No Place to Lie: how Helen Garlick gave a voice to her extraordinary memoir

By   Hannah Bickerton 3 min read

whitefox: helping brands, thought leaders and writers create beautiful bespoke books

The challenge

When converting a book into an audiobook, it is critical to select the perfect narrator. Finding the right person for the job can be pivotal to the audiobook’s success. When an author is well suited and eager to be the narrator of their own book, it can give the narrative a particularly special touch, and it makes the listening experience all the more meaningful for the reader. Memoir in particular is made even more powerful when told by the person whose experience it relates.

This was certainly the case with Helen Garlick’s book No Place to Lie. In her debut memoir, Helen recounts her journey of uncovering long-buried family secrets, including those surrounding her brother’s tragic suicide in 1981, and the secrets that her mother kept for her whole life. Helen has worked with thousands of clients as a family lawyer and mediator, offering coaching on communication with an emphasis on the power of talking as a means of therapy and conflict resolution. She has also published several other books and textbooks on family matters, including The Which? Guide to Divorce, and she runs a YouTube channel called Hello! It’s Better to Talk

Having published her previous books via the traditional route, Helen felt that self-publishing her memoir was the right choice, so that she could maintain creative control and tell her story her way. She partnered with whitefox to make this happen.

‘I’ve traditionally published in the past (e.g. Penguin, Simon & Schuster) but for this intensely personal story, I wanted to have agency and real creative freedom. I also wanted a highly professional collaborative team – we all work better together when connected.’ | Helen Garlick.

The solution

In addition to providing other publishing services, whitefox helped Helen to turn her extraordinary memoir into a professionally produced audiobook. With expert knowledge of the ins and outs of audio production and recording, whitefox ensured that the audiobook of No Place to Lie was of the highest quality. Helen narrated the book, making it feel as if she is sitting there with the reader and telling her poignant yet beautiful story in person. 

Helen’s narration has made for an impactful listening experience. With her strong belief in the ability of conversations to solve conflicts, and her emphasis of this in No Place to Lie, Helen’s narration of her own book brings this philosophy full-circle.

‘Conflicts were never really resolved in my family of origin, because we just didn’t really talk about the stuff that mattered… To tackle difficult issues, to do the work, you need to talk, in a safe space, about the hurt you’ve endured, and to have that acknowledged. I think that’s the start. Talking helps us connect deeply with people – we’re hardwired for connection to be able to survive and thrive as human beings.’ | Helen Garlick.

The result

No Place to Lie has garnered praise from multiple media outlets, including the Daily Mail. Helen was also interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, and has spoken about her book on episodes of Out of the Bubble and The Nicole Bremner Podcast

Catherine Simpson, author of When I Had a Little Sister, said, ‘Helen Garlick speaks to us heart-to-heart of love, loss and the toxic power of secrets. Honest, open and oh so relatable, the author’s compassion shines brightly throughout… It is a valuable piece of work, not only for those affected by suicide, but for anyone interested in families and relationships, or indeed in life and death. A wonderful read.’ Musician Paul Bower lauded the book as ‘brave and brilliant: an unstoppable life force… painting a picture of the searing agony of loss with the pure joy of living’. 

No one could have delivered the narration of No Place to Lie better than Helen. Her narration has helped listeners to resonate with her story, and whitefox’s audio production support was key to achieving this. Her audiobook is a special and distinct experience in itself, demonstrating what makes the format so unique and how it can be done well with the help of professional publishing services.

‘It’s a story of love, loss, passion and ultimately joy, taking steps towards a brighter life. Review readers have told me they have been moved beyond measure, that they couldn’t put it down, it was so relatable and they loved it. It seems to have a uniquely powerful effect on everyone who reads it, depending on their own life story.’ | Helen Garlick.

Hannah Bickerton
Hannah Bickerton
Hannah has worked in marketing for nine years, specialising in strategy development for start-ups and EdTech companies. Having recently jumped across industries to join the Whitefox team, Hannah isn’t a complete stranger to the publishing world with previous employment at Macmillan and TES Global. She is now dedicated to ensuring that anyone who has something interesting to say knows all about whitefox.