Audiobook Release: Vacation by JC Miller

Vacation CoverVacation released July 14, 2017


It was such a pleasure to collaborate with JC Miller in producing and narrating her tender and charming love story about the irresistibility of human attraction and the delicate and graceful balance of humans and nature. (“Fragile cells alone in an ocean of darkness, finding one another, and then clinging together like soap bubbles.”)

JC’s inspired visions of everyday life as a man struggles to emerge from grief and emptiness in the aftermath of his wife’s death mirror the elegant simplicity of the microscopic world of William Koval, an introverted medical scientist with little faith in humanity and even less desire to bond with it. He meets a matter-of-fact and self-reliant history professor on a walking tour of the Cotswolds and their endearing efforts to overcome grief, regret, and isolation have us willing their hearts to open.

This production is also the culmination of a new pre-production process I’m using to analyze and internalize the story in an effort to enhance my oral delivery. It feels like a success from that perspective, but listeners will determine that. As the narrator I want it to be so engaging and satisfying that you forget you’re listening to an audiobook. A tall order indeed. What I know is that my experience in telling the story was quite fulfilling. I’m pleased. I’m not satisfied. But I’m pleased.


What It Takes: Love Story Cheat Sheet /Controlling Idea (Theme)

Audiobook-Logo-White-2-No-B“Love triumphs when lovers dispel their ignoble attitudes and embrace the vibrant mix of humanity within all social classes.” — Shawn Coyne, Love Story Cheat Sheet / Controlling Idea.

In Part 4 of his 6 part guest post series on, Shawn Coyne analyzes Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice and guides us to the story’s Controlling Idea, or Theme. How does the story end? What causes the love value to move from ignorance at the beginning to (spoiler) at the end? How do the lovers change? And what causes them to change?

Shawn goes into much greater detail in his book, The Story Grid. Written primarily for editors and based on his twenty-five year career in publishing, The Story Grid is also a valuable resource for both aspiring and established writers. I’ve begun using The Story Grid‘s concepts to analyze and internalize Stories I’m preparing to produce and narrate as audiobooks. My first production completed utilizing some of the tools in The Story Grid and in Stephen Pressfield‘s book, Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t, will be released on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes in the next few days.

Vacation by JC Miller; you guessed it, a Love Story, set both in the Cotswolds, the walking capital of England where the lovers meet, and finally in atmospheric Seattle where the lovers court, change, and become. It’s difficult for me, for obvious reasons, to assess my success in applying this approach. All I know is it feels good, and in delivering the story orally, my personal experience was very satisfying. I think I did get to a level of engagement and expression that I might not have otherwise. But listener response should tell me something. So. We’ll see. Either way, it’s a great experiment and for me an important one. I’m definitely enjoying it.

Why Love Rules By Shawn Coyne

What I Mean by Love Story By Shawn Coyne

What Are Love Stories For? By Shawn Coyne

Love Story Cheat Sheet / Controlling Idea By Shawn Coyne

Love Story Cheat Sheet / Obligatory Scenes By Shawn Coyne

Love Story Cheat Sheet / Conventions By Shawn Coyne