I’m thrilled to announce that my recent project, Emily Sullivan’s gritty dystopian adventure Crow Country, has been recognized with a 2023 Gold Award for Best Fiction Audiobook by Independent Publisher.
How Did That Happen!
It’s been some time since I learned the good news from Ms. Sullivan’s publisher, and I still feel a sense of unreality about this. I think everyone enjoys recognition; several years back after being laid off, I made a decision to aim for work that I loved doing, and then see if I could make ends meet with that. If I get a three-line thank you note from a student at the end of a long school year, I honestly get all teary.
Narration is also hard work, but I hardly notice. The challenge of crafting another author’s tale into audio form is something, much like teaching History, that I feel practically born to. This project was probably the most extensive: more than ten hours, tough character distinctions, and very precise feedback from the rights holders who continually asked about this FX, that voice. Tiny changes to volume and pace, I went back over some chapters eight times for that last little fix.
I think it shows. You be the judge, here’s the sample.
What, Pray Tell, Is an IPPY?
Independent Publisher recognizes quality work from indy authors, including small publishing houses that issue fewer than a hundred titles a year. They have received thousands of entries each year since 1996.
When the publisher told me she was putting the book in for an award, I figured it would be one of those electron-microscope categories such as you see on Amazon: I hoped to be recognized for Best in Near Future Dystopian Fiction Featuring Guns and Aggressive Avians. Or something. But in audiobooks, the IPPY awards go only to Fiction and Non-Fiction.
Check it Out Yourself
Crow Country is available in all formats. Sure, I prefer the audiobook! But I read it first; it’s one of the most impressive pieces of dystopian action I’ve ever encountered. I was immediately drawn to the power of Ms. Sullivan’s writing, and of course I’m a sucker for driven, wounded characters. The closest I’ve seen in other media would be the movie Cowboys and Aliens–how’s that for a comp!