Author Amanda Reynolds Shares Her Excitement for Audiobooks

Whilst I wrote Close to Me, I’d occasionally imagine a potential readership, or perhaps dream of one, but I’d never considered there might be an audio version. The first time was when a gentleman in one of my creative writing classes, who is visually impaired, inquired if he might be able to listen to my book. He’s a voracious reader, as all good writers are, devouring over two hundred books a year, all of them audio.

A few months later, whilst on a train to Paris, I popped in my earphones to listen to the finished audio version of my book. It was quite an experience, and I soon found I’d forgotten I was the author, sinking into my seat, and the story. Tunnels and food service could not distract me from Rachel Atkins’s voice, the way she drew me in and held my attention to reveal Jo’s story. When we arrived at Gard du Nord I realized the journey had sped by. Little did I know a few months later I would be in New York, meeting the incredible team at Penguin Random House Audio.

Audiobooks have come such a long way in recent times. With digital worlds opening up for us all, downloading a book for a busy commute, or a plane or train journey, or to listen to as we cook, exercise, or relax, is easier than it’s ever been.

Listening, rather than reading, provides a different but equally rewarding experience. In fact, during that same conversation in class, long before I walked into a Manhattan skyscraper, we’d debated this very point.

“Are you still a reader,” one of the class asked the gentleman, “if you listen to books instead of reading them off the page?”

“Does it matter?” he’d asked.

I tend to agree.

As a dog walker, I’ve been gripped by Clare Mackintosh whilst I trudged across benign wheat-planted fields (particularly enjoyable, as we share the same narrator), and as a traveller, I’ve been thirty thousand feet up in the air as Stephen King’s chilling introduction to Six Scary Stories reeled me in. Audiobooks are immersive, inclusive, and enriching experiences, and I’m so proud to be part of the exciting audiobook market.

Close to Me

Listen to an excerpt of Amanda Reynolds’ thrilling audiobook! Close to Me