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The Audio Book

Listening Library Logo For most of twenty years, I commuted by car to my job in Tarrytown, New York. For the last three of those years, I was driving from Stamford, Connecticut, a thirty to sixty minute ride depending on the time of day and traffic. It was during this time I discovered the joy of audio books.

I had tried to read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road several times, but it didn’t take. The audiobook for some reason worked. Hearing the voice of the narrator brought to life took me inside the story in a way the text never did. The same thing happened with Life of Pi. And the Harry Potter books. (Some of them.) I was still reading more than listening, but audio had opened a door on a new way of enjoying literature.

After I left my job in Tarrytown and started an exciting new career in NYC, I figured that audiobooks would follow me from the car to the train. But the train, it turns out, is prime writing time. With little kids at home, it’s the only chance I get to ply my craft, so to speak. So as much as I was enjoying audio, it no longer fit in my schedule.

When I learned a year ago that Random House’s Listening Library imprint had acquired the audiobook rights to The Scar Boys, I was excited, but quickly put it out of my mind. I have so much to do to promote the print/e- edition, that I just sort of forgot it was hanging around there.

Then, three weeks ago I had an email from the Listening Library producer:

“Len,” she wrote, “I’d like you to review a few different actors we’re considering as narrators for The Scar Boys. And maybe you can play the guitar and/or provide some music to go with the story?”

lincolnhoppeFirst, I reviewed clips from four actors and right away knew that Lincoln Hoppe was the choice. While it helped that he also narrated King Dork, a book that shares some common traits with The Scar Boys, it was the quality of his voice that won me over. This was Harry. Luckily, the producer agreed.

Next, I spent ninety minutes in a recording booth at the Random House building in New York laying down guitar tracks. That’s right, I got to lay down tracks for this project! How cool is that? I recorded music for the intro and outdo of the project, as well as for a song that Lincoln will sing. (The lyrics are in the book.) The experience brought me back to the days of recording music when I was younger. It was an unexpected and added benefit of being published.

I’ve been so impressed with the entire Listening Library team; they have put their hearts and souls into this project. I really hope people get a chance to listen to the audiobook. I, for one, can’t wait to hear it!

The Scar Boys’ audiobook publishes the same day as the hardcover — January 21, 2014 — and will be available on CD and as a download.

Aw Dee Oh!

Audiobook The Scar Boys is going to be an audiobook! Listening Library, Random House’s audio publishing unit (and one of the best regarded audio publishers on the planet) has acquired the rights to publish the audiobook version of The Scar Boys. The audio will publish simultaneously with the hardcover — February 25, 2014.

Woohoo!!!

And in case you’re wondering… Yes, of course I’ve already asked if I can narrate. That will be up to the producer, and that conversation won’t happen until this fall. It’s a long shot to think that they’d cast a first-time author rather than a professional actor, but hey, it never hurts to ask. Right?

Next up for The Scar Boys, the book cover reveal…coming soon.