I had a book reading/signing in Palm Springs last weekend. The reading portion – always my favorite part of any bookstore appearance – went very well. There were laughs and hearty applause from the 80 or so people in attendance, although they did stop short of tucking twenties into my waistband, probably assuming I’d be offended. (I would not.)
(Several friends took inappropriate delight in photographing this chalkboard MINUS the “Selected Items” line)
“Now I’ll have your voice in my head while I’m reading it,” some declared with delight, indicating how firmly I had established the characters with my layered vocal interpretation.
“Are you gonna be reading the Audible version?” others demanded to know, obviously enthralled by my masterful performance and horrified at the thought of some other, lesser actor essaying the role.
This has led me to seriously rethink the audiobook version of this new book. Clearly, others see in me the same level of talent that I’ve spent years telling them I have. Clearly, they realize that the key to a full appreciation of the “phoenix rising from the ashes” life of Eric Poole is to experience it through the dulcet tones of its author.
My beautiful and incredibly tactful agent informed me that “Audible will be sending you a selection of actors from which to choose.”
“Will that selection include the wildly talented Eric Poole?” I replied.
“Audible has very strict policies about which authors get to perform their own material,” she replied. “I’m sure you’d be fabulous, but are you prepared to risk them walking away from the deal?”
I spent hours pondering my dilemma.
“What’s more important?” I said loudly to my husband, who seems to be under the misguided impression that my inner monologue should remain inner. “Demanding that the world be blessed with my vocal talents? Or ensuring that the audiobook gets made?”
“Are we still talking about this?” he barked. “Get the damn audiobook made. Nobody gives a shit if you’re reading it or not. Half the people who listen to it won’t even know its not you.”
“But my public demands that it be read by moi!” I hollered.
“Your ‘public’ consists of a lot of people who love you and want you to feel validated,” he said. “How many strangers made those comments at the reading?”
“Three,” I replied. “Maybe even four!”
“So, if three randos said you should join Cirque du Soleil, you’d be swinging from a trapeze right now?”
A note to my agent: when it comes to that ‘selection of actors’, they’d better be highlarious. And sound audibly hot.