Headphones at the ready! Titas is an enhanced audiobook thriller written by Lovarzi’s Alex Skerratt (that’s me) and performed by Jay Giblin.
When a commercial spaceflight explodes on take-off, the company’s social media manager takes it upon himself to investigate the true cause – and soon finds himself in a dark place, and one that he might never return from. That’s the premise of Titas, and it’s an hour-long audiobook thriller.
Like many Lovarzi readers (and indeed Doctor Who fans) I am a huge admirer of the work of Big Finish, and a lover of radio in general. What I enjoy most about some of the Big Finish dramas is their simplicity; Big Finish can do so much with so little, and some of their productions are among the best I’ve ever heard. I’m thinking of the Torchwood two-handers like SUV and We Always Get Out Alive, and the wonderful Blake’s 7 Liberator Chronicles.
Certainly, The Liberator Chronicles have been the biggest source of inspiration to me. I love how they seamlessly weave prose and dialogue-driven drama, and I was keen to attempt something similar. The idea that one could craft an epic and hugely enjoyable tale with just two actors and a whole seascape of acoustic ‘imagery’ was an exciting prospect to me as an indie creator.
That’s what led me to forge my first audiobook thriller – or an enhanced audiobook thriller, to be precise, given the plethora of sound cues and music it contains. It’s performed by a wonderful actor from Liverpool called Jay Giblin, with whom I spent a delightful day at Apperley Bridge Studios in West Yorkshire, in the midst of the characteristic summer drizzle. He carries the bulk of the action, unfurling this creepy yarn about a commercial spaceflight company with a somewhat ‘casual’ approach to customer safety. And it’s prepared to go to any lengths to protect its secrets.
For the dialogue scenes (the ‘radio drama’ portion of the story) I cast myself, because I’m excellent at following my own instructions, and my rates are competitive. Directing oneself in an audiobook thriller, though, was an educational experience. I discovered just how important it is to listen to oneself back after recording a take; it often sounds very different from what plays out in my head!
As for the post production, I handled this myself. It was great fun, but like any independent creator, one quickly realises what a mammoth undertaking such projects can be – particularly in my case, when I straddle a full-time job living and working in a boarding school as a residential tutor, whilst also working on The Sooty Show, whilst also working for Lovarzi, whilst also training in Christian ministry. It’s a bit like being a full-time working parent, but with 18 kids!
Thus, it took me a little longer to realise this audiobook thriller than I originally planned (I wrote it in 2022, after all!) But if I have learned anything in my relatively brief span, it’s that persistence pays off, and I am delighted that Titas is now ready to launch, and that my boss at Lovarzi has been kind enough to let me write about it on our blog.
And as a thank you to you lovely readers, I have set up a discount code if you would like to listen to TItas for 75% off with the discount code LOVARZI. I hope you enjoy it. Do tell me what you think and leave me a review. You can buy your copy here.
And if you’d like to know more about this audiobook thriller, check out the Studio Skerratt website. Colin Baker’s also lurking on there, if you look close enough…