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The Power of Listening
Stuff ‘N Nonsense 03-08-23
Kim Van Meter

Last year, Sarah Puckett, the owner of Fireside Audio, approached me with an offer to produce The Auction series that I wrote under my J.H. Leigh pen name. I was flattered and humbled that she was so moved by the story that she said, “I have to have this in my catalog” and soon after, we signed contracts for the entire series.

Fast forward to now, the audio version of ‘The Girls They Stole’ is finally live and I’ve been floored by how the narration has ignited fresh interest in the series. Audio book listeners are an entirely new segment of readers and interest in audio books has skyrocketed in recent years.

So, as an author, it makes sense to make sure you’re reaching as many segments of the market as possible.

A little about the process, it’s thrilling but time consuming. Squeezing in time to listen to the countless narrators in the audition process was a challenge but I loved it, too.

There was something exciting about listening to the narrators put their individual spin on the characters’ personalities and each time a new audition popped up in my inbox I squealed like a little kid.

I can only imagine the process is similar to that of auditioning actors for a film or TV show. It’s really a fascinating experience and a reminder that I have the best job in the world.

Currently, my film and TV agent is shopping the series in the hopes of finding interest for a limited run series and hearing the narration come alive, only heightened my excitement to see the series find life within a different medium.

Of course, I was happy to pass along a few promo codes to my agent in the hopes of increasing the odds of finding a home for this amazing series and she was thrilled to have, yet another, way to entice the right people.

But here’s the thing about this process … it’s l-o-n-g-g-g-g.

And since a watched pot never boils, I try not to focus too hard on the process, allowing it to unfold organically however the Universe intends.

With that said, there was a moment while listening to the narration that shivers danced along my skin because I couldn’t believe I’d actually created such an incredible piece of work.

Imposter syndrome is a constant companion for most writers, so when we occasionally see our work through kinder eyes, it’s an incredible moment.

In that one moment, the incessant whisper in our head trying its best to convince us that we’re talentless hacks, is silent and we are in awe that those words came out of our head.

It’s those rare — and much needed — moments that renew our faith that we chose the right career. I’ll be honest, this business will beat you up and leave you for dead if you don’t have the stubborn will to keep putting in the work despite the upper cuts straight to your ego.

If you’re an audio book listener, I have a dark read that will leave you shaken and needing more, and if luck is on my side, it might even make it to your living room via a streaming service, such as Netflix.

In the meantime, the audio book is ready and waiting for your listening pleasure.



Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide a monthly column. She can be reached at