I just finished listening to the Audible original Once Upon a Christmas Carol by Karen Schaler (who I did a three-hour livestream with ["with whom I did a three-hour livestream" for the grammarians out there]), which will eventually become a podcast (because it's taking a while to edit the audio of such a long interview). Karen's Audible original is honestly fantastic.
My parents were from the generation that grew up with radio, and during the Golden Age of Radio, there were many dramatic shows that included skilled voice actors and sound effects (which were Foley since digital was decades away). And because my parents talked about retro radio, I often listened to old-time radio shows every week on Chicago radio stations (before the Internet existed). So it's interesting how radio/audio has come full circle. For years, radio had talk, music, and entertaining bits. Now that we have digital options, companies like Audible create dramas that sound way better than those mono AM shows of yore.
There are many reasons why I like Karen's Audible original: it's total escapism because it's a positive, uplifting story that takes us to a small quaint town in Washington state, which is miles away from where I live. The story is excellent: she is a master of story structure! I wish I could write like that, and I aspire to make my own storytelling structures as tight as hers! There is romance, mystery, hope, adventure, friendships, warmth, professional insight, psychology, and more. The voice actors are convincing and sound authentic, to the point that I want to meet those characters and go to those places in real life. I also like how it ties to the Los Angeles, big-time music business scene, which is escapist for me as well because it shows me a part of the entertainment biz that I don't know about, and that in itself is fascinating. And it also shows the positive and negative aspects of social media and PR, crisis communications, and journalism. It's both practical and magical, and even asks the big question: what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
If you want to get into the Christmas spirit and escape the monotony and drudgery of regular life, definitely listen to this Audible original, and listen the whole way through because it will all make sense and will be tied in a nice Christmas bow.