Squawk Radio

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I recently had one of the most thrilling professional experiences of my career. Did I win a major award, you ask? Sign a multi-million dollar contract? Finish the book of my heart? Steal one of Connie's RITA awards? No, but I did listen to one of my books on tape for the first time ever.

I remembered selling the audio rights to THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST when it came out in hardcover several years ago. But no one ever sent me a complimentary copy. So when one of my gal pals from church called and said, "Hey, I just checked out your book from the library!", I was definitely intrigued. Since I knew it was an unabridged version, I assumed it would retail for over $80. So you can imagine my delight when I visited www.recordedbooks.com and found out it only cost $37.95. (And only $14.50 if you wanted to rent it!) (But wait, THAT'S NOT ALL! For only $19.95, they'll throw in a set of Ginsu knives and this amazing vegetable chopper...oh...never mind...) I ended up ordering a set of tapes for me AND my dad.

I must confess to feeling a little nervous when I popped the first tape into my car cassette player. (Especially when I realized the "Beast" on the front of the tape appeared to be either a frog or an alligator.) How would it feel to hear someone reading my words aloud? Would it trivialize them? Make them seem ridiculous? But my fears were quickly allayed as British actress and narrator Virginia Leishman brought my story to rich and vivid life with her amazing voice and her skill with a Scottish burr. For the next few days, you had to DRAG me out of my car and I even suffered through the breakfast burrito at Sonic every morning just so I could listen AND eat at the same time.

Now Xtina says it's very telling that the ONLY audio book I've ever listened to was my own. BUT I've always been the sort of person who wanted to hold a book in my hands while I read. (And in 20 years, I've NEVER sat down and re-read one of my books from cover to cover after it was finished.) Listening to THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST on tape reminded me of how wonderful it feels to be read to. I hadn't experienced that magic since the 6th grade. As for listening to my own words on tape, I can only compare it to the thrill that a playwright must feel when they see and hear their work performed on the stage. I was a little worried about how the more intimate love scenes would sound, but Ms. Leishman is such an amazing actress that she swept you right into the flow of the scene and gave it as much joy and dignity as the rest of the story. (Of course it was even weirder thinking about my dad driving around and listening to them!)

So do any of you do audio books? If so, who are you favorite narrators? (I've heard the guy who does the HARRY POTTER books is amazing.) And if you could pick any actor to narrate your favorite romance, what would the book be and who would the narrator be? (Hugh Jackman anyone?)
Teresa Medeiros, 7:58 AM