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 interviewing some of our favorite narrators so you can learn a bit more about who they are and what they do.
Please help me welcome Ms. Amanda Ronconi!
How long have you been narrating audiobooks and how did you get started?
Almost 10 years. I wanted to do it for longer but the world of audiobook recording was a lot harder to break into before that. How I got my first audiobook audition was because I worked for a long time at a restaurant where a couple of audiobook producers used to come in for coffee and dessert and after I got to know them, they brought me in for an audition and luckily I had a good amount of acting experience already which prepared me to handle the demands of audiobook narrating. They hired me for my first book right after that.
What genres do you cover? Do you have a favorite genre?
I do a lot of romance, lots of fun quirky books that often have a comedic voice. I get to do a fair amount of young adult books, which are really fun. They are usually more emotionally raw which is fun for an actor. I like comedy, but then I also really like to do non-fiction too. I don’t read much non-fiction for pleasure… but I have found that when I have a non-fiction project I get to learn about things I might not otherwise read about if I was picking out a book on my own. It’s challenging and hopefully makes me more interesting at parties.
You have worked on multiple-book series. Do you maintain the same voice for each character from book to book? If so, how do you keep track of dozen or so different voices?
I am always aiming to maintain the same character voices from book to book. Sometimes there are years between recording books in the same series. I always keep a list of characters from books I know are part of a series. I usually base characters on actors or characters in movies or on tv, so I will jot down who they are based on as well as any other notes to my self about vocal quality like “airy”, “slow talker”, etc. I also will go back and listen to what I did for the earlier books in the series if I need a reminder.
Do you consult the author of a title on how a certain character should sound?
Sometimes. Sometimes an author will let me know their ideas of who they were basing the character on. Sometimes I will get a bit of a breakdown of how the author wants various characters to sound. Sometimes I am on my own to choose what hopefully will best fulfill the author’s vision.
How do you prepare for a new project?
I read the book so I know what the story is and also HOW it is told. I need to know where the author is taking the listener so that I can help guide the listener without getting caught doing too much guiding, if that makes sense.
Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks? If so, what is your favorite genre and/or narrator?
I love, LOVE audiobooks. I listen to a fairly wide range of books. I just finished listening to some books by the Norwegian mystery writer, Joe Nesbo, (his book The Snowman was the basis for the movie). They are narrated by a fabulous actor named Robin Sachs. They were kind of scary and I realized I needed to stop listening before 8pm or I would be too freaked out to sleep!
Is there anything more you’d like to share with my readers?
Just thanks so much for inviting me!
Thank you so much for participating in JIAM at That’s What I’m Talking About!
About the Narrator:
Amanda is an actress and audiobook narrator. She has narrated nearly 150 audiobooks ranging from romance to self-help to the supernatural and mysteries. She is an avid audiobook listener and never does chores without a book in her ear.
Connect with Amanda: