Back to pen some glad news here to ring the holidays in! After being away from the Journal page due to an overloaded schedule, I’m working on a special Christmas post to share. But first…
I’m so pleased to announce that Lael’s story, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, is in audio format! I must admit I’m wild about the cover! The broody, wooded look and color scheme are just my cup of tea. If you’d like to listen to an audible sample, here’s the link…
The lovely Laura Jennings is narrating all three Kentucky books ~ Courting Morrow Little and The Colonel’s Lady will soon follow. When I first heard Laura audition, I was amazed at how well she brought Lael’s story to life. Turns out she’s from my neck of the woods! She was gracious enough to answer some questions I put to her about the process.
What is your favorite part of narrating a novel? Least favorite?
My favorite part is getting lost in the characters and the story and
your book was no exception. I also love the English language. Least
favorite is the research. I like sinking into a novel but in the
beginning I have to read and take notes to make sure I get everything
right in the narration.
What might surprise listeners about the audio process?
I think it is hard for people to imagine what it is like to sit alone in
a studio reading a novel out loud for long hours at a time. And then
spend that same amount of time editing and producing. At least I hope
they have a hard time imagining it – we are supposed to make it sound
In The Frontiersman’s Daughter, were there any particular challenges or pleasures for you as narrator?
Well, being a southerner and a historian at heart the story was near and
dear from the beginning. Of course dialects are always tricky but that’s
part of the fun, too.
What’s it like listening to your own voice bringing a story to life?
When I started narrating audiobooks I kind of fell in love with my own
voice in the beginning. Then I started comparing myself to others with
more experience and thought I was awful and came close to quitting many
times. Now, after doing this for almost five years, I am able to listen
to myself from an objective viewpoint. In the mastering process, if I
can listen to the story and not “hear” my voice then I feel like I’ve
got it right.
Do you have to like/enjoy a book before you narrate it?
Sometimes that is not an option. I would say 90% of the time I enjoy the
books I narrate but sometimes I am asked to narrate a book that I would
not normally read. At those times, you keep the listener in mind and do
the best job you can for them. Mostly, as was the case with
Frontiersman’s Daughter, I do enjoy what I am narrating. But, in all
cases, I feel honored to have been chosen.
Who doesn’t love history and romance??? Well, I do like a good mystery,
too. I am a reader – I would read the yellow pages if that’s all I had.
Thank goodness it is not.
Any characters or books you’ve done that have personal meaning?
I tend to identify with strong female characters because that is what
feels normal to me. My family is heavily populated with very independent
women which is probably why these characters feel so right. Funny you
should ask this question, while reading Frontiersman’s Daughter, I felt
you had captured perfectly the independent spirit of the Southern woman.
Ever think of writing your own book and if so, what setting or century would you choose?
Oh gosh, I Have an MFA in creative writing and have written several
novels. And they are all in a cardboard box under my bed which is where
they will stay. They are novels set in the south and in the early
part of the 20th century. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.
See you in December for a Christmas post about cabin life, what I’m writing, and more.
Hope to hear from you then, too!