When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
It came to me while driving my 35 minute commute to work. I always have an Audiobook or Podcast on in my car, and I was like, “I can do this, let's just try and see what happens.” People have always commented on my voice, my least favorite, “ are you sick?”, so I thought I would like to use it.
Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
What helped me get started was my mantra, “ If I try and fail, then I will know. But if I don’t try then I will regret never knowing.”
A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
I don’t think it is really that necessary. I have minimal theatre experience. Mostly I have fun reading and imagining what a person would sound like. I use my theatre past to get a bit of what the character wants and feels but I listen to other narrators and pick up on what they are doing and I listen to criticism.
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
Taking a break and knowing your limits. Some narrators are machines (not trying to hide my jealousy) and can knock out chapter after chapter all day. Not me. When I notice that I’m starting to make a lot of mistakes or reading characters like I’m reading my narration then I’m out. Also my toddler rules my day. It’s an unhealthy relationship.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I LOVE audiobooks! They can take you anywhere. Driving into work, making dinner, grocery shopping, nah says I! I’m time traveling with a hunky highlander, battling fairies that prey on humans after the wall between our worlds fell or solving a murder while trying to survive the web the killer weaved to trap me.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
I love reading the book and acting out all the characters. I HATE editing. It doesn’t suit my soul.
What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
It is a fun upbeat book. It is set in Chicago and most of my family lives 3 hours away from the windy city. I thought it would be fun to play up a midwestern accent a bit.
Who are your “accent inspirations”?
My mother did many accents with us growing up. Me and my Brothers can do at least 4 well and we do it often when we play around with each other. Movies, tv shows, other narrators and actual people are who I mimic. Especially if you have a distinct accent, it is really hard for me NOT to mimic you. Awkward in job interviews on occasion...
How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
My favorite could be the door man. I impersonated my grandpa. It’s who I would want to greet me when I came and went. He also would keep a tight ship.
What types of things are harmful to your voice?
Laughing so hard that no sound comes out. Every time I went home to visit my family or out with my friends I had to email Kat and tell her I might be a bit delayed until my voice came back.
If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
It’s actually a children’s book, “How to Raise Dragons.” I got it for my little brother and latter in life I read it outloud to him again as a joke, ended up getting into it and when I was finished with it, I looked around and saw not just one brother, but my other one too and the neighbor boy leaning against the doorway. Hilarious because these are grown boys that are over 6 feet tall.