Interview with Golden Voice Narrator Emily Woo Zeller

Interview with Golden Voice Narrator Emily Woo Zeller

Interview with Golden Voice Narrator Emily Woo Zeller

Actor and narrator Emily Woo Zeller was inducted as an AudioFile Golden Voice this June. She is a marvel of a narrator with the ability to bring listeners into the story and capture the heart of a book. She narrates across many genres, including fantasy, science fiction, nonfiction, and stories of immigrants. She uses language and accents to voice audiobooks authentically, including many moving narrations of audiobooks by Asian and Asian American authors. She was nominated for an Audie Award for THE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang and in 2018 won an Audie Award for FIRE ROAD by Kim Phuc Phan Thi.

In today’s episode, host Jo Reed interviews Emily Woo Zeller, and they discuss her journey into audiobook narration through voicing anime, her skills with using accents, and what it was like narrating Fang Fang’s WUHAN DIARY in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Meet Our New Golden Voice Narrators

Robin’s Roundup June 5

AudioFile's 2020 Golden Voices

AudioFile's 2020 Golden Voices

We are delighted to kick off June as Audiobook Month by honoring five new Golden Voice narrators—JD JacksonJulia WhelanArthur MoreyEmily Woo Zeller, and Ramón de Ocampo. Golden Voice is the highest accolade AudioFile gives to narrators. The award celebrates an artist’s iconic role in the field of narration and honors those who have made significant contributions to the audiobook art form.

On AudioFile’s podcast, blog, and social media, we are celebrating the new Golden Voice narrators . . . . as well as many of your other Golden Voice favorites, including Scott Brick, Jim Dale, Dion Graham, George Guidall, Bahni Turpin, January LaVoy—you can see them all here. Listen or read the interviews in these features, but really the award is all about their performances! We have put together suggestions for essential listening for each of the 2020 Golden Voices. Read more…

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.

5 Questions with Golden Voice Narrator Emily Woo Zeller

5 Questions with Emily Woo Zeller Golden Voice Narrator

5 Questions with Emily Woo Zeller Golden Voice Narrator

June is a great month to be an audiobook fan. As you probably know, this is Audiobook Month, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate and honor AudioFile’s newest class of Golden Voice narrators. This lifetime achievement award is given in recognition of excellence in audiobook performance.

Among this year’s honorees is the versatile Emily Woo Zeller, a narrator known for her careful pacing and thoughtful characterizations. I’m always impressed with her ability to convey different perspectives, attitudes, and state of mind and to subtly tweak those features as the characters in an audiobook undergo change. Emily has skillfully taken us from ancient battlefields (THE MAGNOLIA SWORD) to futuristic America (A BEGINNING AT THE END) and from contemporary fraternities (THE RED WORD) to our own messy closets (THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP), all without missing a beat.

To highlight Emily’s Golden Voice performances, I’ve picked 5 AudioFile Earphones Award–winning audiobooks to suit a variety of listeners. Enjoy! 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.

Listen to These Mystery & Suspense Audiobooks with Your Kids and Teens

Mystery Audiobooks for Kids and Teens

Mystery Audiobooks for Kids and Teens

What’s a grandmother to do? My 6-year-old grandson has become so enraptured with listening to Jim Dale’s reading of the HARRY POTTER series that he drew a lightning bolt on his forehead. He did a good job of it—and he did it with a permanent ink marker. Needless to say, his parents weren’t happy, and I had to try very hard not to laugh when this was revealed on our FaceTime call this week. I was just glad he didn’t decide to do it on his 4-year-old sister’s forehead as well. Ah, the power of audiobooks and children’s imaginations!

One of the greatest challenges I see parents facing with children home and in their care 24/7 is how to educate, engage, and entertain without having them glued to a screen. Audiobooks are a great solution, and the Harry Potter series is a great place to start. They can be downloaded for free from most public libraries now through their library apps, such as Overdrive or Libby. (For Harry Potter fans, you can now listen to J.K. Rowling’s THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD. This is a novella (a collection of five fairy tales) that grew out of the Harry Potter world of wizardry. The audiobook is narrated by a talented full cast.) Read more…

Ellen Quint
A mystery writer, audiobook reviewer and Audies judge. Ellen is currently the program chair of Sisters in Crime-NY and has published two crime short stories: Crossing the Line (Family Matters); Taking the Brooklyn Bridge Back (Where Crime Never Sleeps).

Pairing Up Favorite Romance Listens

Pairing Up Favorite Romance Listens

Pairing Up Favorite Romance Listens

I’ve attended so many digital meetings lately, and I’m sure if you’re working from home, you are doing the same. My digital social life is busier than my actual one used to be, BC (Before Corona). I’m not complaining. I’ve had several great digital chats with friends and colleagues about romance lately, which is an undiluted pleasure. In my recent romance chats, it really shook me when numerous people mentioned that it’s hard to focus enough to read. Life is too fast-paced, too different, too stressful. They just can’t sit and read . . .  yet. And usually the second thing they said was, But I’m listening to a lot of audiobooks. To which I say, Great! Let’s create some listening bridges between new titles and familiar favorites with these four romance match-ups. Go ahead and listen—it’s a delightful way to be kind to yourself in jarring times. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

16 Amazing Middle Grade Listen-Alikes

Middle Grade Listen Alikes

Middle Grade Listen Alikes

What do you listen to when you’ve heard all of the Harry Potter and Rick Riordan audiobooks multiple times? We’ve paired up 16 excellent audiobooks for ages 8-12+, titles that share a theme, subject matter, or narrative style. Each of these “listen-alikes” is a great choice for middle graders looking for fresh listening. Read more…

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11 Kids’ Audiobook Biographies of Female Leaders and Heroes

11 Kids Audiobook Biographies of Female Leaders and Heroes

11 Kids Audiobook Biographies of Female Leaders and Heroes

I am celebrating Women’s History Month this year with a bunch of new audiobooks celebrating female trailblazers. These are women who bravely spoke truth to power, who didn’t listen to their critics — internal or external — and who dared to achieve what seemed impossible. Listen and be inspiried by these women who blazed trails for themselves, for other women, and for all of us. 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.

4 Audiobooks That Make a Love Connection

4 audiobooks that make a love connection

4 audiobooks that make a love connection

I glimpsed an article online recently that advocated for doing your own in-person grocery shopping because it’s important, in this digital day and age, that we maintain some human contact. While some of the lines at the supermarket I have shared stretch the definition of “human contact,” I do agree that personal connections make life meaningful. These crucial connections make romance on audio a perennially successful pairing (IMHO).

Romance is, on its face, about making a long-term connection with another human being. Being able to hear someone read romance—to choose voices for characters and alter tone and pitch to express emotion—amplifies the power of romance for the listener. Read more…

Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!

What Is This Thing Called Love? 5 Audiobooks about Relationships

What Is This Thing Called Love

What Is This Thing Called Love

When I was single, I squirmed every time I was encouraged to bring a “friend,” aka romantic partner, to social gatherings. Arriving alone often resulted in excesses of sympathy. It was as if single meant incomplete. So as we approach the veneration of a martyred 3rd century Roman priest probably named Valentinus, I’m starting my February post with HAPPY SINGLEHOOD by Elyakim Kislev. Adam Lofbomm reads the research-based celebration of single living in clear, upbeat tones that resound with enthusiasm as he shares enlightening data and engaging interviews with people living their happy — happy!  — single lives. Read more…

Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at www.aureliacscott.com.

Romance Audie Award Finalists: Congratulations to the 5 Nominees

2020 Audie Award Romance Finalists

2020 Audie Award Romance Finalists

The anticipation that some people feel about nominee announcement day for the Oscars, the Emmys, or the Golden Globes pales in comparison to the thrill I feel when the announcements arrive for the Audie Award finalists. Being a part of AudioFile, I sort of feel like Little Women’s crotchety Aunt March: I have a high bar for audiobooks in terms of sound quality, accents, and narrative excellence, but when the finalists are announced, I feel this wash of pride and excitement for the work that went into creating and judging these tremendous titles. I voraciously read up and down the finalist list for titles and narrators in every category, and then my scrolling hand slows as I reach the Romance finalists (they’re alphabetically near the bottom of the list). I pause. I get breathless. My brain goes blank as I struggle to remember every good title I’ve listened to or read about, wondering if any of my favorites became finalists. And then I read the titles, the authors, the narrators, the publishers . . . and time shifts from the moment before I knew to the moment of knowing which titles we will be specially honoring in this annual blog post. If this is that moment for you, I won’t delay it any longer. Let’s celebrate romance audio!

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Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!