The Spy Who Called Me

If you had told me the evening I geeked out after receiving a tweet from Simon Vance that I would one day talk to him rather calmly on the phone, I probably would have looked at you like your hair was on fire. My hands were trembling as I typed up questions for an email interview I posted during Audiobook Week 2010 for heaven’s sake. I have since chatted with him on Twitter, but an actual, honest to God phone conversation? Yeah, right.

To be honest, I never would have thought of a phone interview until June is Audiobook Month when I read Natalie’s post about her phone interview with Scott Brick. It was a pure fangirl moment for Natalie as well as for those of us who lived the experience vicariously through her. It was that interview and the Team Brick vs. Team Vance thing that made this interview possible. I’m nothing if I’m not up to a challenge. Team Brick fired the first shot, but I wasn’t about to let it go unanswered just because I was nervous. I am a Dale Carnegie graduate after all!

In the end, there was nothing to be nervous about at all. We discussed the experience of transitioning between diverse books for both narrators and readers, the history of Simon’s home studio, his thoughts on immediate audience feedback while recording, and James Bond. Simon Vance is as charming as he is talented. I even think I did a decent job remaining calm. Don’t be fooled, though. I was fully aware that I was living an audiobook lover’s dream.

As it’s Christmas time, it just wouldn’t be right to keep this experience to myself. Click on the link below to find out what made Simon a winner, which book holds the distinction of being the only one he’s recorded out of order, and what word I practiced saying over and over again so that I would say it the proper British way.

Shaken, Not Stirred Jump Start Pack

I’m hosting the Shaken, Not Stirred challenge featuring the Ian Fleming novels narrated by Simon.  Blackstone Audio is an outstanding sponsor of this challenge and they are offering a giveaway in conjunction with this interview!

It began in July, but if you would like to join the Shaken, Not Stirred challenge, it’s definitely not too late! Sign up and join us for our January listen and you will be in the running for a six audiobook Bond Jump Start Pack from Blackstone Audio including Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever, From Russia With Love and Dr. No. Then simply listen to Goldfinger and join us for the Twitter party on Saturday, January 20th at 9:30pm EST. I will announce the winner during the party.


For those of you who have participated all along, you have not been forgotten. I have two copies of My Word is My Bond, a memoir by Roger Moore to give away to you.

I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did. Thanks, Simon! Life is good.


  • At 2011.12.20 10:33, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

    I am totally geeking out for you! You sounded so cool, calm, and collected. The interview was so much fun to listen to.

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    • At 2011.12.20 10:41, Literate Housewife said:

      Thank you so much, Kathy! Now that it is published, it’s real to me. I’ve had a smile on my face from the moment I woke up. Today is a great day to be alive. 🙂

    • At 2011.12.20 11:15, Beth Hoffman said:

      Oh, what a VOICE he has. I could listen to him all day! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. And I agree with Kathy, you sounded calm and totally in control.

      • At 2011.12.20 17:49, Literate Housewife said:

        His voice will get you every timme. I was so focused on being professional during the conversation that it wasn’t until relistening for editing that it fully hit me. So glad you liked the interview. 🙂

      • At 2011.12.20 14:10, Sandy said:

        I would have been giggling like a fool. You did a great job, and so did he. SO so cool. And damn I like that picture of him. Did he take it just for you????

        • At 2011.12.20 17:51, Literate Housewife said:

          I got through it with the following mantra: Do not talk over him. Do not talk over him. LOL!

          That picture was taken of him for the Shaken, Not Stirred challenge. I just had to use it again. 🙂

        • At 2011.12.20 14:42, jenn aka the picky girl said:

          I LOVE it when he says, “Oh crikey!” Really. 🙂

          And really like the discussion of Bond (of course) and Fleming.

          Fantastic, fantastic interview. Thank you so much for sharing.

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          • At 2011.12.20 17:54, Literate Housewife said:

            I know, right? I haven’t heard crikey much at all since The Crocodile Hunter died. So glad you enjoyed the interview!

          • At 2011.12.20 15:52, Simon said:

            The photo was taken specifically for ‘Shaken not Stirred’ – I WAS dressed like that for the APA Audie Awards ceremony earlier this year and I DID happen to be drinking a martini… So it was perfect timing!
            It was fun to chat with you, Jennifer. Thanks for the opportunity.

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            • At 2011.12.20 17:56, Literate Housewife said:

              I definitely had to use that picture again to tie into the title. 🙂

              It was very nice to speak to you, too. Have a Merry Christmas!

              • At 2012.01.01 01:01, 2011: The Best of the Best said:

                […] the phone. It was quite a moment for me, although it didn’t fully hit me until I published the interview. 2011 will go down as the year I lived the […]

                • At 2012.01.01 20:33, natalie @book, line, and sinker said:

                  i am SO happy for you that you were able to host this wonderful interview! i listened to every last minute and did hear him drop scott’s name into the mix. 🙂 his voice is great and i look forward to listening to a few more narrated by him soon (don’t tell SB).

                  we really raised the bar for this audiobook thing–what the heck are we going to do in june to trump ourselves???? happy 2012!!

                  • At 2012.06.29 08:22, Serena said:

                    This is such a great interview and so fun. Happy that you shared this.

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                    • At 2012.06.29 08:28, Serena said:

                      btw, I’m amazed that it takes 2+ hours to get an hour of audio book

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