Have you ever heard of Carrie Seim? I did not until my book editor told me that a person by this name would be narrating the Audible version of Everybody Has A Book Inside Of Them.
Within minutes of googling her, I realized how fortunate I was that Audible Studios had chosen this writer, comedian and vagabond – as she calls herself – to be my book’s voice.
After visiting Carrie’s website – www.carrieseim.com – I quickly recognized that this person was more than a voice for audiobooks. I was impressed to learn that she also wrote for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post…..
It was especially thrilling to learn that Carrie would soon be joining the author ranks. Yes, her book, The Flying Flamingo Sisters is being released on December 12, 2019 and is different than most of us have yet to see, hear or experience.
Are you wondering what makes this book so different? The Flying Flamingo Sisters is performed as a 1930s radio drama! It is a hilarious, heartfelt and soaring adventure that will delight fans of The Goonies and Indiana Jones. After getting a sneak audio preview of it, I can vouch that it is exactly as described: it is bursting with humor for all ages, orchestral scoring and some of the most talented voices on Broadway.
If you have a curious mind like me, you may be wondering how in the world Carrie Seim came up with the content for this novel idea.
Read on to find out:
By Carrie Seim for Audible Originals
Release: Dec. 12, 2019
Available NOW for pre-order (exclusively on Audible):
Question: What was your inspiration for creating The Flying Flamingo Sisters?
Carrie Seim speaks:
The Flying Flamingo Sisters was inspired by grandfather’s real flying circus in the 1930s. His troupe, called “The Hell Divers,” performed aerial acrobatics, barnstorming and wing-walking all across the country. I stumbled upon an archival news article from 1936 that described his wildly dangerous flying tricks in detail. The clipping featured a photo of my grandfather in his flight suit with The Hell Divers — which I was surprised to learn also included two women and a dog! The article sparked an idea for a funny, empowering adventure story starring three brave girls (and one adorable pup).
Question: And the impetus for it being packaged as a radio drama?
Carrie: I knew that I was writing this project specifically as an Audible Original, so I was eager to explore all of the opportunities the audio world offers, including a full cast of actors, musical scoring and sound effects. It’s an exciting new form of storytelling that’s emerging — a mix of a script and a book. It harkens back to the 1930s, when radio dramas were all the rage. Because my story is set in the 1930’s, it made for a magical dovetailing of subject and style. I credit Audible for being so open to new ideas and creative storytelling. The whole project felt like kismet!
Question: Are there people in your life who inspired you to create one or more of the six characters?
Carrie: Absolutely! My grandfather Ole “Obb” Seim was the inspiration for the entire story. He was an incredibly courageous and respected pilot — and I love that he included women in his flying circus, especially at a time when most young women weren’t encouraged to have a career, let alone such a dangerous one. I tried to channel those women for the character of Elsie de la Rue (who runs her own flying circus in my book). My father, Don Seim, is also a pilot and has spent years teaching young people about the joy of flying — he helped me with so many of the technical aviation details in the book and shared his dad’s story and passion for flying with me.
Finally — and perhaps most importantly — my younger sister, Lindsay. I could never have created my three heroines (Flo, Faye and Franny) if I didn’t understand the complex, competitive, protective and loving relationship that exists between sisters. As kids, Lindsay and I watched The Goonies and Indiana Jones and DuckTales obsessively — we loved those type of adventure stories. I wanted to create something that she and I would have loved to listen as our younger selves.
Question: Did you test this radio drama by having kids ages 8 – 10 listen to it before it was produced?
Carrie: As I was writing the script, I shared a few of the chapters with my friends’ children to get feedback, which was helpful and encouraging. I also shared chapters with a few of my trusted grown-up readers (i.e. my “Sounding Board Advisors” — as you cleverly describe them in your book Everybody Has A Book Inside Of Them). The Flying Flamingo Sisters is meant to appeal to all ages — an especially good listen on family car trips — so I wanted to make sure it worked for grown-up readers/listeners as well.
I can’t wait for everyone to hear the full production with music, sound effects and incredibly talented actors (some from Broadway) performing the character voices!
Question: Did you ever have a dirty doubt about this project becoming a reality? If so, how did you dispel them from your mind?
Carrie: Um, only about a million! Although I’ve written many scripts, essays and articles before, this was my first official book, so I was incredibly nervous. But in a wonderful twist, I was cast to narrate your book (Everybody Has A Book Inside Of Them) just as I was in the final stages of polishing The Flying Flamingo Sisters, so I actually used a lot of your tips to keep my confidence up!
One great way to dispel doubts is to remember: The secret to being a good writer is being a good re-writer. No matter how long you’ve been writing, your first draft of anything usually stinks. It’s tempting to want to quit at that moment. But you’ve just got to sit in the chair, keep revising and have patience with the process. Which is often easier said than done!
When you’re really frustrated, take a walk, take a shower or call someone in your inner circle who cares about you and your project. Sometimes you need to get physically moving and let your mind whirl in the background.
Question: Did you pitch it to Audible or did they contact you to produce it?
Carrie: A kind book editor friend of mine had read a few of my scripts and essays (for Nickelodeon, The New York Times, The New York Post, etc.) and recommended me to a wonderful editor at Audible, who was putting together a group of authors for a “Kids Writers Room” (where we’d all work on our own books, but help each other as needed). I was lucky enough to get selected for that group. The Flying Flamingo Sisters was one of several concepts I pitched to Audible. It was actually one of my last pitches of the day, but it ended up being my editor’s favorite and mine too!
Question: What is your advice to budding authors based on what you have learned from authoring this radio drama?
Carrie: Challenge yourself to explore new ways of telling your story. Take risks and seek out other creative souls with whom you can collaborate. It sounds cliché, but don’t give up! If one format doesn’t work, try another. If one concept isn’t sticking, pitch three more. Make your writing a priority — give it attention, love and space in your life. Keep going and your idea will take flight.
Other fun facts from Carrie Seim:
Not only did I write The Flying Flamingo Sisters, but I also got to voice one of the characters (the youngest sister, Franny) in the recording. It was an absolute thrill and I’m so grateful for the production team at Audible for letting me audition!
If you are looking for a stocking stuffer for anyone between the ages of eight to 80, this is the gift!