From Book To Audiobook
What was your reaction when you first heard about the Exxon Valdez oil spill? How about Chernobyl? What was your reaction when you first heard about that? How about Bhopal? Or the Kuwait oil fires? How about the hole in the ozone layer? How about global warming that grows so much worse every year that it is constantly beyond our power to forecast? How about the storms that grow increasingly larger due to global warming? And the forest fires that get worse? And the droughts and floods that get worse? What did you think?
As a student of philosophy for most of my life, my thoughts tended towards wondering how much more we could take. How long would it take before mankind grew up as a species? Was that even possible? What would it take for mankind to finally evolve past the point of self-destruction?
It was with this in mind that I wrote Daughter of a One-Armed Man, a fable about love – the love for another, the love for ourselves, the love for others both human and otherwise. I wrote Daughter because I am not an environmental scientist. I am a philosopher and a story-teller; so I approached these difficult topics by first grounding myself in this familiar kind of territory.
Of course, humanity continued to destroy its home. There was the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Fukushima in Japan, and on and on…
When I first decided to begin producing my own audiobooks, Daughter of a One-Armed Man was my first choice. As an ex-actor (which I’ll grant is a difficult distinction), I was drawn to the performance. But I wanted some experience in production first before I took on a task as technically complicated, with different characters and the necessary production values. So, I produced audiobooks of essays and memoirs first, books that used just my voice. Then, I moved on to short story collections. (All of these audiobooks are available wherever fine audiobooks are sold online.)
Producing Daughter of a One-Armed Man required some decisions up front. First, would I update the novel to fit the times? Times, attitudes, and events about the environment had changed in just the few years since writing, but I decided that the core philosophy of the book had not been affected. In addition, I didn’t want to cheat those who had already bought the book; I didn’t want to go full “George Lucas”. Then, there was the issue of Peanut, or P.B. as he is often called in the book. Peanut is a taxi-driving polar bear. He weighs several hundred pounds. How would Peanut be portrayed? What would a wood nymph sound like? I wanted to create as much of the book practically, and not in post-production. So, I recorded several tests and “master copies”, which were copies I could return to should I forget how a character was supposed to sound.
Lastly, came the issue of music. I wanted a theme would reflect the story, which at its heart is a fable. For this, I chose Josh Woodward’s haunting piece, Don’t Close Your Eyes, and I decided to utilize portions of it throughout the book. Woodward’s music is so evocative and so graceful, especially Don’t Close Your Eyes, that I find myself returning to his music for each new audiobook I produce.
I think the best thing about producing my own audiobooks is being able to listen to a finished production that I can take pride in, that I can listen to as a fan (if I may be so bold). Daughter of a One-Armed Man makes some bold arguments and possibly some controversial conclusions but, at its heart, it is a story that tries to answer how it is possible for a race of creatures bent on self-destruction to love one another. In the end, I believe you’ll find the answer works quite well.
And so, with that said, I give you Daughter of a One-Armed Man:
Jackson is just a Wal-Mart worker from Los Angeles, far too caught up in the apathy of modern life to believe in anything. After spending one night with the daughter of a wood nymph and the man who surrendered his arm for the woman he loved, the lithesome beauty named Mari, Jackson knows he believes. And he knows he’ll do anything to find her again.
He follows her up the coast of California and a polar bear drives the taxi. Into the forest and through frozen mountains, he talks to God and creatures of faerie alike but the final confrontation is with the mother whose people have been wiped out by mankind. They were wiped out the same way humanity is wiping itself out, with greed and disregard.
Daughter is more than just a simple love story because it also poses this question for the reader: Is love really possible? Can human beings really love each other? How is it possible for parents who pollute the world they’re leaving behind to say they love their children? How can we say we look out for each other, even as we divert our eyes to the homeless we see every day? For, if love isn’t possible, how can Jackson really say he loves Mari? Faced with proof after proof that it doesn’t exist, Jackson’s only hope is to somehow prove otherwise.
The audiobook version, read by the author, is lush with impossible discoveries and words of hope for the future, beautifully scored with the Josh Woodward song, Don’t Close Your Eyes. (www.joshwoodward.com)
You can find Daughter of a One-Armed Man on Amazon, Smashwords, and wherever ebooks are sold. The audiobook is available on Audible, iTunes, and all audiobook etailers.
For more information on Daughter of a One-Armed Man, please check out these trailers:
You can find the Daughter of a One-Armed Man audiobook on Audible, iTunes, and wherever find audiobooks are sold.
For more information on Ken La Salle, his writing, and other projects, please visit www.kenlasalle.com. Something new is always in the works and Ken appreciates your support.
That was really interesting. Thank you, Ken.
Author and playwright, Ken La Salle’s passion is intense humor, meaningful drama, and finding answers to the questions that define our lives. Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue-collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you’ll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. His plays have been seen in theaters across the United States and you can find a growing number of books available online. Find out more about Ken on his website at www.kenlasalle.com.
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