I’ve taken a long break from blogging, for two reasons. First, I’m not sure anyone reads blogs, mine or most others. And second, honestly, I’d rather be writing fiction.
The first book I ever tried to write was horribly—embarrassingly—autobiographic. Isn’t every author’s first attempt? Since that time, I’ve written only what I imagine might happen in lives that I’ve imagined as well. Tapping into my own real life, my own real thoughts seems eerily as if I’m opening a very private window and I don’t have any idea who might be peeking in. Do you understand?
That said, the advice from all quarters is that one should blog. So I’ll give it another shot. I won’t promise a lot. This is sort of a “we’ll see how it goes” proposition.
Okay, so what I’ll talk about this week is, ta-da!, audio books.
I love audio books. I travel a lot and audio books are my preferred form of entertainment on the road. Miles disappear when I’m deep in a good story being told to me well. I choose books from all over the spectrum of literature. I remember a terrific road trip to Wyoming to research Heaven’s Keep. Dickens’ Great Expectations kept me enthralled across a couple thousand miles of desolate high plains. I’ve listened to John Grisham and Stephen King and Cormac McCarthy and Anne Tyler and Michael Connelly and Deborah Crombie and on and on.
Part of what makes an audiobook great is the reader, of course. I love the way Will Patton reads James Lee Burke’s work. And back in the day when I still enjoyed Janet Evanovich—this was a long time ago—Lori Petty’s voice was for me the true voice of Stephanie Plum. But a reader can also ruin a good book. I’ve punched the “Eject” button on a number of occasions when some bozo was absolutely butchering a story.
I’m often asked if my own works are available as audiobooks. The answer is a resounding yes! Every book has been produced on audio, but they may not all be easy to track down at this point. The first three in the series—Iron Lake, Boundary Waters, and Purgatory Ridge—were put out by a company called Books In Motion. Their customer base is over-the-road truckers (ergo, Books In Motion). So those audiotapes are available primarily in remote truck stops in places like Grand Island, Nebraska or Liberty, Kansas. The middle books in the series—Blood Hollow, Mercy Falls, and Copper River were done as audio CDs by Recorded Books, and a fine job those folks did. (Recorded Books has picked up the rights to the first three in the series and is in the process of creating audio CDs, which should all be available very soon.) From Thunder Bay on, Brilliance Audio has put out the audio CDs of my work. And, oh, do I love the job they do.
Buck Shirner is the guy who reads my work for Brilliance. He’s absolutely terrific. His first reading was Thunder Bay, and that audiobook was nominated for an Audie, the audiobook industry’s version of the Academy Awards. His most recent reading—Heaven’s Keep—earned him an Earphones Award, given by AudioFile Magazine for ”truly exceptional presentations that excel in narrative voice and style, vocal characterizations, appropriateness for the audio format, and enhancement of the text.” If you haven’t tried me on audio, my suggestion is that you begin with a reading by Buck Shirner.
If you’re interested in the whole oeuvre on audio, here are the links for all three companies that have produced my work. You can find everything of mine that you might be looking for:
Books In Motion: www.booksinmotion.com
Recorded Books: www.recordedbooks.com
Brilliance Audio: www.brillianceaudio.com
That’s all for now. Talk to you later.