In Conversation with Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Jason Reynolds Interview

Jason Reynolds Interview

AudioFile’s Josephine Reed spoke with author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds about STAMPED, a remix of Ibram X. Kendi’s STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING for young people which Reynolds also narrates. Highly recommended as a work for young readers, the audiobook is accessible to anyone interested in learning about how racism and antiracism developed in America. In all of his work, Reynolds is known for writing and speaking directly to young listeners, meeting them where they are, and helping young Black readers see themselves reflected in books they are excited to read. 

In this bonus episode of the Behind the Mic podcast, Reynolds speaks about the importance of writing for younger readers and how he came to work on STAMPED. Hear the full conversation below.

“What we were trying to do is ensure that the conversation around antiracism permeates every single sector of our country, not just scholars and academics and people who are thinking about race, but our children.“—Author Jason Reynolds

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Author Nic Stone and Narrator Dion Graham on the impact of DEAR MARTIN

Nic Stone and Dion Graham

Nic Stone and Dion Graham

Author Nic Stone and narrator Dion Graham make a powerful team. Stone’s newest audiobook CLEAN GETAWAY came out this winter, and it’s another Earphones Award winner narrated by Dion Graham. We thought this was the perfect opportunity to revisit our conversation with the author and narrator duo. Host Jo Reed spoke with both Stone and Graham when their audiobook DEAR MARTIN first released. Stone’s moving young adult audiobook allows listeners to reflect on the trauma and impacts of racial profiling as her characters ask the questions we would in their situations. Listen to their conversation below.

“The best way to reach young people through literature is to reflect actual young people who mess up, who do good, who do bad, who have good things that they are a part of, who maybe have some things that they shouldn’t be a part of.”—Author Nic Stone

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Author Daniel José Older on the Power of Writing and the Spoken Word

Talking with Daniel José Older

Talking with Daniel José Older

We were thrilled to feature this interview with Daniel José Older in our February/March 2020 issue of AudioFile Magazine. AudioFile contributor Jessie Grearson spoke with Older about his writing and his audiobooks, including his latest book for adult listeners, THE BOOK OF LOST SAINTS, and the conclusion to his bestselling teen fantasy series. Read the full interview below.

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Daniel José Older always knew he wanted to tell stories—it just took a while to settle on a medium. “For a good period, I was more involved with music, but with a focus on storytelling. Even when I was mostly doing music, I was still always writing. I was all over the map. I did screenplays, poems, articles. But I wasn’t getting any traction; I didn’t know how to publish.”

The idea of writing a novel was “partially inspired by just not wanting to deal with wrangling musicians to rehearsals all the time. I found myself deeply attracted to the idea of being able to sit and work on something by myself, to finish it myself, on my own time—and not dealing with anyone else. So that’s what I did. And it worked!” Read more…

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In the Studio with Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Odyssey Award Winner HEY, KIDDO

In the studio with Jarrett J Krosoczka
In the studio with Jarrett J Krosoczka
Author and narrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka (top) and Jeanne Birdsall

I was thrilled to talk with author Jarrett J. Krosoczka about the process of adapting his acclaimed graphic memoir, HEY, KIDDO: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt With Family Addiction, into a full-cast audiobook. And I was even more excited when earlier this week HEY, KIDDO won the American Library Association’s 2020 Odyssey Award for the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults. There are so many things to love about this audiobook, but for me the most remarkable aspect was the casting. Krosoczka tapped members of his own family to narrate the true story, and the result is unforgettable. Below, read my Q&A with Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Read more…

Sonja Cole
As a former middle school librarian and author of Booktalking Around the World: Great Global Reads for Ages 9-14, Sonja’s mission is to get kids excited about books.

In Conversation with Narrator Jim Dale

On Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine

In Conversation with Narrator Jim Dale

In Conversation with Narrator Jim Dale

If you ask an audiobook listener about their favorite audiobooks, odds are good that they’ll say they adored Jim Dale’s narration of the HARRY POTTER series. What many listeners may not know is that HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE was his introduction to audiobook narration. Jim came to audiobooks accidentally, and later in his career, and listeners are so lucky he did. Listen as Jo Reed and Jim Dale discuss his audiobook work and his extraordinary career in the entertainment industry.

“You’re now more intimate than ever. You’re just speaking to one person, listening to you, reading. And that’s a joy.”—Narrator Jim Dale

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Author Tim O’Brien on the Challenges and Rewards of Fatherhood—and of Narrating

Tim O'Brien Interview

Tim O'Brien Interview

We featured our interview with author Tim O’Brien in the December 2019/January 2020 issue of AudioFile Magazine. O’Brien’s newest audiobook, dedicated to his sons, is a memoir, a tribute, and a collection of advice. It was a difficult but moving title for the author to record. Read the interview below. 

National Book Award-winning novelist Tim O’Brien published his remembrances of his Vietnam War experiences as a young man in THE THINGS THEY CARRIED and GOING AFTER CACCIATO. However, he came to fatherhood late in life, and at the age of 57, he and his wife had a son. A second son followed soon after. O’Brien knew his time with his boys might be shorter than most fathers’, so he decided to leave behind remembrances, advice, and reporting on some of the antics they might forget as they grow older. Read more…

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5 Questions with Narrator Michael Kramer

5 Questions with Michael Kramer

5 Questions with Michael Kramer

Most of you will associate today’s Take 5 guest narrator with audiobooks set in imaginary worlds. To me, Michael Kramer’s name is especially linked to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; in fact, he’s narrated all of the books in that very popular series in collaboration with Kate Reading. Tens of thousands of fantasy fans have welcomed Michael into their lives via speakers, headphones, and earbuds as they listened to 14 audiobooks and well more than 400 hours of action, adventure, war, and politics set in an ancient world.

If you’re a fantasy fan, you may be surprised to learn that Michael is equally skilled at performing history, memoir, literary fiction, thrillers, children’s stories, science fiction, and more. The audiobooks I’m recommending today do indeed include fantasy—such as an exciting new production of a recently released Robert Jordan book—but I also feature a modern classic, a thriller, and history. I encourage you to get to know Michael’s work on stories set in the real world as well as fantastic ones. Read more…

Candace Levy
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.

In the Studio: Author Stephen Chbosky on Imaginary Friend

In The Studio With Stephen Chbosky

In The Studio With Stephen Chbosky

AudioFile spoke with film director Stephen Chbosky, author of THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, about the process of creating the audiobook of his new horror novel IMAGINARY FRIEND, which he cast and directed himself.

AudioFile: Tell us about how you came to be involved with directing your own audiobook. Was your film directing experience helpful?

Stephen Chbosky: I became involved in my audiobook because simply put, I love audiobooks. I live in Los Angeles. The reality of traffic there is that I have more time to listen than read. So, I’ve been on a steady diet of classic audiobooks for years. My movie directing experience was a natural fit. Read more…

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Author Nnedi Okorafor on Personal Experiences & Fantastic Worlds

Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor

I was delighted to speak with Nnedi Okorafor and hear firsthand about her writing, her narration, and her love of audiobooks. I first heard Okorafor’s work in AKATA WITCH, and have since devoured her audiobooks as well as her comics. Okorafor’s recently published memoir revealed many of the influences on her groundbreaking works, and her narration was personal and engaging. Read on for the interview, which also appears in the October/November 2019 issue of AudioFile Magazine.—Emily Connelly

Author Nnedi Okorafor is known for her award-winning Africanfuturist works, stories rooted in African culture and perspective that explore beyond the realm of what is currently possible. Okorafor’s writing examines the intersection of technology, the natural world, and magic, building a world in which a Himba mathematical genius rides an enormous living spaceship to an intergalactic university, for example. “I always feel like if I’m ever going to leave the planet, I would want to go in something that’s alive,” Okorafor says. “There’s a very thin line between the magical and the technological, and there are places where they intersect.” Her writing dances along that intersection.  Read more…

Emily Connelly
As an Assistant Editor at AudioFile, library school student, and substitute librarian, Emily spends a lot of time surrounded by good literature. Emily enjoys working behind the scenes to help keep AudioFile’s blog and podcast platforms running and discovering new audiobooks to love.

Talking with George Guidall

This Golden Voice narrator has recorded more than 1,700 audiobooks

Podcast Interview with George Guidall

Podcast Interview with George Guidall

Join host Jo Reed as she speaks with one of the greats in the world of audiobooks, George Guidall. Hear what drew him to the world of audiobooks, highlights from his impressive career, and what he’s loved about narrating the series that listeners adore. George and I met near the very beginning of AudioFile in the 1990s. We honored George as one of the very first Golden Voices, and he has won multiple accolades including many AudioFile Earphones Awards, Audie Awards, and the Audio Publishers Association Special Achievement award.

Don’t wait! Listen to our interview with George on our podcast, Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine.

“A painter uses colors and a palette to draw a certain scene. A narrator does the same thing, only his brush is his voice, and his palette is his emotional palette.”—Narrator George Guidall

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Robin Whitten
Robin is the Founder & Editor of AudioFile Magazine. The AudioFile Blog is her newest project to offer new voices and recommendations for audiobooks.