Tag: Audible

Audible

Listen Up

Spoken word audio entertainment has surged in popularity. Podcasts such as “Serial” and “S-Town” rack up millions of listens. The audiobook versions of bestsellers are available for download almost as soon as hardcopies hit bookstores and celebrities such as Claire Danes, Gillian Andersen, David Duchovny, and Trevor Noah perform the narration. I asked my fellow MissDemeanors what their favorite podcasts were and who would be their dream narrator for the audio version of their books. Here’s what they had to say. Cate Holahan:Podcast: Roben Farzad, “Full Disclosure”Narrators: Charlize Theron, Amy Adams, or Halle Berry. Paula Munier:This is an interesting question. When I think of my red-haired heroine in A Borrowing of Bones, I think of someone like Jessica Chastain, beautiful and tough and vulnerable at the same time. She also has a great voice. Susan Breen:There’s an Australian true crime podcast that I really like called, “Casefile.” It’s frustrating because I can’t understand what they’re saying half the time and they don’t generally have a resolution, and yet the stories haunt me. For an audio narrator, I’d love to borrow someone from Midsomer Murders. Maybe Cully [Laura Howard]?(Me: I love “Casefile”. It’s on my Stitcher favorites list.) Tracee deHahn:I love TED Talks because they introduce me to things I hadn’t even thought of, or expand on ideas I’m interested in. I’ll stay silent on audio reader… but am open to suggestions. Someone whose voice we love AND who can give the foreign flair? Now that I think about it, Jodie Foster speaks fluent French! Alison von Rosenvinge (D.A. Bartley):Podcasts: “On Being”, “Freakonomics” and “Hidden Brain”. In no particular order and depending on mood.Narrators: I love Patrick Stewart’s voice, but it’s wrong for a Mormon murder in Utah. So, I think I’ll go with Emma Stone because I like the hint of raspiness in her voice.(Me: Patrick Stewart’s voice isn’t wrong for anything.) Michele Dorsey:Podcasts:  I rarely listen to podcasts because if I’m going to listen to something, it’s a book. I’m a huge fan of audiobooks and have favorite narrators. The late Frank Muller was amazing (Listen to him read Prince of Tides and you will hear his voice forever.) and I like Stephen Hoye. I do love TED Talks.Narrators:  Caroline Shaffer did a great job reading No Virgin Island (other than pronouncing Cop-ley Cope-ly which was like hearing fingernails on a blackboard for this Bostonian). Robin Stuart:The podcast I listen to most often has nothing to do with writing but it makes me laugh, “Sarah & Vinnie’s Secret Show”. They’re the morning team on one of my local radio stations. They do The “Secret Show” to be able to talk about all the raunchy stuff they’re not allowed to say on commercial radio.I second Charlize Theron. Viola Davis has a great voice for a thriller. Either of them could make the most innocuous sentence sound sinister and chilling. Alexia Gordon:My favorite podcasts are: “Casefile:True Crime”, “The Trail Went Cold”, and “Disaster Area”– a cheerful little playlist.And I want Thandie Newton and David Suchet to narrate all my books.  

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It's only for research purposes

 My second novel, Death in D Minor, officially premieres tomorrow, July 11. I’ve been busy revising the third book in the series, A Killing in C Sharp, so I haven’t had time to freak out about release day for my sophomore effort. I resisted the urge to repeat my debut novel swag buying frenzy. With Murder in G Major, I put my book cover on everything—hats, t-shirts, posters, calendars, tote bags, mugs, pens, stickers—you get the idea. For Death in D Minor, I limited myself to pens, postcards, bottle opener key rings, and combination flashlight/laser pointers. I’ve scheduled a book signing on July 13, my first official book signing not associated with a conference panel. Stop by if you’re anywhere near Lake Forest, IL. I’ve also been doing research for future novels. When you write about ghosts, research consists of streaming episodes of Ghost Adventures on Sling TV, listening to paranormal podcasts on Stitcher, and—my favorite—listening to M. R. James’s ghost stories on Audible. Montague Rhodes James, a respected medievalist scholar, college provost (King’s College, Cambridge and Eton), and museum director, wrote the most disturbing ghost story I’ve ever read—”Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad.” The. Most. Disturbing. Ever. I had issues with bed sheets for months after I first read it. (No spoilers in this blog. You’ll have to read the story to see what I mean.) James possessed a gift for turning the disarmingly bucolic English country village into the scene of your darkest nightmare. Think Jane Austen tossed with Stephen King, seasoned with a dash of razor-edged satire on the English academic establishment. And a sprinkling of golf jokes. James pokes fun of golfers a lot. His biography attracted me to his ghost stories as much as his writing style. I’m looking at a photo of the man as I write this. He looks like you’d expect an antiquarian scholar/college administrator to look: conservative haircut, receding hair line, wire-rimmed glasses, appropriately stern look. The son of Anglican clergy and a naval officer’s daughter, he had what sounds like a well-adjusted childhood, an excellent education, and a satisfactory career. He never married, spent most of his adult life in an academic setting, and won an Order of Merit. No reports of family dysfunction, childhood traumas, scandals, nervous breakdowns, or any of the other drama so often associated with authors of dark fiction. The mind that translated the Apocrypha and, according to Wikipedia, wrote a Latin hagiography of Aethelbert II of East Anglia also penned dozens of tales featuring cursed objects, demonic creatures, and horrible deaths. The normalcy of the man who wrote such paranormal tales makes the stories seem all the creepier. Still waters run deep.  The best thing about James’s stories? He read them aloud as Christmas presents to friends and students. Christmas presents! No socks or puddings from Professor James. Oh no. How about a demonic painting found in an old book in a church library? Field glasses made from human bones? A killer ash tree?This aspect of his stories—their oral presentation—inspired me to take the advice given in the introduction to a volume of his collected works to experience the stories the way they were meant to be experienced and listen to someone read them. I started with You Tube where I found a surprising collection of audiobooks. Then I discovered Audible. With Audible, I could not only listen to James’s stories, I could listen to them read by Derek Jacobi and David Suchet. And never again look at the English countryside—or a sedate college don—the same. (Images public domain from Wikimedia Commons)

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