Monday, May 6, 2019

If The Gestapo Should Come

This is the most famous photo from our audiobook escapade. It was, however, just an example of rock n' roll kismet.  Alice Cooper, THE Alice Cooper, had to do a little voiceover work at Epicentre--and our schedules bumped up against each other. WHICH WAS ABSOLUTELY FINE WITH ME.

You know, the truth is that I had these big, big dreams. Part of it was writerly bravado. Part of it was my teaching career mishaps. Part of it was my handy-dandy, use-on-special-occasions Cancer Card/entrance pass.
Jackie Jae Cowsill!

Basically, I had this sense that my book was the best thing I had ever written, like it was good. I suppose I might write something better someday, but this is what that cancer diagnosis really does: It Says, Maybe You Won’t.

(Listen, I’m not going to play games with you. I survived. The book did not come out on my deathbed. I’m supposedly cancer-free. Cold Comfort, kinda.)

I must admit that this book and its debut and all of the surrounding propaganda has been marked by urgency and grand gestures. It has this dismal publishing history. And this was NOT the book I wanted to lose in the mess of my own ugly drama. This book meant something to me. It meant a lot.

It was my wedding ring,
my children tucked into bed,
the papers that I’d hand over if the Gestapo came for me in the night,
my confession of faith,
the content of any vow I made,
my cancer survivor stats explained.
This was me sleeping before dying.

And so, with no experience whatsoever, I decided to make an audiobook. Really, that’s why.

Joe Bauman!

I did one smart thing: I got my friend with credentials on board. Jackie Jae Cowsill produced this baby. And she took it seriously. We were booked at a real studio, Epicentre Recording, in Phoenix. She flew out from Oregon. We showed up in the studio. I narrated. The real stars of this audiobook adventure were Jackie Cowsill and Joe Bauman (The Owner, a pro) of Epicentre.

I needed to be the one to narrate. I need to enunciate and emphasize and bedraggle the emotional landscape appropriately. I’d be the one to mess with it.

The audiobook is live now. Will I do it again? I actually don’t know.

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