This tale started with the author Amber Benson’s review challenge mentioned in my last post. The summary of which was to post a review of Serpent’s Storm using the word chicken in it to be entered into the drawing for a Skype lunch. Now I own and have read all three of the Calliope Reaper-Jones novels, but the last one was read almost a year ago. I knew to write a review I would need to reread the book.
That was only one of the variables involved, the other aspect of this tale takes us to YouTube. You heard me right, YouTube. Back around the time of release for Serpent’s Storm, Amber Benson did a joint reading/signing in California with Patrick Rothfuss. At this joint reading they decided they would both read the sex scenes from their books. Someone in the audience shot a video of Amber simply losing her shit (in the most awesome way possible) and Patrick reading the part of Frank in the book, complete with southern drawl. If you haven’t seen it, you really should click over and watch it. (I’ll edit this to add the link once I am home and not on my iPad in the middle of Starbucks.)
Cut to this month and I have an unused credit sitting in my Audible account and all three of the Calliope Reaper-Jones books are sitting in there calling out to me. Sure I own them all in print, but getting the books in audio offers me an easy way to reread the one I have to for this challenge and also gives my wife the opportunity to listen to them on her long commmute every morning. Ironically she is completing the book that Patrick Rothfuss had read from minutes before the video mentioned above was shot. Also, should I wind up winning the challenge you can be sure at some point during the Skype lunch I will likely ask how many takes that scene took to record for the audiobbook without her completely losing it.
Full disclosure: At the point of writing this blog I haven’t gotten up to that point in the audioobook.
Now let me put in a shameless loocal author plug. (Yes, Rothfuss is, in fact, from Wisconsin.) I have seen authors that aren’t very comfortable public speakers. At least once I have noted a rather eloquent published author stutter through a public speaking, only making it due to having the whole thing scripted out. I have even heard of authors that refuse to do readings and speeches of any kind due to discomfort at speaking in front of people. Patrick Rothfuss is the polar opposite of these types of authors.
Seriously if you find yourseelf with the oppoortunity, you really should go to see him speak in public. He is engaging and entertaining, at equal comfort discussing his books as he is discussing the craft or writing, business, living like a college student in Stevens Point Wisconsin or the article he wrote for a college paper about his pet guinea pig he had while living in the dorms. Specifically I remember going to the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books to get my books signed by a Milwaukee author who was going to be there. I saw that Rothfuss was speaaking later that day so my wife and I stuck around. Not only were we able to pick up a copy of The Adventures of Princess and Mr. Wiffle before it was available in stores, but he had a slideshow of the book and read it to the room – twice. Shoud you pickk up the book, reading through it the second time makes it a very different story.
Had he not been there, I would have eventually seen the book. I may have even picked it up. Because of that reading I decided to spend my money to get the book from him directly that day (probably earning him more of a percentage of the sale) and had the book signed. Also stuck in my memory of the day was the bright look on his face when my wife asked him to make it out to Zombie Joe and his six grandchildren. Somehow I think the idea that I would read this twisted childrens book to my grandchildren made the geek in him giggle. Or maybe he was just being polite to the guy that just spent money on his book.
As for listening to the audiobook of Serpent’s Storm to prepare for the review of the book, there is one thing I noticed before we ever signed up for an Audible account – the narrator for the novel makes the book in many cases. James Marsters ranks up as my favorite so far. His readings of the Dresden Files drove me to pick up the books in audio as well as in print. Lorelei King, who narrates the Stephanie Plum novels – is another. This means that the narration for an audiobook means a lot to me.
As an actor, Amber Benson is narrating her own books, which works for me. As it is when I read Cal’s story, I hear Amber’s voice in the dialoge portions. I did watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural (among other shows and movies she’s been in). But at the same time the reading so far has been engaging and there is a difference of voices to the characters that helps me to identify who is speaking if I am doing something (like baking) at the same time I’m listening to it. Although I must say that when Frank was introduced, I was hearing Patrick Rothfuss doing a southern drawl over her voice.
To wrap this up, should you decide to take a run into the world of audiobooks (say if you have a long commute, a desk job that begs for some background noise, etc.) Audible is running a sale on first books in series through noon, February 14. Death’s Daughter (first in Amber Benson’s series) isn’t in the sale, but Name of the Wind is. $4.95 for an audiobook the size and quality of Name of the Wind is an insane deal. So, you could start your account, taking Death’s Daughter as your initial “free book” and then you can pick up a number of great books like Name of the Wind, Storm Front (Dresden Files), Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles) and more for $4.95 each. We’ve found new series that way more than once.