I turned 50 this past Monday. That’s a half century. The day before my birthday I found a letter my middle sister had written to me when I turned 20. In it she wrote “can you believe we are this old!”  Yes, yes I can. I believed it then, I believe it now, and I am so grateful to have made it this far. I can name classmates, relatives, and friends who did not get to experience this age.

50 is one of those ages common to goal-setting benchmarks. By the time I’m 50 I want to have done <insert goal here>. Although I am a goal-oriented person, the only goal I had for 50 was more of a statement “I’m going to be one of those women who wears her hair long at 50.” This was from years ago watching my mom and her friends cut their hair when they became “too old for long hair”. Thankfully times shift and it is not even unusual that I run around in the same hairstyle I had when I was 9.

In Development is also about achieving goals. cafe2ecc-268c-467d-a1e4-313257f0d071Cobie has her eye set on a specific movie role. Lila has her eye set on greater media exposure before her next album drop. Spoiler alert: this is a romance novel so they also find each other along the way. I adore this story, even after listening to myself read it over and over again. I shared a bit about my journey to audiobooks back in January.

I had so much fun making this audiobook. And it’s hard work, yet so rewarding. There are frustrations- there is a major change I would have made, but the time just wasn’t there. It can be overwhelming and difficult to hear the subtleties when you listen to your voice over and over again, working to remove extraneous sounds, re-recording bits that came out wrong, searching for mispronounced words and doubled-up or missed sentences.

It’s also very satisfying to bring characters to life. And anxiety producing. Not everyone will agree with your take on a character. Not everyone will like your voice (one kid told me she can’t believe people want to listen to me- “no offense, Mom”. Great. None taken). The act of getting a book out there, the satisfaction of doing something you have dreamed of for years, the joy of broadening the audience and impact of a book. That makes every one of those 80 or so hours spent recording, editing, and analyzing the audio file well worth it.

I have some narrators I just adore who I will listen to anything they read. Christine Williams is one. 0BE98CD0-D0F9-4D72-9901-08C62A02630AShe reads most of Ann McMan’s books. Her voices and character performances are wonderful. Christine Williams could read the phone book to me. I may or may not have listened to approximately 60 hours of her reading while I painted last summer.





Abby Crayden reads a number of books by various authors. She reads one of my favorite Radclyffe novels, Fated Love, and is the voice of Quinn. 3F3FD972-84D0-40AC-96A6-F3FCE664122DSo sexy. Even when I read the book in print I hear her voice.



Lisa Cordileone is the voice of Robin Alexander’s books. She captures their humor so well. These are favorite car trip books for me.DEC05865-8CE2-4504-8F1C-DF88BACF96F5








Some authors read their own stuff. I love listening to Georgia Beers read Starting From Scratch.

And Karin Kallmaker does a sweet turn on her novella Comfort and Joy.

Audible lets me have a few free audio codes for In Development and so I will give one away here. Comment below if you would like to be entered into that drawing. I will draw at 5pm on Friday March 8.

If you have stories of goals you met recently, or are looking forward to achieving, please share those below! I get to continue on my audio journey with When the Stars Sang by Caren Werlinger. Look for it in early summer! DBB21EFC-9E30-46ED-8A63-22B650BDF944



  1. Congrats on turning fabulous 50! I’d agree with you that Christine Williams, Abby Craden, and others like Angela Dawe (Lee Winter’s latest whose name escapes me) are my go to narrators. I’m sure you’ll be next on my list when I listen to Rachel Spangler’s work.


    • Jules- I drew your name for the audiobook code. I sent you a friend request on FB (at least I think it is you :)). You can PM me your email and I will send you the code to get a free audio of In Development.


  2. Happy birthday, Ann! I’m looking forward to reaching this pinnacle myself. My goal at the moment is to outlive my mother who died 4 days before my birthday this year. I wish you many more years of love, laughter and friendship!


  3. Congratulations on turning 50 and In Development which is queued up on my iPhone for my next listen. When I turned 50 I stopped dyeing my hair to discover I am completely white. Who knew? However I got so annoyed st being treated like I had suddenly become I dyed it. Now it’s purple seemed like a good idea at the time.


  4. Congrats on rocking that sweet 5-0! And congrats on rocking your voice on an audiobook!

    I mean, how cool are both those accomplishments!!!!!!

    (PS. They’re supa-dupa fly cool.)

    I’m still south of the 5-0, but a lot of grays hairs reside over here, lol. My hair grayed at the temples when I was super young; I used to cut off the gray hairs and, when more and more of my hairline went all frosty, I dyed them. But, now I just rock that grey halo. If I feel like switching up the look, I rock wool hats in vibrant colors or cool headbands. Once the gray hairs migrate to most of my hair strands, I’ll likely rock a lot of updos and ponytails. My hair is very long; I’m not going to cut my hair shorter unless it hits Crystal Gayle levels. (I’ve actually cut my hair to scalp level twice in my life, in my 20s—it was fun being rockstar reckless at the time, lol—but I don’t need to revisit the short hair stage.)

    I have In Development on tap to borrow in ebook format from my library. Wish they offered the audiobook version, since, you know, you’re the narrator and you’re narrating a Rachel Spangler joint. Not to break out the violins, but I can’t swing audiobooks right now (yeah, it sucks to be me, lol) because I have teens hitting universities this year as first time college students and first time car owners. But, I’m supporting authors via requesting & borrowing books at my local library, and I’ll write a batch of reviews soon too. Budgets change, so hopefully I’ll be able to rock some audiobook purchases by X-mas. So, yeah, I guess the most recent goal I met was not pulling out all my hair, gray or not, whilst being buried under all the logistics of making sure my kiddos survived their college app process, lol.


    • Opps, the Rachel Spangler ebook I have on tap to borrow is actually her latest, Full English. My local library doesn’t have In Development in any format yet, but requested.


Comments are closed.