Behind the Scenes of an Audiobook Recording

by Kate Willoughby, author of the In The Zone series (Carina Press)

I don’t know about you, but I adore audio books. It’s the only thing that makes exercise bearable for me. Listening to a good book as I walk makes me feel like I’m multitasking. My to-be-read pile is enormous and those books aren’t going to read themselves.

Or are they? Ha ha.

Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

So obviously I was thrilled when Carina Press told me that my first two In the Zone hockey romances were going to be produced as audiobooks. I was even more thrilled when I found out that my long time friend, Dee J. Adams, was going to narrate. Dee narrated three of her own Carina titles and is a bonafide member of the Screen Actors Guild.

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Each book took about four days to record. I remember when it was going on, I would think at various times during my day, “I wonder where they are in the book. I wonder how it’s going.” Then something wonderful happened.

I got permission to sit in on a session.

Beyond excited, I went to Outloud Audio in Burbank, California, where I was buzzed in, like James Bond. In the room where Dee had already been working for several hours that day, the sound engineer welcomed me and Dee waved from the soundproof booth where she was sitting. Moments later, I had headphones on and was listening to what happened to be the lead-up to the first love scene in the book. What timing!

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I have to say, it was surreal listening to my characters talking out loud. I felt proud and amazed. (What must JK Rowling have felt as she watched the movies and visited the theme park?) As I listened, I realized how lucky I was to have Dee as a narrator. She had critiqued these books as I was writing them, so she knew my characters inside and out. Plus, under pressure to do her best for me, she spent over thirty hours, exercising her vocal cords, choosing voices for the many characters I had created, marking up the manuscript with notes. I have to say all that hard work paid off. I’m more than pleased with the result. Check out this sample yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

About On the Surface:

{58B6A892-5AFD-4DB6-97AA-FBEA88EAA7B3}Img100Book one of In the Zone

NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After “Bottlegate,” he’s traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he’ll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.

Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who’s never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim’s autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.

Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of anything resembling a real relationship. And if Tim can’t get her to see beyond what’s on the surface, they’ll never last longer than a single season…

About Across the Line:

{369AEE04-0453-4C1D-8D23-7C4493765D93}Img100Book two of In the Zone

Calder Griffin needs to get back in shape. Sidelined last season by a knee injury, he’s determined to return to the San Diego Barracudas and play the best hockey of his career. This might even be the year he gets out of his talented older brother’s shadow.

For months, Becca Chen has poured her energy into Cups, the restaurant she owns, desperate to prove to her parents that she can succeed in the career of her choice, not theirs. But after she spends a five-hour plane ride flirting with charming, magic-on-the-ice Calder, she tells herself she needs a fling.

Becca and Calder can’t keep their hands off each other, but they know the relationship can’t last. They live on opposite coasts, and they’re both too devoted to their careers. All they have to do is prevent their feelings from crossing the line from lust to love…

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Comment ( 1 )
  1. Penn_Harlequin
    September 26, 2015 at 6:13 pm
    Reply

    I’m just now catching up on my blog reading. I’m so excited you got to watch a session of your audiobooks being recorded! I remember when Dee blogged about recording hers and how great I thought it was that she was so versatile! And to have someone who knows your characters so well – lucky you!!

    I love audiobooks, too – we own way too many and we borrow even more from our library. A good narrator really brings a book to life.

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