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Archives - June 2013

We wrap up this year's "June is Audiobook Month" blog series with Tavia Gilbert, an Audie Award nominee who has performed over 100 full-length audiobook narrations. With a hand in both production and pre-production, Tavia is quite an expert when it comes to what goes on behind the scenes. Here, she walks us through the creation of an audiobook, shares the ways she personally makes an emotional connection to the material, and talks about the joy of finding a book to record that she feels is truly important --- including the most meaningful audiobook of her career.
Winner of the prestigious Audie Award for his recording of EMPIRE OF LIBERTY by Gordon S. Wood, veteran actor Robert Fass is equally at home in a wide variety of styles, genres, characters and dialects. He has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffery Deaver and John Steinbeck, plus nonfiction works in history, health, journalism and business. Here, Robert discusses why narrating audiobooks is so meaningful to him, as well as the challenges and thrills of connecting to even the most difficult material --- including getting into the mind of a serial killer!
Johnny Heller has narrated nearly 400 titles for adults, teens and children. A veteran stage, television and commercial actor, Johnny is also a stand-up comic, author and playwright. His narration of A TALE DARK & GRIMM by Adam Gidwitz was a 2012 Audie Award finalist. With characteristic wit and enthusiasm, Johnny shares the audiobooks he's the most proud of, how he prepares for a recording session (don't forget tissues!), and the ways he becomes emotionally connected to his characters. Just don't ask him to tell you in French. 
Simon Vance is a stage, TV and film actor who has narrated hundreds of audiobooks for which he has won multiple AudioFile Earphone Awards and Audie Awards, and has been selected as an AudioFile “Golden Voice.” Recently he narrated Hilary Mantel’s BRING UP THE BODIES, winner of the 2013 Audie Award for Literary Fiction. Here, he lets us in on audiobooks from a narrator's perspective --- the importance of "living in the material," finding an emotional connection with the work, and, most of all, staying healthy.
This week's blog posts (our last in this year's audiobook blog series) offer an exciting change of pace, as we hear from narrators about their audiobook experience. First up is Katherine Kellgren, who has recorded well over 100 audiobooks, was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine, and was one of the narrators of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, the 2013 Audie Award winner for Distinguished Achievement in Production. In this interview, Katherine talks about her own approach to audiobook narration --- including a well-developed and personal series of symbols --- all the amazing things she learns from narrating books, and the importance of getting an author's input on the reading of his or her work.
Caragh M. O’Brien is the author of the young adult dystopian novel BIRTHMARKED and its sequels, PRIZED and PROMISED. She lives with her family in Connecticut and recently resigned from teaching high school English in order to write. In this interview, Caragh discusses her basic audiobook listening preferences and why the ever-popular Jim Dale is her favorite narrator.
Pamela Clare is known for delivering what readers want. She also seems to have a knack for knowing what listeners want, too. Here, she talks about the wonderful nuances a good narrator can draw out of a story, the surprising pleasure of listening to her own books, and the soothing magic of the Harry Potter audiobook. Pamela began her writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter, and eventually became the first female editor-in-chief of two different newspapers. A single mother with two college-aged sons, she writes historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense. Her latest book, SKIN DEEP, released in January.
For all you horror lovers out there, David Niall Wilson shares his well-honed expertise about the genre when it comes to audiobooks. His genre cred includes having been once President of the Horror Writers Association and a multiple recipient of the Bram Stoker Award, as well as having been writing and publishing horror, dark fantasy and science fiction since the mid-1980s. In this interview, David talks about why Neil Gaiman’s books are fun to listen to, the narrators he finds the most compelling, and why sometimes even a narrator’s voice can be addictive. His most recent book, NEVERMORE, was published in April.
Lynda Hudson is a practicing hypnotherapist, and is the author of two highly acclaimed handbooks for therapists. A former clinical hypnosis lecturer for the London College of Clinical Hypnosis and teacher of clinical hypnosis for Thames Medical Lectures, she has helped thousands of children and teenagers with a wide range of issues, including anxiety, fears, confidence and self-esteem. In this interview, Lynda talks about how much more accessible a good narrator makes a book, why listening at the gym is the best, and the reason it’s so hard to record self-help audiobooks on getting a good night’s sleep.
Joanna Hershon, author of SWIMMING, THE OUTSIDE OF AUGUST, THE GERMAN BRIDE and, most recently, A DUAL INHERITANCE, knows a thing or two about the value of a good kids’ audiobook. The mother of two lively seven-year-old boys, Joanna often relies on the gentle magic of a spoken story to get them settled down.