Author: C.F. White
Narrator: Piers Ryman
Length: 7 hours 38 minutes
Series: The District Line, Book 1
Release date: Dec. 11, 2019
Publisher: C.F. White
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
What happens when opposite sides of the track collide? East Londoner Jay Ruttman has only ever wanted one thing: to be a professional footballer. But after a disastrous brawl on the pitch gets him released from his pro-academy, he has to follow plan B and enrolls as a university sports scholar. Head down, train hard, and get scouted is his motto...until he crashes into the man who might just shoot his dreams out of the park. Kensington elite Sebastian (Seb) Saunders has only ever wanted one thing: to be a rock star. But his father has other plans for him, including taking the helm of his multimillion pound new business venture across the pond. Live it up, chase the dream, and rock out for as long as he can is his mantra...until he crashes into the man who might just rock his world off its scale. Jay and Seb live at opposite ends of London’s District Line, separated by wealth, status, family traditions, and their own lifelong dreams. This startling and gritty contemporary romance story sees them both having to overcome barriers, face fears, and beat rejection to fight for the love they need to achieve it all.
Q&A with Author C.F. White
- Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
- I’d finished the full District Line series some time ago and really wanted to turn it into audio to have someone bring these characters to life. They were so prominent in my head, I wanted to give them voices that everyone could hear! As this was my only self published series, it gave me the freedom to source a narrator interested in bringing these books to life. I think I was lucky to stumble on Piers Ryman when I did which was through another author who he had narrated for. After exchanging a few emails and him sending a sample of Kick Off, I knew he’d be perfect to narrate the two distinct London accents. His performance often made me laugh at my own jokes and cry at those heart wrenching moments. So from there, we agreed to do the whole trilogy.
- Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
- Yes, I think so. I think dialogue is an important aspect when it comes to audio. When a narrator can perform dialogue distinctly and really make the characters stand out, then that’s a great audio to listen to and takes the listener right into the heart of the book. Reams and reams of prose can be difficult to concentrate on listening to.
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- Not at all. I wrote these books many many years ago and they first came to life on Wattpad, the online writing community. I gained a following with these books and the support from there and the little success I had was what made me go into traditional publishing. Never did I think they’d come out in audio. But my background in film, television and theatre meant that I write very visually anyway and I think that translates well into audio, especially the dialogue. Although, I did tinker with the second two books after hearing the first and now understand how writing might be adapted for audio. It’s amazing how listening to someone read out your own words can help you improve!
- How did you select your narrator?
- I was put in touch with Piers through another author who wrote similar books to me. When Piers said he was a London lad himself, I knew it was the right partnership as he instantly knew all the places I was referring to in the book and the accents he produced were spot on - especially Jay who’s east London roots weren’t a million miles away from Piers’ own.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
- I’d say we worked pretty closely together. He preps all books before narrating, so it’s great he knew the whole story before diving in and if he was unsure about anything, he’d ask and I could give him a detailed answer. I gave him full character bios with directions on accents but as he’s familiar with the area this is set, he didn’t need too much guidance. He also changed up a few accents on supporting characters but did ask me first and I agreed to it, simply because it was a way to distinguish between characters speaking. After he’d finished the audio, I would listen and review and if there were any instances where he’d perhaps got the wrong accent on the wrong character, he’d happily change. It was a great working relationship and I really wouldn’t hesitate using Piers again. He’s fantastic!
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- The inspiration mostly came from having been around football (that’s soccer to the US) most of my life. My dad was a referee and I also worked with a few ex-Academy footballers who had been released from pro contracts. There are still, to this date, no out-gay professional players and that was something I was interested in exploring - the things that could affect a footballer from their early academy days to turning professional. Jay was a well thought out and researched character. Once he was fleshed out, I needed the man who he would fall hook, line and sinker for that would eventually mean he had to come out. Seb was just that - the loud mouth rocker who was hellbent on being in the limelight. He was influenced by a mixture of people, some in the public eye, and it can become obvious who he was most influenced by ;)
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
- I write little and often! I have two children, one with SEN, and a full time job so writing happens as and when I can so I don’t think there ever has been a complete burn out for me as yet as I don’t get as much time as I would like to dedicate to it.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- Yes but I only tend to listen to books that I’ve already read in ebook form, mostly because I listen in the car or when doing something else like running so I can dip in and out. What appeals to me most in hearing the character voices and how a good narrator can sound like two completely different people and make it feel like there’s a movie playing in your head.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- Oh yes! The comedic timing was a real eye opener! Sometimes, skim reading a book might mean that the jokes and one liners are missed, or not seen as funny. But when I listened to some of the lighter, funnier moments in the audio, I really chuckled! There’s a particular scene in the second book that I still, after listening to it several times, snort laughter simply for how it has been performed. The heart wrenching moments are also more resonating, I never thought I would cry at my own words but Piers made me. A good performance can really produce great cathartic listening.
- I’m currently writing a romantic suspense trilogy. I have a thing about writing in threes! And I’d love for this to also come out in Audio, but we’ll see if I can finish it all first!!
Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.