Authors and narrators greatly appreciate the people who take the time to listen to our audiobooks and then write thoughtful reviews. In this third installment of the series, I’m excited to interview audiobook blogger Jennie Mortarotti from Narrator Reviews to find out about her review interests and process.
I live alone with two cats, one cranky and one snooty and two outdoor cats I rescued. I teach photoshop and do computer repairs. I spend some time doing crafts and making costume jewelry. Repurposing things is a fun way to use leftovers and throwaways, so I spend time doing that. I love browsing around in antique and collectible stores.
10 Questions For Jennie
1. When did you start listening to audiobooks?
Several years ago I was driving for a delivery company and started listening to audiobooks. Night driving was especially boring and I was thinking of quitting the job, but once I got onto audiobooks, I lasted about 3 more years.
2. What prompted you to start writing audiobook reviews?
I was keeping a Wordpad list of the bad narrators and my thoughts about them, mainly to not waste time or money on books they narrated. I found many readers that were really great so expanded my notes to include them. Information about some of the narrators was pretty scarce, and I wondered if others looked for the same information. So I thought I’d start a blog about them. At first it was mind numbing to figure out how to use the Google Blogger so decided to try WordPress. I googled a narrator, and the blog I didn’t finish came up on the first page of Google. I was surprised to say the least, so, of course I put my mind to figuring it out.
3. Where do you write your reviews? If it’s a public place, why did you choose it? If it’s at home, describe the room and/or stuff on your desk. A picture would be fabulous!
Sometimes I do it in the dining room on the table and most often I am in the bedroom. When the weather is nice I do it outside. I could be anywhere as I have more than one device and use Dropbox so I take notes as I’m listening.
4. How do you decide whether to read a book or listen to it? Do you ever do both for the same book?
If it’s something I’m interested in reading and it’s not on audio I sometimes write the author and ask when they expect to have an audio edition. I have no plans on doing both. I do collect old books, mostly history, and I do read those.
I decide by authors I know, titles that are interesting, book covers that are catchy and also by narrator.
I rely on Audible’s very good book blurbs and excellent samples. I’ve found some new authors and narrators on Audible that I adore.
5. Do you have a go-to genre?
I love cozy mysteries and I like humor, getting both in one book is a bonus. I like silly books like the talking chihuahua Pepe in Waverly Curtis’ Barking Detective Series or Sid the skeleton in Leigh Perry’s Family Skeleton Mysteries. I love Lee Goldberg’s Mr Monk books. For really cozy, cozies I listen to M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth or Agatha Raisin Mysteries.
6. What is your review policy? Do you accept review requests from narrators?
I do accept from narrators, authors and audiobook producers. I like to first listen to the narrator if I don’t know their work, usually by going to Audible or Soundcloud. I don’t listen to books with a lot of erotica in them. I know it’s popular today but I just don’t like listening to details of someone else’s sex life. I don’t care for a lot of swearing that’s overused. I like the Evanovich books, but the gratuitous swearing is hard to listen to. There are some genres I don’t listen to much, but I am open to new things. I’ve found I like steampunk just from accepting a review request. So I’m open to new things.
7. Describe how you approach your reviews. Do you have different criteria for different genres?
I am fair about the reviews. There is no difference as far as criteria goes. If I didn’t like a book I may try two or even three times to listen to it again. It may just be I’m not in the mood right then for that type of book or it might be the narration is off. When I listen, I jot down any particular thoughts I have about the narration and other things of interest.
8. Do you multitask when listening to books? If yes, what else do you do while you listen, and how does listening to books affect the other activity?
That’s the wonderful thing about audiobooks you can do anything while listening. I could be playing games or chatting on facebook, or mopping the floor or combing the cat. I’m always doing something. It can only interfere in other tasks when I can’t hear the book, so it’s other things may interfere in my hearing the book.
9. Looking back through the reviews you’ve written, please share the link(s) of 1-3 that were favorites of yours and explain why they are special to you.
1. Tell Me Where it Hurts By Dr. Nick Trout
I especially love animals and found this a heartwarming and beautiful book.
2. Anne of Green Gables By: L.M. Montgomery
The Anne books have been favorites of mine since I read my first one when I was about twelve. They are classics in every sense of the word.
3. Snobs By Julian Fellowes
It’s intriguing how society changes over time, and Snobs is wonderful at showing the way people thought and conducted themselves in the past.
10. As a narrator, I sometimes feel I have a spiritual connection to some of the characters in the books. If you were a character in a novel, who would you be, and why?
Muriel Wylie Blanchet in A Curve in Time, as she had a sense of adventure, was daring, and at the same time, sensible. To spend summers with 5 children and a dog sailing in many uncharted waters took skill, and courage. I felt very connected to her as she detailed her adventures. Life did not happen to her, she happened to life.
Connect with Jennie on these sites:
Thanks, Jennie, for spending some time with me and giving readers a peak inside your world! One thing I’ve discovered through this series is that the highlighted reviews make me want to add books to my queue. For instance, I’m sure I’m not the only Downton Abbey fan to notice a Julian Fellowes book among Jennie’s favorite reviews!
Do you have a question for Jennie? Please leave a comment!