The Attlee’s and The Archers For me, there is something about physical books that no alternative can match; the feel, the smell, the ability to easily turn back (if you’ve lost concentration) or forward (if you can’t resist knowing how it ends). But other formats are available these days and they are just as valued by avid readers.
Although ebooks have peaked in sales they remain a popular way to read, which is why I was delighted to learn from my publisher that ‘One of Our Ministers Is Missing’ is currently at No.5 in the Kindle Top Ten.
As for Audiobooks, they are growing in popularity all the time because they’re perfect for when you’re driving the car, doing the ironing, walking the dog etc.
On the audiobooks of my memoirs it’s my voice you hear. Each book required me to spend three days in a recording studio – for which ebooks were ideal incidentally because the rustling of a turned page can require a complete retake.
But fiction needs an actor’s skills because there’s lots of dialogue and, given the Russians and Ukrainians in the first of my thrillers and the Greeks in the second, it also requires a gift for accents.
Oliver Chris (‘The Office’, ‘Green Wing’, ‘One Man,Two Governors’ ) read the audiobook for ‘The Late Train to Gipsy Hill’ and read it brilliantly. For ‘One of Our Ministers is Missing’ my publisher suggested an actor named Richard Attlee. I accepted immediately because, aside from the fact that he’s a wonderful actor, I knew that Richard was Clem Attlee’s grandson.
We in the Labour Party talk with reverence about Clem, our leader in the post-war landslide Labour victory, the man responsible for the NHS, NATO and the creation of the welfare state. But those with no allegiance to Labour at all admire Clem as Churchill’s loyal deputy in the coalition government that led this country to victory in the Second World War.
Richard has another claim to fame for we fans of ‘The Archers’ because he plays Kenton, the Archer who never wanted to work on the farm. So, listeners to this audiobook will be directly connected to The Attlee’s and The Archer’s as well as being (I hope) entertained by the book.