[Fridays with Friends] Isobel Starling & Aural Sex- The Joy of Audiobooks

Today we have Isobel Starling talking about audiobooks and her upcoming audio release of As You Wish narrated by Gary Furlong. Enjoy! 

AYW Audio coming soon

Aural Sex – The Joy of Audiobooks

I am a huge fan of audiobooks.

There is something so delightfully intimate about letting a narrator into my head and allowing him to speak to me.  Because that is what it feels like, he is speaking only to me.  I get a kind of womb-like comfort from curling up, plugging in my ipod and having a story read to me.  And what makes the experience even better is when the narrator is vocally talented and has theatrical training.  You can tell when a narrator has this kind of training because he won’t just ‘read’ the book out loud, he’ll ‘perform’ the story, providing each character with a unique voice and in turn, giving the book a whole a new layer.

My first foray into audiobooks began with Terry Pratchett’s Fantasy comedy ‘Discworld’ books, which I used as my bedtime stories for years until I exhausted the series.  Then, I moved on to epic fantasy and thrillers.  With so many audiobooks to catch up on it took me a long time to try an M/M romance audiobook.  Admittedly, I thought that listening to a man I did not know talk dirty to me in the darkness was a bit… icky!  I know that anyone who’s read my work, and more importantly, my sex scenes will laugh out loud at my prudishness, but the thought of listening to sex did make me feel uncomfortable.

However, I am pleased to admit that I moved out of my comfort zone and I was SO wrong.  I began listening to Jordan Castillo Price’s Psycop series, narrated by the amazing Gomez Pugh, and my mind changed forever.  Gomez sounded like sex on a stick!  His voices for Wild Bill and Michael from Jordan’s “Channelling Morpheus” Contemporary Vamp serial are etched on my mind forever.

I have since become an avid listener of M/M audiobooks and have worked my way through Josh Lanyon, Z.A. Maxfield, Rhys Ford, and many other authors.  There are hits and misses, primarily due to the choice of narrator – a bad narrator can kill a book stone dead, but when I find a good narrator I tend to stick with them!

Finding a narrator for my own M/M Romance series was a hard task.  I had very specific needs – primarily, the narrator had to be able to perform a range of Scots accents to bring MC Declan Ramsay to life, as well as his brother, mother and other Scots friends.  It was a very challenging task for a narrator.

I posted the narration gig on ACX – Audible’s audiobook creation site, and was inundated with auditions.  There were many very talented, well-known narrators amongst the bunch, but most of them were American, and I found their Scots accents just did not work for me.  Eventually, after an arduous search, I found native Irish voice actor Gary Furlong who did a super audition, displaying his range of Scots and English accents.  He has a lovely smooth, extremely listenable voice and so I snapped him up for the series.

“As You Wish” Book #1 in my “Shatterproof Bond” series is due to be released on Audible.com in May 2017.  I proofed the production and am absolutely delighted with Gary’s performance – especially his take on Declan, who comes across as broody, masculine and at the right moments, has an edge of sensual vulnerability.  I know my American readers in particular, who fell in love with Declan will go googly-eyed for him all over again.  Therefore, book #2 “Illuminate the Shadows” is now in production and will hopefully come out soon after my first audio release, with book #3 “Return to Zero” hot on their heels.

Isobel Starling 2017

“As You Wish” (Shatterproof Bond #1) Narrated by Gary Furlong is out on Audible: US | UK

As You Wish


Now available in a handy, cost effective box set, the Shatterproof Bond series will clutch at your heart and leave you aching for more. Come along on a thrilling, adventure with Scotsman Declan Ramsay and Englishman Sam Aiken featuring soaring M/M romance, love, laughter and sizzling lovemaking.

Sam and Declan meet at their siblings’ Scottish castle wedding during novel # 1 “As You Wish”.

The couple’s relationship deepens in novel #2 “Illuminate the Shadows” and as they get to know one another the true nature of the Aiken family business is revealed.

Novel #3 “Return to Zero” see’s Sam and Declan up to their necks in trouble in the Scottish Highlands, and Declan has to dig deep to save the man he loves.


As You Wish, #1Illuminate the Shadows, #2Return to Zero, #3Shatterproof Bond Box Set


Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.

The Shatterproof Bond series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller.  Isobel has just completed her eleventh book and signed French and German and Italian, translation and publishing rights deals for the whole Shatterproof Bond series.  The As You Wish translation “Comme Vous Voudrez” is a best seller on Amazon France.  It was released in Germany in March 2017.

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