DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
Yesterday I had the awesome experience of holding a roundtable interview with three of my audiobook narrators and today I will introduce one of them to you and provide you an excerpt from the upcoming audiobook. Audiobooks for me are a whole new world for me. Frankly, I never had listened to one until people asked me if my novels were going to become one. So, I did my due diligence and listened to about twenty audiobooks before I jumped in to find my voice, or voices in my case, for my books. The first author I'll introduce you to is Jessie Drumm who is narrating my book Never Stop Running. The audio files are being finalized and we hope to unveil this audiobook within the next six weeks. Take a look at Jessie's interview and get to know her as I do.
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, and I currently live in Newtown, Connecticut. I studied French, Theater, and Italian at Ithaca College and French Business at The University of Paris. I later earned a Masters degree in Teaching French from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I also have a certificate from Teachers College Columbia in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. I love languages, as you can see!
What inspired you to become a narrator?
I am a full-time world language teacher in a middle/high school in Westchester, New York. I was inspired to become a narrator after narrating several educational videos for my school. I was told I have a very professional, soothing voice, and I also love studying accents. I decided to explore the option of voiceover/narration work since I was missing the opportunity to perform theatrically, which I had so frequently when I was younger. I used to read all of my books aloud when I was a child and I read now to my daughter. Narration felt like a natural field to try.
Do you have a preferred genre?
I really love psychological, suspense thrillers and mystery novels. I love any book with engaging characters and a plot line that makes you want to do nothing other than read/listen.
What has been your favorite section or chapter you narrated from my book?
This is a tough call! I might have to say my favorite was the chapter entitled “Behold the Knights” from Never Stop Running because I really enjoyed the accent. In terms of dramatic portrayal, I’d say Sebastian’s accident and the 911 call were exciting to narrate, because of the wide range of characters and emotional complexity I had to portray in those scenes.
LISTEN TO EXCERPT "BEHOLD THE KNIGHTS" NARRATED BY JESSIE DRUMM
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to produce an audiobook?
I am very new to audiobook production, so learning my software and editing tools was challenging. Also, making myself a schedule around another full-time job and being a mom of a young child made recording difficult at times. Another challenge was the range of accents in Never Stop Running. I did my best to research them and recreate them, without characterizing or stereotyping.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other narrators?
I believe my background and experience with languages and linguistics sets me apart from other narrators. I research the etymology of words and their regional differences, which I find very fascinating. I put a lot of care into the actual syntax and significance of what I’m reading.
How do you prepare your voice before narrating?
I brush my teeth and put on chapstick! Sometimes, I also drink mint tea or oil pull (swish coconut oil in my mouth) to prep my voice. I warm up by reading a few passages before I hit record.
Do you have a preference for fiction or non-fiction? Why?
I prefer fiction because I love portraying a variety of characters. I enjoy bringing scenes in the book to life and do my best to give each character a distinct voice or tone.
How do you go about marketing your audiobook?
Facebook and Instagram are the main social media I use. I also work with hundreds of interested teachers and students who are curious to hear my performances, so word of mouth goes a long way in marketing as well.
How do you choose the books you want to narrate?
I look for an engaging text that lures me in. I look for something I consider to be well-written, with characters I feel I could convincingly portray.
Describe what your recording studio? Also, please submit a picture of it.
My recording studio, like many new voiceover artists, is my walk-in closet! It’s a treated space, in terms of having carpet and lots of clothing to absorb echoes. There is no external noise at all. (I hope you don’t mind, but I’d rather not include a picture of it.)
What is your preferred equipment in microphones, headsets, software, etc?
I really enjoy my Audio Technica headphones, my AKG P420 Project Studio Condenser Microphone and I prefer ProTools for software.
What one piece of advice do you have for new narrators.
I am a new narrator myself, but my biggest piece of advice would be to allow yourself as much time as possible to learn your equipment and software before you take on projects. Also, assume that everything is going to take longer than expected so that you time manage appropriately. Finally, be patient with yourself and know that mistakes along the way are entirely normal and expected.
Tell your readers anything else you want to share.
It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Dr. Melissa Caudle on Never Stop Running and I hope you enjoy it! I’ve grown quite attached to the characters and will miss them once production is entirely complete.
BOOKS OF THE DAY
There Ariseth Light in the Darkness: A Novel of First Century Galilee by JV Love
Three wandering souls. One miraculous teacher. A story of love and forgiveness…
In ancient Palestine, three survivors struggle to find solace in a world of brutality and bloodshed. Azara is studious, headstrong, and committed to her ideals. Jonah is pure and virtuous, but his heart has been darkened by the evils of man. And Vitus is a Roman soldier battling for order and progress when he is unexpectedly confronted with a different kind of war…
Separated by miles of dangerous lands, and decades of turbulent history, these three wandering souls set off on a journey beyond their imagination. Their travels will test their faith and culminate in an encounter with a mysterious rabbi from Galilee—a teacher who up ends their lives with his revolutionary message of love and compassion…
A man called Jesus of Nazareth.
Author JV Love blends meticulous research with an absorbing, heartfelt story. There Ariseth Light in the Darkness is an epic biblical adventure that sweeps readers into the lives of its unforgettable protagonists.
THE LITTLE BOY WHO FOUND THE CHAPEL
written by Michele Denise Gilcrease, illustrated by Eric Rider Gilcrease
The Little Boy Who Found the Chapel is a story about a boy named Ethan who is befriended by a boy named Alex. This story takes you on an adventure as Ethan realizes being himself is enough, although he is poor, laughed at, and set apart from the other kids at school. No matter the challenges that seem hard in his life and bring him down, he faces those challenges on life's path with the help of Alex, who knows how to be a friend when others don't. Through this friendship, Alex helps Ethan to see himself through God's eyes. Alex knows God. He helps Ethan find the most important knowledge of his own worth, and that's when his greatest friend becomes God. Ethan finds this out at an early age. Through the good choices he starts to make while watching his friend and making similar choices, Ethan sees his life in a whole new light through God's eyes. God sees Ethan's worth, and this teaching changes him for the better. He finds himself at new doors that lead him into the chapel. As the doors open, he walks in and sits down; for the first time, he listens to the Holy Spirit. While he sits there, he finds out that he is more than just Ethan.
Other link to my book is on amazon the little boy who found the chapel to post on your blog