Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Together and Out Loud

Many years ago now, when I was studying English Literature, I arrived at the door of a tutor’s office with a friend.  We could hear the sound of a raised voice inside, and the scrape of a chair indicated that someone had leapt to their feet.

Reckoning that the tutorial had already started, and preparing ourselves for the embarrassment of being late, we knocked on the door.  But when we were called inside, we found our tutor alone.  In response to our puzzled looks (Had he just pushed someone out of the window??  The question was of some concern, since we were on the 14th floor…) he told us that when he was alone he often read aloud to himself, and with actions if possible.

The idea sounded a little outlandish to my inexperienced mind.  But when I tried it out, a lifelong love of reading aloud was born.

Reading aloud isn’t necessarily a solitary pursuit.  I used to read to an elderly lady, who shared my love of whodunits.  Together we worked our way through the exploits of Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes, stopping from time to time to compare notes on who we thought might have committed the horrible crime in question, or to discuss some of the finer points of the plot.  Sharing these stories made us firm friends.

I find it a different experience from audio books.  Don’t get me wrong – I love audio books – but having someone in the room with you, maybe stumbling over a few sentences or adding gestures to the mix, is more personal.  Re-capping together on the story so far.  Watching someone’s face, as they read or are read to.

So when a friend asked whether I might read one of my books to her mother, whose failing sight means she can’t read for herself, I agreed willingly.  Little did I know what a merry-go-round of emotion I’d let myself in for!

I read for about an hour each week and have a very vocal audience.  I love the way my friend and her Mum have a tendency to shout You go girl! whenever the heroine sticks up for herself, or Noooo! when the hero decides he must leave.  They spur me on by telling me which parts of the book they liked best, and by sending up a resounding cheer when we get to the happy ending.

But it’s not all plain sailing.  I always read my manuscripts aloud to myself, but reading the finished book to an audience is an entirely different prospect!  The writer in me always comes across a few bits that I’d change if I had the chance, and I have a tendency to laugh in all the wrong places, and to grimace during the more light-hearted parts of the story, because I know what’s coming next.  Watching their faces gives me line-by-line feedback, which is always a little scary!

It’s their kindness that keeps me going.  When my friend and her Mum say that they feel good after hearing the latest episode of the story, it makes the work that went into writing it pale into insignificance, next to the rewards.  And the feedback they give me helps me in the writer’s constant quest, to make the next book better than the last.

So – writers, am I alone in finding reading my own books aloud both a scary and rewarding process? And readers, do you prefer the professionalism of audio books, or the flawed warmth of an amateur?

And finally – let me share the covers of my latest release, out this month.  I’ve long wanted to write an archaeologist hero, but I find that whatever a hero can do, a heroine can do just as well!

9781474051507  31231  medical6

Burned in love, Dr. Matteo Di Salvo knows he should stay away from single mother Rose Palmer. But as he gets to know the beautiful English archaeologist, he longs to chase the shadows from her eyes… 

Rose is drawn to the handsome radiologist, though after her disastrous marriage, getting emotionally entangled is out of the question! But as the sun-drenched island of Sicily works its magic, she wonders if she’s finally found a man she can trust…with her heart and her son.


12 thoughts on “Together and Out Loud”

  1. I don’t car for audio books. I think I’d rather either see them acted out or read in person. The audio books tend to put me to sleep. (I should try that for insomnia).
    I just started reading Rose and Matteo’s story last night. Thought is was interesting you chose Matteo to be an interventional radilogist, being an OB/Nursery nurse since 85 I never really knew much about them. In 2003 I ended up having a hysterectomy/oopherectomy for severe endometriosis. Did well for about a week, went home and on day 3 at home my vertical midline scar split open from top to bottom…back to the hospital due to a large cyst swelling my abdomen. They couldn’t just suture me back together, but I had an orange sized abscess that led me to the interventional radiologist, who was able to insert a drain and flush the abscess with antibiotics and leave the drain. Without that I would have been a very sick girl. Bad enough I had to wait 4 months for the wound to heal in, but at least I didn’t die from sepsis thanks to Dr. Radiologist!

    1. Wow Laurie! What a horrible experience. Thank goodness for the skills of Dr Radiologist!

      Thank you so much for reading Rose and Matteo’s story. I had the best time doing the research for this book 🙂

  2. Hi Annie

    I would love to listen to you read one of your stories that would be so good, I do listen to audio books when I am out walking and enjoy them very much I also read out loud to my grandchildren here and there to and love that my 9 year old granddaughter and I are reading through The Secret Seven books besides that fact I loved them when I was a kid we love reading them aloud together it is fun.

    I need to get your newest I am looking forward to it woohoo 🙂

    Have Fun

    1. Aw thank you, Helen. When I read my own books, my listeners have to be patient with me 🙂 (Stopping every now again for a drink, and laughing in all the wrong places…)

      How lovely that your granddaughter and you can share books that you loved as a child. I remember the Secret Seven books well, we had all of them when I was little, and it’s nice to know they’re still around!

  3. I love audio books, Annie!
    I have some of my Entangled books coming out on audio at some stage which I’m excited about but I do wonder if I’ll cringe, both at the things I’d now change and if the voice is all wrong…..

    1. Oooh Amy – looking forward to your Entangled audio books!

      Yes – if I could just switch off the voice in my head saying ‘that would be better if…’, things would go a lot more smoothly.

  4. Annie, I’ve tried and tied to read my books out loud for the final read-through but I’ve never got very far. I’m usually half pie expecting a neighbour walk in with handcuffs and take me to the funny farm! Maybe I’ll try it again after reading your great post.

  5. I love a good audio book….when I’m running (slowly)….which make for very interesting facial expressions for the other runners to see when they pass me! LOVE the covers of your new book – gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!!

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