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June 22, 2012

Jackson Pearce on Recording the Audiobook for PURITY

Posted by tom

Jackson Pearce is 26 years old and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of SISTERS RED, AS YOU WISH, SWEETLY and PURITY, with another book coming out in the fall called FATHOMLESS. She began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn’t tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic.

Routine before recording the audiobook for PURITY:

-Reread the book.

-Googled "how to read your audiobook."

-Made several variations of a lemon/vinegar/salt cocktail, all which supposedly make you sound better.

-Worried over my male voices sounding pervy.

-Got sick from drinking aforementioned cocktail.

-Reread the book again.


I do this type of thing before any new experience. Not the lemon/vinegar cocktail thing, so much, but the overly-preparedness thing. I google. I read yelp. I check out star ratings. I Facebook stalk with skill that would make Internet privacy advocates tremble.

The fact that I was recording my own book made me preparedness freakiness go into overdrive. After all, this wasn't just making a poor restaurant choice because I failed to read the reviews about low health scores. This was an audiobook. THE audiobook. If I screwed it up, there would be proof. There would be angry emails. There would be dismayed emails from my publisher and commentary on YouTube. YouTube would be the worst, I figured-- videos of teens in their bedrooms saying "She WROTE the book, so I thought she'd know how to read it..." or "Can you believe how pervy the male voices sound?"

So I drank more lemony concoctions and on a pretty plain Monday morning, woke up and drove to Listen Up audiobooks to record. I'd blocked off my entire week, for the recording, and canceled any engagements in the evening that might involve speaking or humming or whistling or anything that could remotely strain (read: use) my vocal cords. The very nice and very understanding-of-my-weirdness people there led me to a sound proof room, where I only pretended to be a pop star for about three minutes. There was lots of fiddling with microphones, mostly by a guy I'll forevermore be colloquially calling "Hot Sound Guy," and then...we were recording.

And despite all my worry and preparation and wasn't that hard. It wasn't something I needed to drink potions for, or stay up late anxiously googling. I had to stop and start sentences over about 80 million times (sorry about that, Hot Sound Guy), and after lunch we had to rerecord when my stomach made loud grumbly stomach noises, but in the end the entire thing only took two days.

Of course, I spent the remainder of my blocked-off week on Facebook stalking Hot Sound Guy and Listen Up, worrying I'd see an update about "this really weird blonde author who totally messed up her own book." I did not (primarily because even if they'd thought it, none of the Listen Up people are mean enough to Facebook that anyhow), and when the audiobook finally released, I was delighted by the quality. Delighted that I had the opportunity, and delighted by the entire experience in general.

But mostly, I was just delighted that the male voices didn't sound pervy.