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Today I’m delighted to spotlight Karen M Cox’s first audiobook, I Could Write a Book, which is a variation of Jane Austen’s Emma set in Kentucky during the 1970s. I had the honor of taking part in the blog tour in 2017 when the book was first released, and I absolutely loved it. (Feel free to check out my review.)

To celebrate its release as an audiobook, I invited Karen to share her playlist for the novel. Please give her a warm welcome!

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Hello everyone! And thank you, Anna, for inviting me to stop in at Diary of an Eccentric to celebrate the release of my first audiobook, I Could Write a Book, narrated by Emily Rahm.

I Could Write a Book was a story that was several years in the making. I started it soon after finishing Find Wonder in All Things, thinking it would be the next stop on my “Jane Austen in the 20th Century” journey. It wasn’t, as it turned out, because I had other stories banging on the inside of my head that had to burst forth. But finally, in September 2017, I Could Write a Book made its way to ebook and print formats.

I became interested in audiobook production early last year and put two of my titles, I Could Write a Book and Son of a Preacher Man on ACX to look for the perfect narrators. I had already decided to wait for a narrator that I thought was just right for the stories, and if it happened, that was great, but if not, I’d try again another time. I’d nearly given up when I heard Emily’s audition. She was very nearly perfect!

Audiobooks are a natural extension of my writing process, I think. I’ve used music as a “muse-enhancer” for years and make playlists for most everything I write. It isn’t so much that I write to music (I find it too distracting.) Rather I use the music to delve deeper into a character or scene, help me flesh it out a bit more.

Plus, playlists = fun!

I Could Write a Book’s playlist was probably the easiest one I’ve made so far. Many of the songs are from Me Decade. The 1970s, no matter what one might think about the hairstyles or the fashions, were good years music. I was a child and early adolescent during that decade (born in 1965) so I remember a lot of the songs playing on the radio.

I Could Write a Book’s playlist is also the longest I’ve created—45 titles strong. Some songs suggested scenes to me: Perry Como’s “Home for the Holidays” sets the stage for a Christmas party at Donwell Farms; “Love Train” (the O’Jays) tells us Emma’s mindset when she is in full match-making mode; and “Junior’s Farm” by Wings could be playing in the background at George Knightley’s Donwell strawberry party. Sometimes it’s the lyrics that speak to me; sometimes the music just sets a scene’s mood.

Of course, there are a couple of great representatives of the whole story: “I Could Write a Book” as sung by Harry Connick, Jr. from the When Harry Met Sally soundtrack has a friends-to-lovers vibe that’s perfect for the book, and “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen is another example.

A couple of song titles are mentioned specifically in scenes from the book: Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” is playing when George arrives to help Emma watch their toddler nephew and colicky niece and realizes she’s got it all in hand. “Color My World” by Chicago is playing while Emma broods over “losing” George.

What surprised me most, though, was how many of these songs informed characters’ personalities and actions for me. For those of you familiar with the music of the time, consider Emma’s predictable existence deftly described in “Another Day” by Wings, or George’s swoon-worthiness as sung by Karen Carpenter in “Close to You.”

Or, can’t you just see the mysterious Frank Churchill arriving to the beginning riff of “Gimme Shelter” on his way to shake up little Highbury? Or poor Jane Fairfax at her piano, wistfully singing “What I Did for Love”?  Obviously, Emma and George have to dance to Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” And Emma and George’s love story is traced through several songs: “Sister Golden Hair” (America), “I’m Not in Love (10cc), “Wild World” (Cat Stevens), “Show Me the Way” (Peter Frampton), and Harry Connick Jr.’s “It Had to Be You”, to name a few.

I hope you all will enjoy the audiobook for I Could Write a Book. While you’re waiting for an audiobook credit, or maybe in between listening to the chapters, be sure to check out the playlist and see if you can spot the characters in the music.

Spotify Playlist

Note: On YouTube, I sometimes choose a live version for a playlist—for the energy, or the arrangement—or just if I like the live rendition better. I love live music!

YouTube Playlist

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About I Could Write a Book

A Modern Variation of Jane Austen’s Emma (For fans of romantic comedy, coming of age, historical romance, and Southern fiction)

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich…” Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village 200 years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world.

I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered, and predictable, if a bit confining. Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who has come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country.

Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.

Rich with humor, poignancy, and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming of age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.

Listen to a sample/Buy on Audible

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About the Author

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of five novels accented with history and romance. She also loves writing short stories and has contributed to four Austen-inspired anthologies.

I Could Write a Book is her first audiobook.

Karen was born in Everett, WA, but now lives in a quiet little Central Kentucky town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.

Connect with Karen: WebsiteAmazon Author PageAll Karen’s Spotify PlaylistsKaren’s You Tube Channel (videos, playlists, etc.)

If you would like bits of authorly goodness in your inbox each month (updates, sales, book recommendations, etc.) sign up for her News & Muse Letter. She loves to hear from readers, so don’t be shy. Contact her through social media, her website, or on-line stores.

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About the Narrator

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Emily Rahm is an actress residing in New York City with her husband, Kendall, and her dog, Monroe. She loves to read, so narrating was a natural extension of her literary affinities and her acting skills. Her favorite movie is The Princess Bride, and her favorite ice cream flavor is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. You can find her at her website, on Twitter, and on Instagram (emkrahm).

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