Sister Bay, Wis. (February 23, 2023) – Katherine Hastings, a local USA Today bestselling author, has received a prestigious Audie Award nomination for her audiobook, The Wilder Widows. The book, which follows the journey of four widows on a wild bucket list adventure, is a final five finalist in the Humor category.
The Audie Awards® are the highest honor of the audiobook publishing world, often being compared to the Academy Awards. Former nominees and winners of this award include celebrities like J.K. Rowling, Oprah, Barrack Obama, Sam Heughan, Kevin Hart, Bruce Springsteen, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks and many other household names.
“To say I am dumbfounded my book is up for such an esteemed award is a vast understatement. When my narrator sent the email that our book was nominated for an Audie, I don’t think I closed my mouth for five minutes. Finally, lots of screams came out. I still don’t quite believe it. I would say this is a dream come true, but that would be a lie since this wasn’t even a dream I ever imagined having. It’s bigger than the dream. This award has a history of so many incredible talents that I’m flabbergasted little ‘ol me from Door County, Wisconsin is now among them.”
The Audie Awards® is the premier awards program in the United States recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment. Publishers and rights holders enter titles in various categories for recognition of achievement. Finalists are selected, and then one winner is awarded in each category at the Audies Gala, which will be held in New York City on March 28, 2023 this year. There are twenty-five categories, including Humor, for which Hastings and her narrator, Pamela Dillman, are nominated for.
“When I first started auditions for The Wilder Widows audiobook, I heard some really talented narrators. But when Pamela Dillman’s audition started, I actually gasped and clutched my chest. Her talent was incredible, and not only in the distinctive way she voiced each widow, which was remarkable in itself. It was her ability to capture the emotions, the nuances, the humor. She absolutely brought the book to life in a way I never imagined possible. I knew right then she was the only person who could do my beloved widows justice, and boy did she ever. The entire performance is phenomenal, and she’s the real credit with why our book is up for such an incredible honor.”
The Audie Award for Humor is awarded for excellence in narration, production, and content for a humor audiobook released in a given year. It has been awarded since 1997. Some past winners of this category include Leslie Jordan, Colin Jost, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Amy Poehler, Billy Crystal, William Shatner, and many more talented creators that Hastings is stunned to be lumped in with. The other nominees in the Humor category this year include Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey for The Office BFFs, David Sedaris for Happy-Go-Lucky, Sarah Cooper for Let’s Catch Up Soon, and Anjelah Johnson-Reyes for Who Do I think I Am?
“Just to be nominated is a lifetime achievement for me. The Wilder Widows started as a passion project, and I came up with the idea when I was waiting at the intersection of Wilder Lane in Sister Bay. I looked up at the street sign, and all of a sudden it was like someone shoved a digital movie drive in my head, and in moments, I had visions of these four hilarious widows who lived on Wilder Lane and went off on a larger-than-life adventure. I don’t even know where they came from, but I sat there for five minutes alone in my car laughing hysterically at the visions in my head. Luckily, it was winter, so no cars came along, and before I pulled away, almost the entire storyline was written. Even though I was right in the middle of writing another book, the widows were so loud in my mind, I had to set my other book aside and write it. Honestly, I had no idea if anyone would want to read my funny little story about these four widows up to crazy adventures, so at first, I just wrote it for myself. But then I sent it to my editor, Tami Stark, and asked, ‘Should we publish this, or is this just for me?’ She read it and responded quickly that it’s just what the world needs. It was 2020, and we could all use a little laughter. After the book came out, I was stunned to find so many people wanted to read it. It quickly became my bestselling book, and now my bestselling audiobook. I get emails every day from widows and women who thank me for bringing them hope and laughter and inspiring them to get out and live their best life. It’s the most incredible feeling knowing something I wrote has helped even one person reclaim their life or go after their dreams.”
The Wilder Widows is now the first book in what is soon to be a three-book series. The second book, The Wilder Widows: Wilder Ever After, was published in November 2022, and the audiobook, also narrated by Pamela Dillman, came out in February 2023. The third book in the series is currently being written and will be narrated by Pamela Dillman once again. Publication is expected in late 2023.
“I can’t thank Pamela enough for her incredible work that made this story I love so much standout in a very large pool of incredible audiobooks. She’s a true talent, and she did as remarkable of a job on the second book as she did on the first. I have no doubt she’s going to do it again for the third book, and I will just be forever grateful she auditioned, and she will keep bringing these characters to life as long as I keep writing them. And I intend to, because the widows aren’t done bringing laughter and inspiration to all of us out there who could use it.”
Hastings is the author of twenty books ranging from historical romance to paranormal romance and several genres in between. She writes from her home in Door County, which is where she also grew up, attending Gibraltar Area Schools. She lives with her husband and her large menagerie of animals that include two dogs, a naughty cat, four horses, seven ducks and two geese. As a true Door County girl who loves nature and the water, when she’s not at home with her funny little family, she is often found floating in a raft in the summer writing her next novel on a waterproof iPad.
For more information on her books and where to find them, visit www.katherinehastings.com.