Of Signatures & Audiobooks

First, a quick plug for local bookstores. I’ve just signed many, many copies of Goblin Secrets for Red Balloon, DreamHaven, and Uncle Hugo’s. If you think a signed copy of the book would make a nifty holiday present, these stores can accommodate you. And I’ll be signing at Wild Rumpus on Thursday if you need a personalized copy.

Now for an overdue post about the Goblin Secrets audiobook

It is read by the author. I had to audition for this, and got the job by sending in my short story reading from the Unsettled Foundation’s live anthology. Thanks, Unsettlers!

We had to reschedule the recording twice, once for Hurricane Sandy and once for my daughter’s birth in late October. Then Christina the Director flew in, conducted two day-long sessions, and flew off again. Her job sounds glamorous to me. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe she gets stuck in airports a lot. But I prefer to think of the jet-setting audiobook occupation as one of glamour and mystery. Like being a spy. Both professions involve locking people in small rooms and getting them to talk.

Recording was fun. Tremendous fun. Far more fun than getting interrogated by international spies. Christina and the guys at Audio Ruckus made it all happen smoothly.

One of my primary goals was to write a book that would be fun to read aloud, so that worked out in my favor. But I also wrote some very tricky bits, like when one character with a distinctive voice possesses several other characters and speaks through them. I needed to blend their several voices. It tied my tongue in complicated knots, and made me nervous that the whole thing would just sound messy.

I didn’t have much time to worry about it afterwards, though. Too busy flying to NYC, and finishing up the semester, and remembering how to care for an infant while not actually awake.

Then I found out that I’d won the Earphones Award:

“The nuances of voice that Alexander uses for the distinctive characters make them memorable and sound like they’re right there talking to you. He speeds and slows, elongates and emphasizes, rants and whispers with ease and acuity.” – AudioFile Magazine

So that worked out okay, then.