By Andrea Sullins
Aya Katz is the author of The Few Who Count, Theodosia and the Pirates, Our Lady of Kaifeng, and the novel that has her most excited, Vacuum County. She has also written three children’s books: In Case There’s a Fox, When Sword Met Bow, and Ping and the Snirkelly People. She has recently published a short story that just came out called F. When asked which is her favorite, Aya says, “I love all my work, I can’t say one is my favorite…I would label Vacuum County as my perfect work.”
Aya started writing Vacuum County in 1989 while she was at law school in Waco, Texas. She finished the book in 1993, although it wasn’t published until 2012. “It’s hard to pinpoint a specific genre,” she says, “since the book is from a bunch of different narrators.” The book is written from a first person perspective, but has many different characters taking on that role throughout the book. It is set in Texas in the 1980’s, but involves characters from The Bible, “making it a crossover story,” she says. When asked what gave her the idea to write it, Katz stated she has always been involved in politics, and after a political convention one night, she sat with her friend while reading through the bible and the idea came to her to write a novel. “Things just came together, even I didn’t know how they would,” she says when talking about the beginning of Vacuum County.
This novel has taken Katz’s books a step further, and with the help of Kelly Clear, they have produced an Audible edition that will be released for purchase, hopefully in just a few days. “It’s been recorded and approved by Kelly and myself, now ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) just has to approve it,” Katz states.
Narrator Kelly Clear has brought the characters to life in Vacuum County with his ability to put emotion and liveliness in the audible edition. The audible edition is made even more unique by the addition of music throughout Clear’s reading of the book. Clear sings the songs added by Katz in the writing, with music composed by Daniel Carter. While author Aya Katz lives just down the road in Raymondville MO, Kelly Clear currently resides near Spokane, Washington.
Ironically, Aya and Kelly have never met, or even talked on the phone. All of their exchanges have been done through email and Facebook messenger. Kelly was working with Aya on her musical, The Debt Collector, when he decided to send her a reading from Vacuum County. At the time, Aya was mourning the death of one of her favorite authors, F.L. Light. She went online to look for his books to order, and noticed it was difficult to find paper editions of his book, but found it easier to retrieve audible copies. That’s when she decided to ask Kelly if he would read and record her book so she herself could have an audible copy available for purchase of her latest novel.
Katz’s books are available on amazon.com and can be shipped directly to your front door. To follow updates on the audible publication of Vacuum County, you can follow Kelly Clear’s Facebook page (titled Kelly Clear) or follow the Vacuum County Facebook page.