As part of our 2023 Best Audiobooks celebrations, AudioFile spoke with some of the narrators—and one author!—to learn more about all the work and talent that goes into making our favorite audiobooks. Listen to these brand-new conversations featured on our Behind the Mic podcast.
First, author, illustrator, and narrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka joins Michele Cobb to tell us about transforming his graphic memoir SUNSHINE into a moving full-cast audiobook. SUNSHINE is his second graphic memoir—his first, HEY KIDDO, won numerous awards, including an Audie Award for its audio adaptation. In SUNSHINE, he shares his experience working at a camp for terminally ill children and the joy and friendships he made there. It's a powerful listen, and in this interview Krosoczka tells listeners about the challenges of transforming a visual memoir into an audio experience.
Narrator Helen Laser joins Michele Cobb to discuss YELLOWFACE, R.F. Kuang's novel that takes a sharp look at the publishing world. Laser gives a mesmerizing performance as June Hayward, a struggling author who steals her dead friend's manuscript, passes it off as her own, and publishes it while pretending she is Asian. Laser shares what stood out for her about this Best Fiction audiobook.
Golden Voice narrator Dion Graham tells Michele Cobb about his narration of KING: A LIFE, written by Jonathan Eig. It's one of AudioFile's Best Biography & Memoir audiobooks of 2023. Listen to their conversation to hear about the research and preparation that went into his narration, and the challenges he faced bringing it to life. It's a riveting audiobook, and a monumental biography performed exquisitely.
Golden Voice narrator Grover Gardner joins Robin Whitten to discuss his narration of John McPhee's essays, TABULA RASA, one of 2023's Best Nonfiction and History Audiobooks. It's a collection of essays and sketches that bring two storytellers together for memorable listening. Gardner discusses how McPhee's storytelling style is so well suited to audio.
Narrator Adenrele Ojo joins the podcast with Robin Whitten to discuss ROGUE JUSTICE, Stacey Abrams's thrilling audiobook that was one of AudioFile's 2023 Best Mystery & Suspense audiobooks. Ojo returns to portray the smart and tenacious Supreme Court clerk Avery Keene, who listeners first met in WHILE JUSTICE SLEEPS. Abrams has written a complex plot that sweeps Avery into a dangerous situation. Ojo discusses her favorite kinds of stories to hear and to tell.
Narrator Daniel Henning joins the podcast to discuss performing IN THE LIVES OF PUPPETS by T.J. Klune. It's one of AudioFile's 2023 Best Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror audiobooks. In this sci-fi retelling of "Pinocchio," Henning demonstrates perfect comedic timing and impressive vocal versatility. Henning tells listeners about preparing to voice the characters—he's been preparing since childhood for this role!—and the fun of bringing this queer Pinocchio retelling to life.
Narrator Thérèse Plummer joins Robin Whitten to discuss her narration of LOVE, THEORETICALLY by Ali Hazelwood, one of AudioFile's 2023 Best Romances. It's a fun and flirty story set in MIT's theoretical physics lab, where Dr. Elsie Hannaway works as an adjunct and dreams of tenure. Plummer fully embodies Elsie with a memorable and genuine performance, making listeners feel every bit of this enemies-to-lovers romance. In their conversation, Plummer tells listeners what she enjoyed most about narrating this audiobook.
Narrator Guy Lockard joins AudioFile's Michele Cobb to discuss Jason Reynold's marvelous STUNTBOY, IN-BETWEEN TIME. It's the second audiobook about the adventures of Stuntboy, an unforgettable young superhero, and one of AudioFile's 2023 Best Children's audiobooks. It is packed full of sound effects, music, and a full cast led by Lockard as the narrator. Listen to hear his thoughts about what makes STUNTBOY so special and his longtime friendship and collaboration with the author.
Narrator Vikas Adam joins the Behind the Mic podcast to tell listeners about his role in narrating ONLY THIS BEAUTIFUL MOMENT, written by Abdi Nazemian. He co-narrated the audiobook with Fajer Al-Kaisi and Iman Nazemzadeh, and each narrator gives a transcendent performance, making it one of AudioFile's 2023 Best YA Audiobooks. The story explores three generations of an Iranian family and is full of joy and anguish alike. Adam tells Michele Cobb about the preparation that went into recording this moving audiobook and what has stayed with him about narrating this work.
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Photo of Jarrett J. Krosoczka courtesy of StudioJJK. Photo of Helen Laser by John DeAmara. Photo of Dion Graham by Max Flatow. Photos of Grover Gardner and Thérèse Plummer courtesy of the narrators. Photo of Adenrele Ojo by Michael Roud Photography. Photo of Daniel Henning by Stephen Mosher. Photo of Guy Lockard by Miguel Herrera. Photo of Vikas Adam by Ilya S Savenok for Getty Images.