An Interview With An Audiobook Narrator
When I completed my first ever audiobook, Shadows of Lela, the author (Tessonja Odette) asked if I would be willing to do an interview for her newsletter list. I was more than happy to do so. Below is a copy of that interview. It has a lot of questions I often get asked about my audiobooks.
How Did You Get Into Audiobook Narration?
I’ve been an actor for stage and film since I was a child. Early on in my career, my acting coach told me that reading is one of the best things an actor can do to keep up on their craft, and gratefully my mother instilled in me a love of reading. As I got older, I found a love of audiobooks and specifically young adult fantasy novels. Over the past few years, I decided to take my acting skills into the recording booth and combine two of my passions.
What Is Your Favorite Thing About Voice Acting?
I would have to say playing characters I would never get booked as on film or stage. There are limitations as an actor just due to gender, age or physical characteristics. It was so fun to delve into these different types of characters and figure out their voices.
What Drew You To Working On The Lela Trilogy As A Narrator?
As I mentioned before, I love young adult fantasy books! They are so fun and it’s the one genre I always come back to. When Tessonja approached me with Shadows of Lela, I was hooked just by the description. It was exactly the type of book I would pick up and read on my own. After reading the few pages for the audition, I could tell the book and the character’s were going to be so fun and I was thrilled with the opportunity to be able to voice it for others to enjoy the book audibly.
How Does Your Narration Enhance The Reader’s Experience Of The Lela Trilogy When Listening To An Audiobook?
I think audiobooks (done well) absolutely enhance the experience. For me, being able to listen to someone read a book help to bring the voices off the page and really feel like I am getting to know the characters in a different way then reading.
Who Was Your Favorite Character To Voice? Most Challenging? Most Fun?
Ooh, good question! There were so many that were fun to do! Cora is probably the most like me both in voice and personality and so she was fun to do but not much of a challenge. Mareleau was fun to bring to life, her bratty quips are so good and were fun to record. I also loved doing the voice for Morkai, there were times when I would listen back to my recording and get chills because of how evil he sounded. Physically he was a hard to do as it was a strain on my voice because it was so far back in my throat haha I had to take a lot of breaks in his later chapters. Valorre was also a challenge as I wasn’t sure what he would sound like and just had to go with it. Tessonja was amazing and provided awesome descriptions which helped a lot but he was one I was most nervous to get right. I think the two hardest though were probably Teryn and Larylis, simply because I needed to find voices I could maintain. They’re also twins so finding voices that were similar as brothers but different enough when they talked you could tell the difference and a voice I could maintain as leads was a challenge, but I was pleased with the final versions (yes, there were a few).
What Was Your Favorite Scene To Voice?
I loved the Forest People scenes, they are some of my favorite characters and it was fun to add a bit of Irish in there. Scenes with Lex cracked me up, he’s such a fun character.
What Are Some Of Your Top Favorite Books/Audiobooks That We Should Add To Our TBR?
Ooh fun question! One of my favorite audiobooks of all time is “And The Trees Crept In” by Dawn Kurtagich, the narrator and direction is phenomenal! As well as “All The Truth That’s In Me” by Julie Berry, excellent voice acting! As far as just a good story, the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan is my current favorite series.
How Long Did It Take You To Record The Book?
That is a hard question to answer but it’s the most common question I get. The actual recording didn’t take too long, I could get a chapter or two done in a couple of hours with retakes and multiple versions but the editing takes even longer, much longer than I ever expected but it was also a fun process as well.
If you are interested in listening to the Shadows of Lela, it is available on Audible!