Here is a reprint of an excerpt from an interview Julian did with a local radio station on the audiobook.
Interviewer: How difficult was it to create an audiobook?
JB: It was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I could barely read a couple of paragraphs without making some sort of mistake in pronunciation or intonation, let alone 116,000 words! Thank goodness for the audio editor; it makes me sound somewhat articulate.
Interviewer: I can imagine that there were some names that were difficult to pronounce. For example, some of the Native American names.
JB:Absolutely. It’s also hampered by the absence of how certain names should be pronounced. Let’s take the famed Native American explorer, Sacagawea, as an example. Lewis and Clark may have been brave explorers, but they were terrible spellers. They mention Sacagawea seventeen times in their journals, and spell her name in seven different ways. Today, Americans tend to pronounce her name with a soft “g.” However, I was persuaded by a couple of dozen articles that I read that her name should probably be pronounced with a hard “g” or maybe even a ”k.” This, for example, would make the meaning of her name Bird Woman, rather than Boat Launcher. I then had a decision to make on whether to perpetuate the soft “g” that Americans are used to, or use the likely more correct pronunciation. It’s all very easy to get lost in research on how to pronounce names, especially if you are looking for an excuse not to be reading a chapter of the audiobook.
Interviewer: The book has some quotes from Americans. Do you do the accents?
JB:Yes, unfortunately. Although I researched how famous Americans sounded (including those whose voices were never recorded like Mark Twain), I was somewhat hampered by the fact that I still can’t do a very good American accent. The accents are therefore directionally accurate but somewhat comedic.
Interviewer: Is there anything you would do differently next time?
JB:I cannot tell you how many times I had wished that I had written simpler sentences.