I’ve been listening and marking edits on the ACX audiobook of A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE. The narrator is Bryant Sullivan and, if I weren’t a happily married woman, I’d be sending candy and flowers to his voice.
But then…. Then…. I thought, “I’ll just follow the link to his website and see what’s there.”
Holy jumpin’ catfish, HE IS SO GOOD-LOOKIN’! I mean, geez-o-Pete! He could totally play Grant Marsch in a film version of DEAD GUY:
If Sandy was The Mighty Thor, this guy was Apollo. Three varieties of Hollywood heart-throb, all rolled into one, with sugar on top. He was olive-complected, fine-featured, small-boned, slender and tall. He had muted blue eyes and soft black curls and a mouth off a Greek statue.
I ain’t kiddin’ you. Would I kid you?
Besides, he doesn’t just read the book; he does voices for all the characters! A-a-and, he emailed me and asked, “I’m trying to work out Grant Marsch; you say he has an accent but it can’t be placed. Is that just Mitch? Do you have an actual sound in mind or is it really supposed to be strange to the listener?”
Is that great, or what? Wait a minute — What am I doing? — He’s a terrible narrator! Terrible! You do not want to hire him away from me! ~wiggles fingers~ This is not the droid you’re looking for.
No, no, stay here and read this excerpt about Mitch and Aunt Missy, instead. Bryant does a super Aunt Missy. No, no, I mean it’s terrible! Terrible!
A Touch of the Poet
excerpt from A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE
by Marian Allen
I hadn’t been standing there as long as it seemed when Mr. Dreamboat looked up and saw me.
“Who is this?” he asked. His voice was a low alto and had just a trace of an accent, which I couldn’t place.
“Oh, that’s Mitch,” Aunt Missy said casually, and turned to not-quite-look at me. “What is your full name, dear? I’ve forgotten.”
“Franklin,” I said. “James Michener Franklin.” I handed her the business end of the leash. “This animal is your dog. His name is Wong. It’s 1968. Lyndon B. Johnson is our president. Will there be anything else?”
Aunt Missy flickered an annoyed look at me and said, “Mitch, this is Grant Marsch.”
I almost said, “Ah, yes, the very dear friend of dear Albert’s,” but I restrained myself. He looked up with a smile that scared the bejeesus out of me: It was sweet and beautiful and stayed limited to his mouth. His eyes were crafty and speculative.
“Mitch is such a help to me,” Aunt Missy said. “I’ve hired him to take care of the dogs. He’s a very hard-working, conscientious boy.”
All of a sudden I was a “boy” and a dog-keeper. Whatever happened to “Dear Mitch, I need you?” I wondered. But I didn’t have to wonder very hard.
[UPDATE: I don’t think I’m allowed to post an excerpt from his reading of my book, since it’s still in production, but here’s a link to a bunch of samples of Bryant Sullivan’s work. You’re welcome.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character is supplanted — or feels supplanted — by a newcomer or by someone from a dear one’s past.