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June 12, 2012

RoseMarie Terenzio on Recording FAIRYTALE, INTERRUPTED

RoseMarie Terenzio was born in the Bronx and served as personal assistant, publicist, and confidante to John F. Kennedy, Jr. Here, she talks about the complex process of getting to read FAIRY TALE INTERRUPTED, her memoir about serving as John F. Kennedy's personal assistant and confidante.
When I first began discussing the idea of writing a book I said to my agent, Steve Troha, "If this book gets published and they do an audio book, I want to record my own book." "No problem", he said. “But just so you know, doing an audio book is not a guarantee. They only do them for big books." I had put the idea out of my head because I NEVER expected my book to warrant an audio version.
On December 2, 2012 I received an email from my publisher asking for my approval of a narrator who would be recording my audio book. I was beyond thrilled and my immediate response was, "Oh, no need. I'm going to be recording my own audio book." The response was something like, “Yes, this is possible, but we generally recommend against it, as it’s a huge time commitment. Still, if you’re willing, it’s perfectly fine.” I was more excited about actually recording the book than I was that the book was getting an audio version!
It turned out; it wasn’t that simple and the recording had to be done very quickly. “It really is not possible for you to do the recording. We don’t have enough time.” I was crushed and nearly in tears. I went back and forth with my publisher and my agent and I absolutely would not budge. I was going to record my book.
My agent saved the day by getting in touch with Jamie Black, a professional voice over artist with a studio in her Manhattan apartment. Problem solved. I would start recording with Jamie’s help the following week. I woke up two days later with the worst cold I’ve had in years and no voice.  I called Jamie immediately and she told me I would have to be 100% better before we could record the book. The pressure was on again to get someone else to do it. I swore, I would be better and I could get it done by January 5th. My publication date was January 24th so we were cutting it close.  I came back from Christmas break early and stayed in bed for three days, nursing my cold until I was finally able to start recording.
It was such an incredible experience to be able to read my book out loud! Every emotion I experienced in writing it was magnified and I did not want to change one word. The final chapters were the most difficult but once I got through them, I was so proud of what I accomplished with the book. I don’t think I would have fully realized that had I not narrated it.
I am as proud of the audio version as I am of the print one.