Tag Archives: audiobooks

A Q&A with Steve Matchett

Many of you know Steve Matchett the Grand Prix mechanic, T.V. Broadcaster and writer. With the release of his new audiobook, The Mechanic’s Tale, we wanted to take a closer look at Matchett the narrator.

Tantor: Can you tell us the challenges of transitioning from being an F1 mechanic to being a writer, and later, a broadcaster?

Matchett: In both broadcasting and nonfiction writing, the biggest challenge is finding a way to explain a complex issue in a way that will appeal to a wide audience. Not all motor racing enthusiasts are engineers – but all are interested in learning more of the technology, learning more of race strategy et al. Orwell’s lesson is invaluable with this: share your knowledge with your audience, never preach to your audience.

Tantor: Did you always know that you wanted to put your books on audio? What was it like listening to it for the first time?

Matchett: The publishing landscape is changing by the day. Audiobooks are the future of publishing. No question about that. Personally, I’m keen to narrate my own works because my readership is already familiar with my voice from my twenty years of television broadcasting. It seems only natural for that same audience to hear my books narrated in that same voice.

Tantor: Tell us about narrating your own books. Has it been the experience you thought it would be?

Matchett: A very pleasant experience. The main difference twixt television announcing and book narration is one of pacing – audiobook narration allows me to tell the story without any time constraints. Typically, a television feature lasts no more than four minutes. The Mechanic’s Tale audiobook runs for thirteen hours. The pacing of the delivery, the cadence, the rhythms of audiobook narration are entirely different.

Tantor: How did you prep for a day in the booth?

Matchett: I removed my shoes.

Tantor: What would you say is the best part of narrating your own book?

Matchett: No one knows an author’s intent like the author. The memories of the episodes are all firsthand; the emotions revealed in the voice are, therefore, all perfectly genuine. An audience senses this; will always sense this.

Tantor: What do you love about audiobooks?

Matchett: A good audiobook narration envelopes the listener, the whole story, every nuance takes on an intimacy. The voice of the narrator, the inflection and cadence of the voice carries the story along – there is no need to reread a line of printed text to understand the author’s intent – the narration does that automatically, and so the story effortlessly carries itself along from chapter to chapter.

Tantor: What can we expect to see or hear from you in the future?

Matchett: I’ve just published my latest work, These Desired Things, a collection of short stories. The book has been very well received, and this title will be my next audiobook project.

Tantor: When you are not writing or recording your own books, what are your go-to genres and favorite authors?

Matchett: I’m a fan or Orwell, and a Hemingway enthusiast.

Tantor: What book could you read over and over and why?

Matchett:  Nineteen Eight-Four – Orwell. This book introduced me to literature, enthralled by it from the first time I read it in high school. Forty years later I still find time to read it once, twice a year. Entirely gripping. Especially the sections on Newspeak, where Orwell describes a dystopian world where information is constantly being stripped from the English language, making the populace less able to express themselves. Lamentably, I see and hear examples of just this every single day. Over and over, the tragic themes of this unendingly pessimistic novel have proved truly prophetic.

 

Listen to the audiobook today: http://bit.ly/2zpMq3R 

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Teacher Misery: Helicopter Parents, Special Snowflakes, and Other Bullshit

By Elizabeth Sylvia

Teacher Misery: Helicopter Parents, Special Snowflakes, and Other Bullshit

Written by Jane Morris

It’s that time of year again. Trees are green with leaves, flowers are springing from the ground, and winter coats and boots have been banished to the back of the closet. In schools across the country, teachers and students alike are counting down the days (hours? seconds?) until the end of the school year. After a long ten months, summer vacation is almost here! What better way to celebrate than by kicking back and listening to Teacher Misery: Helicopter Parents, Special Snowflakes, and Other Bullshit by Jane Morris?

This book is a frank, funny, and at times frightening account of the day-to-day life of a teacher working at a school located just outside a major American city. Be forewarned: this book will raise your blood pressure and make you fear for our future! But don’t let that scare you away, this is a highly entertaining book, and impossible to put down. Everything the author writes about seems so ridiculous, I had to keep listening to find out what else the students, parents, and administrators at this school could possibly do to top what she’s already described. And top it they will – every story is crazier than the last!

The occurrences she records range from the hilarious (classroom exchanges about highly inappropriate student questions), to the infuriating (helicopter parents haggling endlessly over grades), to the downright horrifying (cyberbullying and threats). In one memorable instance, Morris writes about a student who sells drugs in her class, and who tries to convince Morris that this would be a good way to supplement her teacher’s salary. On top of this, the student admits to plagiarizing a research paper. The student received no consequences for either infraction!

Narrator Amy McFadden provides wonderful wit, sarcasm, and sincerity in her delivery, bringing life to the unbelievable experiences of the author. This book was written by a teacher, but you don’t need to work in a school to appreciate (and commiserate with) the crazy, heartbreaking, and infuriating happenings that come with education in the 21st century. Download your copy today!

ROAD TRIP!

By Deborah Fleet, Audio Proofreader (MLIS)

National Park Service Photo
National Park Service Photo

Summer has arrived, and I am thinking about traveling, and all the travel I have done. What about you? Amazingly, I have gone cross country in an old beat up van, crossing from Southeastern Massachusetts and doing my version of the Oregon Trail winding up in Butte Falls, Oregon, where my brother lived 3 miles in off a dirt logging trail. On said trip we mostly boondocked – slept in the van by the side of the road, or at rest stops along the way. This was the early 70’s. Said van suffered a cracked windshield and collapsed roof, as well as losing the universal joint on the Fourth of July! There were bee stings in Chicago, running from tornadoes in Iowa, and the transmission let go in Yosemite. But I also saw Devil’s Tower made famous in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, prairie dogs, geysers and hot pots, ‘Old Faithful’, smelled sulfurous odors, and saw magnificent waterfalls. I was also asked by my traveling companion, while we were somewhere out in Wyoming at Yellowstone, “Hey, why don’t you get a photo of that moose and her baby!” Okay, I was not too bright. I got the picture, but was certainly glad that mama never got caught of my scent along the way. This was an enlightening road trip to see the National Parks. Those were the days before audio books were available, I am not even sure if we had an 8 track player in the car. I know we had a CB radio, and lots of static on the car radio.

Continue reading ROAD TRIP!

TantorGives! Walk to End Homelessness

By Deborah Fleet, Audio Proofreader (MLIS)

As a kid, I remember pouting when not getting my way,  tying up some cookies, and small toys in an old bandana and tying it to a long stick, pretending to be a hobo and “running away.” I played outside a long time, then when I wanted to go back in the house, my mother had locked me out.

“I thought you were running away?” my mother said.

“I was just playing.” I said.

She unlocked the door, and let me come back home.

artformastheadNLHHSFor many, the door is closed. Homeless people are standing outside the door, and most often, nobody is letting them in. Locally, the New London Homeless Hospitality Center is opening the door for those who need it most. TantorGives! is partnering with them to help stamp out local homelessness, and lend a helping hand.

The mission of TantorGives! is to provide opportunities to give back to the community through fun, charitable initiatives, and to foster a spirit of teamwork and volunteerism among Tantor employees. Last year we held bake sales, gathered school supplies, and holiday gifts for needy children, supported individual causes and joined many other events.

Team Tantor is comprised of employees and family members who join together for various causes. This time, it is to fight homelessness. We invite you to join TantorGives! logoTeam Tantor at the 9th annual Walk to End Homelessness on Sunday, April 24, at 2 p.m. in New London. The walk benefits the New London Homeless Hospitality Center. Last year, the event had 250 walkers and raised more than $9,000. It’s a 2-mile walk over easy terrain. Consider joining us at Team Tantor, and help raise funds for this important cause.

Follow this link to support Team Tantor and the 9th annual Walk to End Homelessness 2016.

Continue reading TantorGives! Walk to End Homelessness

Bon Appétit: Great Chef Memoirs

By Jennifer Eschrich

On February 1 the culinary world was shocked with the loss of one of its stars, chef Benoit Violier, in an apparent suicide. Violier was the executive chef of Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville, which had been given three Michelin stars (the highest honor Michelin grants), and was recently designated by La Liste as the best restaurant in the world. The recent tragedy has brought attention back to the issue of mental health in the restaurant business. The long hours, pressure to perform at perfection level, and lifestyles of many chefs (including drug and alcohol use), make the restaurant life a breeding ground for mental illness that is ignored because of the “toughness” that is expected from its workers. A reoccurring comment in this growing conversation is how, in the age of blogs and Yelp, people are so quick to critique the food they eat without realizing the amount of work that the person behind the food put into it. So here are a couple of stories about the chefs behind the food:

Continue reading Bon Appétit: Great Chef Memoirs

10 Productive Things to Do While Listening to Audiobooks

By Sarah Barning

There are many things you can do while listening to audiobooks and you can double your productivity. With the New Year starting, people set goals. Here are some achievable goals that would be easy to reach while listening to an audiobook.

One Year to an Organized Life cover# 1 Clean your house or your living space. This is a task that few people enjoy. If you are concentrating on a juicy love triangle, or a suspenseful journey, you won’t care as much that you are cleaning the fingerprints off of your stainless steel appliances. You will be so wrapped up in the story, that time will pass, and a boring task won’t be so bad. Just blast it on some speakers throughout your house, and you are in cleaning heaven. Before you know if your place will be spotless and you will be caught up with your favorite latest novel. Continue reading 10 Productive Things to Do While Listening to Audiobooks

An Interview with Narrator Karen White

By the fans of Ellery Adams

Writing All Wrongs Cover
Writing All Wrongs. Audiobook available now!

Last week we brought you an exclusive interview between narrator Karen White and author Ellery Adams. This week we bring you a twist on the interview with the fans of Ellery Adams asking Karen White some questions!

Ellery did a Facebook post asking her fans for questions about audiobooks.  Several people asked similar questions, so we grouped those together in the post.

Laura, Terry and Donna all had questions about how Karen got started as an audiobook narrator:
When and how did you decide that narration work would be something you wanted to do? How did you get started?
Do you consider yourself to be a performer or actor and did you “plan” to be a narrator? I think this interview will be fun!
How did you get into this business?

Continue reading An Interview with Narrator Karen White

Ellery Adams and Karen White Discuss the Books by the Bay Mystery series

 

By Karen White

Karen White, narrator of Ellery Adams Books by the Bay series, recently had a few questions for the author. Read on to find out some interesting facts about the author, her processes, the series, and even her take on audiobooks!

Author Ellery Adams
Author Ellery Adams

Dixie! What a character!  Is she completely sprung from your imagination or was there a human inspiration?  You describe her movements so clearly it makes me feel like you must have seen someone of her stature skate around inside a diner somewhere!  (And I was kind of sad she was not around for most of this book – though I made her voice a little bit difficult to do, so I was also kind of relieved.)

Dixie is totally fictitious (though there are times she seems so real to me that I can imagine her skating around my kitchen). I was a big fan of the movie Xanadu when I was a kid and later, of the play, Starlight Express. Dixie brings all the flair and color of those stories—and on roller skates!

You mix some real life events into these books. For instance (p.11) a crewman on the ferry to Palmetto Island tells Olivia about the lady that was killed in a boating accident at the Quarantine Pad. I remember when this happened a couple years ago, since I live quite close by.  How do news events like this work their way into your stories? And might there be some shark attacks coming in future books since they were the big news in coastal NC this past summer?!

Continue reading Ellery Adams and Karen White Discuss the Books by the Bay Mystery series

Fall in Love with Audiobooks

By Sarah Barning

Here in New England, fall is beautiful; the leaves start turning, the air is crisp and there is always a lingering smell of cinnamon and spices. After a day of mulling cider on the stove, I love to curl up with a good book or listen to an audiobook in the background.

Fall DayWith Halloween approaching, I am trying to get my hands on everything vampire! The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris is one of my favorites. They have everything from vampires to werewolves, shape shifters and fairies. I love holding the much treasured books in my hand. I get so excited to flip onto the next page to see which supernatural creature is waiting for me and what the next big scandal will be in Bon Temps, Louisiana. As some of my top books, I was delighted to find out they were already on audio. Narrator Johanna Parker confirms everything that I imagine when reading the series. Her southern drawl for Sookie and her emotions really bring my visions to full force. Listening to the audiobook brings my imagination to a whole new level, and I enjoy the story much more. I listened to the first three books in the series in one week. That is a record!

Dead Until Dark Cover
Dead Until Dark Book 1 in the Sookie Stackhouse series

It is great when one of your favorite books gets made into an audiobook. What is your favorite book that you love even more on audio?

The Sookie Stackhouse series is available on audio from Recorded Books.

Summer Listens

By Sarah Barning

I love to travel, especially in the summer. One of the things I look forward to most on my trips is what audiobook to listen on the long car rides. While listening, you are taken to another destination. Sometimes it is fun to listen to a cozy mystery on the way up to a cabin in the woods, or Chic Lit on a girl’s trip to the beach. Ten Beach Road CoverI like to match the theme of my trip with my audiobook. Wendy Wax’s Ten Beach Road series narrated by Amy Rubinate, is on the top of my list this summer. Ten Beach Road, Ocean Beach, and The House on Mermaid Point are perfect summer listens. I am also looking forward to branching out of the series and listen to A Week at the Lake, which is a USA Today bestseller.

Library Journal reviewed Ten Beach Road and said, “Wax keeps the plot twists coming and makes this great escape reading, perfect for the beach.” Publishers Weekly said Ocean Beach is “Just the right amount of suspense and drama for a beach [listen].” That sounds like something everyone can enjoy.

Where is your favorite place to travel during the summertime, and what audiobooks do you like to bring with you? Tell us and two lucky winners will be selected to win the download of their choice from our Choose Your Escape Summer Listens list! (Territory rights apply to all downloads.) Winners will be selected at random on Monday August 3rd.