When I first lost the last of my sight, audiobooks were my go to source for reading materials. Braille books aren’t so easily available, and tablets and Kindles – while often reasonably accessible these days – were something new that most people didn’t have, and blind people couldn’t use. Besides, it’s so much nicer listening to a real narrator reading a book, rather than the computer voices available with text to speech software. Because of this, I knew from the moment I published the first of my “Toby’s Tales” series that I wanted the books available in audio.
Sure, most people – even children – have access to Kindles and tablets that are often accessible to the visually impaired these days. But there’s the voice thing I mentioned above to consider. Not to mention, I know from personal experience how frustrating the act of learning how to do even simple things can be after sight loss, and – let’s face it – even sighted people get frustrated using some of the newer tablets and eReaders.
Actually, that’s the whole point of my Toby books: To show sighted people who want to understand the visually impaired our side of the story, and how they can help make things easier, while also showing those who are blind – whether from recent sight loss or not – that they aren’t alone in their fears and frustrations.
I published the first of these books five years ago as an eBook, with the other four books in the series following on its heels. Some time after their original publication, I also released paperback editions of the books. Now, at long last, I’m pleased to be able to announce that all five books are available in audio, read for me by the very talented Joseph A. Batzel.
It has been a pleasure to work with Joseph on these books, and I’m very pleased with the job he’s done with them. If you buy the audiobooks, I hope you’ll enjoy listening to Joseph reading Toby’s stories as much as I have.
Regardless of the format you’d prefer, if you’d like to grab copies so you can learn about the fears and frustrations Toby struggles with, here are the main places where you can buy the books:
Book 1 – Toby’s New World
Book 2 – Toby’s Monsters
Book 3 – Toby’s Outing
Book 4 – Toby’s Games
Book 5 – Toby’s Special School
You can also find the books on Goodreads.
About the author:
Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK.
Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors.
When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests that capture her attention from time to time.
To date she has published 8 poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the near future.
She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II.
About the narrator:
Joseph Batzel has a BA and an MA from Brigham Young University in Film and Theater.
He is also a professional actor for stage and film for over thirty years.
Joseph has over 150 voice- over credits including radio, TV, audiobooks, and animation.
He has traveled extensively throughout the US teaching voice over workshops.
Joseph is a dialectician and can perform most American regional dialects and most foreign accents.
Mr. Batzel has just joined Deyan audio one of the world’s largest Independent producer of Audiobooks as one of their narrators.
He is married to his wife Alice of forty-four years, she is a published playwright and working on her first novel.
They have two sons and five grandchildren.
He presently lives in Brigham City, Utah where he currently works as an adjunct instructor at Utah State University teaching courses in Creative Arts and Public Speaking.