Sunday, February 2, 2014

9 Question of the Week: Do You Listen to Audio Books? + Interview Question with Laurie Boyle Crompton!

Hey everyone! It’s Clara Kensie, back with a new Question of the Week! In case you haven’t noticed, we’re shaking things up a little here at Adventures (for starters, have you noticed our new url? How awesome is that?), and now everyone on the team will be answering the QotW whenever they can, along with all of you!

February 2, 2014

Photo credit:

Do you listen to audio books?

Martina: I've got this plan that I'm going to start listening as I walk or bike or run, but 1) I don't have time to walk or bike or run, and 2) when I MAKE time to walk or bike or run, I inevitably end up zoning out as I chase writing-related thoughts. I'm a visual learner, so unless I see the words, I'm doomed!

Jan: No, but I really wish I did. It would be able to enjoy so many more books if I could do something else while listening to them.

Clara: I try to listen to audio books. The awesome, generous website has over twenty free downloads of popular YA lit and classic audio books every summer, and last summer I downloaded all of them, planning to listen to them during my long commutes to work. But like Martina, I always end up zoning out. Maybe it’s because I have wonky hearing and I process things much better when I see them rather than hear them. Every workday before I pull my car out of the garage, I plug my tablet into the speakers and hit play on my latest audio book. It’s taken me nine months to listen to two and a half books. I’ll start off listening, but even if it’s a wonderful book (I’m currently listening to Grave Mercy by Robin LaFever) my mind wanders, and I realize that I’ve zoned out through the last fifteen minutes of the book, and have to rewind. At this pace, I will probably finish Grave Mercy and maybe only one more audio book before summer. This summer’s YA lineup at looks fantastic, and I plan to download them all. Will I actually listen to them? I promise you that I will try!

Alyssa: I completely can't afford audiobooks! They are so expensive, but I wish I did because I spend a lot of time on transit going to and from school everyday, and sometimes it's really difficult to read on the bus. I think audiobooks would be the perfect way to pass an hour long transit trip by getting sucked into a book, without getting motion sickness or being too dark to read!

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you listen to audio books? Where do you listen? Do you do anything else while you're listening?

Interview with Laurie Boyle Crompton

We also have the pleasure of having Laurie Boyle Crompton answer a question for us today about her new book coming out February 4th, THE REALS PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH. The book deals with prom queens, high school, and reality television, so we asked Laurie to put herself in the spotlight.

If you could compete in a reality TV show, or be in a reality TV show, which type of show would you go on?

We’ve all watched reality shows where people try to out-sing each other, or out-design each other, or out-smize each other. I’ve often thought it would be cool if they had a reality show for writers where they compete in a series of writing challenges. But then I imagine what that would look like and realize; it would look like a bunch of people doing what I’m doing right now. Sitting here at a keyboard typing away, occasionally biting my lip or wrinkling my brow and… that’s about it. I get up and make myself a cup of tea from time to time. I ignore the phone when it rings. I don’t even listen to music when I write. It’s just me; tap, tap, tapping away.

I can imagine the host narrating the action in a low voice, “Ooo, it looks like she’s going with the adjective ‘quickly’ on this one. It’s a risky move, but let’s hope it pays off for her in the final revision round.” Not exactly the most dramatic or engaging television show ever created. In order to make it more interesting they’d have to do something along the lines of having writers work a thousand feet above a shark tank while they narrate stories in midair. Upside down. If the writers pause for more than twelve seconds they begin to drop and can only stop their descent into the shark tank by quickly continuing their tale. I’m glad I don’t need that degree of motivation to be productive, but it’s a show I wouldn’t mind watching.

I’d actually love to see a program like “The Prom Queens Wannabes” (the show from The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High) done in a less-invasive-and-horrific manner. Prom Queen Camp sounds like it should be a real place. A place that would make for some great television.

About the Author

Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) and THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH (Sourcebooks, 2013 & 2014) as well as the upcoming ADRENALINE CRUSH from Farrar Straus Giroux. Laurie graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a major in English and minor in Journalism. She’s written for national magazines like ALLURE as well as numerous trade publications and has appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. Yes, that is an actual thing that people sometimes get to be. When she’s not writing Laurie enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, cross-country skiing, running, going to the movies and drinking tea by the gallon. She lives near NYC, but loves to escape to the mountains in New Paltz, NY where she and her family can often be found climbing over rocks or tromping through the forest. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Agency.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

About The Book

Shannon’s ‘clique’ is just her and her best friend and she has a super-embarrassing nickname that won’t go away. It is no huge shock when her classmates vote her least likely to be crowned Prom Queen. What is shocking is the new hidden camera reality show she finds herself starring in, titled The Prom Queen Wannabes! Shannon and two other Wannabes must battle to be elected Prom Queen and snag the One! Million! Dollar! prize. After a summer of makeovers and training at Prom Queen Camp, the hidden cameras watch the three of them enter their senior year equipped with secret skills to help wage war on the popular set. Things at Westfield High are about to get ugly, and Shannon must decide how much she's willing to give up for a shot at winning that tiara.

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads


  1. I get totally distracted when I've tried listening to an audio book. My auditory skills aren't that good. I was the kid in high school & university who had to take notes and doodle what the prof was saying in order to remember it :)

    Laurie's book sounds awesome!

  2. THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH sounds fantastic. Love its bright cover!

    I listen to audio books if I have a road trip to go on. They keep me awake! When we moved from California to Florida last month, I listed to A NORTHERN LIGHT, STORY OF A GIRL, HOW I LIVE NOW, and BLOOD RED ROAD -- all books I've wanted to read for ages, but somehow never got to. All four were awesome!

  3. I get all my audio book at the library and download them to my mp3 player. I love listening while I go on walks with my dog or at lunch. I read way more books that way and highly recommend it.

    Thanks for the link, Clara. I just bookmarked it to check out for books to download.

  4. I tried an audio book for the FIRST time a couple of weeks ago. It's not bad, but sometimes it's like...what did he say? and I can't look back on the page to see what the word is--or stop and savor a good line. I can see how it would make for a unique reading experience, though, and would be a good thing if your eyes were already fatigued!

  5. Great question about Audiobooks. My answer is a resounding YES!, both for myself and for my kids.
    If I love a book, I will both read and "read" it in audiobook form, particularly if the author him/herself does the narrating. I'm doing this right now with Malcolm Gladwell. I find that I hear and learn more (in the case of nonfiction) when I listen than when I just read the book on paper/screen. And for kids, it's a great way to expand their independent reading beyond their current reading level.

  6. I've never gotten in the habit of listening to books, but I really mean to try this soon. I haven't developed good listening skills, but I think it would be worth learning to listen to books. I spend a lot of time driving that could be a lot more productive if I would just learn to listen well. The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High sounds terrific. It is going on my TBR list now.

  7. Interesting responses, everyone!

    My mother LOVES audio books. She and my stepdad go on a lot of road trips, and they listen to audio books as they drive. For her birthday one year, I got her all of the Harry Potter books on audio. She still says it's the her favorite present of all time.

  8. I listened to a friend's audio book during a road trip once, but that's it for me.

  9. I LOVE audio books. Probably more than 1/2 my reading is done that way. I'm so addicted to them that I'll turn it on for even a 2 mile ride to the grocery store. I don't zone out at all--my only problem is that I can't write down really good quotes to blog about….although I have been known to scribble while driving. Not good practice. Get mine via the library.


Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)