Mitchell Faircloth – Punter to punter

Interview 7 – Mitchell Faircloth

Mitchell is perhaps best known as ‘Slim Whittle’, playing alongside a cast including Tracy Harvey, Tony Rickards as “Con Marasco” and John Rothfield as “Dr Turf” on ‘Punter to Punter’ – the seminal radio show broadcast on 3RRR on Saturday mornings during the eighties.

But his talent reach is much broader, including songwriter, musician, illustrator and also script writer for Tonight Live with Steve Vizard and The Gillies Report, and performing many acting roles – as recently as 2019 with Hugo Weaving in Measure for Measure, and independent candidate for the 1990 federal election!

You are up for a real treat in this interview, as Mitchell and Stella talk Melbourne comedy, life in Byron Bay and have absolutely nothing nice to say about ‘the sport of kings’!

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Steve Kearney and Neill Gladwin – Los Trios Ringbarkus

Interview 6 – Steve Kearney and Neill Gladwin

From the primordial soup of the late 70’s, free education, Dada discomfort, performance art, teacher training at Rusden, Buster Keaton and post ‘vaudevillia’ came the bumbling genius of Steve Kearney and Neill Gladwin as Los Trios Ringbarkus – the ‘anti-tainers’.

Melbourne’s thirst for cabaret, variety and live venues during the early 80’s provided the perfect environment for the trio pair to climb the dizzy stacked chair heights of accidental comedy greatness. 

A career together spanning over ten years, later saw the two become production and direction icons in the Australian and Hollywood movie lands, but only after ‘time served in the comedy crucible’.

When asked about a touted documentary, the two replied: “It’s pretty hard to write a documentary about yourself.” To me it just sounds like a dare :>).

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Lauren Bok and Joanne Brookfield

Interview 5 – Lauren Bok and Joanne Brookfield

“I’ve felt the steely, cold wind of a giant bomb stinking up the stage and when you get off and you’re like, I can’t look anyone in the eye…I’m going home to wash myself of the failure that is surrounding me.” Lauren Bok on a bad night at the office.

Lauren was the first of 60 women interviewed for Joanne Brookfield’s new book “No Apologies” – celebrating the power of women, their voices and their stories. When you do the math, that’s 60 interviews x 5,000 words per interview = 300,000 words that Joanne has skillfully crafted into a 65,000 word ‘must read’.

Stella questions: “Can we hope for the day when we don’t actually need the book? Where inequality at lots of levels: gender, race, disability, etc doesn’t exist?”

As Joanne points out: “The point of the book is that we’re not there yet!”

There’s a real sense of closeness among the comedy ‘sisterhood’, which stems from bizarre inequities and impossibly shaped hurdles. “We’re not allowed to get it right, but we’re always told we’re getting it wrong.”, says Joanne. It’s appears to be not just about equality, but a unique response rejecting/countering phobic, sexist material delivered up as entertainment by the comic majority.

Gender archetypes have made it a challenge for women to ‘rage on stage’. The suggestion is that ‘permission’ is gendered – “Go for it dude! But be careful ladies”. But of course comedy has the unique ability to mock itself, holding up a mirror in a powerful medium for different points of view and diversity of perspective – inclusive regardless.

As lauren so beautifully puts it…

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Upload, distribution and promotion

I upload your audiobook files for distribution, ensuring we meet the publisher’s and online store’s audio specifications.

My preferred method at this stage is to use an ‘aggregator’. I currently use the Author’s Republic who enable distribution to Audible, iTunes and another 30 online stores and libraries.


I’ll need a high resolution image of your book’s cover, your PayPal email address for royalty payments and of course, your audiobook recommended retail price.

Author’s Republic track and report your sales and royalty payments from all of the outlets you have distributed to, into a single account, that only you have access to.


It usually takes around 2 weeks from the time we upload your audiobook files until publication. Audible and are usually first with iTunes and the other international outlets within the following 2 to 4 weeks.

Once you have a live link to the outlet’s page for your audiobook, you can include it in your promotional materials, and of course on your website.

Please take a look at the Author’s Republic frequently asked questions here:


Audio or audio visual?

If you would rather sell your audiobook through the store on your website, there are two options. I can create a single MP3 or an M4A file. Both files will contain the book cover graphic. The advantage of M4A, is that you can display unique images for each part, chapter and section of your audiobook. This make navigation and bookmarking on your smartphone a lot easier. We can go even further by displaying important figures, tables, photos and infographics. I guess that makes M4A an audio visual book!

Here’s a quick description of the M4B/M4A format in (almost) non-tech terms:


What’s involved in editing and production?

I aim for high clarity, quality, consistency and completeness during editing and production. I can use your recording if you wish, but prefer to record you myself. The largest factor in the final audio quality is the standard of the original recording. You just can’t “unbake the cake” (or can you?)

Love this:


Editing usually takes 5 to 6 times the recording duration (in our example 40k word count, about a week). During that time, I cover the recording from top to tail cleaning up re-records, pops, clicks, pacing and heavy breath intakes. I also label each section of audio according to your book’s table of contents and each headed section.

I use a series of audio production tools like: equalisation, RMS normalisation, noise reduction and auto ducking. These help to produce the best possible sound for your audiobook.

Within a week, I’ll send you a sample of the mastered recording. I can also break your recording down into ‘Sound bites’. Quotes and excerpts that can be used to help create sales lures or to promote your message on social media.


Once the editing is complete, I prepare each book section with its own MP3 audio file. Those files may then be used to distribute your audiobook to many online stores including Apple’s iTunes, Amazon’s Audible and Spotify.

Listen to an audio sample here:

Here’s a link to a book on audiobook production:

Recording an audiobook

If you decide to author narrate, I come to you in your home, office or book a studio. Your carpeted dining room or office with high ceilings and soft furnishings is ideal – it’s familiar, has good acoustics and is generally soundproof enough. I bring all the audio gear with me and join you for the entire recording.

It seems to help to have someone to tell your story to – kind of a one man private audience. It helps you perform and engage. Just being there to answer questions, stop for a chat, note down quotable quotes, time stamp mis-reads and desk check pronunciation.


Book prose that works well when written, can sometimes trip you up when spoken. It took 7 goes to nail: “No drill dentistry in the local shopping strip” and don’t get me started on pronouncing the names of Polish researchers!

I often suggest beginning with an author interview to help you warm up your voice. It becomes useful later as social media content for audiobook promotion. A 40k word count book will generally take around 7 hours to record.

An array of interesting articles on aspects of audiobook recording and production here:

Should I self-narrate?

Your voice is a valuable, recognisable addition to your brand. It is also of course a big part of who you are and how people perceive you. If you are an expert, coach or speaker in your field, then it’s almost a no brainer. A great example is Hillary Clinton’s audiobook ‘What happened’ where she muses on the results of the last US election/debarkle. Who else’s voice would you expect to hear? It’s her story to tell.

And it’s a big story!:

The author’s voice

The avid reader’s ideal is curling up on the sofa with a good book. Does this sound familiar? The feeling of escape, the holding of the book, the smell of the pages and the immersion of your inner voice and imagination. We construct and voice our own version of the author’s intent.


But life gets in the way sometimes. The couch opportunities can be few and far between. We’re travelling, walking jogging, keeping house, mowing lawns or stuck in the peak commute – SWT – sheer weight of traffic. Even as a passenger, the spectre of being ‘car sick’ keeps our head out of a novel. We miss lectures, are verbal learners and speed readers and listeners.


And don’t forget the communication premium that comes with the storyteller’s voice – dramatic effect, intimacy, familiarity, intonation, pausing and expression. It’s the reason we suggest authors narrate their own writings – they are after all, your words, meanings and feelings.

On bringing authenticity and emphasis to your book reading:

Many times published author and narrator of some 1,300 audiobooks talks about his experiences in this article:

The primacy of listening

In the 16th century, the development of the printing press was perhaps a key factor in the reformation of the Christian church – used to great effect by protestant’s like Martin Luther. Accessibility came in the form of free printed ‘flyers’, bible passages translated from Latin and of course public speeches and debates. Yet another chapter in our very human quest for freedom of thought, speech and access to knowledge.

In those times, literacy was a skill taught only to the elite and powerful. Despite this, communication through storytelling has carried knowledge across generations without the need for reading or writing. We first start understanding our world by hearing about it.


We now consider literacy a fundamental human right, but you really can’t master it in the early years of life. We learn to listen, then talk, then read, then write. Again, listening is our earliest – almost innate – learning tool on the path to literacy. We just have to start there first, then we can use all 4 skills in combination.

Read about the ‘Socratic method’ and storytelling perspectives in this article: