Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What a week!

I've been running behind in telling you things. 

For example: I found out on the 22nd of July that Glory O'Brien's History of the Future was a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award, which is given by ALAN, an organization I support with vigor. 

So then, before I got to tell you that news, I found out yesterday that Glory O'Brien's History of the Future actually won the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award. I'm humbled and grateful and all sorts of honored. I love every other book on that finalist list and it's just amazing to be able to accept this award in November at the ALAN Workshop in Minneapolis. You can see the full press release here. 

Today, Shelf Awareness reviewed I Crawl Through It. Here's a quote:
"Master of contemporary surrealist fiction A.S. King offers a smart and wholly original new YA novel."
Now you're all filled in on that kind of news. It's picture time. 

This week. 

Here's why. I went up to NYC to record the audiobook for I Crawl Through It. 
I'll be honest with you. (Like I'm ever not honest with you.) I was a little nervous about this. I mean, I'm not an actor. I've listened to enough audiobooks to know that professional actors do this job very, very well. How would I manage this job? Especially reading a book about an invisible helicopter and a walking digestive system? 

Hachette moved last fall and this was my first time to the new digs.
The office is across the street from Radio City Music Hall, which looks so boss at night.

I got to the sound booth Monday morning and they set me up with the manuscript on the iPad and I just went for it. Because that's what you do, right? You just go for it. I was nervous enough for the first few chapters, but I know the book well because I wrote it and I seemed to feel at home. So I just kept reading. 

Obligatory picture of this sign. 
By the time lunch came around, I felt okay about it. Chrissy and Charles (the producer/director and sound engineer/genius/I never asked his real title so I feel stupid now) said I was doing great. And I believed them because that's what you do, right? You believe them. I ate lunch. We went back to the booth and I kept reading. 

This was my booth for two days. It was fascinating.
I learned things like: after lunch, this microphone picks up digestive noises I can't even hear.
True story. 
Only when day one was over did I start to doubt myself. This is what we do, I guess. We doubt ourselves. I was tired. (Exhausted. I'd read like 160 pages in one day.) My throat was sore. I went back to my hotel room and chilled out which was good because it was a hot day in New York City. 

That's Chrissy and Charles. They are so boss. 
On day two, I leveled with Chrissy and Charles. I said, "Look. Are you sure I'm doing all right? This wasn't a huge mistake?" They said that I was a natural. This was a good answer. We started recording again. Chapters flew by. I only swore under my breath maybe 100 times before repeating a sentence. Or 100 sentences--trying to pronounce Thuja Orientalis and things like that. 

Photo cred: Mitch from Hachette Audio.
This is me with earphone hair.
Which reminds me: hearing myself talk as I talked took a while to get used to.
Note: I talk better if I can use my right hand.
In the end, I finished the recording and when I came out of my little booth, Chrissy was playing "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige and I sang a little and felt great relief. If my throat hadn't been so sore, I'd have really gone off on this track because it's my theme song. 
Here. Enjoy Mary doing it herself. 
(No seriously. Watch this. It will improve your day. I promise.)

While I think I did well, I won't really know until I hear it and because I might not ever listen to it, I may never know. I trust that the post-production will put a shine on the surrealist parts and Chrissy has some great ideas for those, so yay for brainy people like Chrissy and Charles. 

Amount of honey ingested in three days: half a bottle. 
Amount of times I doubted myself: many.
Amount of joy I felt when I finally stopped doubting myself: Very much joy. 
Amount of falafel I ate in NYC: two nights' worth.


I am coming to Kansas City next weekend! 
Saturday, August 8th, I'll be at the Shawnee Branch from 2-3pm to talk books and writing and all that stuff. Come see me! I hear only amazing things about these events!
Teens/Student readers in the area: contact the library to find out about an earlier program that day just for you. 



This was made for me.

Free period stuff AND great grammar. 

And now I'm out of things. 
When it rains it pours and this week it poured. 

Now back to work. In my hat. 

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