Circle Of Spears – The Power Of Synergy
‘Every Audio Book you’ve ever heard is a Frankenstein’s Monster of cuts, edits and redo’s but you end up with something that sounds like you’ve just read it beautifully the first time.’ – Circle of Spears
I love reading. Until recently, I’d never considered listening to an audiobook, thinking that it wouldn’t be the same and I was right. But if I thought listening to an audiobook would be unenjoyable, I was wrong. Listening whilst travelling recently, was an eye (ear) opening experience as the characters were expertly brought to life. I found myself in stitches at parts of the text, which, had I read it myself in my ‘mind’s voice’, would have been less effective. There’s also the added advantage of not feeling travel sick – I can’t read in any moving vehicle, whether plane, train or automobile.
It was with this newfound delight, that I met with the founders of Circle of Spears; independent Devon-based producers of both audiobooks and live theatre entertainment. A plethora of talent emanates from the team which consists of trained actors and an ex-TV Industry professional. So varied are their skills, they can keep production inhouse from beginning to end, making it affordable and attainable to all, from beginners to established authors and publishers.
Sam Burns, together with Tracey and Mark Norman, are the talents behind Circle of Spears, founded in 2015. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Sam and Mark, over a cup of coffee at Grow. Starting as freelancers who earned royalties, they decided to team up to start a business and haven’t looked back. Sam said,
The central ethos to the company is that we are a bunch of people doing something together that we couldn’t do, individually’.
Mark added that that is where the name of the company originated from, too.
On meeting the pair, it quickly became apparent as to why their voices are such assets in the world of audiobooks. Their golden tones, combined with the versatility of experienced actress Tracey, means that they have the perfect mix of voices to bring a story to life. An audiobook lover’s dream.
Working with many talented authors across the board, their latest release is a book by award-winning fantasy author, Adrian Tchaikovsky. Also available on audiobook, is Traceys’ play, Witch, written a few years ago for a season at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, and still being performed across the country.
It recently premiered in London for its 75th performance and the team re-released a version of the audiobook in celebration. The importance of giving those accused of Witchcraft, a voice, is not lost on modern audiences, and one of the reasons for its longevity. Tracey’s play is based on actual cases of people from the South West who were accused of witchcraft and persecuted all those years ago.
The team has ‘hit the ground running’ and haven’t had to actively search for fresh projects since starting up but are always open to new business ideas. Sam remarked,
‘Networking, in general, comes from leaving your calling card behind by the good job that you’ve done’.
The high standard of recording forms part of their popularity amongst authors, with the team putting in place stringent quality controls to ensure accuracy. Mark said,
“We know how long it takes for an author to find the right words, it’s not our place, as narrators, to change those words by reading something incorrectly and thinking, “Oh well it means the same thing let’s not worry about it!”.
To find out more or to get in touch with one of the team, pop onto circleofspears.com
Written by Stella Nicholls
Photos supplied by Mark Norman