Audiobook performance is a complex art. It is a lot more difficult than simply reading text. An audiobook narrator must perform many different voices, essentially acting out many roles. Ramón de Ocampo does a great job with the many voices in If You’re Reading This. I read Mike’s letters from his father, and although I had a great time, the experience was a challenge and has made me respect good audiobook performers even more. Have a listen to some of If You’re Reading This.
Through its long revision process, If You’re Reading This saw more changes to its first chapter than any other book I’ve written. I was very pleased with the way it turned out.
Mike’s First Letter:
Throughout If You’re Reading This Michael Wilson receives letters from his father who had died seven years earlier in the war in Afghanistan. Who is sending the letters? What can they tell Mike about how his father died? Listen as Mike reads the first of the letters.
Mike and Isma:
One of the aspects of If You’re Reading This that kind of surprised me was the relationship between Mike and his friend Isma. When I started writing the book, I had no idea that such a wonderful friendship and romance would develop between these two characters. I had a lot of fun writing them. Also, I have a complicated relationship with sports. I enjoy watching an exciting football game, and I know there are many people like Mike who enjoy playing and watching sports, but personally, I’m more like Isma, objecting to how much attention and public funding is dumped on sports. In this clip, Mike and Isma begin their discussion of those issues.
Mike’s First Football Action:
I may wish for a greatly diminished role of sports in our society, but I cannot deny that they can be exciting. I especially see the tense fun in football, just as Mike Wilson does. In this scene, Mike has his first action in a high school football game, scoring the Riverside Roughriders’ only touchdown in a game against the Dysart Trojans, a game which is also featured in my second novel Stealing Air.