Amanda Newcomb makes the characters of my story come alive. – Susan Mills Wilson
- How did you become a narrator of audiobooks?
I’m an avid book reader and audiobook listener. I also spent 12 years in radio production and marketing. One fateful day I downloaded an audiobook with low quality sound and editing. I was so disappointed! I said to myself, I could do better than that… and that’s when the lightbulb came on.
- What is the most challenging aspect of being a narrator of books?
Reading is the easy part. The challenge is in the editing! One hour of audio can take 6 to 10 hours of mastering. I am also ridiculously picky which adds more time than I’m willing to admit!
- Is there a type of character easier or more fun to narrate than others?
I’m a southerner, and while I can turn it off, I always prefer a southern character with sass and sarcasm. Just like me!
- In Twisted Fate, you do an excellent job in portraying the Jamaican dialect of the character Marley. Is a voice with a dialect or accent more challenging?
Thank you! And yes, it’s very challenging. If you try to pull off an accent without practice and research, it can ruin the entire production and will come across as forced and ridiculous.
- Before recording, how do you prepare for the reading?
The most obvious is to read the book and take lots of notes. I do try to only read one chapter at a time prior to recording. Usually the night before. That way the flow of the story stays fresh in my mind. It also feeds my excitement as a reader and motivates me to work harder so I can find out what happens next!
- Besides being a narrator of audiobooks, do you do other related work such as a voice-over for commercials or films?
While I was in broadcasting, I wrote and recorded more commercials, liners, and tags than you would possibly believe. I still do them on occasion, but I prefer to stick to audiobooks. Is it an ego thing? Probably. At least with an audiobook I can put my name on it. No one asks themselves, “Who was that?” when listening to a commercial!
- There is more to narrating than speaking into a microphone with a clear, pleasant voice. What else is involved?
Now that is a loaded question! And by that, I mean it’s loaded with a long answer, but I will sum it up by sticking to the most basic tools of success.
• Workspace: Your studio must be acoustically friendly and relatively soundproof. Echoes and external noise are the enemy!
• Computer: Plenty of RAM and storage
• Software: I use several but my favorite by far is Izotope RX-7. It’s a must have!
• Microphone and pre-amp: I use a RODE condenser mic and pre-amp.
• Hydration: Drink plenty of water the day before and during recording.
• And finally, read what your going to record at least once. Preferably twice! Take physical or mental notes on delivery, cadence, and characters before you hit the record button!
If interested in the audiobook of Twisted Fate, click here. Free codes in exchange for a review are available by contacting Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking on the contact tab. And don’t forget: Subscribe to Susan’s blog.