Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jayne Entwhistle and Me

Four of my ten novels, including the last two, have come out in audio versions. I have almost no say in anything to do with the audio versions beyond saying, "Thank you for putting my book out in audio." For The War That Saved My Life, I got an email saying that the narrator the company wanted could only do the book if she could do it immediately, and so they'd hired her and they hoped I didn't mind.

"Is she British?" I asked.

Dur, they said.  Awesome, said I.

I love audio books. I listen to them on long drives. Because I have the Last Living Tape Deck among all my friends and family, I've got a great big library of books on tape now, donations from everyone who'd upgraded their technology. And don't look down your nose at me about it. My tape deck sits above the CD slot in my extremely badass Ford F-350 quad cab diesel dually, which I bought in 2001 and will never, ever, sell. That sucker could pull a house out of a sinkhole, and it's pulled my horses and carried my children safely and well. And it has a tape deck. And I have the entire Outlander series (except the last book, not released on tape), most of the novels of Jane Austen, and Teacher Man read by Frank McCourt himself, so I don't lack for entertainment on the road.

I can be picky about my narrators. If they don't match my idea of how the book should sound, I stop listening and read the paperback later.

I could not have been more pleased about Jayne Entwhistle version of The War That Saved My Life. She got every nuance exactly right--Ada's grit, Jamie's innocence, Lady Thorton's upper-crust accent, Susan's cultivated Oxbridge one. Someone recently tweeted that they could listen to Jayne read the phone book, with enjoyment, and I could, too. I loved, loved, loved, listening to her read my book.

A book Jayne recorded won the Odyssey last year as well. I really don't follow current audio book trends (see: last living tape deck), and so while I loved my audio book I didn't have any sort of feeling about its winning an award. Nor was I told ahead of time, since the award goes to the producer, not the author. Which meant it was a pleasant surprise, watching the live feed awards show. It turns out that the internet feed must have been a few seconds slower than the actual live announcement--which makes sense--because just when they announced the Honor award for Echo my phone went off like a firecracker. I looked down at its screen and saw I'd won--the producer had won, Jayne had won, whomever, it was all good--just before it came up on the computer screen.

(The publishers all know slightly ahead of time. They've got their announcement tweets ready, and hit SEND just as the award is given.)

The awesome part about this is that I will apparently now get to meet Jayne Entwhistle. I am such a fan.