What does your main character sound like? That’s what Brilliance Audio wanted to know. Brilliance Audio, I’m honored to say, will be producing the audiobook version of my debut epic fantasy novel The Song of All. Last week, I received their author questionnaire and their first question had me a bit flustered. You’d think that after all these years of running around in my head and on paper, I would be able to hear my main character Irjan’s voice. But I really had to think about it. Irjan has always been emotionally vivid to me and I’ve had an image of him in my head since 2009 when I first wrote about him. But his voice? That made me stop and think.
Irjan’s character starts out in The Song of All in his mid-30s and ends in his early-50s. He’s from the human clan/tribe but spent most of his life as a loner, hunting and killing immortals. He starts the story as the flawed man trying to find himself as he builds a life apart from bloodshed. He’s become a farmer, a husband, and a father. But his past is not easily left behind. Caught between an ambitious village priest and the comrades he’d forsaken, Irjan’s present unravels as he faces an ultimatum: return to hunt the immortals or lose his child. But as Irjan tracks the immortals through the dark and desolate snow-covered forests, it’s not death he searches for, but life.
So what does that supposed to sound like?
I spent a lot of time staring at Irjan’s picture up on my storyboard, asking him just that. (Note: Obfuscation alert. I deliberately messed with my image of Irjan above. Every reader should have their own idea of what he looks like.)
So here’s what I told Brilliance Audio:
Irjan’s voice is deep but not gruff. There’s a softness to it that belies both weariness and hopefulness.
I sent the questionnaire back yesterday. I’m so curious to see who they cast. The voice artist will definitely have a challenging project with both male and female speaking parts, multiple POVs (points of view), and foreign words to pronounce. I can’t wait to hear what The Song of All sounds like, outside of my head.