I dipped in the self-publishing pool with a short historical romance, "Jacqueline: Coveted By A King." It's the first in my Romance Reigns series, focusing on fictional ladies in the French court of Louis XIV.
After working on the preparation of the eBook format I decided to try a turn at audiobooks. Research brought me to ACX. The fact that a newbie author could work one-on-one with a narrator/producer felt like the perfect "first time" experience.
I was lucky enough to receive an audition from a talented narrator, Megann Becker. The process has been a very enjoyable one due to Megann's work ethic and her entertaining performance. She met deadlines in a timely and professional manner and I absolutely love the way she brought my words to life.
To coincide with the release of "Jacqueline" as an audiobook, Megann was nice enough to answer a few questions.
How did you get involved in audiobook narration?
As my great grandmother got older she listened to a lot of audiobooks. I thought they did a great job of bringing stories to life— and they brought her so much joy. I’d always been an avid reader and I could clearly hear the characters voices as I read. Audiobook narration seemed like a logical jump! I’m glad I went for it because it is such a fun way to express my creative side.
What previous experience do you bring to the process that you feel enhances your narration style?
When I was studying Spanish, my goal was for people to think I was actually of Hispanic decent. I wanted to play the part and be convincing. My college professor once thought I was a plant— put there by the department to see if she was teaching the class well, ha! She told me this after she was so impressed with a presentation I had memorized and performed. I loved getting in character for that project and the same is true for narrating— you have to have fun, let loose and enjoy the role you’re playing.
I was so excited to listen to your audition for “Jacqueline” and felt you were a perfect fit almost immediately! What drew you to audition for it?
I was drawn to audition for “Jacqueline” because I would need to use a French accent and at the time I was just starting to learn French. I thought— “what a great, new challenge”. When I read the audition excerpt I loved the writing and felt I could convincingly tell the story. As I recorded the story it was such a fun escape to be in Jacqueline’s world.
What is involved in the recording of an audiobook? Can you explain your process?
Communication with the author is the most important part. You are bringing their baby to life— and it is important to me that it sounds the way they imagined it would. I first read through the script, nail down voices, and do an initial narration. Then it is time to edit for quality and then edit for timing, tone, the right speed. When the author is pleased with the final product I do one last listen and then it’s time for that baby to go out into the world!
Are there any lessons learned during your recording of “Jacqueline” that you plan to apply to future projects?
I definitely tweaked my work flow throughout the project. I found the times of day where I liked to get into character and record. There were other times where I felt in the mood to edit and I capitalized on that. I was really passionate throughout this whole project and I hope that shines through!
Do you have a “Holy Grail” novel you’d love to narrate/perform?
Hmmm great question— it really got me thinking. I love Isabel Allende’s novels. “Zorro” or “Island Beneath the Sea" for example. They are period pieces with magical realism, there’s romance, there’s always strong women and there’s Spanglish. I think it would be fun to play a role that uses my language skills and my attitude in that way. (There’s a lot of similarities between that and the “Jacqueline” performance.)
What’s next on your list?
I’m currently working on an audiobook, called “The Fault In Our Pants”, for an old Saturday Night Live writer. It is a parody on the book and movie “The Fault In Our Stars”. It’s hilarious, edgy and requires a totally different voice and persona. It’s fun to stretch my boundaries and try something outside what I know. I believe that’s how you continue to grow as an artist!