Reunion: The Gift of the Audiobook Series

I’ve been recording audiobooks now for about 7 months, give or take. It all started with a post on Facebook. (Of course, right?) A post that lead to our decision to establish our own company, STORYTELLER PRODUCTIONS, its own Facebook page and this blog.

I posted in June,

“The performance involved in recording these audiobooks is really so very …surprising. I’ve never really experienced anything like it! I’ve always loved to read – creating and seeing the imaginary world of my creation inside my head. But by reading aloud in this way… it is almost as if I am truly living in my own imagination.”Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 3.47.06 PM

The response to this post overwhelmed me. It didn’t go ‘viral’ by any means. But it seemed to tap into a secret place in many of my friends. What is it about this idea of ‘imagination’,  this ‘other world’ we could access, if only we had the time or perhaps the inspiration? Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 3.47.38 PM

This week was especially inspiring for STORYTELLER. We began the second installment of two very different audiobook series. It was like coming home again.

First, we reconnected with ‘Special Agents Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar’, FBI partners in their continued reconnaissance to complete the personnel file on the elusive, Jack Reacher in  JACK IN A BOX – Book 2 of the ‘Hunt For Reacher’ series by Diane Capri. The writing of Diane Capri is so specific. Diane assumes a smart reader and drops clues and delivers background with such subtlety. You pay attention when you read the ‘Hunt For Reacher’ series.

Diane’s writing suits me, suits my personal tempo and breathing. I feel powerful when I’m narrating her stories. And I adore Kim and Carlos. Flawed, protective, vulnerable, they are as clear to me in my mind’s eye as images of my husband or any pal of my childhood. Kim Otto shared an earlier blog post, COP SHOW. I plan to dedicate a future post to Carlos. To embark on another adventure with them, to weave the web, spin the story, as they try to work out what Reacher is thinking, where he might be and how he might manipulate, is literally ‘thrilling.’

I had the opportunity to play ‘Detective Burke’, a “top security agent from an obscure UN task force”, in the filmNightingalein a Music Box NIGHTINGALE IN A MUSIC BOX, written and directed by Chicago phenom, Hurt McDermott. Hurt and the film won several awards in the independent film festival circuit, including Slamdance and The AthensInternational & Brooklyn Film Festivals. It remains today my single favorite role. Narrating DON’T KNOW JACK and the ‘Hunt for Reacher’ series is a return to that role for me.  Click here to watch the trailer for NIGHTINGALE.

at Slamdance

at Slamdance

The very day we began JACK IN A BOX, we received word the audiobook for DON’T KNOW JACK had been released for sale. It was child-like exciting to see it’s listing on and to hear our sample for consumers to consider. I hope I have done justice to these fine characters Diane created.

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 7.32.34 PMFriday  was first day recording for HIDDEN FIRE by Terry Odell – Book 2 in the ‘Pine Hills Police’ series. As I researched the opening chapters all my ‘old friends’ made an appearance – the quiet yet coy, ‘Sarah Tucker’, the gentle giant, ‘Det. Randy Detweiler’, his good-natured partner, ‘Kovak’, the caring, bossy neighbor, ‘Maggie’. I emailed Terry to discuss pronunciations and continued the correspondence I have come to look so forward to as we collaborate. (See our blog ‘GETTING TO KNOW’ AUTHOR TERRY ODELL.) Terry’s writing refreshes as it interlaces intelligent prose and great storytelling with deep human commitment, frustration and the search of the soul around a good old-fashioned ‘whodunnit’ grounded in modern police forensics & investigative techniques. A new and completely different style of crime has been committed. I can’t imagine where it will go. It’s scary  and it’s sexy. I’m glad my husband is my engineer.

And I can’t wait to be in Sarah’s avant-garde gift shop, THAT SPECIAL SOMETHING. It’s unique spacial relations –  display cases from a spiral staircase, a refinished picnic table – remind me of the old MINDSCAPE from Evanston, IL and all the quaint haunts and curios my friends Peggy and I, and Tief and I went in search of to discover throughout our travels across the US and decades of friendship. And Sarah’s determination to run a successful and unique business of her own resonates very close to home.Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 7.59.47 PM

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 7.33.14 PMAs we reviewed audio files from FINDING SARAH, Book 1 of the series, to match first voice for each character, it was like talking to old friends – exciting, comforting and comfortable. In the darkness of the recording booth, as if around a campfire, with my headphones and insulated walls closing out the real world, my own voice in my ears… and yet it’s not me – it’s them. They’re back. I’m so glad.Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 7.32.55 PM

I look forward to Books 3 & 4 of the Pine Hills Police Series – SAVING SCOTT and NOWHERE TO HIDE. As well, STORYTELLER is excited to be in discussions with Diane Capri about possibly working on additional installments of the ‘Hunt For Reacher’ series.

With luck we will get to work on Book 2 of the Dark Realm series FATE FORSAKEN by Chauntelle Baughman. I would love to hear again from the dark and troubled ‘Rho Vasille’ of MAGICK MARKED, our first audiobook with Chauntelle in the urban fantasy series.Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 7.27.22 PM

After a triumphant collaboration on MURDER ON POTRERO HILL,  STORYTELLER is very excited to announce work with ML Hamilton on the next 4 Peyton Brooks’ Mysteries, MURDER IN THE TENDERLOINMURDER ON RUSSIAN HILLMURDER ON ALCATRAZ and MURDER IN CHINATOWN.

All these characters, these stories, these people so rich, so vibrant, so true, these talented authors have brought to life on the page – I love bringing their words, their creations to life in sound and in my mind. I miss them when they are gone. And I look forward to ‘speaking’ with them again. I really love my job.


4 thoughts on “Reunion: The Gift of the Audiobook Series

  1. So glad you’re having fun hanging with Sarah, Randy and the Pine Hills crowd. (I have to tell you, I’m listening to Finding Sarah for the final approval for ACX, and you’re doing a great job. I just finished chapters 18 & 19. I’m glad my husband’s around — and I WROTE the book!

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