Why turn a short story into a 28-minute audiobook?
Short stories are enjoying a resurgence these days as more and more people have instant access to books, including audiobooks, on their smart phones. Shorter reads are easier to digest; a reader can finish a story and experience a sense of resolution in a matter of minutes. And audiobooks make this even more convenient because they’re hands-free. I love listening to a great audiobook while I’m driving, cooking, and cleaning house, even when I’m lounging in the pool. Others do too. So making all of my books and stories into audiobooks is part of my marketing plan.
Of all of the stories I’ve written, Ino’s Love is one of my favorites. I absolutely loved writing it. I don’t remember what inspired me to create the characters of Ino and Ruby, but it must have been work-related because I was working as a hospital case manager at the time. My days were filled with helping patients (and their families) find ways to remain comfortable and cared for at home when faced with long-term illness or disability.
I also did a short spell as a home health nurse myself, and had a lot of experience as a nursing assistant caring for the elderly in nursing homes and as an LPN and RN in the hospital. I have a soft spot for patients like Ino. I respect those who care for them with integrity and help them to maintain their dignity.
This story displays the love that can exist between caregiver and client. There may be a few questionable actions on the part of Ino and Ruby (no spoilers!), but it’s the love between them that stays with the reader.
Ino’s Love was originally published in Kaleidoscope magazine, 2009.
Ino prepares a Christmas feast for her successful CEO son, but when he's too busy to spend the holiday with his mother, she shares her dinner and gifts with her home health aide. Sometimes, the people who love us best are not family.
What is it about Ino’s Love that motivated you to audition for the role of producer/narrator?
“Ino’s Love really touched my heart. Sadly today, so many adults either ignore or forget about their parents. And as I’ve gotten older, I realize it’s the little things from my sons that make me the happiest now. Ino also beautifully illustrates how simple gestures from a stranger can bring such joy to a senior citizen’s life.”
Were there any challenges to preparing for or performing this role?
“The biggest challenge for me was trying to capture Ino’s personality in my voice. And it was equally difficult alternating between Ruby and Ino’s ages. Ino’s Love was my first fiction recording, and I am very proud of my collaboration with you.”
Please tell us about your background in television and news.
“My career in television news began at WKRC in Cincinnati, first as a reporter and then as one of the first anchor women in Ohio. After anchor positions in Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles, I was selected to in 1989 to co-anchor Hard Copy, Paramount Studio’s nationally syndicated and very successful tabloid show. Before my retirement last year, I worked as Senior Producer on Warner Brothers nationally syndicated entertainment show, EXTRA, starring Mario Lopez. I was blessed with a national daytime Emmy Award for my work in 2014.”
How did you get started in audiobook production/narration?
“When I retired from the entertainment business and moved back from Los Angeles to my hometown of Columbus Ohio, I realized I still had something to offer, namely my voice! So my husband built me an audio booth in our basement, I invested in some high end equipment, and began working with a voice coach to add more variety to my tone. He suggested auditioning for audiobooks, and the rest is history.”
What other books have you narrated?
“All of the other books I’ve narrated are non-fiction works, including one on how to control mood swings, and another on the burgeoning marijuana dispensary business across the country.”
How has the market for audiobooks changed over the course of your media career?
“The market for audiobooks is growing by leaps and bounds. More people are traveling further distances to and from work, and desire to listen to something more engaging than a top forty or all-news radio station.”
If you could produce/narrate any book in or out of print which would it be?
“The Magnificent Ambersons is one of my all-time favorite books, and is at the top of my list.”
What advice do you have for authors who would like to market their books in audio?
“My advice to authors is, if you don’t have a broadcast quality voice, put your ego aside and hire a professional.”
What would you tell those who are embarking or wish to embark on a career as a producer/narrator for audiobooks?
“To all aspiring narrators I would remind them to be prepared to spend many long hours recording and editing, but the end result is a very rewarding career. Also, begin listening to voice actors on television and radio, spend money for the best equipment, and invest in a professional coach. And most importantly, don’t take rejection personally. You may not be right for one project, but perfect for another!”
What was the best job you ever had?
“Definitely Hard Copy was my favorite job. It thrust me into the national spotlight, and we covered several major stories, including the trials of Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson.”
Since its publication as an ebook on Kindle in December 2013, Ino’s Love has been steadily gaining great reviews and is rated 4.9 stars on Amazon. Here’s what a few readers had to say:
“The author packs so much into so little space. This is what a short story should be.”
“Such a tender story of love...giving love, receiving love; reminding us again that it's not the "things" in our lives that are important, but the relationships.”
“A great writer can make you fall in love with a character quickly. Ms. Sciucco proves to be such a writer with this short story.”
“All I had left when the tale ended was the question: ‘Why isn't this included in the full disclosure for new home health aides?’ Because it is such a delightful short read, and yet it depicts just how important these people are to the patients they serve.”
Purchase Ino’s Love
Ino’s Love in audiobook is available on Amazon for $3.46, on Audible and iTunes for $3.95. It’s also available as a Kindle book for $.99, and is free on Kindle Unlimited.
Connect with Marianne Sciucco