“Cherries” is a story about a young, naive, teenage soldier who is sent to Vietnam, with others his age, to fight in an unpopular war. Dubbed “Cherries” by their more seasoned peers, these newbies suddenly found themselves thrust in the middle of a nightmarish scenario for which not even their worst dreams could prepare them; as such, they were hardly ready to absorb the harsh mental, emotional, and physical toll that the conflict would eventually take on them. Literally forced to become men overnight, the Cherries had to learn quickly to make life-or-death decisions, the consequences of which not only impacted their own lives – but also those of their fellow soldiers. This is a story about their rite of passage
Targeted Age Group: 13+
Genre: Historical Fiction / Military / Vietnam War
In 1985, I joined the local chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America. During family functions, members congregated and shared stories about their tour of duty. Wives often felt out of place during these discussions and soon migrated to other areas to discuss issues they had in common – leaving the men to talk about war. At that time, “Cherries” was a rough, first-person draft, and I donated a copy for the wives to read and pass around. It was a learning experience for all of us, and wives soon returned to our story telling sessions – having a much improved understanding of the jargon and acronyms – no longer feeling like outsiders. Many war veterans keep their experiences buried deep inside, either unwilling to share or unable to do so. I have received numerous accolades from veterans – thanking me for putting into words a story they’ve been unable to tell. “Cherries” has become a conduit for many veterans and their families…allowing them to come out from the dark and heal. This was my motivation for writing this novel. When you wrote the book did you know you were going to offer it as an audio book?
Not at all!
Why did you decide to produce an audio book?
I had traveled a lot for my employer a couple of years ago and got interested in listening to audio books on these lengthy trips. I thought it would be fun to create an audiobook version for my book and have it available as an MP3 vs. CD’s so listeners can easily download it to their portable players. When I held auditions for a narrator, I was in awe when listening to these various people reading my novel…it sounded like a brand new story and much more intense than reading the book. So began my quest to create an audiobook version.
How did you choose the reader for the book and the production company?
I signed up with a company called ACX, which is owned by Amazon and sells audiobooks on Amazon, Audible and I-Tunes. Their step-by-step process is easy to follow and allows an author to put our samples for narrators to audition for. We listened to at least a dozen different narrators and had a couple that we were interested in following up with, but then when we listened to Michael Sutherland, we instantly knew that he was the one. We signed an individual contract between the two of us and proceeded with recording, editing, etc. I was amazed how Michael was able to have distinct voices for 23 different characters throughout the recording process. We worked closely for the next three months along with my book editor and finally uploaded the completed product to ACX for sale and distribution.[/gravityforms]
I have provided the first six chapters – both written and in MP3 format on my website. I have heard back from followers that when listening to the MP3 and then reading along, the book takes on a whole new aspect. The audiobook is unabridged, which means that the reading is word for word from the book…it is a treat to hear the different characters speak or to hear the emotion during the dialog. Try it and let me know what you think. See my link below.
Question to ask: How long is your audiobook? 13 hrs and 31 minutes.
Link to other online sample