The Outcast’s Becoming an Audiobook!


We didn’t have a TV for the majority of my childhood. So before I was old enough to read, my cat and I spent a lot of time stretched across the kitchen countertop, watching my mother make supper and listening to audiobooks.

Twenty-three years later, my husband and I have also chosen not to have a TV.  We sometimes watch movies on my laptop or download a show that takes about ten years to complete because our Internet is created through our darling one-year-old running her walker back and forth across the floor (kidding).

But we really do not miss TV.

Okay, I’ll be honest . . . sometimes I miss TV. And whenever we’re somewhere with cable (a restaurant, a hotel, even the hospital), I am like a two-year-old: my eyes glued to the television screen, unable to hold coherent conversations as I am completely distracted by whatever drama or comedy is about to unfold.

So I get my story “fix” through audiobooks, just as I had when I was a child.

Because of this, on Tuesday, when I learned that The Outcast is becoming an audiobook through Oasis audio, my excitement made it seem that I had just signed a movie deal with Warner Brothers.

I could fold laundry or cook supper and listen to my own story, how cool is that?

The reader Tavia Gilbert and I exchanged emails, and I felt that I had found a perfect match for my characters: Tavia is fun-loving and sincere and uses as many exclamation points as I do!

The only problem is that Tavia does not have a Plain background, and The Outcast has eighty-seven Pennsylvania Dutch words, only a few of which I can pronounce.

So I talked to my mother-in-law, and she – whose father was kicked out of the Amish church when he was seventeen – offered to help us with the dialect. To make sure that we got everything right, my mother-in-law  also contacted her aunt (who was also formerly Amish) to double-check the pronunciation list.

This afternoon, we did a three-way call, and my mother-in-law used Pennsylvania Dutch dialect to comment on the weather, which caused all of us to crack up. Then she explained that w’s are changed to v’s: like Vednesday, vater, velcome. And that sometimes three syllable words will be combined to two syllable words: fam-i-ly becomes fom-ly.

Because Tavia’s been conducting her own research, it did not take us long to do our “work.” We then chatted about The Outcast and our vision for it. I loved hearing the excitement in Tavia’s voice and to know that she will be in her studio this week, using that excitement to conjure forth my characters.

What a dream come true!

Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, do you have a favorite?

Here are a few words from The Outcast’s pronunciation list; now you can see why we had some trouble!

gemaeschde grummbeere
Gott ist die Liebe, läßt mich   erlösen; Gott ist die Liebe, er liebt auch mich
ich liebe dich



  1. When I commuted to work, I listened to audiobooks during the long ride. I loved listening to Agatha Christie’s books, especially the Hercule Poirot books. David Suchet, the actor who played Hercule Poirot on PBS, read some of those.

  2. Rebekah Monday says:

    Oh Jolina, I love it! I too have went sans cable/satellite this past year. I’m also glued to the set like a magnet to metal anytime I’m at my mom’s, McDonald’s, doctors office, etc! My mom DVRs my favorite shows and I go up there to watch them a time or two a month but other than that we’re strictly on DVDs and the A&E app on my phone (must have Duck Dynasty!). I have never listened to an audiobook but you’ve piqued my interest. I may have to see what all the buzz is about now. :-)

    • Oh, DO listen to some audiobooks, Rebekah! It makes a car ride so much more enjoyable…cooking, too! And I need to check out Duck Dynasty–everybody’s crazy about it right now! : )

      • Rebekah Monday says:

        I will definitely put audiobooks on my To Do list. :-) Sadly, I don’t seem to have as much time as I’d like to read lately so that might be a partial solution. Of course, nothing can replace the feeling of a good novel between ones fingers.
        You absolutely must watch Duck Dynasty. I have the free A&E app on my iPhone and I keep up with the show on there. They’re Christians, rednecks, hunters and accidental comedians, all the best things in life! I laughed so hard I hurt the first time I saw an episode.

  3. Congratulations, Jolina. And thanks for sharing this behind the scenes perspective on producing an audiobook. It’s fun to see how different versions of a book come together. Love the childhood picture, too!

  4. My husband and I chose an audiobook for all our road trips. It takes us a while to get through them sometimes because we’ll stop and chat about it in between, but it’s a really wonderful way for us to read a book together :)

    • I love the idea of listening to audiobooks together, Natalia! I think my husband and I would have to take turns selecting the books, though. He likes nonfiction best!

  5. So excited to learn about this! How fantastic that folks will have another way to enjoy your superb novel. As to which audio books I’ve enjoyed, the most recent was our very own Kimberly Brock’s The River Witch. Magical. (my review: :)

    • I LOVED Kim’s The River Witch. I cannot imagine how lyrical it must sound. I need to purchase the audiobook as well. Thanks for this, Katherine!

  6. That photo of you and your cat listening to books is adorable, Joline! Seriously.
    I’ve never gotten into listening to audio books. I’m not sure why. But I’m thrilled you are getting one done. I know lots of other folks who really love them!

  7. Aw, thanks for the comment about the picture, Cynthia. It is fun to dig back through those memories. Though I’ve listened to audio books from time to time, I haven’t been THIS in love with them until my daughter’s birth. I don’t have as much time to read, and I miss the stories so much otherwise. Audio books are the perfect fit for me. Now, I especially enjoy listening to them in the car or while I’m cooking supper. : )

  8. Oooh. With each post, I grow more and more excited about your book, Jolina. We recently cut our Directv subscription, which means we get four local stations, which means … well, there’s nothing to watch, and we aren’t watching. And WE LOVE IT. Seriously.

    I’m new to audiobooks, but found them oh-so-helpful when I was running laps around a boring track. What a great way to pass the time. Now I just need my husband to warm up to the idea of audio books during road trips. Problem is: we do NOT have the same taste in genres.

    PS That photo of you and the kitty: SO precious.
    PS 2 I LOVE the way you’re working with your voice talent to get the words right (and I’m fascinated by the words that will appear in your novel as well. My novel has quite a bit of Spanish in it, so it’s been fun to work with my little sister (big bros big sis program) on the translations. Since I speak ZERO Spanish, she’s getting a REAL kick out of my mispronunciations.)
    PS3 I’m recognizing some of those German-sounding words from my one year of German in high school.

  9. Oh my goodness!!! Congrats congrats congrats!!!!

  10. And that picture! Perfection!

  11. Hey, Melissa! My husband and I have completely different reading tastes as well, so I have to turn my audiobooks down whenever he comes in the kitchen because the descriptions drive him nuts! ; )

    And that’s fun that you recognize some of the German words. Since PA Dutch is not recorded, it was very difficult to nail down!

Speak Your Mind

Connect with: