A blind author has thanked The Chronicle and an Amazon company for helping turn her ‘lick and tell’ memoirs into an audio book read by legendary broadcaster Nicholas Parsons.
Last October we featured the story of Joanne Roberts, 48, of Armthorpe Drive, Little Sutton, who put a canine spin on her adventures with guide dog Uska in Confessions of a Guide Dog.
Written through the eyes of her four-legged companion, Joanne was seeking crowd funding for an audio version in commemoration of Uska’s lifetime of work as he is about to retire and become a family pet.
Those good people at Audible.com, a subsidiary of Amazon, read the story online then generously agreed to cover all the production costs.
And Uska the dog found his voice in Nicholas Parsons, best known as chairman of the world’s longest-running radio panel show, Just a Minute. Ten percent of proceeds from the audio book will be donated to Guide Dogs UK so more visually impaired people can benefit from the support of a guide dog.
“As none of it would’ve happened without Chester Chronicle’s support, I thought your readers might like to know all about the latest adventures of the book itself,” said Joanne, who is due to promote her literary offering on ITV’s Good Morning Britain as well as Sky News tomorrow (Thursday, February 25).
Thrilled by Audible’s support, the former ex-marketing manager added: “Uska has been the perfect guide dog. He’s loving, loyal, hardworking and everything, when it suits him. Even when it doesn’t, he still has a go, sometimes with disastrous results.
“I’m so excited about sharing some of these moments with audio book listeners because, quite simply, I love him. I really hope their smiles at our antics will help break down some of the barriers between sighted and blind people.”
Joanne went blind at 34 due to type 1 diabetes diagnosed at 14. Before losing her sight, Joanne, who is married to Dave and originally hails from County Durham, enjoyed an international marketing career working out of offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
Laurence Howell, of Audible, commented: ‘When we read Joanne’s story, we knew we wanted to make her dream of recording an audio book a reality. The story is so heart-warming and funny, and really shows Joanne’s strength of character. Nicholas Parsons is the perfect voice for Uska and we’re delighted to have recorded the story.”
Asked why he got involved in the project, Nicholas himself said: “Guide dogs are the most exceptional animals and unique in the canine world. They give the visually impaired an independence and mobility which would otherwise be denied to them.”
Confessions of a Guide Dog is available to download at Audible.co.uk priced £5.49.