Finding an audio producer for “Trauma and Tenacity in Vietnam: A Surgeon’s Story,” had several levels of unique needs that went beyond selecting a voice. It required us (author Dr. Mary Jane Ingui and husband, Bill) to find someone who could convey a difficult subject; a trauma surgeon who served in Vietnam from 1968-69, who completed 5-7 major ops each day, six days each week, on Vietnamese civilians who were often the unexpected victims of the war.
The audio-producer had to be very comfortable with medical terms and emotion-laden content that took the words of a 26-year old doctor, his state-of-mind completing trauma operations that involved skin grafts, bullet wounds, facial wounds from an explosion and amputations, the letters home to his wife and family, the experiences, both difficult and at times, rather funny, and convince the reader that they were inside the mind of the subject of the book, Capt. Sheldon Kushner, MD.
When we listened to the product of Russell Newton’s reading, we were transformed into the story of this surgeon who went to Vietnam, believing in the mission, became disillusioned, yet knew that he and his team had saved a lot of lives.
When you chose to work with Russell Newton, you gain an appreciation of what “dedication to one’s craft” really means. He consistently met the timetable we presented, answered every question we had, especially knowing, as we admitted, that we knew little to nothing about audiobooks and their production, took the time to help us maneuver through the audio site we used and became a distant friend who truly understood our need to make sure Dr. Kushner’s story would be told in a way that gave the reader an insight into a time so many young people do not fully understand or appreciate today. When any word needed a different pronunciation, some of which were locations in Vietnam, Mr. Newton was always … really “always” receptive to our request for modification.
If at any time in the production process you find that there is a question or concern, while at the same time not forgetting that the producer also could use some encouragement and compliments for a job well done, Mr. Newton saw that constructive criticism or concern as an opportunity to step up and get it done to satisfy the client. He truly was the best for our project.