Our first audio book
Behind the scenes of our first CD. John MacKenna's 'I Knew This Place'
A little about I Knew This Place
Last year we published I Knew This Place, John MacKenna’s collection of radio essays from RTE’s Sunday Miscellany. John’s voice has become familiar to listeners of the popular radio show. His work was broadcast on more than eighty programmes over three decades. The essays have become a social history of the town of Castledermot, Co Kildare, Ireland. The stories were described by The Irish Times as enchantments woven with rich and intimate language, snapshots of lives lived, and days passed, distinctly Irish and yet utterly universal.
We were pretty happy with that review. Here’s the link to the entire piece.
The Harvest Press published its first audio book this week.
That simple sentence covers so much. John MacKenna (my husband and the other half of The Harvest Press) discovered that he had to undergo heart surgery a few months ago. In the weeks before surgery he made plans. This was as much a way of staying positive as an ambition to produce work. We decided to bring out an audio CD of his work. Katie Jacques, (my daughter, John’s step-daughter) produced it.
The move to online learning for third level students over the last two years has meant that Katie is now pretty sharp in the area of technology and recording and John was able to record his work, five weeks post-op, at home.
We went with a CD. It’s the tail-end of a dying music medium but we felt that the much of the audience, like ourselves, still possess a CD player .
We have an advantage when we recorded this audio-book in that John’s voice is perfect for radio. His years of recording, his work as an actor and his extensive experience in voice-over narration mean that we didn’t need to hire an actor. Anyone who has seen the RTE documentaries, 2 Wild or Seconds From Disaster will recognise John’s voice. When we met, over twelve years ago, it was the first thing I noticed about him. Although I later discovered that he is not an expert on the natural world or disasters.
I will be uploading the CD to a digital site, for sale on other platforms. When we bring out our next book - in spring 2022, the audio book will be released alongside it. Really delighted that I now know how to do this.
Here is the CD. Available on www.theharvestpress.ie