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Currently Browsing: JIAM
Jun
24

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Traci Odom

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Traci Odom Each June, audiophiles from around the country celebrate all things audiobook. Since we love to listen and review audiobooks here at That’s What I’m Talking About, we are participating in our own Audiobook celebration.  What would an audiobook be without a narrator? As part of Audiobook Month, we are spotlighting various narrators so you can learn a bit more about who they are and what they do. Narrator Spotlights! Today we shine the spotlight on: Traci Odom Do you have a pseudonym you’d like to share? Tieran Wilder Tell us how long have you been narrating books? Since 2010 and what a ride it’s been! What genres do you cover? Do you have a favorite? I cover many genres, paranormal, paranormal romance, sci-fi, romance, erotica, cozy mysteries. I would say that my guilty pleasure is narrating erotica. Of course, that’s like asking which child is your favorite because I love them all. Do you do any other voice work or acting? I am also a film/tv/commercial/VO actor from way back. In recent years, my focus has been on audiobooks and on-camera commercial acting. What is your favorite job to date? I love audiobook narrating and that is what I spend most of my time doing; however, it can sometimes feel very isolating, so when I have the opportunity to be on-set with other actors, a director and crew, I feel like I’ve gone on a playdate. How do prepare for a job? Does the preparation depend on the genre or type of book? Each book is different really; however, I typically spend time reading the book and making any notes about questions I have for the author. Then I send those either directly or through the publisher to get feedback before I actually take the book into the studio. A lot of my projects have been in the paranormal/sci-fi world, so the vocabulary is very important in that these are worlds created from the amazing imaginations of my authors and I want to be sure that I embody their vision as much as possible through my creative process. If you could narrate any book or work with any author past or present, what would you choose? Why? Any book? Probably “Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley. That book had a big impact on me as a young actor. I discovered it with a friend of mine and we had big dreams of making the book into a trilogy...
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Jun
23

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Matt Godfrey

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Matt Godfrey Each June, audiophiles from around the country celebrate all things audiobook. Since we love to listen and review audiobooks here at That’s What I’m Talking About, we are participating in our own Audiobook celebration.  What would an audiobook be without a narrator? As part of Audiobook Month, we are spotlighting various narrators so you can learn a bit more about who they are and what they do. Narrator Spotlights! Today we shine the spotlight on: Matt Godfrey Tell us how long have you been narrating books? A year and a half. What genres do you cover? Do you have a favorite? I narrate in most every genre, but I work extensively in the horror genre. I have a real love for 70s and 80s horror novels, but I truly enjoy literature and reading, so there’s something for me no matter what I’m working on. Do you do any other voice work or acting? I’m also a film and TV actor. I’ve done many national commercials, indie film, as well as some TV. I was on Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet last year, and I also worked on the CBS reboot of MacGyver. What is your favorite job to date? Narrating Michael McDowell’s BLACKWATER, one of my all time favorite novels. How do prepare for a job? Does the preparation depend on the genre or type of book? It all starts with reading the book and becoming familiar with the author’s voice. Once I key in on how an author “speaks,” the whole project opens up to me. Then I find all the instances where each character is described, and begin to build my characters from there. If you could narrate any book or work with any author past or present, what would you choose? Why? I hate to be cliche – and they’re already done perfectly – but what a joy the Harry Potter series would have been to narrate. Anything else you’d like to share? I’m very excited about a book I have coming out next month with Valancourt Books: The Auctioneer by Joan Samson. It’s arguably the greatest book to come out of the horror boom of the 70s and 80s, and sadly the author died shortly after its publication and never wrote another book. It’s a quietly thrilling story of a small town and the menacing new auctioneer who arrives and begins to take control. It’s fantastic. About the Narrator: Matt Godfrey was born and raised in...
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Jun
23

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Allyson Ryan

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Allyson Ryan Each June, audiophiles from around the country celebrate all things audiobook. Since we love to listen and review audiobooks here at That’s What I’m Talking About, we are participating in our own Audiobook celebration.  What would an audiobook be without a narrator? As part of Audiobook Month, we are spotlighting various narrators so you can learn a bit more about who they are and what they do. Narrator Spotlights! Today we shine the spotlight on: Allyson Ryan Tell us how long have you been narrating books? since 2007 What genres do you cover? Do you have a favorite? Non-fiction, fiction, literary fiction, YA, education, mystery-thriller, romance Do you do any other voice work or acting? I voice commercials and animation. What is your favorite job to date? Recording the parody of Fifty Shades of Gray, called The Fifty Shames of Earl Grey for Tantor Media. How do prepare for a job? Does the preparation depend on the genre or type of book? I first read the entire book. If it’s fiction, I create a character list and decide from clues in the book how they should sound. I feel very lucky when I am able to get the author’s input because I love the collaborative aspect of the work. For non-fiction I tend to research the topic from other sources to get a complete picture of what I am talking about. If you could narrate any book or work with any author past or present, what would you choose? Why? I would love to narrate Judy Blume’s earlier work. Just because all of her novels meant so much to me as a child. Anything else you’d like to share? I am currently narrating my good friend Glynnis’ MacNicol’s memoir, No One Tells You This for Simon and Schuster, and just released this month was the 2nd installment of the Roxane Weary Series for Blackstone Publishing called What You Want to See by Kristen Lepionka and the sequel to 99 Days by Katie Cotugno called 9 Days and 9 Nights for Harper Audio. About the Narrator: Allyson Ryan is a native New Yorker whose diverse talents have led to a career in voice over, theater, and television. She has an AudioFile magazine Earphones Award and was a 2017 Society of Voice Arts and Sciences nominee for audiobooks. Her voice can be heard in commercials, animated shows, and video games, and she can be seen in several national commercials. Social Media...
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Jun
22

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Christa Lewis

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Christa Lewis Each June, audiophiles from around the country celebrate all things audiobook. Since we love to listen and review audiobooks here at That’s What I’m Talking About, we are participating in our own Audiobook celebration.  What would an audiobook be without a narrator? As part of Audiobook Month, we are spotlighting various narrators so you can learn a bit more about who they are and what they do. Narrator Spotlights! Today we shine the spotlight on: Christa Lewis Do you have a pseudonym you’d like to share? Pippa Jaye Tell us how long have you been narrating books? 6 years. What genres do you cover? Do you have a favorite? YA, SciFi / Fantasy, Literary Fiction, Romance, Non Fiction I don’t have a favorite. Do you do any other voice work or acting? I’m a commercial voice actor and do a lot of corporate narration. I have done a lot of animation, promo and documentaries. What is your favorite job to date? I was the voice of an online program posted to 11 European Union countries to assist women in understanding what domestic abuse was and how to get help in their country of residence. How do prepare for a job? Does the preparation depend on the genre or type of book? You don’t often get to talk to the author, so I read everything I can find on Goodreads and Amazon and look for interviews of the author on YouTube. If there are accents I have never heard (I am looking at you Bahamian) or don’t know how to do (yes, you Bahamian), I try to learn “hallmark” sounds of the accent (thank you YouTube!!!) and if it’s a topic I know nothing about (particularly in Non Fiction) I research it online. If you could narrate any book or work with any author past or present, what would you choose? Why? Any book Olga Grushin writes in the future – I had the privilege of narrating her novel Forty Rooms and was enchanted by her writing style – she is a consummately lyrical author. I love working with her use of language. It’s stunning. That and anything Samantha Hunt writes in the future – her book The Dark Dark literally rewired my brain, oh! and…. (this question is IMPOSSIBLY HARD TO ANSWER 🙂 Anything else you’d like to share? I just got to narrate the early Heralds of Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey – and it was SO FUN!!!!!!!...
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Jun
22

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Jayne Entwistle

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Jayne Entwistle Each June, audiophiles from around the country celebrate all things audiobook. Since we love to listen and review audiobooks here at That’s What I’m Talking About, we are participating in our own Audiobook celebration.  What would an audiobook be without a narrator? As part of Audiobook Month, we are spotlighting various narrators so you can learn a bit more about who they are and what they do. Narrator Spotlights! Today we shine the spotlight on: Jayne Entwistle Tell us how long have you been narrating books? Give or take 12 years. What genres do you cover? Do you have a favorite? I narrate a fair amount of children’s books and YA but have delved into science fiction, historical fiction and chic lit. I love children’s books for the wildness of them, where else am I going to get to be a talking tree or a wolf? Do you do any other voice work or acting? I do commercials, t.v., film and am currently in a rowdy play heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival called, “Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist!” What is your favorite job to date? Hands-down the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. I narrated book nine a few months ago and spending that long with a set of characters means your family. Crazy? Yes! How do prepare for a job? Does the preparation depend on the genre or type of book? First and foremost, I read the book! Surprising how often I am asked that question. I use A LOT of annotation tools; highlighting in every colour available, underlining, arrows, circles, typed words spelled phonetically near the highlighted words I don’t know how to say. I spend a lot of time researching pronunciation. Science fiction and YA tend to have loads of made-up words so the author becomes an invaluable resource. If you could narrate any book or work with any author past or present, what would you choose? Why? Oh boy! I read an excerpt of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” at a fundraiser a few years ago – that appeals to me. I’d love to narrate something by Alice Hoffman as I’m a big fan. Also Ann Patchett and Kent Haruf. Shakespeare, is that weird? Anything else you’d like to share? Readers, if you’re in Edinburgh in August, come see the play and we’ll have a pint! Also, check out “Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All” written by some of the...
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Jun
22

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Janina Edwards

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Janina Edwards Each June, audiophiles from around the country celebrate all things audiobook. Since we love to listen and review audiobooks here at That’s What I’m Talking About, we are participating in our own Audiobook celebration.  What would an audiobook be without a narrator? As part of Audiobook Month, we are spotlighting various narrators so you can learn a bit more about who they are and what they do. Narrator Spotlights! Today we shine the spotlight on: Janina Edwards Tell us how long have you been narrating books? Since 1987. What genres do you cover? Do you have a favorite? I’m not at the point where I can turn down any opportunity, but my mission is to give a voice to stories, messages, and writers that reflect authentic stories of people of color, and/or humanist and yogic principles. Sometimes that takes the form of romance, non-fiction, mystery or other genres. Do you do any other voice work or acting? My other voiceover area is elearning/instruction/educational. What is your favorite job to date? Can’t answer that. It’s like asking me which of my children is my favorite. I don’t want the other audiobooks to have hurt feelings. How do prepare for a job? Does the preparation depend on the genre or type of book? Step one . . . read the book. Ideally more than once, making note of different characters, qualities of voice, emotional life. Doesn’t matter what genre or style. Step two, if I’m allowed to communicate/speak directly to the author, I would reach out and ask questions about characters, idiosyncratic word pronunciations, that type of thing. Otherwise I reach out to the publisher. Step three research (for pronunciation) any regular words that I need to check. Start to play with character voices. If there are unfamiliar accents research them. That’s pretty much the usual order of events. If you could narrate any book or work with any author past or present, what would you choose? Why? One thing I like about my audiobook work is the process of discovering a writer I DON’T have familiarity with. Plus, your audience has fewer expectations with a new author. Audiences have serious expectations of recognized authors (with book series). Anything else you’d like to share? My last big release was In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills, by Jennifer Haupt. About the Narrator: As a voiceover (justwritecp.biz) I love to narrate audiobooks of all kinds, but my mission is to give a voice...
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Jun
21

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Erin Bennett

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Erin Bennett Each June, audiophiles from around the country celebrate all things audiobook. Since we love to listen and review audiobooks here at That’s What I’m Talking About, we are participating in our own Audiobook celebration.  What would an audiobook be without a narrator? As part of Audiobook Month, we are spotlighting various narrators so you can learn a bit more about who they are and what they do. Narrator Spotlights! Today we shine the spotlight on: Erin Bennett Tell us how long have you been narrating books? Since 2012, when a producer stuck his head in the room of the studio where I was recording, and asked if I narrated audiobooks. I was doing a radio play at the time, but had always wanted to try audiobook narration. I haven’t stopped since! What genres do you cover? Do you have a favorite? I’m a lover of multiple genres. From literary fiction to cozy mysteries. Sometimes you just want to curl up with some hot tea and a purring kitty and solve a mystery, you know? Sometimes you get to fight for social justice with an incisive nonfiction book. Sometimes I get to dive deep into someone’s emotional experience in a personal memoir. And sometimes it’s about the guy and the girl putting aside their differences and realizing they really do like each other, falling in love, and a happy ending. I love it all. Do you do any other voice work or acting? Yup, I do commercial VO and videogames. What is your favorite job to date? That’s a tough one. I just did a great one for Hachette, an Elin Hilderbrand book out in June, called The Perfect Couple. I have gotten to narrate so many of her books, the characters feel like family. How do prepare for a job? Does the preparation depend on the genre or type of book? I settle down with my iPad and my research! Lucky me in that my genres vary pretty widely so I’m never bored. Sometimes the author wants to be involved and can give me important information. I narrated Caitlyn Jenner’s book, and there is so much information about her and since she’s a real person, a lot of media and audio exist that I can utilize! When narrating Joan Rivers’ biography, I laughed so hard watching her clips I cried! It makes me feel very close to the material. If you could narrate any book or work with any...
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Jun
21

JIAM #Audiobook Review: Death in a Stately Home by Sara Rosett

JIAM #Audiobook Review: Death in a Stately Home by Sara Rosett Welcome to our feature that focus on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Review: Death in a Stately Home by Sara Rosett Author: Sara Rosett Narrator: Sarah Mollo-Christensen Audio Listening Speed: 1.5x Series: Murder on Location #3 Genre: Mystery Source: Tantor Audio Death in a Stately Home continues the story of Kate, the location scout turned amateur detective.  I enjoyed the latest murder mystery that Kate not only finds herself on location for, but the main suspect. Part of what makes this series compelling is the beautiful locations that the story takes place.  Kate is still in England, working as a location scout as well as exploring the romantic connection with Alex.  Much to her chagrin, she is still working for the persnickety director/producer of the Jane Austen biography.  On her weekend off when Kate should be getting to know Alex’s younger sister while she is visiting for a break, Kate is coerced into working a Regency-themed English get-a-way.  Her job is to research the event to see if parts of it can be included in the film.  Unbeknownst to the producer, the Lady of the house, Beatrice, wants Kate at the weekend event to keep an eye out for a sabotaging staff member who is trying to sully the family name and estate.  Beatrice and Kate are friends, and Beatrice knows how astute and observant Kate is.  While watching and enjoying the event, Kate stumbles across another murder.  Unfortunately, for Kate, she is the prime suspect and time may be running out to figure out the culprit. I enjoy the stoicism of Kate and her logical mind.  Alex is eager for Kate and Grace (Alex’s younger sister) to meet.  However, Alex is clueless about how awkward and anxious Grace might be feeling about meeting Alex’s girlfriend – someone who has the potential to drive a wedge between her and her brother.  Kate tries patiently to not step on Grace’s toes and allow Alex and Grace time together without her intruding.  The opportunity to work allows Kate the opportunity to bow-out without hurting Alex’s feelings.  However, Kate’s suspect status seems to be the much needed ice-breaker between her and Grace.  Now if Kate can only keep Grace from being bitten by the “armchair-detecting” bug, things will be perfect.   Ms. Mollo-Christensen expertly captures Kate’s personality as well as her keen intelligence.  The varied and differed accents of the various characters is astounding, and I enjoy listening to the series immensely.  The...
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Jun
20

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Natalie Naudus

JIAM Narrator Spotlight: Natalie Naudus Each June, audiophiles from around the country celebrate all things audiobook. Since we love to listen and review audiobooks here at That’s What I’m Talking About, we are participating in our own Audiobook celebration.  What would an audiobook be without a narrator? As part of Audiobook Month, we are spotlighting various narrators so you can learn a bit more about who they are and what they do. Narrator Spotlights! Today we shine the spotlight on: Natalie Naudus Do you have a pseudonym you’d like to share? Victoria Mei Tell us how long have you been narrating books? I started about 9 months ago, and am just starting my 29th book. What genres do you cover? Do you have a favorite? I’ve done Romance, Psychological Thriller, Young Adult, Mystery, Sci fi, and Non Fiction. I enjoy each genre for different reasons, but I’m always partial to a good mystery! Do you do any other voice work or acting? I’ve worked as an opera singer, appearing onstage in over 20 productions, but now I’m all about the audiobooks! What is your favorite job to date? Gosh, I’ve been so lucky in my short time as a narrator to work with some amazing authors. No one can mess with your mind like Lili St. Germain, her psychological thriller Gun Shy is amazingly twisted. I’ve done two Winter Renshaw romances, and I’m so smitten. I also narrated this military sci-fi book, Fallen Sun by Harule Stokes, and its just an incredible book. It’s the story of sisterhood and female warriors that I didn’t know was missing in my life. How do prepare for a job? Does the preparation depend on the genre or type of book? I prep carefully, and I like to send a read through of character names/places to the author or editor before I get started. I’ve learned that its easier to fix pronunciations before recording the whole book (go figure!) I’m recording a non fiction piece right now that has a lot of Chinese words and locations, so I prepped that really carefully, and even called my brother a few times to check some words. Some books require extra careful thought about the characters and their voices, others require more research about locations and terms. There is always plenty to keep me engaged! If you could narrate any book or work with any author past or present, what would you choose? Why? Oh, what a question! I’d give a...
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Jun
20

JIAM #Audiobook Review: Dressed to Kilt by Hannah Reed

JIAM #Audiobook Review: Dressed to Kilt by Hannah Reed Welcome to our feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Dressed to Kilt Author: Hannah Reed Narrator:  Angela Dawe Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Scottish Highlands Mystery #3 Genre: Contemporary, Cozy Mystery Source: Tantor Audio Winter is settling into the Scottish Highlands, and Eden’s time in Glenkillen is coming to a close, which has put her into a bit of a melancholy state. But another mystery begins when Leith and Eden compare invitations to an exclusive private whiskey tasting; each invitation saying it came from the other. Eden immediately turns on her investigative hat, discovering the owner of the distillery was a close friend of Eden’s paternal grandfather. Knowing Eden doesn’t care much for the Elliot side of the family, Bridie contrived a reason for Eden to visit her, but she also reveals she’s the subject of an anonymous threat. And when a dead body shows up in a vat of whiskey, it’s time for Eden and Inspector Jameson to discover the truths hidden deep within the local families.  Knowing that this is Eden’s last adventure in Glenkillen, I went into Dressed to Kilt feeling a bit melancholy myself. Eden spends much of her time reflecting on the friends and life she’s made for herself and how she’s changed over the past five-and-a-half months, as well as where her life back home is heading. Luckily a good mystery, involving the unfortunate death of a local, keeps Eden occupied.   The mystery this time around was just as exciting as in the previous two books. It was clear from the beginning that more was going on than the death of a local servant. I did make a few correct guesses as to some of the background behind the whys, but was off-base on other aspects. I love that I couldn’t figure it all out. The death leads Eden to discovering more about her estranged father and his family, something Eden has been avoiding since she was a young girl. The results are cathartic, even if Eden is unwilling to admit that she needed to go through it.   I did have a couple negatives with Dressed to Kilt: Eden is shut out of the case midway through the story. Her hurt is compounded when she discovers her friends (both home and in Glenkillen) hiding truths and manipulating her to discover more about her father’s family. I didn’t like the disconnect Eden had with her friends – especially as this is the...
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