I used to be self-conscious about my voice.
Most people cringe when they hear themselves on tape (or its 21st century equivalent); it’s something about how different our voice sounds from inside our own skulls. But I had an additional obstacle: the eighth-grade girl (name blissfully forgotten) who told seventh-grade me that she hated my voice.
What makes a kid say that? (Answer: what makes a kid do anything?)
At a conference a few years ago, I experienced the bookend to that unsolicited insult when a college student approached me after my opening remarks. “I love your voice,” he said–again, unsolicited. “I had a headache when I sat down, but as soon as you started to speak, it lifted.”
Gracious! (I wish my own headaches responded that way; I would talk to myself more often.)
These days, one of the lovely things people say about my books is, “I can just hear you reading them!” That always warms my heart, both because it means they enjoy my voice and because it means I’m writing in my actual voice, not some highfalutin author-speak. (The word “highfalutin,” for example, does not appear in either book.)
Recently, however, someone observed that it must be a different experience for people who know me only through my written words, saying, “They don’t know what they’re missing!”
Enter the audiobook.
While I was waiting for my second book to enter the world, I got busy fulfilling another dream–turning my first one into an audiobook. I transformed my back bedroom into a studio, draping blankets over everything and setting up a small-but-mighty recording device on the dresser. Capturing a good read-through took a week; working through the details of audio-editing took months. But finally, through the diligent labor of Mitch Pados at Juniper Group Media, the dream became a reality!
After uploading the files to Author’s Republic (a centralized distributor), I’m delighted to say that Finding God in Ordinary Time is now available in audiobook form. It’s been picked up by several platforms, including:
Libro.fm (support your local bookstore, $11.49)
Overdrive / Libby (Please encourage your library to purchase it!)
Nook (Barnes & Noble, $8.49 or free with subscription)
Audiobooks.com ($9.99 OR free w/free 30-day trial subscription)
AudioBookstore.com ($7.95 – $15.95 depending on whether you have a membership)
Note that I didn’t mention the big dogs (Audible/Amazon). Maybe it’s just taking them longer, or maybe they’re miffed that I went with an independent distributor–one more likely to benefit libraries and local bookstores than their own giant coffers. I don’t mind, because it allows me to spread the word about all the other ways people can listen to good books. [Update 7/27/22: The Big Dogs have it now too.]
Speaking of libraries: if you use Overdrive (the library app), it would be a tremendous help if you could recommend this audiobook (and my two e-books) to your library system, so people can read and/or listen free of charge. The digital versions are all there, ready to be borrowed, but the library has to purchase them first–and, dollars being scarce as they are, the library book-buyers need to know that there’s interest.
Bottom line: if you like the idea of being able to listen to me reading you a little story from time to time, then asking a few questions that you can take to prayer, do consider purchasing the audiobook. Each chapter is a separate track that lasts about five minutes; you can listen straight through or skip around as you desire. There’s even a sneak preview of a chapter of Finding God Abiding (the audiobook of which most certainly depends on the success of the first one).
You even can listen to “Finding God in the Cafeteria,” in which I tell the story of how I learned to use my voice.
May Love Abide,