My New York Saga is now on audio with the expressive voice of Nina Price.
Here are poignant quotes, songs of the day, and the dream cast:
FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET (1894-5)
The Band Played On – Dan Quinn
The Sidewalks of New York – Dan Quinn
The Liberty Bell – U.S. Marine Band
My Pearl is a Bowery Girl – Dan Quinn
My Best Girl’s a New Yorker – Edward M. Favor
“My cousin Mike was found shot to death next to this building. Your father and brother were arrested for his murder. I’m sorry, Vita. I’m so sorry.” Tom approached her with caution, longing to hold her, to cradle her in his arms.
Vita Caputo – Rachel Weisz
Tom McGlory – Christian Bale
Rosalia Caputo – Marissa Tomei
Jadwiga Wisen – Debra Messing
BOOTLEG BROADWAY (1931)
Just a Gigolo – Ted Lewis and His Orchestra
Minnie the Moocher – Cab Calloway and His Cotton Club Orchestra
Mood Indigo – Duke Ellington
Stardust – Isham Jones
I Got Rhythm – Red Nichols
“What did you name her?” Billy couldn’t stop staring. This breathing,
living child nestled in Pru’s arms was his flesh and blood. And he thought his songs were a divine creation!
“Nothing yet.” She looked up at him and smiled. “I thought I’d leave that to you.”
“I have to go, Billy. It’s my time…”
“No, Pru. Don’t talk like that.” My heart started hammering. I removed my sweaty palms from her arm. “Please. I love you, Pru. You’re my whole life.” I struggled to keep my voice even as I sobbed. “Don’t leave me!” That was an order—the only one I’d ever given her. I turned my head so she couldn’t see me bawling and swiping at my tears.
Billy McGlory – Leonardo DiCaprio
Pru Muller McGlory – Gwyneth Paltrow
Greta Schliessmeyer – Scarlett Johansen
Rosario Ingovito – Joe Pesci
FROM HERE TO CAMELOT (1963)
Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
From Me to You – The Beatles
You’re the Devil in Disguise – Elvis Presley
Louie Louie – The Kingsmen
Walk Like a Man – The Four Seasons
“Vikki, it’s Linc Benjamin.” His ragged voice came over the line. “I have terrible news. Jack is dead.”
“What?” She couldn’t have heard right. “What did you say?”
“Jack was found in the bathtub of his hotel room this morning—”
She dropped the phone and slid down against the wall. Her glasses fell off her face. The room spun. Sunlight glared. She smelled the new coat of wax on the kitchen floor.
Al lowered his lips to Vikki’s, and everything converged into a blur. Her arms wound around him. She wept, for her loss, for fear of the future, of the unknown, of this man whose mouth claimed hers. This time she didn’t ask Jack to forgive her. She hoped he was tripping the light fantastic with Marilyn Monroe right now.
Vikki McGlory Ward – Christina Applegate
Billy McGlory – Harrison Ford
Aldobrandi Po – Vincent Irizarry
Rosario Ingovito – Edward G. Robinson
Greta Schliessmeyer McGlory – Michelle Pfeiffer
* * *
An Interview About Me & Audio Books
Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, auditioned some narrators and sent me samples. When Nina finished narrating it, Wild Rose released it and put it on sale with retailers.
Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
Adventure and suspense translate well, as long as the narrator has an animated voice. My books, with characters who have different actors, came out really well, because Nina does great accents and different voice inflections.
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
No, I never thought of it at the time.
How did you select your narrator?
When I heard Nina’s sample, I knew she was the best narrator for my books.
How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
We spoke on the phone a few times, and discussed the characters and their backgrounds. When she had a question about the pronunciation of a word, I either spelled it out phonetically or sent her a video of someone saying the word or phrase.
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
Yes, FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET’s heroine Vita is based on my great-grandmother, a businesswoman, wife and mother. She was way ahead of her time. I always have historical events as backdrops for my books. BOOTLEG BROADWAY is set during Prohibition, and THE END OF CAMELOT is centered around the John F. Kennedy assassination.
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
I pace myself, I write 2500 words a day and sometimes more if I’m on a roll. My enthusiasm never wanes, because I’m a huge history buff, I love doing the research, and my passion for it comes out in my stories.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I listen to audiobooks on long car trips. It’s convenient to listen to books while doing something else, driving, as a passenger in a car, doing chores, etc.
Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
The dialogue is very animated and authentic throughout all three books. Nina does great New York and ‘wiseguy’ accents.
If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
I’ve always wanted to spend a week in ancient Rome, Greece, or Pompeii.
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
It’s as much cheating or inferior to ‘real reading’ as watching a TV show or a play instead of reading the script.
How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
I always celebrate by recharging my batteries—usually by reading my favorite genres, biographies, mysteries, and paranormal novels.
What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
I’ve never been a slump; I make sure I reach my 2500-word goal every day, even if it’s not my best output. I can always go back and rewrite.
In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
A series allows the reader to get to know the characters and become familiar with them. Stand-alones don’t have that advantage.
Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
Yes, but they’re historical figures—Richard III and Henry VIII.
What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Keep practicing. Most of all, don’t ever give up on your dream. Just having a dream makes you very special. If you get impatient because it’s taking so long, just ask yourself this: Why does 16-year Scotch take 16 years? Some things are worth waiting for.
Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
Ask your publisher if they do audio books, and if not, remind them that audio books are booming!