The best thing about conventions and conferences is the people – hands down. Interacting with creatives who share a similar sphere as myself is a boon to my soul. It’s being seen and understood while I (hopefully) see and understand them as well.
One of those wonderful people is Lee Moyer – an artist and writer. I met him while being in charge of the World Fantasy Convention 2020 Virtual Art Show. We emailed a couple times on the subject, but really began our friendship during the convention. I was the volunteer who got to introduce him for his reading. And what a reading it was!
If you check out Lee‘s art you’ll see he’s put in the time/effort to know how to create powerful works of art. If you get a chance to read his words they are woven together by wit and are pure delight. However, to hear Lee read his own words is like listening to a one man show – the voices, the inflection, the energy! It is entertainment that feels almost like it is from another time, as if children and parents alike should be crowded around a radio listening to a weekly installment of an audio drama.
So you can imagine my enthusiasm when Lee contacted me and asked me to be a beta listener for him. I’ll be honest I had never heard of beta listening. I’d done plenty of beta reading but this was a new adventure and I was more than happy to let Lee guide me in the process.
Lee had finished seventeen chapters of his novel The Three Queens of Venice. He wanted to make sure it was clear before he moved on. His other listeners had already been engaged with it long enough that he needed fresh ears. We arranged a time for the beta listening and Lee explained how it worked. He would read and after every chapter I would have a chance to give reactions, impressions, and ask questions if anything was confusing. While he read, if he saw mistypes or if something didn’t work, he’d fix it right there.
We were able to get all seventeen chapters in and it only took four hours! Between the editing done on the way and the chatting between chapters, I was surprised and impressed it took so little time. A completely unique and fun experience that I hope to repeat when he gets the next part finished because I want to know what happens! And you better believe I will be putting on the pressure for him to do his own audio book when the time comes!
I’m immensely grateful to Lee for giving me this opportunity to broaden my experience. There was a time when I would have said no because of feelings of inadequacies – so here is a big reminder to say “YES!” to new adventures! You won’t regret it.