Doug and me with our youngest daughter, Kelly
My husband and I have recently started recording audio books. I have logged many (many) years of acting on stage and in film and Doug has put in an equally large number of years performing and recording music. We both love reading books and listening to audio books, so when the opportunity arose to narrate and produce an audio book, we thought, "Absolutely! This is right up our alley(s)".
I mean, how hard could it be, right? Little did we know . . . .
When I was asked by the author of that first audio book to write as a guest blogger about my experience, we thought it would be a nice short piece, but (as you can probably tell by this long-winded introduction) I just couldn't seem to stop writing, so it became a 4-part series.
What follows is the first in that series.
Books have always been a passion of mine. My family moved a lot when I was young, so making friends was hard. My books became my best friends. In the summers, I would climb the nearest tree and sit for hours reading; imagining myself living the lives of the characters in my books. As I grew older, and busier, I no longer had hours for reading, but had to steal the time from my grown-up responsibilities.
Then I discovered audiobooks. Wow! I can read and clean the bathroom? Or read while I drive to work? Or read and weed the garden? Heaven!
And then one day I realized, “I can read and share my passion with the world”. I wanted to narrate those audiobooks I loved to “read”. So, I started auditioning.
Now, I’m no stranger to rejection. I’ve been singing and acting on stage since I was seven years old, and I know how brutal the audition process can be. So, I didn’t expect much to happen at first. I was prepared for weeks, maybe months to go by before I was offered a book to narrate.
After a long night of recording and editing, I sent off my first audition, tried to tell myself not to expect anything, and went to bed. Six hours of fitful sleep later, I went downstairs to find a message waiting. They loved my audition and would I accept a contract to narrate and produce the book?
“I’ve been offered a contract. S**t! What do we do now?” I practically screamed to my husband, who was to be my director and engineer.
Excitement. Terror. Anticipation. Trepidation. Insecurity. Emotions were flying around inside of me like dust in a Kansas windstorm. I mean, I was as confident in my abilities as any actor (we can all be crushed for days, even weeks, at the whim of a scathing critic or director), but I’d never done anything quite like this before. This was true storytelling, an art in and of itself. What if I really suck at this?! I took a deep, calming breath and said to myself, “There’s only one way to find out.”
And thus begins our journey into the world of audiobook production.