Friday, April 27, 2018

Hooked on #Audio by Betsy Ashton

I blame this affliction on my mother. And on my grandmother. It's inherited, just like my silver hair came from both women. Maybe a bit of nurture thrown in, but mostly it's nature.

I am a hopeless audio addict. I love listening to books read by great readers. I love poetry read by the poets, many of whom are the only ones who should read their words aloud.

My addiction started when I was two. My grandmother read stories before every nap and at bedtime. She'd read them over and over, particularly Little Golden Books. She'd check them out of the library or buy them used. I listened and by three was following along, my tiny finger tracing the words. Once I dared to correct my grandmother when she misread a sentence. She thought I'd heard the story so many times that I'd memorized it. She said, "Show me the word." I pointed to a word she'd read wrong. I was right.

Mom read to me as often as my grandmother did. Even when I was six or seven, Mom and I would curl up in an easy chair where she'd read aloud. Black Beauty. My Friend Flicka and Thunderhead. Sand Dune Pony. By then, I was reading the books myself, but it was our special time, Mom and me, when she'd read to me.

Many decades later, when she was too ill to read, I read to her. Role reversal at its finest. I finished one of her favorite books, The American President, the day before she closed her eyes the last time.

When my husband and I travel, we load up on audio books from the library. We're hooked on suspense, thrillers, and, of course, Stephen King. We take at least four long car trips every year, so we plow through writers like Jeffrey Deaver, John Gilstrap, Lee Child, Vince Flynn, and the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child Pendergast FBI series. We've almost missed turnoffs because the story was so engrossing. And we've been known to sit in the driveway to finish a chapter. More than once.

There is something about the marriage of a good reader with the written word. I'm looking for the right reader for my Mad Max series. So far, I haven't found the right female voice, but I will. I want other fans of the spoken word to enjoy her as much as I do on the printed page.

If you listen to audio books, which are your favorite writers?


Betsy Ashton is the author of the Mad Max Mystery series. Her stand-alone serial killer novel, EYES WITHOUT A FACE, is a departure from her normal fare.


remullins said...

I also love audio books and can blame my addiction on my mother. She'd been a fan for years due to failing eyesight. I was living in Colorado at the time and I'd come for a visit. As I left she offered me a book to listen to as I made the long drive home.
Now I always have books to listen to as I drive. I also like to listen to them as I work around the house or garden. :)

Brenda Whiteside said...

I have to admit I've never listened to an audio book and I want to! Two of my books are going to audio and I'm not even sure I chose good readers. Confession...I don't know how to. TWRP is giving authors a free one for the asking and I've asked but if I get it I won't know what to do with it. So, help me Betsy. Can I download it to my Kindle? Do I do it the same way as when I buy an eBook on Kindle. It goes to my account until I connect my Kindle to wifi and transfer it over. Then I assume I must need some sort of ap and earbuds? Help this clueless lady.

Diane Burton said...

When I was working at the day job, I borrowed audio books from the library--CDs I put into the player in the car for the 30+ minute commute. DIL used to listen to audio books on her long commute when she lived in Phoenix (now she just walks downstairs to work). I've found new authors this way. One of my biggest disappointments was Patrick Stewart's reading of one of the Narnia books. He mispronounced names! Now that we don't have a CD player in our car, I'm curious, too, on how to play them.

Jannine Gallant said...

I've never listened to an audio book. Maybe because my commute to work is only 10 minutes 3 days a week, and at the crack of dawn, focusing on anything is a challenge. At home, I don't give myself much downtime for either reading or listening. I hope you find the perfect reader for your series, Betsy!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Love listening to stories in the car with my husband. The Lee Child Jack Reacher audios are our favorites. Soon I'm going to look at the whole audio gig for my books, but the additional promoting obligations give me a headache! You're right, Betsy. Words spoken by a good reader...precious!

Andrea Downing said...

I have to admit the only audio books I've listened to are my own. I am too easily distracted to listen to a book and get the beauty (one hopes) of the words, or even just follow the plot. I much prefer the quiet of night, a good book or eReader on my lap, and the ability to see the words in print. But I did read stories to my daughter right from babyhood and into an early Jane Austin--and she loved it.

Margo Hoornstra said...

I’ve never listened to audio books either. Though, like Brenda, I want to. I’m also toying with the idea of asked for my latest from TWRP to become audio. I see some emails in our futures if I follow through on that. I’m going to have a thirty minute commute to work here shortly, if not temporarily. I’ll have to give the audio world a try.

Leah St. James said...

I'm also in the "never listened" category. My commute to work is 15 minutes (I'm lucky!), and long car trips are generally with TPM who has a 75% hearing loss in one ear, so the "radio" just comes out as a tinny buzz to him, even with hearing aids. (They tend to amplify the wrong sounds, like the tires on the road surface.) What I'd really like to try, though, is a podcast. Those are really big now, for the same reason that people love listening to stories. I just have to figure out what the topic would be!

As far as how, I presume most people listen via their phones or iPods these days, but I can't be sure!

Alicia Dean said...

I LOVE audio books and I'm an audible subscriber. I also love King and suspense, those are my favorites to listen to. I have tried a few of the authors you mentioned, I'll have to try more. I'm always looking for good audio books. I enjoy the Dexter series. Here are a few good ones I've listened to: - - - -