

 



Seventh Dimension – The Door Audiobook, book 1

Seventh Dimension – The King Audiobook, book 2

Seventh Dimension – The Castle Audiobook, book 3

Seventh Dimension – The City Audiobook, book 4

Seventh Dimension – The Prescience Audiobook, book 5

Seventh Dimension – The Howling Audiobook, book 6

 

 

Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension is a nonfiction companion book (also an audiobook) to Seventh Dimension – The Door. Am I Okay, God? explores the spiritual meanings presented in The Door to those who want to understand the evangelistic aspect of the first book in the series. I plan to write companion books for the rest of the books soon.

I highly recommend the series be read or listened to in order. However, you can enjoy the books individually as stand-alone books. Where necessary, I included the backstory to characters or situations so that the reader wouldn’t feel “lost.” I always appreciate it when the author reminds me or clues me in on something that I might have forgotten that’s important.

If you haven’t already, I hope you will check out the multi-award-winning Seventh Dimension Series. While I wrote the books to reach a younger audience for Yeshua (Jesus Christ), older people have also enjoyed the series.

Purchase the Seventh Dimension Series on Audible by clicking here.

You can reach Matthew W. Newbold through ACX by clicking here.

Here is a link to a free sample of Seventh Dimension – The Prescience: A Young Adult Fantasy, Book 5.

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AUDIOBOOK SAMPLE: THE PASSION WEEK OF CHRIST PRESENTED IN AUDIOBOOK – Seventh Dimension – The Castle: A Young Adult Fantasy

Seventh Dimension – The Castle, A Young Adult Fantasy, Book 3 in Seventh Dimension Series by User 641217954 via #soundcloud https://t.co/ErqG4o4ABE

— LorilynRoberts (@LorilynRoberts) March 31, 2021

I felt very blessed to have Matthew Newbold narrate Seventh Dimension – The Castle, the third book in the Seventh Dimension Series

Most of the book focuses on the passion week of Christ. During this season of Passover and Easter, The Castle will give you a new perspective into what our Lord and Savior went through as seen through the eyes of a teenage Jewish boy from Israel when he is transported back in time to 33 A.D. 

While it’s helpful to have read or listened to the first two books in the Seventh Dimension Series, I wrote the series in such a way that after the first couple of chapters, the reader will grasp the essentials and be swept along in a historic narrative that is timeless and based completely on Scripture.

To purchase from Audible, click here.

To purchase from online electronic/print book websites, click here.

 

 

Tweet: John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. http://bit.ly/LR-Aud-Castle-BP

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