[The winners of signed advance reading copies of SOMEONE TO LOVE are Alea and Sheila–last names unknown at the moment. Congratulations to them! And thanks to all who left a comment. I have contacted both ladies and await their replies and their addresses.]
Are books best read with the eyes or listened to with the ears? There is no correct answer to that question, of course, only personal preference. It is certainly true that the oral tradition of telling and passing on stories preceded the written word. And how sad it would be if children could not experience stories until they learned to read them for themselves. However, I have always found listening to a story difficult–though I can’t recall how well I did at it as a preschooler. When my family used to gather about the radio to listen to a weekly drama (yes, I do remember those days!) I would settle with great determination to listen. But before many minutes had passed, I would be off in my own imaginary world. The same held true when teachers read aloud to the class. I would have to get the book and read it for myself–and then the magic would kick in.
Audio books have become increasingly popular in the last few years. I do not listen to them myself. I prefer the voice in my head, which seems to have a very direct connection with my imagination. I had a very peculiar reaction when I tried listening to one of my own books read by someone else, especially when it came to the dialogue. Quite frankly, I was horrified! A similar thing happens when readers occasionally suggest an actor or actress for a particular hero or heroine of mine and I think–really? REALLY? I think our imaginations are as uniquely individual as our fingerprints. I do recognize, however, that the time may come when my eyesight will no longer allow me to read with any great comfort and I will be very grateful indeed to have an alternative. Readers tell me they love to listen to audio books in the car or when housecleaning or cooking or when they are too weary to pick up a book. How very fortunate we are that there are now so many ways of entertaining ourselves with stories–through paper books, through ebooks, through audio books, and even (dubiously) through movies.
All my newer books are available in audio format, most of them from Recorded Books (see the link in the drop-down menu at the head of my web page). But now Tantor Media (affiliated with Recorded Books–and the same link will get you there) has agreed, with a little persuasive help from my agent, to go back to record what are probably my most popular older series–the six SLIGHTLY (Bedwyn saga) books and the four SIMPLYs. And since for the first time I had a choice of narrator, I asked for the one most readers like best–Rosalyn Landor. And I got her! The SIMPLYs are already available, and the SLIGHTLYs have started. SLIGHTLY MARRIED went on sale on September 30, 2016, and the others are to follow quite fast on its heels. SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS, Wulfric, Duke of Bewcastle’s story, the last of them, will be out in April, 2017. I do hope you will enjoy listening to all ten of these books.
I have no copies to give away, unfortunately. However, I do still have two Advance Reading copies of SOMEONE TO LOVE, Book 1 of the new eight-part Westcott family series, due out in November. I will send them, signed, to two randomly chosen people who make a comment below before the end of Next Tuesday, October 4. Good luck.