When I first saw who was narrating my story, my first thought was: Fenela Fudge?? The BBC news reader?!
I was already familiar with the calm lilting tones of Fenella’s voice, having listened to her over the years on Radio2. If only my midwife had had a voice like Fenella’s – childbirth would surely have been a slightly less horrific experience.
Yet, in my head, the wholesomeness of BBC factual propriety coupled with my dark supernatural fantasy, just didn’t add up. The two seemed mutually exclusive. I clicked the ‘play’ button. I wasn’t expecting the music!
An unsettling piano piece which then gave way to the opening advert for the product featured in the story.
Brilliant! My scepticism was unfounded. Fenella’s voice and delivery perfectly struck the slick tone of beauty product marketing. Not
only did she bring the writing to life but did it so convincingly, I hardly recognised my own words!
Then, the story followed, narrated in the first person, and Fenella immediately switched into character. They’re not called voice artists for nothing – this was more acting than reading, infused with drama which added new dimensions to the personality of my protagonist, Evelyn. Fenella carried the character with such aplomb that when the spooky background sound effects appeared they seemed somewhat superfluous. Nevertheless, I was disappointed when the clip ended and was desperate to hear more. Job done, audio people!
It’s always slightly nerve-racking when your writing is recreated by others. But whether they render your world how you imagined it or manifest it entirely differently, it doesn’t matter: the value is in the interpretation. The adaptation of our stories into audio versions offers an alternative perspective which can only help to strengthen our writing, and in turn, us as writers. And that is after all why we’re here.
I’m proud to have Fenella Fudge narrating my story – not only does she have the best name in broadcasting (in my opinion), but she’s given my story a sense of style and elegance I never knew it could possess.
Whatever next? A gory urban cannibal sex romp narrated by David Attenborough?
You never know!