|Ever since I released Call of Kythshire all the way back in March of 2015 I dreamed of having an audiobook made, but I talked myself out of it so many times for so many reasons.|
At one point I even decided to try narrating the book myself, but that adventure was quickly abandoned. It didn’t take me long to realize how time consuming it would be not just to do the reading and editing, but also to learn about all of the software and sound optimization required to make an excellent quality audiobook.
It also didn’t help that I live under the flight path of one of the busiest airports on the east coast of the USA! There was simply no way recording my books myself was going to work, so I shelved the idea for a few years.
But I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. I always try to see things not as a failure, but as a learning experience. In deciding not to DIY my audiobooks I freed up more time for writing, and I learned how much time, effort, and expertise goes into audiobook production.
It gave me such an appreciation for the art that is audiobook production. And best of all, it provided the perfect timing for me to match up with the perfect narrator for the Keepers of the Wellsprings Series! I’m so delighted to introduce you to Penny Scott-Andrews, the incredibly talented narrator of Call of Kythshire!
|An Interview with Penny|
How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
I trained as an actress at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where my favourite part of the training was radio drama. I loved being behind the mic. After leaving Central I then toured around in theatre shows for a decade, meeting my now husband whilst acting together on Twelfth Night. As soon as I realised that we were to have a baby together, we had to look at how we could continue to work creatively as a three! We tried carrying on touring with my son in tow with us but it was exhausting, so we built a home studio to try our hand at VOs instead. After just a few weeks we were fully booked! We invested in top range recording equipment, trained ourselves thoroughly in audio production and 10 years (and another baby), later nearly all our work is narrating audiobooks. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It has all the magic of creating characters on stage, but from the comfort of home!
What about “Call of Kythshire” compelled you to audition as narrator?
I think the mention of a strong female lead character who was to become a knight really caught my attention. Then when I saw that there were to be fairies added to the mix, I was intrigued. As soon as I read a sample of the book I realised I would love to narrate it; Missy’s writing really pulls you in. It’s so beautiful to read aloud, and really takes you into another world. After I submitted my audition I checked my emails constantly as I was really keen to get this job!
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
I run everyday, no matter what the weather. Most days involve recording for several hours back to back, but I always make sure I escape for an hour or two and run in the woods or sea front. It clears the mind and allows me to be happily still and focussed when I’m in the studio.
What’s next for you?
I am so excited to be already prepping the next book in this series, which I will be narrating with my husband Andy Cresswell. It’s always fun to work together on the voices!
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I am. I appreciate this will be very tedious to most people but I LOVE books about running, and I listen to them whilst out pounding the pavements or weaving my way through the woods. I particularly love biographies of ultra athletes, I find them incredibly inspiring. With my family, we love a magical tale, or a full cast audio drama, and in the car it has to be Winnie the Pooh!
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
Least favourite is when I send over my ideas of character voices to an author I haven’t worked with before. I genuinely cannot sleep until I hear back, for fear that they might hate everything I’ve come up with, or that I’ve barked up totally the wrong tree. This hasn’t happened yet, it’s always been a positive response but I think an element of imposter syndrome lingers with me! My favourite bit is often narrating a section where there are a bunch of characters together as it’s so fun having all the voices/accents coming together. Particularly so in a book like Call of Kythshire where you have such a variety of ‘normal’ people together with fairies and even talking stones!
What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
Character work and accents, and I do love comedy!
How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
As closely as they want. I think at the end of the day I need to know they are delighted with the finished product, and that they feel as proud of it as I do. I respect those who hand it over, walk away and wish to know nothing about it until they listen at the end…. but it’s really fun to work with someone like Missy who invests so much into the recording too. Knowing little insights like who she based a character on, or the backstory of where the inspiration from a section had come from etc can really help a piece come to life. And very needily, working on my own in a studio with no feedback can be lonely, with anxieties of getting a character ‘wrong’, so to have some feedback as we go through the process can be really reassuring.
Learn more about Penny and Andy on their website: https://www.bespokenvoices.com/
It has been an absolute delight listening to my characters come to life with Penny’s voice to help them, and with her husband Andy reading Tib’s narration for Call of Sunteri, I sometimes feel like I must be dreaming!
I’m saving that sneak peek for a future email, but I’m excited to share an exclusive excerpt from Call of Kythshire with you! This is Rian’s Trial, one of my favorite chapters from the first book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series.
Penny and I both wanted to use this as the retail sample for the book because we loved it so much, but in the end we decided to go with something that would be bit easier for a cold reader/listener to follow.
Click Here to Listen To Rian’s Trial!
Click Here to get your Call of Kythshire Audiobook!
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