Let's meet at the Brooklyn Book Festival Sunday, September 18. If you haven't been before, the entrance is near the corner of Joralemon and Adams Streets. Now in its eleventh year, the festival promises to be the best ever. A number of my She Writes Press sisters will be there. Sande Boritz Berger, Liz Gelb and Barbara Donsky will be sharing Booth #104 as well as sharing 'Family Secrets'. And nearby will be other She Writes sisters: Anjali Mitter Duva , Connie Hertzberg Mayo and Barbara Stark-Nemon with their award-wining works of historical-fiction. Come join us! Send your friends! This Sunday in Brooklyn.
What Else is New?
This week there's more news to share, news dear to my heart. For many years living in Oyster Bay, New York, I had a private practice for children having difficulty in learning to read. Most were not what you’d call truly dyslexic, though a number of them—all boys—confused the letters ‘b’ and ‘d’ and didn’t recognize that ‘p’ was standing on its ‘long leg.’ To them the letters were mirror images of one another.
So we'd set to work, tracing and writing large on the blackboard, linking the shapes of the letters with the sounds they made -- the 'Orton-Gillinham' method -- while, at the same time, I encouraged their parents to read to them so the children would have the opportunity to hear the beauty of the language and to feel the spell cast by children's literature.
At the same time, there was a growing awareness on my part that there were some adults in the community who had not learned to read. Some who would have loved to be able to simply read the bible. And others, often tradesmen and mechanics, who had trouble in writing a legible bill for services rendered. And, of course, there were the visually impaired for whom reading was a struggle, if not an impossibility. All of whom would have benefited, as did my students, from having someone read to them.
The Magical World of Stories
Reading had always been a pleasure for me, a passport to more exciting places than our neighborhood in south-east Yonkers, Sherwood Park. Not to be confused with Sherwood Forest, the home of Robin Hood and his band of merry men.
The charm of reading was that it allowed me to step into someone else's shoes and experience another way of living, be it the adrenaline-fueled adventures of that intrepid girl-sleuth, Nancy Drew, or the foreign intrigues of Brenda Starr: Girl Reporter. She with the stars in her eyes!
Which is why it gives me great pleasure to tell you that the Audible version of Veronica’s Grave is in production and will soon be available on Amazon. The whole process has been made easy by ACX, a division of Amazon who help turn a print book into an audio-book-- beginning with finding a producer to record the book. Mine is Leslie Miller, a talented producer from sunny California.
And above you can see the design of the cover -- a 'squared cover' as required by ACX for an audio-book--designed by Paul Baxter. If you've read the book, you will be able to find similarities and differences between the print and audio-book covers. Then, too, there is one notable addition -- the Silver Medal for non-fiction memoir from Readers' Favorite 2016 which arrived earlier this week.
Although market researchers tell us that print book sales have been struggling for years world-wide, if seeing a modest uptick this year, audio-books have been bucking the trend. It would seem that more and more people are choosing to listen to, rather than to read, books. Why is that?
In polling friends, I've learned that many like to listen when driving, exercising, cooking dinner, doing household chores or simply walking the dog. Some even switch from the print or eBook version to the audio-book depending on what they’re doing at that moment. Multi-tasking is in, with not a minute to spare. And now with audio-books coming of age—so, too, is Veronica’s Grave. As you may know, the narrator is a young girl, so it's exciting to think that soon I'll actually hear the book told in the voice of a young girl, as recorded by Leslie.
So that's all for this week. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you next week when I’ll have the coffee ready.
Bon week-end mes amis...et à bientôt.
PS: Last minute thought: With the holidays on the horizon and sundry gift catalogs arriving daily, an Audible copy of Veronica's Grave might be just the thing for someone on your shopping list this year. Keep it in mind.