Interview with Wendy Nikel

Today, we’re chatting with MSJ alum Wendy Nikel, who has her first audiobook out now!

DV: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Wendy Nikel: I’m a homeschooling mom who somehow manages to squeeze writing time in between lesson planning, driving kids to extracurricular activities, running the household, and making sure everyone–including our three gerbils–gets fed. I’ve been published in Analog, Nature: Futures, Cricket, and elsewhere and am currently serving as the Publisher Liaison for the 2020 World Fantasy Convention.

DV: You’ve just released the audio version of The Continuum, the first book in your Place in Time series. What are some of the things you learned during the process of getting your printed words into audio format?

WN: I went into this project without really knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had putting together this audiobook.

The Continuum was published by World Weaver Press in January 2018, and the three novellas that follow it in the Place in Time series also involve many of the same characters, so in a way, this project meant re-visiting a story and characters that were very familiar to me, which I’ve spent a lot of time rewriting and revising and reworking and polishing. But I also had to look at it differently than I’d ever done before. I’ve always had some idea of what each of the characters “sounded” like in my head, but figuring out how to describe that to someone else was an interesting challenge.

DV: What advice would you give other authors who are interested in having audio versions of their small-press or self-published books created?

WN: My biggest piece of advice would be to make sure that you know what rights you have and which you’re giving away whenever you sign a contract, whether it’s for a short story, novella, or novel. Even if you don’t currently have plans for producing your work in audio, you may be more open to the idea or have an opportunity present itself later, so it’s good to keep your options open!

DV: Who are some of your favorite audiobook narrators?

WN: I’m going to use this opportunity to give a shout-out to my amazing narrator, Jennifer Stoneking. One of the things I was most concerned about when starting this process was that I wouldn’t find a narrator that was a good fit, so when I heard her audition, it was a huge relief; it was just like I’d imagined my main character Elise’s voice in my head! She was fabulous to work with, and I’m really proud of the finished product!

DV: What’s on the horizon for you?

WN: As far as audiobooks go, I’d definitely like to produce the other three books in the series as well, but that’s going to depend on how the first book does–so if you like this one, be sure to leave a review or tell a friend!

I’m also very excited about having a story in a recently announced anthology from Bloomsbury Press, entitled Philosophy through Science Fiction Stories, which also includes stories from Ted Chiang, Ken Liu, Aliette de Bodard, and others.

Thanks, Wendy!

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