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Projects In Production Blog

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: 



All fascinating topics and books that I think will be very successful. Look for the audio version of these books very soon! 

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 (hereand 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!!! The first weekend of Steel Magnolias at the Gilbert Theater was amazing. Although it was not without its issues (hooray for live theater!) we got through them all and produced a quality show that I am so proud of. It runs for two more weekends, so don't miss out on your chance to see it! Get all the info and tickets on The Gilbert Theater website

A Return to Fiction - August 4, 2016 


As predicted, nearing the end of summer and the approach of fall brings much more work for me. And this year, I'm incredibly thankful! My little one will be starting preschool in a few weeks and the costs are beginning to mount! I'm thankful for the work and the extra income this time of year. 


While on vacation in July, I was contacted by an author I had auditioned for a while back. Her name is Meryl McQueen. While I wasn't right for her children's book, she remembered me when her teen fiction book became available. She asked me to audition and I was happy to do so! We're now in production for her teen fiction book - Fall Daze and I am loving the return to fiction. 


Like I've mentioned before, I'm thankful for the non fiction work, but my real love is narrating works of fiction. They are more challenging, more artistic, and I get the added bonus of defining character voices and personalities. I'm excited to dig into this book and really make it great. The audiobook should be available mid-fall and I will definitely post an update when it is! 


Steel Magnolias Update!

In addition to knocking out some awesome audiobooks, I'm also burning dialogue into my brain for Steel Magnolias which opens September 23rd at the Gilbert Theatre here in Fayetteville. It has been three long years since I've had a live theatre production to work on, and I am LOVING the sudden return. I'm digging into the character of Shelby and making discoveries on every read through. Along the way, I'm blogging for OnStageblog.com about the process and other topics pertaining to all things theatre. My world is so full of artistic endeavors these days, and I am thrilled and thankful for that! 


Two New Books in Production - June 29, 2016 


Typically, summer is the slowest time for me as a narrator. My theory is that writers like to write in the summer and do production work in the fall and winter, but that's just my guess. Luckily this year, Ms. Cassie Leigh has decided to turn her next two books into audiobooks and asked me to continue narrating the series! We're making progress on Online Dating for Women: The Basics and we'll be starting the next book in her series shortly afterwards. 


You can read more about Cassie's books on her blog and look for the first two books in her series on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. 

 

Sex Sells  - May 3, 2016


I have to write about this while the emotions are still raw. Because if I wait until later, chances are I will sugar-coat my feelings and try to put a positive spin on the situation. But the truth is... I am BUMMED. 


I just had to refuse the best audiobook narration offer I think I've ever been considered for because of one sexually explicit chapter. It's a three-book science fiction & fantasy series with fascinating characters, an exciting plot, and accents to add to my repertoire. It would have been so fun to narrate. 


But when the author asked me if I minded narrating steamy sex scenes, I asked for a copy of the material before I committed. I was willing to go as far as my comfort zone would stretch... maybe even slightly further! But as I read through the chapter in question, I realized there was no way I could possibly read these things out loud to myself, let alone for hundreds of listeners. I couldn't even consider it. I had to turn down the amazing opportunity, the money, the advance in my career... everything. 


Typing the e-mail was literally painful. I had a knot in my stomach and tears in my eyes in the middle of Starbucks as I told her I was not comfortable with the material. And then I stared at the send button for about 15 minutes before sending it. Why?! Why am I turning down incredible books because of this? I'm not morally conflicted about it, I don't think it's wrong to read that kind of content, so what makes reading it out loud a problem for me? I don't know. I just know, I can't do it. And I don't feel like I'm taking the moral high ground or something. I feel like crap. I feel like a prude who may never find success in this industry unless I can narrate the books that sell, i.e. romance novels and the like. Deep down I know that isn't true. I'm just emotional from the loss of such a great project. And I fear I may not find an opportunity this good again for a long long time. 


So anyway, I'm going to continue watching my other pending auditions like a hawk until the pain from this little punch in the gut subsides. And maybe someday I'll write a book about my struggles as a Christian artist, and it will bring me more success than any of these projects ever could and when I do... it will NOT include sex scenes. 

Back on Stage This Fall! - April10, 2016


Voice acting is a fantastic way to find paid work doing what I love from home. But let's face it, I sit in a closet by myself completing each project. I love it, but it can be quite isolating. My real passion, the thing I can't seem to live life without, is the theatre. 


I always have been, and always will be, a storyteller at heart. And despite being overwhelmingly introverted, I crave the comradery of other storytellers. No matter how much I love being a mom and a homemaker, there will always be something missing without the partnership of other artists. The practical issues have kept me away from the theatre for three long years (i.e. moving, childcare, finances...). But we are finally in a place now where getting back to acting is possible. And amazingly, I was able to dive back in on my first try! 


Steel Magnolias is one of those special shows I will always remember as a turning point in my life. I did the show as a junior in college, and I will never forget it. It was one of those moments when I realized, THIS is what I am supposed to do. It was the first non-musical I ever acted in, and it was the first time I really dug into the heart of a character and learned the craft of acting (as opposed to just performing). I fell in love with character development during that time. I also came dangerously close to changing my major to theatre. But that's another story. 


So when I heard that the Gilbert Theatre had this show in their season, I knew I had to audition. If there was ever a show to get back into stage acting with, it's this one. I (amazingly) was able to convince my husband to come home early from our anniversary weekend so I could attend the auditions. Bless his heart, he drove us the six hours home that day so I could attend the auditions that night. The director called each of us immediately after the auditions to confirm the cast, and I was elated! 


I not only intend to post updates on the show, but I'm thinking of also doing some sort of video or written diary of my work throughout the process to share. Check back for more on that very soon! 

Back to Basics - March 30, 2016


We are in production for book number two in this hilarious series by the wonderful Cassie Leigh. After a successful first book, Cassie was kind enough to ask me to narrate the rest of her series as well, beginning with the book Online Dating Advice for Men: The Basics. This book is longer and a bit more on the serious side (boo!). However, there is no shortage of delightfully conversational advice for the clueless male diving into online dating. 


Unlike some of the other non fiction books I've narrated, I feel particularly qualified to narrate Ms. Leigh's book. You see, I met my husband on a dating site six years ago, albeit not in the traditional sense. (If you're interested in our story, let me know. Perhaps I'll devote a blog post to it.) She even mentions the particular site we used to meet. So if you're a guy wondering if online dating is worth a try, look for this book (and soon the audio version) for some great advice from two pretty qualified ladies. 

The Joy of Snark - March 3, 2016 


Final production is complete on this hilarious book full of truth, sarcasm, and brutal honesty. If you've ever been on the female searching side of online dating, you've probably thought, I wish someone would write a book about all the things men SHOULDN'T do if they're truly looking for a real relationship online. Well, ask and you shall receive! The hilarious Cassie Leigh has written what every woman wants to say to men online. ALL men. The book is directed at men looking for a real relationship, but every man has his chapter - the married men, the douchebags, the newly single dater and everyone else. If you're a man and you're striking out with online dating, you may just find out why in this book. It is a funny, direct, easy read so look for the audiobook in just a few weeks! 


As a survivor of the online dating world (yes, yes, I know...) and a lover of all things snarky, I felt a particular draw to this book. Luckily, Cassie answered my plea and chose me for this one-of-a-kind narration and I am so thankful for it! Check out her other books as well, which may be creeping into the audiobook genre as well in the near future. I had fun with this project and I hope you love it as much as I did. 

A New Year: A New Look! - February 17, 2016


Welcome back friends, family and followers! After taking a hiatus from audiobook narration for two months, I'm happy to be back in business! I'm now in a new city with a new house, new puppy, and I'm finding some new direction for my career as a voice over artist. The beginning of this year is going to be a major overhaul in my business as a self-employed artist, starting with a focus on marketing. A typical business markets themselves as a business. But as an artist, you have to learn to market yourself. It has taken me many years to get a handle on this idea, and I'm still figuring it out. But for the next few months, I will be studying and hopefully improving greatly in this area. Any and all professional advice would be greatly appreciated! 


UPDATE: My last project, narration of the book Be Happy No Matter What: 5 Steps to Inner Freedom by Ellen Siegel, was completed just before Christmas and is now available for purchase on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. 


Two authors that I greatly enjoyed working with in 2015 have contacted me regarding the narration of the next book in their series. Both are in the pre-production process but I cannot wait to get started on both books! As I receive more information about release dates, I will be sure to update on their progress. 


I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year and here's to a productive 2016! 

The Blue Jay - November 4, 2015 


I am thrilled to be finishing up my last few projects before my family and I are moving to a new state the first week of December! While venturing into the terrifying process of becoming a homeowner, narrating this wonderful novel has been quite the respite from all that that entails. 


The Blue Jay by Ms. Michelle Schlicher was very different from the other fiction novels I've narrated. Unlike the others, Ms. Schlicher's novel is a serious one with mature emotional themes and a message about mentoring that is both entertaining and inspiring. Very quickly into the text, I realized I am used to doing "voices" for each character. I use caricature voices of "the old man" or "the ditzy girl". Those silly voices were not at all appropriate for this type of serious subject matter. Instead, I was faced with the task of differentiating the many characters without using "voices". The difference is subtle but very important. Only one voice in the 6.5 hour novel was a real "voice". An old man in the story, Louis, required a very special sound being that he is in his 80's and undergoing chemotherapy. The rest of the characters - 3 women of roughly the same age, 2 teenage boys, 3 adult men and 2 older adult women - all had to be differentiated subtly based on their personalities. That took some work. 

The solution is simply to read through each character's important sections of dialogue until I can "hear" the character's voice. Once I hear the character in my head, it's easy to formulate a voice. But getting to that point can be a challenge until I get a handle on the book as a whole. I did some research into how other voice over artists form their character voices and are able to stay in them through the entire book. I found lots of advice, but ultimately it comes down to what works for you as a voice over artist, and I'm slowly but surely figuring that out. I highly recommend this novel, it was a very sweet story with humor, drama, and thought-provoking themes about life, love, and rebuilding a broken heart. The audio version will be available in just a few weeks on Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes. 


My next project will be the non fiction book Be Happy No Matter What: 5 Steps to Inner Freedom by Ellen Siegel. Check back for more updates soon! 


Fall - ing Into Production - October 7, 2015 


Fall seems to be the season for audio book production. Authors must spend their summers away from the writing desk and return to it when the weather gets cold. Because after a summer of searching for work, I now have back-to-back contracts for multiple books in a row. After quickly completing another "sidekick" by WeLoveNovels called Treasured by Thursday: Sidekick to the Catherine Bybee Novel, I happily accepted the much larger task of narrating this book; I Hate Walt by Vicki Andree is a Christian-themed fiction novel. The story is one of redemption and spiritual development, and Vicki says she's already working on a sequel. 


Vicki asked for my absolute favorite thing as a narrator - a great deal of character differentiation. I could have hugged her through the phone. After SIX non fiction books in a row, I am more than ready to narrate characters again. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for the non fiction books I've been able to narrate, and I think that type of narration does suite my niche well. But narrating vocal qualities, personalities, and story is so much more fun. The characters in Vicki's book have a great deal of depth and that makes for a fascinating study before I ever even get to the narration. Character development is admittedly my favorite part of audio book narration, so this was a much anticipated project. We're currently about halfway done with production, and I will certainly report when the audio book is released. It's a very worthwhile read! 

Two Books in Two Days: A New Record... A New Appreciation for Coffee- September 22, 2015 


I love having so much work that I'm not sure how I'll get it all done. It's a nice change from auditioning. In the past two weeks, I've had an overwhelming response from non fiction authors of very short books. Immediately after finishing Jacob Elliot's book about the Law of Attraction, I was contacted by a company called WeLoveNovels to produce two "Sidekicks" to two famous Harper Lee novels- To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman. It was fun to narrate these books as a review of the classics. It made me want to go back and read To Kill a Mockingbird again because of all the thought-provoking questions it contained! The publishing company WeLoveNovels has many "sidekicks" available to classic novels. If you're a literature teacher (or junkie like me), I would highly recommend them for digging VERY deeply into the characters and themes of these books. They also have several books in print that partner with recent novels like The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn. While secretly hoping they turn all their books into audio books (#hiremeagainplease), I'm also intrigued by all the books in print they have to offer. Check it out for yourself! www.welovenovels.com  


We Love Novels requested that both these books be finished within a week. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but I had already planned a weekend out of town for my husband's birthday, cutting my work time by three days. I had roughly three days to complete the recording and editing of both books. By strategically wearing my son out so he would nap longer, I was able to do this without any trouble setting a new record for myself- the production of two books complete in two days! Payment complete... signed, sealed, delivered. #winning


During those two days, I was contacted by the rights holder of a book called The Hashimoto Diet: You're Not Alone! How to Stop Feeling Tired, Puffy, & in Pain... and Start Living Your Life Again. A long title for a fairly short book. Production for this book started Monday after our family weekend away and was complete just a few days later. I decided I should not narrate anymore books about diseases, because after several chapters, I start to feel convinced that I have all the symptoms. It didn't take long before I felt tired, puffy, and in pain and diagnosed myself with this thyroid disorder. Coincidentally however, since production has ended, I no longer have the symptoms. So that's good. No more symptoms to report. 


After this sudden surge of non fiction books, I hope to land some fiction works very soon! Hopefully my next report with be just as productive as this one. 


Law of Attraction Secrets II - September 4, 2015


Production is complete on the second book from Jacob Elliot and Michelle Minzghor on the very interesting topic of the Law of Attraction. I was so thankful to be contacted by Jacob after narrating his first book back in July of 2014. It's always an honor to be sought out in the vast sea of narrators pining for work. It is a quiet confirmation that I'm on the right track. I wish Jacob and Michelle all the success of their first book and more! I look forward to reading the good reviews and sharing in their success as audio book number two heads to retail sales in the next few days! 


The Great Acting Slump of 2015 - July 31, 2015


Rejection is half the work of an actor. When it comes to voice acting, I would argue it's even more than half. There are so many voices out there- so many just like mine, so many with more training/better equipment/better sound. As a rights holder or business owner, you have the choice of so many voices for your book or your business. And contrary to what you may think, what I do is not unique. The world of voice acting is expanding like never before. Home studios have never been cheaper or more accessible. And the number of auditions I do before landing job is proof of that fact. 


However, I have something many actors do not- confidence. I've spent a great deal of time figuring out what I want to do as a career. I've tried many things, studied many things, and weighed my priorities on a daily basis to decide just what works for me. I'm in my late twenties now (young to some, old to others). I have a young son and a husband whose job uproots us every few years. The practicality of a career in voice acting is obvious. But more than that, this is the career I have always wanted- to use my voice to its full potential and to tell stories with it. It is the culmination of all my natural giftings and my training. Music. Acting. Directing. Character development. Voice and movement. All the activities I've ever been passionate about come together in this career. 


Therefore, when I go through months of difficulty finding work, I must constantly remind myself that it is NOT because I am not meant to do this. It is NOT because I am not a professional or lack the skills necessary to excel in this industry. I have been reminded by friends and colleagues during this season (thankfully) that this is my area of expertise and the career I should be pursuing whole-heartedly. So after all my whining and complaining, I let out a giant sigh and do what every successful person has done- put the rejection behind me and press on confidently, knowing that the right project is out there waiting for me. And it could be only one audition away! 

Technical Difficulties Won't Stop Us! - April 27, 2015 


We are in the final approval stages of production for the two books by Ms. Elizabeth Walling- Love Your Body: The Imperfect Girl's Guide to Positive Body Image and The Nourished Metabolism: The Balanced Guide to How Diet, Exercise and Stress Impact Your Metabolic Health. Both audiobooks will be sent to ACX for final review either today or tomorrow and should be available soon for purchase on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes! 


While these books were interesting, well written, and easy to read and record, the process was ridden with difficulties from a producer's perspective. Just halfway into production of Love Your Body, my microphone made the executive decision to malfunction and refuse to work properly. The malfunction was a problem common with this particular brand of microphone so in an effort to be prepared, I went to the closet and retrieved my backup microphone to finish the project. This microphone had been sent back to the manufacturer for repair after malfunctioning in precisely the same way. So I assumed it was as reliable as can be. I was wrong. Just three minutes into recording, it also malfunctioned, and I was back at square one. A trip to my local Guitar Center resulted in a new microphone and only a minor setback in production. I am now using a Blue Snowball ICE microphone (in white!). It's not my dream microphone for recording audiobooks, but the sound quality is great and it was affordable in a pinch. 


Once the technical problems were resolved, I was then hit with the most epic stomach flu I've ever experienced. This was no ordinary stomach bug, this was over-the-top, knock you flat on your back for a week, dehydration and all, stomach flu. Those of us in the area who have had it say it's comparable to labor pains. Yeah... it's that bad. However, deadlines are deadlines and while the stomach flu is bad, it isn't as detrimental to a voiceover artist as a head cold. Think about it: a stomach flu might make recording uncomfortable, but a stuffy nose could mean putting a book on hold until it passes. And we all know how long head colds can potentially last. So thankfully, I pushed through it. Little by little, I chipped away at the books between naps (and bathroom visits... TMI?) And I'm proud to report that my flawless record of never missing a book deadline is still in tact. Both books were finished (on my end) by the contracted date and the edits have taken just three days to complete. Elizabeth was wonderful to work with, and I'm so excited for the success of her books. They are a must-read for anyone who struggles with yo-yo dieting and sorting through all the facts and fictions associated with dieting. They come highly recommended from the book narrator! 

Back at It! - April 6, 2015


After a long hiatus from narration, I am happy to report that I'll be narrating two books by author Elizabeth Walling. The first is called The Nourished Metabolism: The Balanced Guide to How Diet, Exercise and Stress Impact Your Metabolic Health. The second is called  Love Your Body: The Imperfect Girl's Guide to Positive Body Image. Both of these books felt so natural as I was reading the audition sample. The author wanted them to be narrated by someone with a warm, conversational voice as though you were "having coffee with a friend" giving you advice on these topics. As my coffee receipts will clearly show, I was born to narrate in this style. I was thrilled to receive Elizabeth's offer and I cannot wait to get started (and moreso to finish) both of these books. Production is scheduled to be finished April 24th, so the books will be available shortly after that date! 



A Crime Novel to Remember... - March 6, 2015


Production of Sylvie Fox's Under Color of Law is complete and the audio book version is now available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. I'm so proud of this project. It was a unique challenge in that it was told from three different characters' perspectives. Two women and one man told the same story from their own points of view, making the story captivating and posing quite a challenge for the narrator! The main way to differentiate the male voice from the female voices (which appeared in every chapter whether he was narrating or not) was obviously to lower the pitch of my voice. While this was easy for a chapter or two, on days when I would work on many chapters, my voice would quickly become hoarse. I had to drink a TON of water and take frequent breaks to relax my vocal muscles and start back up after they were rested. I found myself powering through the chapters but hoping that each next chapter would be narrated by a female so that I could get more done! This taught me a valuable lesson about narration though, I will not ever take on a book that is completely or even mostly narrated by a male voice. Hopefully authors will not be seeking a female narrator for a male-narrated book anyway, but you never know. 


My two latest works- The Master Zarvin's Action and Adventure Series Books 1-3 and Under Color of Law are now available for purchase, and I encourage you to take a look at them! 

A New Year, A New Genre - January 21, 2015


Today we are winding down the edits for Master Zarvin's Action and Adventure Series a three part children's fantasy series complete with dragons, dwarves, pixies, and wizards. This was my first venture into the genre of children's fantasy, but I must say I enjoyed it! The author, Mr. M.R. Mathias requested very little expressiveness of the characters. He wanted the book read very evenly so as not to confuse the characters. After the challenge of the many characters in my previous book, I was all too happy to oblige! It was refreshing to simply read with expression and not have to mentally switch between characters, vocally. While I do love the challenge of switching characters, this was a nice break. 


I'm very proud of these books so far and I believe Mr. Mathias is looking at an early February release of the audiobooks. All three titles in the series- Dingo the Dragon Slayer, Oonzil the Oathbreaker, and The Greatest Quest are available in print right now. I will update again when the audiobooks are released!  

My Time As a Princess - December 29, 2014 


Now that Christmas is winding down and I have recovered from the nasty sinus infection that has been plaguing me for a week, I'm diving back into audio book narration head first! My goal for the upcoming months is to do a book every month, so check back for frequent updates. 


The Bitches of Everafter by Barbra Annino has headed to retail and should be available for purchase any day. I am SO VERY PROUD of how it turned out! It was definitely a challenge, a game changer for my narration resume- 12 different characters, plus the narration! Five princesses, four male voices, and all of them characters with dynamic personalities that needed to be differentiated. It was a project that required a great deal of concentration and vocal care. But now that it is finished, I can honestly say I am more proud of this project than any I've done so far! Challenging yourself produces great rewards! Book number two in the trilogy is set to be released around April 2015, and Barbra was kind enough to offer me the rest of the trilogy to narrate as well! I hope to be working on books two and three this year of the "Bitches of Everafter" trilogy. Look for the book on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes today! 

An Irreverent Comedy - November 16, 2014


Nick and Viola wrapped at the end of October, and I must say I was truly proud of the finished product. Not only did the narration come out well, but we were also able to insert a ballad written by a friend of the author at the beginning of the book and a musical interlude between chapters. I've never done anything like that before, but the finished product turned out truly unique. 


Onward and upward! I'm excited to announce my newest book, The Bitches of Everafter by Ms. Barbra Annino. The book is a hilarious twist on the tradition fairytales we've grown up with. It has humor, suspense, murder, and  irreverent versions of all the Disney princesses you love. The audition clip alone had me laughing out loud, so I'm sure I will enjoy narrating this little gem. And I KNOW you'll enjoy listening to it. The final product should be done by the end of December so look for it just after the new year! Ms. Annino's book is selling VERY well on Amazon already and the reviews are all great, so bookmark this one for your listening pleasure! 



Nick and Viola- A Fascinating Read - October 28, 2014


After finishing the audiobook narration for Weddings: Affordable and Practical Guide for Planning the Best Wedding Celebration (which is now available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes!), I was excited to jump right into my next project. Nick and Viola: A Kentucky Family Tragedy in the Tobacco Wars is different from any other book I've done previously. Ms. Laura Muntz Derr is a fantastic writer who has clearly devoted months and probably years to the research and writing of this fascinating account of her great-grandparents and their tragic life in Kentucky in the early 20th century. For anyone with the slightest interest in the tobacco wars or southern living during this time period, Ms. Derr's book is a captivating read. For those who have other interests but enjoy stories that wouldn't otherwise be told were it not for a great-granddaughter who was willing to dig up long lost family secrets, you too will find this book intriguing. Look for the audiobook on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes very soon, as we are in the final stages of production. 


In addition to this wonderful book, I've also had the opportunity to expand my musicianship when I was asked to update the on hold message for Mid Atlantic Packaging. They requested the script to be read over elevator music. After listening to many different examples of elevator music, I was able to put together an on hold message for them that I was very proud of. We tried two different drafts and settled on the more subtle, underlying melody that you'll hear on the demo page under Mid Atlantic Packaging On Hold Message. 

Wedding Guide Nearing Completion! - September 5, 2014


Weddings: Affordable and Practical Guide for Planning the Best Wedding Celebration by Sam Siv will be available shortly for download, as we are in the final stages of production. This non fiction book was very fun for me, because I planned my own 100+ person wedding three years ago. It was interesting to revisit those days and read about all the things I did wrong! While I agreed very much with the advice Sam gives in his book, I was also surprised to see how much I didn't know about the etiquette of wedding planning! 


The production itself was challenging because I agreed to finish recording the book in less than a week. The book was a 5.4 finished hour book- more than 10 hours of recording time. And because I like challenges, I agreed to finish it in six days. It was difficult, but it got done and I was very proud of the quality of the recording. I took the time to edit out a GREAT deal of tiny imperfections on this book, something I have sacrificed in the past. While I am not an over-editor, I did enjoy cleaning up the recordings to make them as flawless as possible. I'm excited to recommend this book to all my wedding-planning friends! 

Law of Attraction Book Finished! - July 28, 2014 


I was relieved to land a gig as audiobook narrator for Jacob Elliot's book Advanced Law of Attraction Secrets- my first pay-by-the-hour audiobook job! Getting started was easy, I knew the book would take no time at all. However, I was not prepared for how extremely fast I would HAVE to get the book done. A family emergency back in Ohio meant I would have to leave home for an unknown amount of time right after I started the book. Thanks to the help of a wonderful babysitter friend, I was able to finish the entire book in just two days! And it was quality work despite the short amount of time. The author was pleased, and I was relieved to not have to bail out on the project. Thankfully, the work got done and I was able to be in Ohio quickly without breaking my contract. The book is finished now and I'm very proud of it! Check it out on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. It is a fascinating subject! 

Audition, Audition, Audition....- June 4, 2013


This season is the anticipatory kind that drives me insane but is so necessary for the working actor/voiceover artist. Until production people start pounding down my door to get my voice put into their projects, my full time job is the beloved audition. I'm treading the fine line of being picky about the projects I choose and not being so picky that I never land another job. Still, I have a handful (or two) of quality auditions out there that I am praying will lead to a new project very soon. Some of them look very challenging and are something I would have to really work at, and others are simple tasks that would lead to a quick, easy finish. Either way, I will be thankful for the work... whenever it comes. Onward and upward working artist! Your worth is not determined by the rejections of yesterday, but by the fact that you are back at it today! Hmm... someone should quote me on that :) 


Back at It!- May 12, 2014


I am proud to announce that my first two audiobooks are available on Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes! Download Diary of a Crazy Cat Lady by L.A. Brown and Stress: The Silent Killer by Rachel Frank M.S. will be available shortly. I am so proud of these two projects, and I hope you'll add them to your list of must-listen audiobooks! 


After taking a brief amount of time off, I am back into audiobook production looking for my next project. Check back soon for updates! 



 

It's All in the Details- February 27, 2014

I am absolutely loving the audiobook production process. It is truly a combination of all my skills- acting, script analysis, vocal techniques, organization, and time management. It is challenging in some ways, however, and I'm learning that this process is all about the details. Every word counts, every punctuation, and every mark on the sound levels makes a difference. I don't have an overabundance of experience when it comes to being an audio producer, I've always been in front of the microphone while someone else sits in front of the computer. Now that I'm doing both, I'm finding that my personality is FAR from that of a perfectionist. However, I need to be a perfectionist to make these files the best that they can be! Every time I get done with a track, I look at it and think, "That'll work." Then I stop myself and remember, there are two authors who have slaved over these words for months (and probably years) who want to hear a flawless recording of their work. So I stop, return to the track, and adjust the levels to be a little more perfect or rerecord a line that could be a little bit better. I am essentially forcing myself to be a perfectionist in this process, rather than a messy, artsy-type. It isn't too difficult because I have very detail-oriented tendencies, I just have to encourage a little more effort in the final product. Basically, this process is making me a better person. :)  


 

Audiobooks- February 19, 2014


I am happy to announce that I've begun production narrating two very different audiobooks for two independently published authors! The books are currently available on Amazon and Createspace.com, and the audiobook will be available on Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes. I'm currently in the process of reading and analyzing two manuscripts- one that is a fictional story with dialogue and different characters and tones and another that is non-fiction, informative, and requires a stress-reducing tone. They couldn't be more different, and I am excited for the challenge and the experience. 


I now begin the challenge of prolonging my voice for long recording sessions and working towards deadlines for each book. I am definitely taking specific steps to do both- first by taking good care of my voice. It is after all, flu season. And with all the snow, we are confined to the indoors where the heat is blowing hot, dry air all day and night. Not good conditions for the voice. So I'm taking strong measures to ensure my voice is at its best quality. First by warming up the old pipes first thing in the morning and practicing those beloved vocal exercises from college and grad school days. Then, by attempting (for the second time in my life) to become a tea drinker. I've tried before, but it just hasn't happened yet. So I'm attempting again to drink lemon chamomile tea and of course tons of lemon water. 

Both books are on roughly the same timeline, so I've mapped out the chapters and sections for each to ensure that the authors receive their mp3's earlier than expected, if not on time. The uber-planner/list maker in me enjoys that timeline being set and having a daily goal of how much to record each day. It is not only the professional approach, but also reduces my own stress (ironically enough) in getting the projects finished. That way, if I fall behind one day, I know exactly how much more to do the following day. When I'm not recording, I'm editting and uploading to make sure the authors are confident that their books- their babies!- are going to be produced exactly how they envision them, maybe even better! It must be a stressful process for them to entrust their hardwork to a narrator who must give a voice to the words they've poured blood, sweat, and tears into for months and years of their lives. For this reason, I can't wait to deliver a quality product to them and watch their books become just as successful in the audiobook genre as they already are in print.