I just got the word from ACX that my book, That Ghoul Ava and The Queen of the Zombies just went live on Audible.com. I am thrilled to have the lovely and talented Pamela Lorence as my voice talent. And even better, it looks like she will be my Ava for the series. (The next Ava book will be out in November according to my release schedule, so mark your calendar.)
If you are hesitant about the audio book thing (as was I for quite some time) you will find them to be very addictive. You can cook, clean, walk the dogs, or lay back in your hammock by the river and take a bite out of your TBR list at the same time. Also, with this new "Whispersync" thing for the Kindle, you can literally swap back and forth between book and audio book with no hassel.
Anyway, you didn't come here for me, you came to meet Ava.
So, what led you to doing voice work for audio books?
It all started with a Ronco Mr. Microphone when I was 9 years old. Since then, I’ve been hooked on all things audio. I earned a degree in Vocal Performance (you know, singing) from Rollins College and have been using my voice to make a living ever since. I started off in radio, eventually writing, directing, recording, editing, narrating, and singing my way into many, many ears. It was really only a matter of time before I combined my love of books with my love of audio into one – Audio book narration.
The social media is…
Social media is an amazing tool to connect with people who have similar interests. I’m part of several audio production and audio book groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, Soundcloud, as well as a few other sites. Since I work out of a studio in my home, I don’t have colleagues sitting in a cube next to me to share information and ideas with. Social media can be very valuable to the independent worker. However, the need to use social media to promote my work is very new to me. As a radio producer, I never needed to do any self-promotion through social media. Some other department handled that area of business. I’m learning as I go, tweeting, posting, I even figured out how to build a (primitive) website! (Did you catch how good I’m getting at self-promotion? Hyperlinks, oh yeah.) Thank goodness I have a teenage daughter to help me navigate the ever-changing landscape of the Internet. Occasionally, she feels the need to cut me off from checking my social media. The sun is shining, go out and play!
Share some information about your individual work on projects besides the ones you are doing for me:
Recording an audio book is pretty labor-intensive, so I don’t juggle a lot of projects simultaneously. A narrator usually reads through the book first and takes notes on characters, scenes, etc. When the book is sufficiently prepped, the recording can start. The average recording time for a narrator typically follows the 2:1 ratio. Meaning for every hour of finished audio the narrator spent two hours in the studio recording it. That’s a lot of talking! After the recording is done, the editing and mastering process begins. You get the idea. Output can be slow. But, I love that I’ve had the opportunity to narrate very diverse styles of books, everything from poetry to zombies!
What is one question you are sick of being asked—not in interviews, but by individuals who know you are in the entertainment industry?
How come I’ve never heard of you?!
So, let’s talk a little about the Ava series. I am looking forward to several Ava books (number two is currently being written) with you. Do you think it helps listeners to have the same person do the series?
For listeners to truly get to know a character throughout a series, I think it helps to be consistent with the narrator. You get used to a certain delivery and style. When the show Bewitched changed Darrins, or Roseanne changed Beckys, viewers were a little thrown off. It takes awhile for a replacement to really convince an audience. I say this all in a very self-serving way, though. I’d love for the Ava series to continue with me as the narrator!
Any moments that stand out for you in That Ghoul Ava and The Queen of the Zombies?
I loved meeting all the characters that came into Ava’s life. Betty, the old woman was a fun character to get to know. But, the scenes that involved Morgan were especially intriguing to me. I’m anxious to see how Morgan handles Ava’s newfound confidence and powers.
|Get the audiobook HERE!|
How would you describe Ava to friends?
That’s easy! I see Ava as a girl who is pretty badass but doesn’t completely realize it yet. She’s got a great sense of humor, too. Just the right amount of snark!
What other projects are you currently working on?
I just wrapped up work on an audio book titled “Songbird.” It’s a very emotional young adult fiction piece. It was like singing a beautiful ballad, while Ava is like singing a fun up-tempo number. Speaking of singing, I’m in rehearsals for a cabaret show I’m putting together. I love all the old American Jazz and Pop standards. It’s quite possible I was born in the wrong era.
What is one thing about you that would surprise individuals who do not know you personally?
When I tell people I’m from New York, they always say “but you don’t have a New York accent.” It’s true. All the diction classes I took back in college knocked the New York right out of me. My husband says he can hear it creep back in after a glass or two of wine, though. I’ll slip and say something like “honey, cud ya let the dawg out?”
What do you look for when choosing to narrate an audio book? Or are they simply acting jobs that you simply take as they come along?
I can usually tell during the audition process whether a book is going to be a good fit for my voice. That’s the first and most important thing I consider. Chances are if I audition for a book that’s not a good fit, I won’t get the job! Next, I ask myself if I can relate to the book somehow. Can I find a little of myself, or someone I know, in the characters? Lastly, I ask myself if I think it’s a project I’ll enjoy doing. I’m fortunate to be able to pick and choose projects. I’ve turned down a few because I knew I wasn’t right for the part, even though I was recruited for the role. It’s important to know your strengths and limitations.
One of the biggest criticisms regarding Ava is that she is a bit politically incorrect? Did you get that vibe? How did you see it?
The only way to answer this question is with a joke. A priest, a rabbi, and a lesbian all walk into a bar...Seriously, though, I see Ava as being true to herself. If that means she’s a bit politically incorrect, it’s okay. She wouldn’t feel genuine if she didn’t speak her mind.
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