Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.-based writer Erin Hernden (left) recorded her first audiobook, in Prince Albert five years ago. It is now available on her website. Her husband Don (right) provided illustrations.
most audio stories don’t have sound effects … because it can be distracting. But this is unique in that the sound effects don’t interfere with the story; they just emphasize the qualities of the mice.”
The book tells the story of two mice siblings, Ellie and Sammie, who go on a musical journey through Northern Ontario and learn a few things about each other along the way. Ellie becomes more confident and discovers her singing voice while Sammie learns the piano.
“My underlying theme (is) that children have all kinds of qualities that you have to encourage,” Hernden explained.
Hernden’s daughter Kathleen Radke, a soprano, provides Ellie’s “little opera voice” and her nephew Michael Connell plays Sammie’s piano accompaniment and additional sound effects. Hernden said Radke and Connell have been performing together since they were children in the cathedral choir. Their portions were recorded in Sault Ste. Marie and sent to McFarlane to assemble back in P.A.
The recording was completed in 2012 and Hernden spent the ensuring years making printed book available on amazon.com and developing her own website, weewidevoice.ca, where the audiobook is now available. She said the recording part was easy, but making it available was more challenging.
She said working with family members was an enjoyable experience.
“Richard, Kate and Mike, they’re very consummate professional musicians and performers and they just have a great ease,” Hernden said.
“They have to put up with my ideas and it’s very hard to do, illustrate someone else’s ideas, but they captured it all perfectly for me so I’ll always appreciate that.”