This is how you record an audio book. You lay the pages on the table, two at a time. You start to read them. You get up to the good bit. The producer comes over the intercom and tells you that they picked up the noise of your tummy rumbling on that last line and could you start from the beginning of the paragraph again.
You rapidly learn how many strange noises your body makes, that can be picked up by a microphone, while you just want to read.
Also you learn how incredibly exhausting reading aloud can be when everything has to be perfect and correct for posterity. I've got a good producer, which makes it easier. Today I read the beginning through to the end of Chapter 8 -- page 120ish. About 50 pages left to read tomorrow, and I'll redo the first chapter when we get to the end (because I'm sure the first few pages were stiff and awkward). Mostly I'm happy with it, although I worry that the cat sounds too much like Julian Clary, and Miss Spink and Miss Forcible have almost the same voice, and that my own accent is a bit of a transatlantic mess. Also my throat feels as if it spent all day reading...
My friend Tori swears by a drink of chopped up fresh ginger and honey before she sings. I'll try it tomorrow morning before reading round two.
Today I was e-mailed the Gahan Wilson cover to A WALKING TOUR OF THE SHAMBLES. It's a caricature of me and Gene Wolfe, along with Alice, the White Rabbit, a crocodile and one of the inhabitants of the House of Clocks, done in that inimatable Gahan Wilson style. It's wonderful, and very appropriate.
When I was a teenager I used to risk the ire of shop assistants in newsagents by going up on tiptoes and taking the copy of Playboy from the top shelf, and flipping through it looking for the Gahan Wilson full-page cartoon. And now I'm in one (a Gahan Wilson cartoon, not a copy of Playboy). How cool is that? (Mr Gaiman wanders off into the sunset, his bosom swelling with pure fanboy pride.)