Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Music To My Ears

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 was over the moon when I learned Recorded Books had optioned BLACKOUT. 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.

Hey--here's me with RB Production Head, Claudia Howard.

The RB studio is in a neat part of town—just off Union Square. It sits above Strand Books, one of the all-time great used bookstores on the planet.
The office is a mix of blond woods, steel and brick, very open and airy until you get to the studio corridors, where steel door after steel door leads into individual studios. Ours 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 McCue, who sat behind a computer with an underlined copy of my book in front of her. Across from Abby in a soundprood booth sat the reader, 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 engrossed—as 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:

And for more on Recorded Books or Carol Monda, go to

Finally, there’ll be more on the whole experience, including more details and pictures, at my website:

Happy listening!


Jill James said...

Annie, thank you for sharing your experience. Last month we vacationed in NYC and I got to go to Strand books. As a reader and writer I was in heaven. The hubby had to drag me away from there.

Annie Solomon said...

Know what you mean, Jill. It's an icon and a reall draw for those of us who love books. I have a great copy of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre I bought there years ago. Illustrated with wood cuts. A prized possession.

Shari Anton said...

I've been listening to more audio books lately. I think I have the one iPod on earth that contains only books, no music :). What a thrill that must have been!! You go, girl!

Diana Holquist said...

I'm with you on the iPod fun, Shari. I "read" more while I clean the house than I ever read "real" books.

Thanks for sharing, Annie. What a thrill.

Sexiest Man Alive, RITA finalist, in stores now
Hungry for More, coming September 2008

Annie Solomon said...

Thanks, Diana! Thrill is what is was. Truly.