Back at It! - October 8, 2017
It's been quiet here on the blog for a while, thankfully that does NOT mean I haven't been working! Projects have been scarce because of my inability to achieve quiet in my household (two kids are loud...) When I did devote some time to auditioning over the summer, nothing came of those prospects unfortunately. Now that I have a little more time and school is back in session (PTL!!!), I'm beginning a new experimental work strategy.
I'm currently devoting several weeks to five different royalty share projects that I believe have a good chance at selling well. The authors and I will split the royalties of the audiobook sales (after ACX receives their cut of course). These projects are risky for a narrator, as you can imagine. That's many hours of work on a book that isn't guaranteed to make money. The key is to choose authors with a solid plan for marketing whose print books are already selling well. I believe each one of these books have that and therefore, I have high hopes for them! Here are the books heading to production either this month or early November:
Narrating While Pregnant: The Unexpected Challenges - January 31, 2016
I have been hard at work on a new series for an author I've come to know and love called A Stacy Justice Mystery series. (Find it here on her website!) Barbra Annino and I are starting with Book 0, the prequel to the series, and working our way through all 7 books. I like the story a lot and Barbra's particularly snarky main character, Stacy Justice. I picture her being very similar to myself... if I was a reporter from Chicago who happened to be raised by witches.
The challenges I ran into with this first book were completely unrelated to the text but had everything to do with my "current condition". That is, 9 months pregnant. My belly is huge, my organs are all squished, and I have pains in places I need three mirrors to see. Sorry, TMI? My narration time is concentrated into the several hours Monday through Friday that my son is in school. So preparation is key to maximizing those few hours each day. While normal preparation is just to get settled in my my recording space, drink lots of water or tea, and read through the chapters I'll be working on, pregnant preparation requires much more.
Now, preparation requires eating a small but substantial breakfast, drinking twice as much water or tea, and then basically a short yoga session in order to achieve proper breathing. You see, for those of you unfamiliar with pregnancy, that giant bump is not an accessory. It is in fact putting immense pressure on the stomach, bladder, lungs, rib cage, and just about everything else in your mid section. As I began recording chapters, I found myself editing out huge breaths between phrases that sounded as though I had just run a marathon before sitting down to narrate. I decided to spend time really stretching out my abdomen before recording to give my already overworked lungs room to expand. Otherwise, I should probably shift my work to romance novels while this heavy breathing is inevitable.
Once that problem was solved, I then had to deal with the constant bathroom breaks interrupting my work time, as well as the painful stiffness that was resulting from sitting at the desk for hours. I truly do not know how pregnant women with desk jobs do it. They must have to take multiple walks a day, because after 2 hours I have to stretch every muscle in my body or else I won't be able to continue. While these aren't major hinderances to recording, they are simply annoying little interruptions that I would much rather do without. Although I suppose having a newborn around will create even more interruptions soon! I'll most likely be looking back and wishing my frequent potty breaks were all I had to deal with.
Audiobooks for Christmas! - December 21, 2016
Shameless plug: Audible subscriptions make great Christmas gifts... just saying :)
I have thankfully been working non stop for the past several months, recording book after book for two different author's series. Finally, all of these audiobooks are available on Audible (as well as Amazon & iTunes!). Just in time for Christmas!
Know anyone with a new puppy? Consider this: author Cassie Leigh has written a series of books on puppy training that are packed with useful information. Having spent the last year with a new puppy myself, I can attest to the value of this information. Start with Puppy Parenting Basics which covers all the general puppy rearing information (Get it here!) and then click to Puppy Parenting in an Apartment (here) and Dog Park Basics (here) for more specifics on puppy rearing. Great gifts, great information.
No puppy? No problem! For a GREAT fiction read, The Bitches of Enchantment book 2 in the Everafter Trilogy is now available here! Narrating this book was quite a feat. Barbra Annino might have been trying to kill me with this book. Roughly 40 different characters are packed into this 7 hour book with hilarious twists and turns in every chapter. Fourteen male, fourteen female, three children, two dogs, a raven, a rabbit, and of course Peter, Pinnochio, and Mary are just the beginning of all the different characters I voiced in this book. And I couldn't have had more fun doing it! My personal favorites were the grouchy dwarves with Brooklyn accents. If you listened to the first book, you'll love this one even more. And if you missed the first book, get the two together and enjoy the story from the beginning. You'll love every hilarious minute!
Treat yourself or someone you love to an audiobook this Christmas with an instant download from Amazon, Audible, or iTunes! And have a very Merry Christmas this year - see you in 2017!!!
The Bitches are Back! - October 17, 2016
Book two of my favorite trilogy to narrate is underway! The book has been out since earlier this year, but Barbra contacted me a few weeks ago ready to start the audio version. She was kind enough to wait while I finished recording Unshaken: Standing Strong in Uncertain Times and now we're ready to roll on The Bitches of Enchantment, book two in her Everafter trilogy.
Book one of this trilogy was both a huge challenge and a joy - there were so many characters to differentiate with different voices, male and female, character and real. After reading through the manuscript for book two, I had to go back and listen to all those voices and remember what they sounded like to make this book just as consistent. Listening back through the first book reminded me how fun it was to bring all those characters to audio-life and made me so very excited to start the next book. I've also upgraded my recording equipment since production of the first book, and it was interesting to note what a difference the better equipment makes!
For more of Barbra Annino's hilarious and awesome work, visit her web site - www.barbraannino.com . And look for the audio version of The Bitches of Enchantment: A Dark Princess Fairytale on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes very soon!
Two Worlds Collide - September 29, 2016
Every once in a while, a project comes along that allows me to combine my two passions in life - performance and ministry. I am so thankful for my newest opportunity which is not only an incredible book, but also the prospect of working steady for the publishing company! Destiny Image Audio was kind enough to offer me a contract for the wonderful book Unshaken: Standing Strong in Uncertain Times by Jeanne Nigro as well as the opportunity to join their retainer of narrators for future projects! I accepted both proposals with a resounding "Yes please!"
Jeanne Nigro has written an incredibly encouraging book about breaking out of the patterns of fear that keep us from experiencing the joy of the Lord. Her words have depth and power, and reading her manuscript out loud is like delivering a sermon... if only my sleeping pets would shout "Amen!" at the end. Jeanne's words hold so much Truth, and I can't wait to hear how many people are blessed by the creation of this audio book. I contacted Jeanne via email after accepting the contract to introduce myself and found out we have much in common. We're both wives and mothers who grew up in Northeast Ohio. In fact, she still has family in my hometown! I feel so honored to be a part of her ministry and the success of her book. I'm currently working on the narration and plan to have it finished in about 2 weeks. Check back soon for an update when the audio version becomes available. You can find out more about Jeanne's ministry and this incredible book on her web site - https://jeannenigro.com
Steel Magnolias Update!!!