Thursday, November 29, 2018

Audiobooks in the News

First off, the VoiceArts award winners were announced this month, and you can go over to the SOVAS site to see them. Among them is The Road Ahead by Jane Seymour. (Your editor here was one of the first round judges.) And during the entire month of November is the APA Holiday Blog Tour Giveaway of eight free titles as downloads to one person for each blog each day.  In other news, my sister once reviewed and interviewed for Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores after I gave it up there to write for magazines (plus fiction.) She is now retired and blind, but still listening to audiobooks. Among those she interviewed was Lee Child, who had this to say (an excerpt): “Jack Reacher is a thoroughly contemporary character, but really has his roots in the classic knight-errant figures that populate literary history all the way back. Remember the mysterious strangers who show up to save the day in Westerns? They are part of the same lineage. Me? I think I always knew I would be part of the entertainment world. Then it was just a question of working out where I could fit in. Can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t act. At first I was a television director, and now I’m an author. Somewhat backstage, but I’m entertaining an audience, which is what I always wanted to do.” Narrator Grover Gardner: “Narrating audiobooks isn’t like other types of voice work. It’s really an acting job, and so actors with stage experience often have an edge, and understand the whole arc of the story. They may have sophisticated language skills, playing multiple characters, or even disappearing into the roles. This is extremely important. You have to be artful and guide the listener through the book without seeming to. If it’s a wry, amusing mystery you must adopt a wry, amusing approach. In a classic you want to reflect the formal speech patterns and tone we expect from classic works. It’s not about the narrator, it’s about the book.” Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup books: “I want readers to listen to an audiobook and realize that ordinary people can do extraordinary things with the right information and tools. I have read thousands of self help titles, and sometimes read a book a day. I just love learning. My favorite authors are James Michener, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, Dan Brown, and many more. Sometimes I listen to humor when I travel, like by Dennis Miller, Ellen DeGeneres, and Erma Bombeck. In entertainment, I would have to say Ron Howard and Rob Reiner are two directors who have accomplished amazing things. Plus James Cameron. I spoke to hundreds of groups in many countries, promoting my book The Success Principles, and have traveled with my wife and son on vacation, visiting London, Paris, and Barcelona. I play guitar, tennis, ski, lift weights, and take piano lessons, too.” Audiofile editor Robin Whitten said, in a 2005 interview, “Lisette Lecat deserves recognition for the Alexander McCall Smith mysteries. I also liked The Story of Classical Music by Darren Henley, read by Marin Alsop.” Narrator William Roberts: “I am fond of The Great Gatsby, which I did for Orbis/Copyright Group, and the Bill Bryson books for Chivers and the BBC, and Naxos. Some books are more difficult because of the range of characters and accents that must be clearly delineated in the reading. Henry James comes to mind, the endless clauses within clauses. Or the long encyclopedic passages that interrupt the flow of the story in Melville’s Billy Budd. Me? I love to scuba dive, in the Mediterranean, the Great Barrier Reef, and off California. Am a private pilot too. But I live in south London, near Dulwich, in a cozy downstairs flat.” (As opposed to the Dunwich Horror.) 

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