Not quite one year ago, I decided to dip my toe into the world of audiobook narration. I had been curious about the craft for years and finally thought, “What are you waiting for?? Go! Dive!”
I didn’t come to this idea out of the blue. I’ve been a professional actor for more than 15 years and I have a lifelong passion for storytelling and reading. I had the acting training and experience; and I also sought out additional training in voiceover and audio technology. From there I was a woman on a mission!
Audiobook offers up a strange dichotomy. The narrator, at least most of the time, is recording all by themselves. For me, I’m in a sound-proofed closet in my house. Yet while recording solo, I am abundantly aware that in this act, I am crafting an intimate “theatre-for-one” experience for the listener.
Knowing that the listener, that solo audience member, is out there wanting to hear a story is what makes the entire process so exciting and rewarding.
When I book a title, I always read the entire book first. I create a character analysis for each character within the book and take copious notes on all of the clues that the author leaves within the pages of the story. For each character in the book, I will note how the author creates them physically and jot down all descriptors of the characters’ voices (tone, cadence, pitch). I ask, “What does the character say and think about themselves?” and “What do the other characters say about them?” Do they have an accent? Of course, there is the question of gender and how do I, as a female, voice non-female characters. From information like this, I begin to create the voice for each character.
Once the book has been read, it’s time to put on the headphones and get to work. First beginning with a vocal sample track of each character in the book. This is a helpful first step, as it can get challenging to keep track of an entire cast of voices during the production of a full-length audiobook. Then the chapter-by-chapter, I record the entire book, keeping track of the rise and fall of the story and how the book will unfold for the listener.
I record the romance genre under the name Piper Brown (a mash-up of a name I genuinely like and my maiden name … I also would read a romance about a woman named Piper Brown … she belongs in the romance world!). I do record as Kerrie Seymour when working on general fiction, non-fiction and YA titles, but most of my work is done as Piper.
I am excited to give away 5 audiobook bundles to some of the readers of the Romance Junkies blog. Comment here to be entered to win. Each winner will receive an audiobook of both Claire Ashby’s When You Make it Home and Jennifer Ellision’s Now and Again.
Feel free to check out my romance titles at http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_search_tseft?advsearchKeywords=piper+brown&filterby=field-keywords&sprefixRefmarker=nb_sb_ss_i_7_5&sprefix=piper
For more information about my voiceover work or for contact information visit kerrieseymourvo.com
You can also follow Piper Brown on facebook and twitter (@PiperNarrates)