BLACKOUT Audio Book Recording Session:
RECORDED BOOKS was started by a traveling salesman who didn't like listening to the radio but loved to read. He had this idea to record books so he could listen to them while on the road. Most people would have gone to a community theatre or local college for readers, but he put an ad for narrators backstage at Washington, DC's Arena Stageone of the country's premier regional theaters. These classically-trained actors were the first to record books for the company, and it has stuck with theater actors ever since. My opinion? That's what makes these books so specialwonderfully trained voices.
I had one of the most thrilling experiences of my writing life a few weeks ago. I went to New York to sit in on a session for my first audio book, BLACKOUT. Having a book on tape has been a dream of mine from the beginning of my career. I've listened to books on tape while I made dinner and did the laundry, on road trips, and while knitting. I LOVE audio books. Especially the ones from Recorded Books, because they consistently have the best readers. I was over the moon when I learned RB had optioned BLACKOUT for recording. Being the little groupie that I am, I hightailed it to NY to see what recording a book is like. In a word (well, two)way cool.
THE OFFICES are in a neat part of Manhattanjust off Union Square. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Café is a stone’s throw away. The office sits above Strand Books, one of the all-time great used bookstores on the planet. Couldn’t get more propitious than that. The RB interior is a mix of blond woods, and steel and brick, with a great view of the city. The lobby is very open and airy then narrows into the studio corridors, where steel door after steel door leads into individual recording studios.
THE STUDIO was small, with barely enough room for myself, Michele Bidelspach, my editor, and Peggy Boelke, the GCP sub-rights person who sold BLACKOUT to Recorded Books. And, of course, our engineer, Abigail McCuea sprite of a woman who sat behind a computer with an underlined copy of my book in front of her. Across from Abby was a thick pane of glass and behind that window, in a soundproof booth, sat the narrator, Carol Mondo. Carol is a New York actress and vocal coach whose smoky voice was perfect for my story of a woman whose whole life is one big black hole. We listened to Carol bring my book to life, watched the sounds imprint on the computer like a strong heartbeat on a wide EKG machine, and after a while, I got completely engrossedas if I'd never written the words or heard the story before.
It was an amazing experience, and if you'd like to hear how it all turned out, you can buy or rent the audiobook on CD or tape: Recorded Books
And for more on Recorded Books or Carol Monda, go to recordedbooks.com.
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