Brooklyn Event with Stephanie Kallos – July 27th

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If you’re in or near Brooklyn, please join me on July 27th for a conversation with my dear friend, Stephanie Kallos, the author of one of my favorite book projects, Language Arts from Recorded Books (print edition from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). We hope to see you at the powerHouse Arena on Monday, July 27th at 7 pm, when Stevie and I will be talking about Palmer penmanship, offering you cupcakes and wine, and entertaining you with song! Recorded Books will be providing door prizes for the event – 5 signed copies of the audiobook!

MORE ABOUT LANGUAGE ARTS: Charles Marlow is a Seattle English teacher who instructs his students to expand their worlds through language. Lately, however, with one child off to college and the pressure from his ex-wife to make plans for their severely autistic son, who’s about to age out of the system, he prefers the company of the ghosts he turns up in the storage boxes in his crawl space. There he finds the totems that betray the darker moments of his youth-memories that were buried for decades when he met the ambitious and sparkling Alison LeFevre. But the complications of parenthood proved fatal to their marriage, and Charles has been stagnant ever since. Language Arts is a wise and perceptive novel about how accumulated guilt and fear can embalm us in middle age and how one man who lost his way in life and love regains both.

IT’S WHAT I DO receives Earphones Award from AudioFile Magazine

I am thrilled to announce that my performance of IT’S WHAT I DO: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario for Blackstone Audio, has received AudioFile Magazine‘s Earphones Award. The text of the review can be found below, along with a direct link to the review and audio sample on AudioFile‘s website.

It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War
Author Lynsey Addario uses her camera to capture images of beauty and light as well as despair, horror, and every other human emotion under the sun. Narrator Tavia Gilbert does the same with her voice, giving an authentic and thoughtful performance of this audiobook. As Addario recounts her experience of being held hostage, along with three reporters, by troops loyal to President Gaddafi in Libya, Gilbert brings the appropriate heart-pumping fear to the listener. It’s terrifying. It’s also a profoundly different experience for Addario–the men are beaten, but she is stroked and groped while being threatened with death. Addario’s story is fascinating as she tells of her unusual upbringing, early struggle to get assignments, raw emotion at being embedded in a dangerous culture, and abundant love for her husband and small child. Gilbert delivers it all in a thoroughly satisfying listening experience. A.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2015] 

AudioFile Magazine Review of THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS

THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS
by TaraShea Nesbit
Read by Tavia Gilbert

Nesbit’s well-researched novel looking back to the years 1943-45 and the creation of the A-bomb is made even better by Tavia Gilbert’s energetic, upbeat narration. The author takes a risk by making her narrator a collective “we.” Having no individual character to connect to, the “we” proves distancing rather than inviting. However, thanks to Gilbert’s performance, relationships become clear. As the wives give up their lives and careers to follow their scientist husbands to the desert, Gilbert makes their sense of helplessness apparent. Moments of fun and growing camaraderie mingle with moments of snobbery, jealousy, boredom, and booze. Gilbert enlivens all the details–from the expectations for women of the era to the cataclysmic dropping of the bomb. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine

We Are Water Interview on Sirius XM Radio

Last fall, I was privileged to be part of an award-winning cast of actors who narrated We Are Water by Wally Lamb, an ensemble performance that subsequently received an Earphones Award from AudioFile Magazine. To promote the book, the cast was invited to a public reading at BookCourt in Brooklyn in October, and in November, we were interviewed live by Judith Regan on her Sirius XM radio show.

This flurry of press and enthusiasm for a beautiful novel was exciting, but what meant the most to me was that Wally is a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, the school where I earned an MFA in creative non-fiction just a little over a year ago. It was an honor to get to know a fellow VCFA alum, especially one who represents the integrity, artistry, and devotion to craft as well as Wally does, and a great start to my new New York narrating and writing life.

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Sirius XM Radio interview with Judith Regan on November 16, 2013, with Richard Ferrone, Wally Lamb, Cynthia Darlow, Therese Plummer, and Tavia Gilbert.

Sirius XM Radio Interview with Judith Regan, Part 1

On-Air Readings on Sirius XM Radio

Sirius XM Radio Interview with Judith Regan, Part 2

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Public reading at Book Court in Brooklyn on October 26, 2013, with Robin Miles, George Guidall, Wally Lamb, Richard Ferrone, and Tavia Gilbert (back row), and Therese Plummer, Sandy Rustin, Maggi-Meg Reed, and Cynthia Darlow (front row).

Review of We Are Water from AudioFile Magazine

WE ARE WATER 
Wally Lamb
Read by Wally Lamb, George Guidall, Maggi-Meg Reed, Tavia Gilbert, Richard Ferrone, Edoardo Ballerini, Cynthia Darlow, Therese Plummer, Robin Miles, Sandy Rustin

In New York Times bestselling author Wally Lamb’s new novel, Annie Oh falls in love with her Manhattan-based art dealer, Vivica, setting off a stick of emotional dynamite that blasts apart long-held secrets, a twenty-seven-year marriage, and her relationship with her three children. The all-star cast bringing the audiobook to life is led by the maestro George Guidall and the author. Also narrating the intricate and emotional work are Maggi-Meg Reed, Tavia Gilbert, Richard Ferrone, Edoardo Ballerini, Cynthia Darlow, Therese Plummer, Robin Miles, and Sandy Rustin. This team of actors weaves an intricate and wrenching story of a modern society in which changing mores are changing the definition of love and family. R.O. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine / SEPTEMBER 2013

  AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Blue Plate Special Interview in Library Journal

coverMy recent conversation about the writing life with Kate Christensen, author of Blue Plate Special, was featured in Library Journal. Read about how our serendipitous meeting at a pilates class turned into a professional partnership and friendship that resulted in a beautiful recording of Kate’s food-based memoir.

Blue Plate Special Audiofile Review

BLUE PLATE SPECIAL An Autobiography of My Appetites
Kate Christensen, Read by Tavia Gilbert • Unabridged • AUGUST 2013
Random House Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

Tavia Gilbert’s voice is lovely and full of sensitivity, enthusiasm, and ruefulness–the perfect choice to convey Kate Christensen’s eventful life. Christensen vividly remembers both the shock and the breakfast of soft-boiled eggs and toast that she was eating when her hippie father was beating up her mother because her mother asked for help. Food features prominently as markers in Christensen’s life. She is comforted by her mother’s blue plate specials. Sometimes she eats everything in sight (in her “husky” phases); then she eats exactly the same food for weeks on end to lose the weight. Gilbert smoothly expresses Christensen’s emotions, ranging from regret at having had an affair, despair at her Iowa Writers’ Workshop experience, joy at writing whatever she likes, and a near disconnect at childhood sexual abuse. A.B. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine

Did you know that June is Audiobook Month!? You SHOULD know! Audiobooks are AWESOME!

I admit that I’d completely forgotten about this interview, until Recorded Books Tweeted a link to me this afternoon. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the conversation had been published on the Book Reporter blog, the last in their series of narrator talks in honor of “June is Audiobook Month,” the audiobook community’s annual push to bring to people’s attention the joy and delight of exceptional audiobooks.

Thank you, Book Reporter, for including me in such an esteemed group of narrators, including my friends Johnny Heller, Robert Fass, Simon Vance, and Katherine Kellgren, and thank you especially for featuring and celebrating the audiobook art form.

If you haven’t listened to an audiobook yet, then start by seeking out the performances of any of these wonderful voice actors. Johnny, Robert, Simon, and Katherine are the best in the business, and they will convert you to fervent audiobook fans immediately. In the comments below, I invite you to share what audiobooks, narrators, and series are your favorites.

Happy listening!

Johnny Heller is such a gentleman

You know the feeling of hearing the voice of someone you love? For me, it’s a wonderful, intimate, comforting warmth, a fondness and appreciation for the person who sounds so much like themselves. That’s what is so powerful about the love affair between audiobook listeners and the actors who tell the stories — the listener is in relationship with the voice in their ear, and there is a powerful connection forged between the two.

Well, this wonderful interview by Adam Boretz, writer of the Listen Up audiobook blog for Publisher’s Weekly, gave me just that feeling, because for a half an hour I got to hear the voice of one of my favorite people — the one and only Johnny Heller. Johnny is a dear friend, and for the past few years I’ve been enamored with him, with his humor, wisdom, playfulness, pragmatism, irreverence, and particularly his adoration for his much lovelier half, Jo Anna Perrin. The conversation was entertaining, informative, educational, and very pleasant dinner companionship last night after I got out of the studio.

Thanks to both these gents for kicking off this excellent interview series with something special!


 

A Look Back at APAC 2012

The Audiobook Publisher’s Association Conference in New York is always a very pleasant gathering of friends, colleagues, and new members of the audiobook community. The 2012 conference was particularly memorable.

It was an honor to have been asked to speak about my work as a narrator and a producer in a conversations facilitated by the inestimable, elegant, generous producer John McElroy. Other panelists included my good friend Dan Zitt, Director of Audio Production at Random House, and designer and social media expert Chris Carvey.

And our great audiobook advocate and fan, Adam Boretz of Publisher’s Weekly, very kindly reported on the other delight of the day: live performances by audiobook narrators. My dear Johnny Heller, MC extraordinaire, invited me to perform, along with Davina Porter, Hillary Huber, Dion Graham, Simon Vance, Karen White, Simon Prebble, Anne Flosnik, Robin Miles, and Robert Fass.

A lovely time was had by all, as evidenced by these photos from Johnny’s far better half, the wonderful photographer and narrator Jo Anna Perrin. Don’t Dion and I look happy?