August/September 2020

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AF: What's your most embarrassing moment in the recording booth? SE: When you assume you know the correct pronunciation of a name or word and—surprise!—you don't. I pride myself on doing thorough research for all the books I record, so this hit me in my secret vanity spot. I said the lead character's name wrong for the entire book! I could have died. I felt like I was doing penance by having to correct it over and over and over again later on. (In my defense, it was a rather odd pronunciation of the name, but still!) The rule is, if there is any doubt, always, always double-check. AF: What's your go-to beverage when recording? How about after recording? SE: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. And then in the afternoon, maybe some tea. (I may be a bit dependent on caffeine.) And lots of water along the way. Afterwards? It depends on the season. I love a glass of wine. (Perhaps sitting on my patio?!!) I usually drink More Listening THE HELLO GIRLS: America's First Women Soldiers Elizabeth Cobbs, read by Susan Ericksen Tantor Media Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD, MP3, DD GOLDEN IN DEATH J.D. Robb, read by Susan Ericksen Macmillan Audio Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD, DD THE ABUNDANCE: Narrative Essays Old and New Annie Dillard, read by Susan Ericksen Brilliance Audio Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD, MP3, DD, PRE Library Ed.: CD AMERICAN EDEN: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic Victoria Johnson, read by Susan Ericksen HighBridge Audio Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD, DD Find more Take 5 interviews on AudioFile's blog: blog/category/take-5 August/September 2020 n 29 DEAD LAND: V.I. Warshawski Novels, Book 20 Sara Paretsky Read by Susan Ericksen Narrator Susan Ericksen is pitch-perfect as private investigator V.I Warshawski, who is intelligent, driven, and com- passionate. Paretsky's latest addresses a wide range of compelling themes— the consequences of gun violence, corruption, environmental protection, mental health, and more. When Vic finds herself in the middle of a corrupt land deal, she also becomes part of numerous other mysteries involving a famous songwriter now homeless, a questionable prison suicide, and underhanded acts by a local law firm and local politicians. Ericksen provides perfect pacing and description as the plot thickens and a wide range of supporting characters and locations are intro- duced. As Vic works to unravel it all, she will have to keep herself alive to protect those she loves and find the answers she seeks. K.S.M. Harper Audio 15.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780062985033 $29.99 Ericksen is pitch-perfect as Warshawski. scotch in the winter and gin and tonics in the summer. Variety is the spice of life. AF: What's the first task you handle when given a new audiobook project? SE: It may sound obvious, but I read the book. I read it as a reader, not a narra- tor. I'm a stand-in for the future audiobook listener, so I believe it's important to just read the book and let it wash through me the same way I want the listener to expe- rience the book. Yes, I might make a few notes along the way, but overall I'm trying to have an emotional experience with the story, rather than an analytical one. If I really listen to the author and immerse myself in the words and the world, much of the foundational work about character voices and tone and pacing gets done in an organic and appropriate way. n

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