AudioShelf A Podcast for AudioBookWorms

Episode Forty-Five

Interview With Rebecca Soler

Beyond the Headphones

July 03, 2017
00:00 00:00 Download

In This Episode...

After falling in absolute love with her in Heartless, we are very excited to have the opportunity to interview Rebecca Soler in our virtual tea party. An Audiofile Earphone Award winning narrator, Rebecca has worked with Marissa Meyer, James Patterson, Judy Blume, and Sarah Dessen. Join us as we talk about what it's like to be a voice actor dealing with authors, Rebecca's experiences with Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, and what to say to those who think audiobooks don't count for reading. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy this amazing conversation! Be sure to check out our website for a full transcript, with links to all the books mentioned.

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Episode Transcript

Introduction

 

Brad: So today is a very exciting day. We're going to be interviewing a phenomenal audiobook narrator, one of our favorites: Rebecca Soler. She has narrated Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles and Heartless, which is an episode that we recorded, we reviewed the audiobook for. And she's narrated for James Patterson, Judy Blume, and Sarah Dessen. Lots of Young Adult novels out there that's she's recorded.

 

Britney: And she's also received an AudioFile Earphones Award in 2009 for her narration of the novel After by Amy Efaw. So we hope you're ready for our interview with Rebecca. Sit back, heat up some tea - although it's summertime so maybe not heat up some tea - make yourself some cucumber sandwiches, and let's jump into it.

 

Interview

 

[00:46] Brad: Before we begin, we want to offer you some cucumber sandwiches for our tea party?

 

Rebecca: Aw, you guys are so adorbs! Oh my gosh, I have my mug of tea. It won't be a tea party if I don't have my mug of tea. Wait, guys, pause it ... okay ...

 

Opening Sequence of Fun

 

[01:22] Rebecca: We are good! This segment brought to you by the delightful Harney & Sons English Breakfast.

 

Britney: Ours are empty because we...

 

Brad: We're already too hot.

 

Rebecca: Yeah, you know what guys, you have the cucumber sandwiches. So I feel like that's what I'm bringing to the party.

 

Britney: You bring the tea, we'll bring the cucumber sandwiches.

 

Rebecca: Exactly. Exactly. Thank you, hey thanks for having me guys!

 

Britney: Yeah, thank you!

 

Rebecca: Um, how did you guys start doing your podcast for audiobooks. Like how did you guys figure out that you loved audiobooks?

 

Britney: Well, I think it was Brad had me listen to the Selection series.

 

Brad: Mmhmm.

 

Britney: Which was really, really good, and I really liked it and we just started from there. We would talk about the audiobooks together and how the narrators were. It just kind of snowballed from there. There's not anything like this in the book world. I mean there's of course the written reviews and everything like that, but that's no fun. So...

 

Rebecca: You don't get to show your whimsy.

 

Brad: Exactly, and we started off with a blog. We felt that was too structured and just boring a little bit, so we wanted to put our personalities into it. So we came up with the podcast idea.

 

Rebecca: Love!

 

Brad: Mmhmm. And Britney and Shawn are very good with technology and computers.

 

Britney: Yeah, Shawn is my husband.

 

Brad: He is our producer. So they set up how to do a podcast, and we went from there!

 

Britney: Yeah, we didn't think that we would do, like, interviews or anything like that. So this has been a lot of fun.

 

[03:06] Rebecca: Yeah, you guys have been doing such a great... I mean, it's really interesting what you can do with technology these days. And just even Twitter. Before Twitter, I never really had any direct contact with authors actually. The publishers would reach out to my agents and I would either audition or sometimes I would get a direct offer, which is delightful. Oftentimes, the only communication I would have about the book would be I'd ask the executive producer: "Hey, what do you think they feel about X?" But with things like Twitter and various social media, I'm now, when I get a new book, the first thing I do is check out if the author is on and then I'll message them to be like "Hey, I just found out I'm going to be narrating your book, would you mind if I had any questions can I DM you to get your thoughts or preferences?" And for the most part, people respond back. Like with anybody, there are people who are on Twitter because they're supposed to be on Twitter but they don't really use it. Therefore, I'm sure some authors are like "I've got this." But I'll oftentimes, because I do a lot of YA, those authors are on Twitter. So it's been really cool to be able to do that.

 

Britney: That's really awesome, because we chat with a couple different narrators, and they were all saying they don't really have much interaction with the authors and so it's really cool to get your perspective that you reach out to them and you go first. You make the first move on them.

 

[04:37] Rebecca: I do. Problem with it is, they spent so, so long in the world. And they have a definitive opinion what they sound like or who these people are. If I can get an idea of what they're thinking, chances are I'll do the book more justice in terms of their eyes. If I arbitrarily assign a style or a voice, and that author listens to it and thinks, "Oh my gosh, that is not so-and-so," that would make me very sad. There have been a couple times where I have inadvertently pronounced something wrong and had to go back and fix it. For the most part I try to collaborate and see "do you guys have any pet peeves" or "is there anything you were hoping for." Some of the authors have been really helpful. I just did a book called White Fur by Jardine Libaire, and she actually sent me a documentary clip of a girl that is set in the projects of Rhode Island. And she sent me this documentary of a young girl and what she sounded like, and her mom - there's a mom character - and she's like "These are the people." It was so awesome, because as an actor, you get to really look and do almost a character study on an actual live human instead of just inventing what you think it might be in your head. And sometimes I just make stuff up. Other than that, because with Heartless, obviously, there's Alice in Wonderland, which is so much pressure. Because you're like "I know what the Chestshire Cat sounds like, I know what the Caterpillar sounds like, I know what the White Rabbit sounds like, and I really hope I don't f*** it up." (I know you guys are PG-13 so I'm not going to swear!)

 

Britney: On this channel.

 

Brad: Yeah on this channel. Our After Dark is a little bit different.

 

Rebecca: Oooooh. I like your After Dark, you'll have to let me know about that.

 

Brad: So tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get into this business?

 

[06:50] Rebecca: I am an actor first and foremost. Like all actors, you go where the yes's are. I studied musical theater in college, and graduated and moved to New York and auditioned for a million different things. A really annoying story because people always ask me how I got into voiceover, and it's so not duplicatable. As a student, I would be like "How do I get into voiceover?" and my anecdotal story is the lamest anecdotal story. I went to my friend who was giving a seminar. She used to be a proofreader, and she's giving a seminar on how to get paid to be a proofreader. It's really interesting. I learned from doing her seminar and taking notes for her to see what was landing in the audience. But I would be a terrible proofreader because I autocorrect. I autocorrect your grammar and I don't even pay attention to the spelling. While there, she also invited another friend who is a director to record it and to edit it. He does a lot of animation, and he and I just sort of hit and off and started chatting personally. Intentionally, I was not like "Oh, um, you direct, um..." Like I wasn't ... I was like "Oh, what's up man, nice to meet you!" At the end of that night he was like, "Do you do 11-year-old little girl voices?"

 

Britney: [laughing] That's such a creepy ... creepy thing to ask.

 

[08:30] Rebecca: Yeah, I know. That actually does sound creepy. He explained this Japanese anime project and I said "Sure, why not?" So I went in and auditioned for him. I got the part and so that job started my voiceover career and that's how I got my agents. I've been with my agency for a really long time, and my long-time agent, Shari Hoffmann (shoutout to Shari Hoffman), she was like: "I think you would be great for audiobooks. You'll come in, you'll read for me, and I'll coach you." It was like "Alright, Shari" and - sure enough - she took me under her wing and helped me audition for my first few books, and tweak me stylistically. You know, there's good audiobook narration and then there's *laughs* really painful audiobook narration. I think everybody starts - when I think of my first book - I don't want to listen to it because I'm sure I was just surviving it because it's so daunting, compared to something like Heartless, where it was like I knew what I wanted to do, I have opinions, and I'm inserting them. Ultimately, narration is still close to - for me at least - animation, in terms of creating characters that people never see your acting choices, they can only hear your acting choices. So it was a natural progression to do narration. Couple that with the fact that I'm a ridiculous avid reader. Love to read, constantly reading. So if you're not a reader, I would think it's the worst job you could possibly have to be a narrator. Because I read - at least I try to, if I get the book in time - I try to read the book twice before I actually get in the booth. The first time is like a fan girl. It's going to be like "What is this book about?" The second time, I almost make an org chart of like a family tree of who's who, who's dating who.

 

Britney: Ah, cool!

 

[10:27] Rebecca: I did this thing where anytime the author uses a descriptive word or an intention that feels very specific to the character, I'll jot it down under the person. Then, after I finish the book the second time, then I look at the world of people. Then, from the author's descriptions, try to figure out who they are and then assign them a voice.

 

Brad: That's a lot...

 

Rebecca: That's a very long description.

 

Brad: It's a lot of helpful information for other people that may want to get into the field.

 

Rebecca: Voice over is really great. There's so much to do. I mean, obviously, commercial, television, voice over, radio, ads, and there's something called promo. Which, promo is, say you're on TV and it's that like "Coming up next on MTV, it's the Real World!" Those things are called promos, they're a specific type. Then there's narration, there's animation, and then *chime*, there's me muting my text messages...

 

Britney: *laughs* We just heard our own ding go off and we're like "Okay, have to mute that over there..."

 

Rebecca: Dings! We dinged. And then, last but not least there's Loop Groups. ADR. I may have forgotten a ton, but those are all the things that I've done. It's a super fun job in that you can do a whole bunch of different things and use your voice differently creatively to do stuff. The fun part about narration - at least for me - it's the one place that as an actor, I get to play the parts that I would never be cast in. Either physically looking at me or traditionally listening to voice. I'm not going to be Jest.

 

Britney: Although you could be if they just did voice.

 

All: *laughter*

 

Rebecca: Well, I know. But, I do agree that Matt Bomer would make a pretty good Jest.

 

Brad: Right? Right?

 

All: *laughter*

 

[12:21] Brad: So, by the way, we watched your commercials and we're obsessed. I want to go shopping at Publix now!

 

Rebecca: Do you? Where shopping is a pleasure! Well, fun fact, I need to update my website. Because as soon as you guys were like "Oh, update the website" ... isn't that always the thing, when you're the most busy and have the most to say you don't update it, and then you update it when you're like "Gee, I wish I had something to put up there." And I feel like it's been months since I've actually done my own branding. So, this is great, it's holding me accountable. For Publix, luckily I didn't have to eat anything. But for Skinny Cow, that commercial, I ate 40 ice cream sandwiches.

 

Britney: Forty?!

 

Rebecca: Forty. Four. Zero.

 

Brad: I'm sorry...

 

Rebecca: But here's the thing! Normally you do this thing called a "bite and spit" right? The two women who are awesome who were in that spot with me, they had ice cream options because they would just like, lick and it would do the job. Or there was this candy bar thing and she could just pretend to bite. But because I had the ice cream sandwich, they wanted that perfect bite shape in the ice cream sandwich. Do you know what I mean? So I would have to full on commit to the bite. And then because it's ice cream, it melts!

 

Britney: It has nowhere to go!

 

Rebecca: Yeah! You can't spit it out! It's already like, down your esophagus. So, ultimately, by the end of the day, I'm like ".... ice cream sandwich..."

 

Brad: It kind of defeats the purpose of what Skinny Cow is trying to sell there. Calories right?

 

Britney: I don't think I've even eaten 40 ice cream sandwiches in my entire life.

 

Brad: I mean, I could. I could.

 

Rebecca: Yeah. This is the other cool thing. At the beginning of the day I would take like one bite, and then they would take it away because under the light it melts. So the crew was like "Ohh, I'll take it" and they were like game to cut off what I've bitten and chuck the rest. But by the end of day...

 

Britney: Everyone is like "that's Rebecca's ice cream. She gets to have all 30 of those..."

 

Rebecca: That's just ... this is your reality. The closeup was shot at the end of the day. So by the end of the day - the director was awesome, but by the end of the day he's like "CUT" and I'd be like "...". Then he'd be like "Are you ready Rebecca? You're such a champ!" And I'm like "Yup! I'm ready, I'm ready. And then ....."

 

Britney: So the important question is: Have you had an ice cream sandwich since then?

 

Rebecca: You know what? No, I don't think so. I'm more of a salty anyway. Like chips and guacamole.

 

Brad: Me too. Yes.

 

Britney: That's probably a good choice to just ice cream sandwiches. You're probably allergic to them now.

 

Rebecca: I don't know... but they are a delight. There's no angry shoutout to Skinny Cow. By all means, in moderation, it is a delightful treat.

 

[15:27] Britney: So you mentioned animation a little bit, and I was curious, because I saw on your website that you love cartoons. I am a cartoon lover myself, so I am wondering what your favorite cartoon is in addition to audiobook and commercial - all the stuff that you do in general.

 

Rebecca: What is my favorite cartoon...? It's always safe to watch The Simpsons or South Park and know you will be tickled. I find myself quoting Family Guy. Especially the maid. So, I guess those, and then, in terms of some of the animation projects that I loved that I did... I worked on this show for 2 seasons. I don't even know if they actually aired both seasons, but cartoons oftentimes are there to help sell a product to little children. So if the product is still selling, then they continue to make the cartoon in order to justify new products or things like that. There was this Microsoft video game called Viva Piñata. It was super fun because we got to improve a lot. I played two different characters, I played a very forgetful elephant named Ella, and then I played this monkey named Simone. I was just sort sharing off my agent and sort of this guy that I used to work with back in the day. His grandmother is from Jersey, and he used to do an impression of her, and I guess she would say - his name is Richard Stiner - and she would say "Richie, you don't want to date her. She's a filthy whore." You know that kind of thing?

 

[17:15] Britney: *laughs* That's the best thing ever.

 

Rebecca: A voice based on something like Richard Stiner's grandmother from New Jersey? Which, I guess, I think other narrators have said this to you in your interviews. I think I listen to voices and I collect them for inspiration and then bust out my version of them. In the Lunar Chronicles, there were so many girls all around the same age that I had to sort of distill people into certain ideas of thought. Winter to me - this is going to be really weird because I'm sure nobody listens to it and then thinks "Oh that is totally who that is"  but - Winter to me is Luna from Harry Potter. That is my inspiration [Winter voice] for her sort of ... wisty ... etheral ... thing. I don't know if you guys have listened to the Lunar Chronicles yet?

 

Britney: We have not, that's next.

 

Brad: That's on our list.

 

Britney: As soon as we found out you narrated it...

 

Rebecca: Because now there's four.

 

Brad: I know right? But I think I know who you're talking about. Winter. That's one of the books, is Winter?

 

Rebecca: Yeah, that's the fourth. So Cinder, which is cyborg Cinderella. Scarlet, who is Little Red Riding Hood. Cress who is Rapunzel. And then Winter who is ultimately Snow White, basically. So Snow White is Luna. So now, when you listen you'll be like, "No, no, Rebecca, that's not right." Or you'll be like "Oh, I see what you were trying to do."

 

Britney: *laughs* No, I definitely think that Snow White voice would be what I imagine

 

Brad: Yeah, Snow White is also just a whispy kind of character anyway, so that would make sense to choose someone like Luna to kind of base it off of

 

Rebecca: And she's had a rough childhood, no spoilers. She's sort of afflicted. That's all that I will say. So it makes her synapses not always fire correctly. So that's kind of why I chose... and she's so very light and optimistic and airy and namaste. She's like the namaste of the books.

 

Britney: That's awesome. Yeah, I think as soon as we saw ... well, we listened to Heartless and then we kinda like stalked you. We saw that you did the Lunar Chornicles and we were like "Okay, we definitely have to listen to this now!"

 

Rebecca: Yayyy!

 

[19:45] Brad: To kind of piggyback off that, do you have a relationship with Marissa Meyer?

 

Rebecca: I do now. So, Cinder was one of the books that was her first book, and I think when I was reading it, I didn't realize how large a series it was going to be. I thought it was going to be a one-off. At the end, I realized "Oh, no, okay. I guess there'll be a book two." Like, I didn't realize that there was such a long journey that I was going to be taking with it. It was until after Book One and we started doing press for it that that's when I met her. I was able to - again, I tweeted at her and I'm like "Ohh, myyy, ummm, I hope you don't mind. I'm narrating..." So for the first one I sort of flew solo, and then all the other books, I'd hit her up. Also, Marissa is amazing when you see her live. When she launches a book, she comes up with the most clever fun games for her fans. They're called Lunar-tics, which are super cute

 

Brad: That's adorable.

 

Rebecca: She comes up with games and things which are themed around the books and stuff. A lot of people will do cosplay and stuff, and they'll dressed as their favorite characters and it's super fun. So whenever she does those events, she actually would love to never have to read aloud from the book. Whenever there's a city I'm relatively close to then Macmillan will send me there. So I met her in D.C. at a book store singing. After that we just sort of, you know..

 

Britney: That's so cool.

 

Brad: That is really awesome. To get a live audiobook reading?

 

Rebecca: It's super fun. When Heartless launched in New York, we went. It was a big launch, and I was at Barnes and Noble downtown It was so cool to see how many people were there for her. Rightfully so! Her imagination is - I mean, she's so clever. If you guys loved the little gems she expounded on in Heartless in terms of like adding Peter Peter. Or bringing in the Jabberwock as well as Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick. You mentioned why the Queen of Hearts is tubby, is that she loves lemon tart. I remember when I was reading it, thinking of like, "Alright Marissa, she is so cute! Of course she has a little ... I'd like a lemon tart!"

 

Britney: Right?!

 

Rebecca: All these descriptions of these snacks...

 

Brad: Which is why we brought cookies.

 

All: *laughter*

 

Rebecca: Yeah, she's just a master at really paying homage to an author or work or something that exists, and then really cleverly infusing neat, new ideas on that.

 

Britney: It was always very cool to be listening to Wonderland and just be able to picture it from the Disney animated movie. We see these things from our childhood and reading the book and everything, and then she just takes it and makes it bigger for us. It was really, really amazing.

 

Rebecca: Yeah, it's fun for me, too. I felt like, I don't know, when are you ever going to get to do that? No one normally gets to be all of the characters in Wonderland or the predecessors. I think I was most nervous about the Mad Hatter out of all the characters.

 

Brad: That was my favorite.

 

Rebecca: I love him. Love that twist at the end. The love triangle.

 

Brad: Yes!

Britney: Yes!

 

Rebecca: Which, I was also like, "He lurves himself some Jest..." And I was like "Yeah, that's so exciting."

 

Britney: As soon as he was giving Cath the side eye the first time he met her, I was like "... he's feeling something for Jest."

 

[23:41] Brad: Exactly. So how long does it take you to usually complete a book? What's your process?

 

Rebecca: I would say, I average about 120 pages a day.

 

Brad: Wow.

 

Rebecca: But I think I can do that because I've prepped the book so much. It's a little slower if there's a lot of dialogue. For me, at least, the fastest narration is when it's first person narration because then it feels the most like a monologue? Like I'm a character, I'm truly a character, I'm a person. Everything has a point of view from one single lens. Books that are in third person and then have multiple character who are all talking to each other, that requires me to really know what everybody sounds like. Then it's a little like rubbing the belly, patting the top of the head in terms of flipping back and forth. With preparation and with practice you get better and better at the whole flip back and forth. It's also fun for me, the one thing that I feel like I have to be mindful of is haste. Because I think if anything, I push haste. When it's exciting, I'm like "So then this happened, and this this happened, and then this, and then this," and it's like, okay. Let's slow down so that people can understand what you're trying to do here. I would say anywhere between 100 and - if the size of the font is ginormo, I can go through and do more than 120 pages a day! But in general... probably Winter took me three and a half days to do the whole thing. Just because it's really long. It's super satisfying. At the end, every single character that you've been introduced to at some point has a moment of reckoning and/or are reunited. She does an awesome job of making sure most of the resolutions happen

 

Britney: That's satisfying.

 

Rebecca: It is! especially for this series. The readers who were along for the ride and decided "I love these characters," I think got everything they were hoping for.

 

Brad: I hear nothing but positives from that series.

 

Rebecca: It's just a divergent from life. How can you not love unrequited love.

 

[26:09] Britney: Exactly. So, in addition to the Lunar Chronicles and Heartless, are there any other books that you recorded that you would recommend to us to put on our "Must Listen" list?

 

Rebecca: Hmm. What would I recommend? Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

 

Bradley: That's on our list!

 

Britney: We have that!

 

Bradley: We just bought this!

 

Rebecca: So, what's so good about it is - Have you guys ever read The Night Circus?

 

Bradley: That's on our list, too! *laughs*

 

Rebecca: It feels like that. I know a lot of people discuss that. But it's a really interesting- it's Stephanie's debut novel, and it's gonna be a series. So, don't expect it to end... It's a book where the first nine pages are a series of letters. On page 9, when a letter gets a response with another letter from a character that she's been writing to, as a fan I was like "Ohhh, what's gonna happen?!" Then, I did the ridiculous thing of, I was supposed to prepping, but I'm just rushed because I wanted to know what the plot was and I would have to remind myself like "Rebecca, you are writing an org chart, and you are trying to take notes on character descriptions." But I was sucked in. So I thought that was really really lovely. I hadn't done it yet, but have you guys ever read anything by E. Lockhart?

 

*Brad and Britney say no*

 

Rebecca: She's an amazing, amazing writer. YA. She also, as a nom de plume, she's Emily Jenkins. She's written a bunch of children's books and also adult novels. She wrote the book We Were Liars. I did not narrate that, but it's gorgeously narrated and I can't remember the narrator's name off the top of my head. But I just found I'm going to be recording her next book coming up in September, I think. So I'm pretty stoked about that. I think it's called Genuine Fraud. I haven't received my copy yet, so I can't tell you anything about it, but I do love her as an author. Like, I read everything of hers no matter what. So that's pretty exciting.

 

Britney: The title of those books sound really intriguing, too.

 

Rebecca: Yeah, she's so good. She's so, so, so good.

 

[28:26] Brad: So is there a series that you wish you could have narrated? Or a character that you wish you could your own spin to?

 

Rebecca: I guess the only thing that I can think of is... do you guys have one book that - in a pinch - you go back to rereading if you don't have anything to read at that time

 

Brad: Yeah, for me, it would be The Selection.

 

Rebecca: It is, it is. Dorky Rebecca loves Jane Eyre. Loves Jane Eyre. So I think even though people far more talented and British have recorded it, and actually in legit British have recorded it, there's something about that book that I just love so much and I feel that I could be her. There's other books that I love that would be ridiculous for me to attempt. For example, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is another one of my favorite books, but I think if I attempted to narrate that, it would just sound highly offensive. I would just kill it. Again, in environments that are so clearly created and crafted and relatable England and stuff like that.

 

[29:38] Brad: Awesome. So you already answered number 7, which is the must-list with - It's pronounced Care-uh-vel, right?

 

Rebecca: Yeah.

 

Brad: Yeah. That's definitely on our top list.

 

Britney: We just bought it like last week.

 

Brad: It's going to be a July release.

 

Rebecca: Oh, you did?

 

Brad: Yeah *laughs*

 

Rebecca: I just want to hear your opinion. Not because I want you to tell me about me, but I want to hear what you guys think about the book. I thought it was so good.

 

[30:00] Brad: Yes, definitely. So do you listen to audiobooks, or do you just stick with reading?

 

Rebecca: Honestly, most of the time, it's reading, because I live off my iPad. I read most often when my husband is asleep next to me, and I put the covers over so the illumination isn't so bright as to bother him when he's sleeping. Then I read and read and read and read. It was actually really hard for me to switch from actual books to devices, because I love the smell of the book, I love to dog ear, I used to write little notes to myself and underline things that I thought were profound. Then I was like "Oh, no, I can't move to a device! It sucks the soul out of the reading!" Well, you know what, honestly, the first series I ever read on a device were The Hunger Games.

 

Brad: I think that was my first series on a device, too!

 

Rebecca: So, not gonna lie, it's like 3 in the morning, I finished Book 2. I was like "*gasp* I can just press 'Buy Now' and it will be immediately in my..." It was like "*gasp*, This is why people use these." So I can buy it and 30 seconds later I'm like "What's going on, Katniss?!"

 

Britney: *laughs* What's going on, girl?!

 

Rebecca: Yeah, so oftentimes if I'm on a trip. I used to do a lot of marathon running, and for training purposes, your music playlist can get real old real fast. I don't know about you guys, you can love music, but if you hear the same - even the same order of songs - you need something more to inspire you. So I would listen to a lot at that point to just help me go out on a journey, like "See you in 10 miles!" So I'm just going to start at chapter 1 and take my mind somewhere else.

 

Britney: Yeah, that's where I get a lot of my listening done is the gym. Like you said, I just got tired of listening to music at a certain point. I like it, but the selection started getting the same. The playlist was all the same, and so I started listening to my books there, and it was awesome.

 

[32:15] Brad: What do you think about when people say that audiobook listening is not really reading? Because I feel like that is a big controversy, like a question that a lot of people have for us. "That's not really real reading." What do you think about that?

 

Britney: Yeah, we get a lot of judge. Judgy people.

 

Rebecca: I guess, in a way, if people are equating reading with your own understanding of the text and your own imagination treating the world and figuring out that world by yourself, yeah, the audiobook does allow you to let someone else tell you that story. However, there are so many people that, for whatever reason, reading itself is a chore, or not as easy. Or they're just not able to enjoy the process because it feels labored. For me, I feel like the story is the most important thing. How you get that story is whatever is going to bring you joy. I feel like the more that people read, I feel the more that they become empathetic and knowledgeable people. So however that information is distilled to you, I think, whatever is going to serve you best. You know? And as a narrator, I would like you to listen to audiobooks. *laughs*

 

Britney: *laughs* Right? That was a great answer. I think that is what we will tell people from now on. We'll be like "Hey, our favorite narrator told us this. So..."

 

Rebecca: I just think it's all about the story. It's not just like watching a television show where images also do the work. You really do have to focus and listen to the language and learn the style of the writer and go on a longer journey that requires patience and commitment. Even if you're not physically reading the text, I still feel like it's so valuable.

 

Britney: Yeah, and I feel like with Heartless in particular, at the end, the anger that comes through the Queen of Hearts when she's finally being faced with what happened to Jest - no spoilers still - but she's finally being faced in the court. That power that you were able to bring to her, that's something that I wouldn't have been able to properly convey in my own mind if I didn't have you narrating it because it was just so strong. It was just amazing to hear.

 

[34:45] Rebecca: That's really nice to hear. When I read the book, and I saw how much I loved Catherine in the beginning, and all the joy and hope, I realized that I had to earn "Off with his head."

 

Britney: Yes!

 

Rebecca: I had to earn that. If I did not do my job, then I did not earn the fact that she - for really tragic reasons, tragic and multi-dimensional reasons - she's not just an archetype. She's a complex human, and that's why. Because, to me, it was just tragic. But of course you know what's happening. I mean, hello, before page 1 you know that she turns into the crazy Queen of Hearts, right? But I think what made Marissa so brilliant in this particular book was that the whole time, you're hoping and wishing that it's not going to happen. Then, when she's mourning, you're mourning.

 

Britney: Yeah, I was like crying...

 

Rebecca: Like you are mad at Mary Ann for saying something.

 

Britney: Yeah, I was like "Mary Ann, you are not a best friend. Get out of here. I am so glad you get put with the White Rabbit now."

 

Rebecca: Exactly! Sorry, he wants things very timely, and he's always going to be late, Mary Ann.

 

Britney: It's like "Haha, girl, that's your karma." But yeah, that's what listening to a book does for me. It brings a whole new emotion  to it. Even if the narrator is not the best, it still educates me in a way of how things are pronounced, how things sound, what emotions the characters are supposed to go through - even if the narrator doesn't really fully commit to those emotions. It still gives me a glimpse into what the author wanted the story to be read as. I agree, it's all about the story.

 

[36:47] Brad: So, before we go, we really love when narrators make a little shoutout to AudioShelf in their own kind of voices. Do you think you could do "Thank you for listening to AudioShelf" in your favorite voice?

 

Rebecca: Mmhmm. How am I going to do this. Let me see if my - okay - *rolls R* - okay it's working. So... "*yawn* Thank yoouuu, forrrrrr listening ... *sigh* ... to Audio Shelf. Where is the tuna tart?"

 

Britney: *laughing* Loved it!

 

[37:30] Rebecca: Thanks, Chestshire. I had that a-ha moment when I was prepping it when I was like "*gasp* What if every 'R' is a purr?" I was talking to my husband - he's a writer and actor as well. He's getting ready to publish his first book actually, so shoutout to my babe. It's called Sinner. It is a psychological thriller.

 

*Britney and Brad gasp in awe*

 

Rebecca: It's not YA, at all.

 

Brad / Britney: That's okay!

 

Rebecca: It's so great. It chronicles the idea of a Pentecostal fundamentalist serial killer, who is basically killing women specifically who he finds morally corrupt, based on his own skewed principles. So, anyway, plug out for Christopher Graves. Oh yeah, he was like, "Babe, of course playing Chestshire Cat would purr..."

 

Brad: *laughs* Of course!

 

Britney: *laughs* You had this great revelation, and he's like, "duh."

 

[38:30] Rebecca: You're in Baltimore, right?

 

Brad: Yes, we're in Baltimore. We're actually going to the Orioles' game tonight, which is why I have my shirt on... *shows Orioles shirt*

 

Rebecca: Reppin'! I'm from Boston, and I have all of the Boston teams in my heart. Even though I've lived behind enemy lines in New York City for a long time now

 

Britney: It's dangerous in there. *laughs*

 

Rebecca: It is is dangerous. But I have family that lives in Crofton, Maryland.

 

Brad: Oh my gosh! Yes. I know tons of people in Crofton.

 

Rebecca: Do you? Well, next time I know I'm visiting, maybe I'll Tweet at ya!

 

Britney: Yes! Next time we go to New York, we want to Tweet at you!

 

Rebecca: Oh yeah! I'll take you out on my town!

 

Brad: We love New York City. It's like our favorite place in the world.

 

Britney: The place we dream to live at, but know we will never afford.

 

Rebecca: Yeah, you do have to love it. I think the pace has to live in you, or it will suffocate you. For me, I love visiting other places and then I always say: "You can take the girl out of the pace, but you can't take the pace out of the girl." I found after a while of lounging, I'm like "Okay."

 

Brad: We gotta do something.

 

[39:52] Rebecca: Well thank you guys for having me!

 

Britney: Thank you!

 

Brad: Thank you for being a part of our little AudioShelf family.

 

Britney: And tea party! *laughs*

 

Rebecca: Thank you for my tea party, and thank you AudioShelf listeners. Please subscribe to the B&B podcast!

 

Britney: *laughs* You do a better job than us. That's where we always stumble over...

 

Brad: Yes. We would love to cheers, can we cheers? Ohhh.

 

*all cheers and laugh*

 

Rebecca: With my Starbucks...

 

Britney: Shoutout to Starbucks!

 

Rebecca: This was super fun.

 

Brad: Thank you!

 

Britney: Thank you! Have a good weekend.

 

Rebecca: You too! Happy Fourth! Byyye!

 

Outro

 

[40:33] Britney: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Rebecca Soler. She is a total gem and we love her even more now.

 

Brad: We're like best friends now.

 

Britney: Yeah, she's our best friend. And, Rebecca, and if you disagree ... sorry!

 

Brad: Sorry, not sorry, because - we love you.

 

Britney: *laughs* Yes. Please subscribe to us on iTunes Podcast, Google Play Music, and Stitcher. Follow along on Twitter, our handle is @AudioShelfMe. Like us on Facebook to see what else we're up to.

 

Brad: Mmhmm. If you want two free audiobooks, please check out our website and click on the Audible Affiliate link to download  a free 30 day trial to get those two free audiobooks.

 

Britney: And, July 11 is Amazon Prime Day. Which means you can get a 40% discount on an Audible subscription for 6 months if you are a Prime member. So, check that that out!

 

Brad: That's pretty nifty.

 

Britney + Brad: Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye! Cheers!

 

*cheers*

 

Brad: *laughing* That was weak.

 

Britney: *laughing* It was...

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