This story in itself is amazing. At the 2014 World Fantasy Convention earlier in November, I attended a book release party held by my friend Sally Wiener Grotta for her new novel “Winter Boy”. It was held opposite the art show reception, which means there was actually a possibility to talk to people in the room without having to squeeze through dense crowds.
This is how I met Laurel Anne Hill. We chatted, and the conversation eventually drifted to my books. I had a copy of “Mistress of the Solstice” in my purse, and after Laurel told me she is interested in Russian folklore-based literature, I showed it to her. She opened the book and started reading.
To my amazement, she kept on, beyond the polite first glance one expects on such occasions. When she finally looked up at me, she was smiling.
“I love your prose,” she said. “This first chapter, it just asks to be read out loud. I am going to do a podcast for you!”
I was thrilled. I never had a podcast of my work, and certainly never expected such a reaction to my book from a stranger I just met. To be honest, I half-expected this conversation to be forgotten as soon as I left the room. But only a few days after WFC Laurel contacted me about the pronounciation guides — and then, to my amazement and delight, with a link to the podcast.
Laurel’s reading is beautiful. And there is more, her foreword and afterword, her use of Slavic music in the background. It is lovingly made, with great attention to details, and I enjoyed listening to it very much. I hope you do too: