Episode 185: #AudioExplosion

  
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Here’s one way to learn how to write books that work in audio: narrate over 700 of them, like our guest this week, Tanya Eby. If that sounds a little daunting, listen in instead for the condensed version.

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LINKS FROM THE PODCAST

#AmReading (Watching, Listening)

Jess: Olive Kitteredge, Elizabeth Strout

KJ: Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo

Sarina: Never Have I Ever, Joshilyn Jackson

Tanya: The Chestnut Man, Soren Sveistrup

#FaveIndieBookstore

Schuler Books in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Our guest for this episode is Tanya Eby, the Audie Award Winning narrator of over 700 audio books. Her production company, Blunder Woman Productions, is currently nominated for two Society Arts Awards. Find more about Tanya here.

This episode was sponsored by Author Accelerator, the book coaching program that helps you get your work DONE. Visit https://www.authoraccelerator.com/amwritingfor details, special offers and Jennie Nash’s Inside-Outline template.

Find more about Jess here, Sarina here and about KJ here.

If you enjoyed this episode, we suggest you check out Marginally, a podcast about writing, work and friendship.

Transcript (We use an AI service for transcription, and while we do clean it up a bit, some errors are the price of admission here. We hope it’s still helpful.)

KJ:                                        00:01                    Hey writers, it's KJ and if you're listening in real time, there's a pretty good chance you might be in the middle of NaNoWriMo right now, or giving up on it, or flailing around and wishing you'd never started it. If your National Novel Writing Month isn't exactly passing by in a haze of inspired typing, it's well worth taking a break from churning outwards to make sure your book has a strong enough spine to support the story you want to tell. Our sponsor, Author Accelerator has a tool that might help - the Inside Outline. And I have a NaNoWriMo secret. It's not all about the word count. 30,000 words are better than 50,000 if you're going to have to throw half of those 50,000 words away. So, if you're feeling the least bit stuck, try applying the Inside Outline to what you've already written and to the scenes to come. It might be exactly what you need to get over the finish line. #AmWriting listeners have exclusive access to a free download that describes what the outline is, why it works, and how to do it free. You can find it at authoraccelerator.com/amwriting. Is it recording?

Jess:                                     01:12                    Now it's recording.

KJ:                                        01:14                    Yay.

Jess:                                     01:14                    Go ahead.

KJ:                                        01:15                    This is the part where I stare blankly at the microphone like I don't remember what I was supposed to be doing.

Jess:                                     01:19                    Alright, let's start over.

KJ:                                        01:21                    Awkward pause, I'm going to rustle some papers.

Jess:                                     01:24                    Okay.

KJ:                                        01:24                    Now one, two, three.

KJ:                                        01:32                    Hey, I'm KJ Dell'Antonia and this is #AmWriting, the weekly podcast about writing all the things - fiction, nonfiction, every genre, every possible permutation of writing that we can possibly come up with, (especially if it begins with a P, which seems to be where I'm going today) pitches, proposals. See I told you, and as you know, this is, above all else, the podcast about sitting down and getting your work done.

Jess:                                     02:03                    I'm Jess Lahey. I'm the author of the Gift of Failure and you can find my work at the New York Times and The Atlantic. And I just finished the first draft of my forthcoming book in 2021 The Addiction Inoculation about preventing substance abuse in kids.

Sarina:                                 02:17                    And this is Sarina Bowen. I'm the author of more than 30 romance novels, with a new one coming out in just a few days, called Man Cuffed, and more about that in a minute.

KJ:                                        02:29                    And I am KJ Dell'Antonia, author of How To Be a Happier Parent as well as a novel coming out next year, The Chicken Sisters, former editor of the Motherlode blog at the New York Times, and feeling a bit like a slacker with this just same book, you know, coming out all the time. I'm working, I'm going to have another one soon, I hope.

Jess:                                     02:55                    Well, just wait. I mean, my book's not coming out until 2021 so just imagine how sick of it we're going to be by the time it finally comes out, it feels like it's forever away.

KJ:                                        03:03                    Yes, we have a guest today. Sarina, I'm going to tell you, 'Take it away.'

Sarina:                                 03:11                    We do have a guest today and it's a friend of mine. We're welcoming to the show, Tanya Eby, who is the Audie award-winning narrator of over 700 audio books. Wow. I mean, come on, 700. Her production company, which is adorably titled Blunder Woman Productions, is currently nominated for two society arts awards, as well. And Tanya is here today to talk mostly about the booming market for audio books. But I just have to slide in there and say that Tanya and I also have a USA today bestselling series of romance novels together. They are The Man Hands books. Which everything Tanya does is funny, so I'm going to tell you the titles are: Man Hands, Man Card, Boy Toy, and our new one, Man Cuffed. Welcome, Tanya.

Tanya:                                 04:06                    Hey, that was such a cool introduction. Thank you.

Sarina:                                 04:10                    You are welcome.

Jess:                                     04:12                    The series you two write together that Sarina was just talking about just makes me laugh out loud. I love that series. And it's also really fun to read Sarina with various authors. I love reading Sarina in all the different forms and I'm so excited to hear about audio books. Mainly because number one, I'm a huge, huge audio book fan since I had a head injury a couple of years ago. For me, I have limited on the page time, and so audio books are my preferred way to sort of get at the fun reading. But also, I was on one of my audio book apps, scrolling through trying to make sure I knew which books you've narrated that I've read, and it's like page one of 62 and I'm scrolling through. So I'm glad Sarina said how many because that was going to be a long morning for me scrolling through every single thing you've ever done.

Tanya:                                 05:08                    Yeah, I've been doing this for a while now.

Jess:                                     05:11                    Well I have a ton of questions, but I know that Sarina has some stuff that she wants to talk to you about first. So I'm going to defer to Sarina.

Sarina:                                 05:19                    I was pulling together my thoughts about this and I would like to say that Tanya has been basically a full-time audio book narrator and producer since before it was cool.

Jess:                                     05:33                    Which means officially it's cool now. It's very, very cool.

Sarina:                                 05:38                    Because some of these numbers I was just finding about the growth of the audio book industry are pretty crazy. So the industry has had, according to the Audio Publisher's Association, which I believe Tanya has just finished a stint on the board. They say they've had seven years of double digit growth. With the last date available 2018 of course, cause we're not quite done with this one. And that in 2018, according to the APA, it was almost a billion dollar industry, which of course means that it was over a billion dollar industry because professional associations that cover publishing can never actually capture all that revenue because there's too many independent publishers. And also because the only people who really know how many audio downloads there are, are Amazon and they're not saying.

Tanya:                                 06:36                    Right, but it's a lot.

Sarina:                                 06:37                    It's a lot. And 2018 revenue was up 24 and a half percent over 2017, which is a big fat growth number. And I'm, you know, a cynical economist so that when people tell me that something is growing really fast, I kind of sometimes discount that because if a thing is growing really fast, but it's a really tiny thing, then you know, that's interesting, but it's not life changing. And in publishing we love to grasp onto whatever is growing because, you know, it's a tricky industry and wild growth is not something people think about when they think about publishing. But now after seven years of double digit growth, I have to say that it really seems like they're not fooling around this time. And so, I'm a believer now. And just to prove it to myself, I looked up my own audio revenue on my early 2018 release because I thought that that was like the best one to look at to figure out what it was. And 12% of all the copies of my early 2018 release were sold in audio, which means that the revenue proportion is even greater than 12%, because I'm earning slightly more on every audio copy than other formats, including e-book and paperback. So, wow. I'm a believer.

Jess:                                     08:12                    I'm so jealous of you being able to look up that information. I mean, when it comes (as you mentioned before) Amazon's not telling and it's almost impossible for me to know. But what's really nice for me when I go to a book signing, go to a book event, more and more frequently people are asking me if the book's available on audio or I listened to you in my car. And I want to talk about that in a little bit - to the sort of the relationship that you build with the voice that you listen to in your car. But more and more people are saying to me, 'Oh, I listened to it on audio and I love that format.' And that wasn't something, even five years ago, that wasn't something I was hearing.

Tanya:                                 08:51                    Well, I think that the industry really changed and exploded when we had the technology to support it. So when I started, I was still on tape. This is how long ago I was recording and then it moved to mostly CDs, but then we've had this huge, you know explosion since smartphones and then Audible coming in and now people can access it everywhere, where you couldn't before. And people have discovered how much fun it is to listen. For me, it's like a movie in my mind and it's been constantly growing, which has been great.

Jess:                                     09:31                    From the teacher perspective, there have been a bunch of articles in the past couple of years on you know, is listening to audio books "reading", does it count, you know, that kind of thing. And there've been a couple of articles saying, 'Absolutely, yes, it does count.'

Speaker 4:                          09:48                    We do process the the words we read slightly differently, but I know from a teaching perspective, if I have to teach a text, especially a text that's really dense, I always listen and read because I get different things from a text when I listen than when I read, and it's a very important part of my preparation. So I think that's added to it.

Tanya:                                 10:07                    Yeah. It actually lights up the same parts of the brain as reading does, which is really cool. And I actually got started with audio books - my first experience - I was trying to understand Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and I was like 16 years old and I couldn't make sense of it. So I started to read it out loud and suddenly like the whole book just came to life for me. So, yeah I agree.

Jess:                                     10:33                    There's this really cool passage I used to teach in seventh grade, I would teach Great Expectations. There are a few passages that I had to read out loud because the way Dickens structured the sentences lent itself to the same - there's a scene where they're racing through the marshes and the sentence just bounds, and bounds, and bounds forward the same way that Joe is bounding, and bounding, and bounding through the marsh. And so it's a way of showing students that you can use language not only to appeal to the eye and to sort of sound good in your head, but to sound good from an oral perspective as well. So that's one of my favorite parts about reading out loud and who doesn't want to be read to?

Tanya:                                 11:15                    It's so nice, isn't it? It's really comforting, I love it.

Jess:                                     11:19                    So can we talk nuts and bolts?

Tanya:                                 11:21                    What do you want to know?

Jess:                                     11:23                    I want to know practical stuff. Like how do you get hired? And Sarina talks about this every once in a while, but how does an author (and often it has nothing to do with the author unless you're at Lucky like Sarina and you're so good at the self pub thing) but how do you get hired for a book in the first place?

Tanya:                                 11:40                    So I think the most important thing to realize about narrators is that we are all freelancers. So we may work through a publisher, but we don't work with just that publisher. And you can basically contact us and most of us can produce audio for you or we can work with whichever publishing house you want to work with. So how I get hired is publishing houses sometimes will cast and I've been in the business long enough that they know me and they simply send me an email and say, 'Are you interested?' Or I might audition or I have authors who contact me or I might audition for pieces that authors post online through ACX or find a way or some of those services. So there's multiple ways to reach a narrator.

Jess:                                     12:31                    You hear about like actors going after certain roles, have there been certain audio books that you've really gone after because you wanted to be a part of them?

Tanya:                                 12:38                    Yes. And it did not work. And I'm still intensely bitter. No, I'm not. But this was before I started my publishing company and I realized that I might've seemed a little creepy because I was just a narrator saying like, 'Hire me.' And that made people uncomfortable. But now that I have a production company, they take me a little more seriously and I have been able to get some really great roles that way.

Jess:                                     13:07                    Cool. So in terms of - and these are just the things that I tend to be fascinated by - so when I read my own audio book for my for my book for Harper Collins, I got a flat fee as the author. So they said, here's the amount of money you get. Go away, go read the book. But I also understand from Sarina that audio narrators can get paid in terms of a finished, by the minute....

Tanya:                                 13:35                    We are paid what's called per finished hour. So if your book is 10 hours long, we are paid 10 hours worth of work. We call it per finished hour because each hour to record takes about two hours or more for us to produce it. So doing it by the per finished hour simplifies things. And I think there are A list actors who their pay scale is much different, but for most of us it's a per finished hour.

Jess:                                     14:07                    There's so many things that go into why it takes so much longer in the finished product.

Tanya:                                 14:14                    And I think they don't realize that for every hour of audio book you listen to, it's taken about 10 hours to produce and there can be a team of like 20 people working on that audio book. So we've got directors, we have engineers, proofers, people who listen for mistakes or tummy grumbles or things like that, you have people doing research, you have the narrator who reads the book first and does a bunch of research and yeah, I mean it's huge what goes into it.

Jess:                                     14:46                    What's your favorite kind of book to narrate? Do you have a favorite kind?

Tanya:                                 14:51                    Well, I mean, I love stories. We all love stories that have great characters. I've been enjoying narrating nonfiction lately, but I like heartwarming stories. But then I also have this dark side where there are times where I love true crime and I love those gritty mysteries. So for me, one of the fun parts about being a narrator is I get to narrate across genres. So once I'd been doing romances for a while, I might get a nonfiction title thrown in and it keeps me really interested.

Jess:                                     15:24                    One of the things that I've sort of been really curious about (mainly because it's something that I don't know that I could do) is there are those times that I'm listening to a book and I realize that it is a woman reading the book to me. and yet I get lost in the male voice that that narrator is able to create for me. And I forget that I'm listening to just one narrator. And I'm sort of curious as to how you arrive on that and just sort of what the tricks are about doing that. Cause I don't really get it. It's almost like one of those TV or movie illusions that it's best not to think about. But I'm really curious about how you do that.

Tanya:                                 16:02                    Yeah, I mean that's the magic of audio books - that you can have one performer create all these characters. What helps is if we have good writing to start with. So that gives us some clues as to what the characters are. If you have like an evil character, is he gritty? Is he is he smarmy? Is he manipulative, cocky? Like those kinds of adjectives help us choose voices. And for me I've been listening to lots and lots of people talk and I kind of like quietly mimic them to capture voices. And what's interesting is that not all males have this deep masculine voice. Some of them have higher pitched voice and the same goes with women, we're not all Sopranos. So kind of making choices that suit the character, as if you were dressing the character, what would this character wear is kind of how I get into it.

Jess:                                     16:57                    That's so cool. One of the things Sarina and I were talking about recently is often Sarina's books, for example, Good Boy that you read along with (obviously you weren't in the same room together) but with Teddy Hamilton in the male character. The thing though in a lot of books is that even from the female perspective, you have to speak in the male voice. And so do you ever get to hear, for example, Teddy Hamilton's performance before you do yours or is it just sort of put together at the end?

Tanya:                                 17:27                    When you're doing a dual read like that (when you have two people narrating) with each one doing a point of view chapter. What I do is I'll talk to my co-narrator and we post files that we'll listen to (of each other) where we make character choices and so I can listen to it and kind of get the groove. Now Teddy, I know well enough and I've listened to him a lot and spent time with him, that it was easy to fall into that groove of how he narrates.

Jess:                                     18:03                    He's one of my favorites, he's one of my very favorite narrators.

Tanya:                                 18:07                    And he's an awesome person, too, which is always great.

Jess:                                     18:11                    That is so cool. Sarina, did you want to jump in? I feel like taking over this interview.

Sarina:                                 18:18                    Oh no, it's all good. I thought it would be fun to ask Tanya though - Like, which words in a manuscript do you not like?

Tanya:                                 18:27                    So...clasping - like, she clasped her breasts or something - is really hard. Sexting, texting - those words destroy me.

Jess:                                     18:41                    I told Sarina at one point I had them, I used to work as a political speech writer and I wrote an inaugural speech for someone. And at a certain point we just had to ditch an entire sentence no matter, he loved the sentence, I love the sentence, but it was not coming out of his mouth the right way. It was not going to happen.

Tanya:                                 19:03                    Yeah. Sometimes it doesn't. Or you get a character. The famous one is Jack, we love that name. But whenever you have a character, Jack asked, you have to be careful. And fantasy books, character names are difficult because they'll create languages and people think they know how it's pronounced. And then a narrator will make a choice and they make the wrong choice, it's tricky.

Sarina:                                 19:29                    So what happens - what happens if you're reading a fantasy novel and they gave you the pronunciation for like everything except this one word and you read that one word. What happens?

Tanya:                                 19:38                    So two things. Either they like it so much, they're okay with it. Or you have to record 156 fixes of every time you said that name. I've had it go both ways. And I had one where I said Viola and it was Viola. Because I guess Viola is more popular in the South.

Jess:                                     20:02                    And there's nothing that pulls me out of a book faster. I was listening to an audio book a while ago and they mispronounced a really well-known street name in Los Angeles and that was it. Like it was over for me.

Tanya:                                 20:17                    Proofers should catch that, but they don't. You know, it's a team and we don't always. But something for writers to know - if one of your pieces are being produced, you can supply some of those pronunciations to your audio book team and they will love you for it.

Jess:                                     20:36                    Oh, that's a great tip.

Tanya:                                 20:38                    Yeah. Just knowing like if you have some names that are super important, let your narrator know.

Jess:                                     20:43                    That's especially important, I guess for us nonfiction writers that were there tend to be researchers' names Dr. So and so in there. That would be really helpful. That never (well I guess because I read my own book) but that never would've occurred to me. And you're right, that would be really, really helpful. It's a great tip.

Sarina:                                 20:59                    Can I just say that I have not always been good at this? At giving people the information they need. Except when we were going to record Him, which is I believe my bestselling audio book ever, I did manage to tell the narrating team that Jamie was from San Rafael, California. And I said, 'You don't say Rafael, even though it's spelled that way.' People from Northern California say San Rafael. And I got notes from grateful listeners like 'Thank you for saying San Rafael.' And I'm like, 'Okay. I guess that one thing that I thought to do.' So, the other thing that we should mention, so some of our listeners are authors with published books who may not have an audio edition. So you know, there must be some people listening to think how do I get one?

Tanya:                                 22:02                    Well the first thing they need to know is to look at their contract (if they have one) and see if they own the audio rights. Or if they're self-published, they do own the audio rights. And that can make you go into two different paths. So there's lots of paths to get your book into audio. You can request that your publisher consider publishing in audio and if they don't, if you can have the rights back and you can do it yourself. If you own the rights, you can do it yourself or you can hire a company like my production company, Blunder Woman Productions, and we can produce it for you. So there are lots of different avenues, but the most important question is do you have the rights?

Sarina:                                 22:45                    Right. And I actually I had a contract with a publisher that I no longer have a contract with, let's say in 2014. And one of the things that my agent did with that contract is that this particular publisher keeps rights like that. They keep audio and they were keeping translation as well, and she couldn't talk them out of keeping those things. But she did put in that if they hadn't exercised the audio rights by a certain date that we got it back.

Tanya:                                 23:22                    Right. And that's so great, especially because as audio books have become more popular, more and more publishers are holding onto those rights. So having that clause is extremely helpful. You can also put in a clause that you have some input with the narrator. Sometimes publishers will cast it for you. But if you have that information in there, they can give you choices to choose from. And that's really helpful sometimes for writers.

Sarina:                                 23:49                    Yeah. In fact, I have a different contract with Penguin (who always keeps their audio rights), but in this case I was perfectly happy about it because they publish those audio books immediately with the publication of the other books. So here's where it also gets weird if you're an author and you can't quite figure out what's happening. So let's just say you have books with Penguin or Harper or Simon and Schuster. Sometimes your publisher will make them themselves. Like, you know, the book will be from Harper Audio, but sometimes your publisher will sell off those rights to an audio book publisher, such as Blackstone, Tenter, Brilliance. You know, there's a bunch like this. And then those people will make the book. And in this case, I had no rights at all (except of course to earn money when someone else did this work for me) but I was still asked by Blackstone, my opinion about who I wanted to narrate and they sent me audition tapes and it was just terrific.

Tanya:                                 25:01                    So nice. So sometimes they will sell those rights to other companies. Sometimes those other companies will just produce it for them. Because not every publishing house can produce as many books as they want to.

Jess:                                     25:16                    What's also been cool is to see some of the audio books from before audio really became as popular as it is now and the quality has changed, that a lot of a lot of stuff is being reproduced. And it's really, really nice because it can be updated and you can stay on top of it and they can look uniform. And Stephen King's work comes to mind. They've reengineered a whole bunch of his books and it's been great.

Tanya:                                 25:44                    Well, and it's also interesting because in the last 10 years there's been a shift. Audio book started as reading for the blind. And narrators were instructed just to read the words with no emotion, no characterization, but there's been a real shift now, where those books are being performed. So like you had mentioned earlier with vocal characterization, we do accents, so we really act it out now. So that can also be a huge difference from a book that was released 10 years ago.

Sarina:                                 26:11                    I'll bet. And another new thing is the popularity of certain narrators. And this is another technology thing. So now that we all carry our audio books around in our pockets and we buy them or rent them from various audio book platforms, you can often search by narrator. So if you have a favorite and you click on their name all of their stuff comes up, which makes the whole recommending machine hum in a different direction than I'm sure it used to in the olden days.

Tanya:                                 26:51                    Right. If you're casting your own audio book, it's a good way to find narrators by listening to those little clips and seeing who do you click with? Because I also want to mention something really important for writers - that the audio book is never going to sound the way that it sounds in your head. So it's an interpretation by an actor and that's really important to remember that, that there's many ways to perform a piece and sometimes you gotta let go a little bit.

Sarina:                                 27:18                    Yeah. My way of doing this is, I have to say, I never listen to my own books in audio and people will say, 'Oh, this one is so wonderful.' And I'm like, 'That's amazing. I'm glad. I'm so happy to hear it.' But I will never have actually heard it. I've only listened to a couple. The fact that the cadence isn't the same in my head as I heard it is just, I can't deal.

Jess:                                     27:44                    You guys want to hear something horrifying. I was at a talk recently and someone came to the book signing and said, 'Oh, I was in a real hurry to get this listened to before, I wanted to get it all done before you came. So I listened to you. I started at 1.5 times, then I went up to 1.7, and then I listened to the very end at 2.0 and I tried it just to sort of see what that was like. I don't know how people do that, it scrambles my brain. It's the worst, but some people swear by it. They're like, 'That's how I get through books quickly is to go at one and a half speed.'

Tanya:                                 28:18                    When narrators hear that, it's like we've been drained by a vampire, like all the blood leaves our face. And we're like, 'That's great.'

Jess:                                     28:30                    There is something really (and I said this at the beginning that I wanted to come back to it) There's something really magical about having spent so much time in someone else's existence. You know, like I've been in someone's car, or they'd be listening to me on the way to work, and they're like, 'I feel like I know you.' And that is the same way I feel about the audio narrators that I listen to. Like Davina Porter, you know, I've listened to her voice so much that she's familiar to me and soothing and it's a reason that I relisten to those books when I'm feeling anxious because I have a relationship with that voice and I feel really privileged to be in that place.

Tanya:                                 29:14                    What's interesting about that, to hear you say that is that many of us when we sit down in the booth, like right now I'm in my basement in my booth, it's dark and I have to sit down and remember that I'm going to tell you a story and I want to pull you in and I want to have a conversation with you. So it's like, it's really intimate. And that's good to hear that that works for you.

Jess:                                     29:36                    Yeah, my producer at Vermont Public Radio taught me the coolest trick, and this of course doesn't work when you're totally by yourself, I suppose. But one of the things that she taught me to do is to catch her eye at moments where I felt it was really, really important to connect. And there's something about just looking at another human being when I'm in the booth that really does something to your voice. And especially right at the end of something and that's when I always try to catch her eye and sort of emote in a particular way. That was a really helpful trick she gave me and it helps me connect with whoever out there is listening. It's really a fun, amazing thing to get to do is to be in someone else's head, to be in someone else's ears, I think. So, speaking of reading audio books, listening to audio books, and reading, can we talk a little bit about what we've been listening to and reading? And for me it has been listening to, but I would love to hear what you guys have been reading this week.

KJ:                                        30:33                    I have a really good one. I think Sarina mentioned this one on the podcast before, but I just want to shout out to Leigh Bardugo's Ninth House, which was a really, really fun fantasy read, which I personally finished over Halloween, but it's perfect for any dark and dreary fall season, or heck a beach read. Really, anything you could possibly come up with. Fun, paranormal, lots of suspense, great characters, a real page turner for me. I had a great time with it.

Sarina:                                 31:06                    I'm so happy you liked it.

Jess:                                     31:08                    Yeah. You two have been talking about that one for a long time. I got to catch up and read that one, too.

Sarina:                                 31:12                    Do it.

Jess:                                     31:12                    Sarina, what do you have?

Sarina:                                 31:14                    Yesterday I read Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson, which you guys had an episode about, actually. And her writing is so beautiful and it sent me into a little spiral of trying to define what it means to have an unreliable narrator. And after I figure that out I'll get back to you.

Jess:                                     31:35                    And reliable narrator meaning we just can't trust everything they're telling us, which I would think would put the author in a very tricky place. So I'm excited to hear more about that. I decided to re download and listen to Olive Kitteredge again because I'm going to listen to the new book Olive, again, I think is what it's called by Elizabeth Strout. And I have to say all Olive Kitteredge is even better than I remembered. It's just a beautiful, beautiful book. And the audio version of it is fantastic. It's a great book. Plus it puts me in Maine and I get in that Maine headspace and that's always good, too.

Tanya:                                 32:12                    Well, I have something I'm reading. Because I narrate a lot of romance I like to read dark things for pleasure. So this is called The Chestnut Man and it's by Soren Sveistrup. It's about a serial killer, so it's pretty dark, but I'm really enjoying it.

Jess:                                     32:30                    I'm totally into those books and I've got a lot of travel coming up so will be downloading that one, too. And Tanya, do you have a bookstore for us to talk about this week?

Tanya:                                 32:40                    Sure. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan and there's a great bookstore called Schuler Books. They have two locations and it's cozy and they have coffee and they also highlight a lot of local writers, which is always great to see.

Jess:                                     32:57                    I'm sort of excited. I get to go to Nashville next week or later this week, which means I get to visit Parnassus. I'm so excited, it's going to be so much fun. Alright, I think that's it for today. And Sarina, would you like to take us out today?

Sarina:                                 33:11                    Okay, everybody. Then, until next week, keep your butt in the chair and your head in the game.

Jess:                                     33:29                    This episode of #AmWriting with Jess and KJ was produced by Andrew Parilla. Our music, aptly titled unemployed Monday was written and performed by Max Cohen. Andrew and Max were paid for their services because everyone, even creatives should be paid.