It’s Friday, my friends, and that means it’s time for the Friday Five Things Plus or Minus One post!
Today, we’re talking audio books.
If you’ve ever listened to a book on tape or an Mp3 download of a book, you’ve listened to a professional narrator at work. Today, my guest is Sara Morsey, professional narrator, actress, artist, and the wonderful narrator of The Man, The Dog, His Owner & Her Lover which is available NOW as an audio download from Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes.
A long-time associate artist with The Hippodrome Theatre in Gainesville, FL, Sara has worked in regional theaters across the country. She believes “Art blesses our lives. It can open hearts, minds, hands, and give us courage to express our deepest secret selves.”
I asked Sara 5+1 questions for f (5t ± 1).
SM: I’m not sure how exactly I go about auditioning for certain books. I have to admit I sometimes judge the book by its cover or its title when looking at it for an audition. Then I read what is written by the author and the selection that is given to read for the audition, and just trust my gut. I liked everything about The Man, The Dog, His Owner & Her Lover: title, info, audition material, etc. I was impressed by the sorts of things that you seemed to be interested in and I loved the excerpt from the book.
CC: <blush> Thank you. I agree that covers are important. I’ve probably missed some good reads because I was turned off by the cover. Once you decide to audition, what is your process overall and for decisions about characterization, voices, speed, etc.
SM: My process definitely starts with reading the whole book. That usually answers the questions about voices and pacing, etc. In the case of this book, you had some very good suggestions for the characters based on actors or personalities everyone would know. I don’t do impressions, but it helped me get a feel for what you wanted.
CC: I’m glad those suggestions helped. The book turned out great. As a writer, I’m always picturing my characters and their surroundings. Where do you make your recordings? At home? In a studio?
SM: I record in my home studio. My recording booth is in a closet. I constantly dream of upgrading, and am always tweaking things to try to get a better sound. I feel like every book I read gets a little better. Editing has a lot to do with the production as well and I have done a few online seminars and read everything I can about that, and incorporate what is useful.
CC: A closet?! I wouldn’t be able to get in my closet. But if I could, I can see how it would be a good place to work. Sounds a lot like writing–closing off the outside world can really help. And there’s always more to learn about honing the craft. I’m still figuring out the best times for me to write. When do you like to record?
SM: I really record at all times of the day and night. Late morning and early afternoon is my favorite time though.
CC: That sounds like writing, too! I write whenever I can. Who are your greatest influences?
SM: As far as audiobook narration, my greatest influences were some wonderful narrators at The American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, KY where there is a recording studio for The Library of Congress “Talking Books” program. When I was a young actor, I auditioned there and was lucky enough to be accepted. I narrated there for three years before I moved away and began acting in regional theaters across the country.
CC: +1 question: How did you get into book narration?
SM: Every now and then I would record a book if someone hired me specifically to do that because they knew of my history at The Library of Congress. And then, this spring I became aware of ACX and jumped in with both feet. I came across a YouTube video and was hooked. I’m really glad I did, because I just love it and hope to continue for many years.
CC: That makes two of us, Sara! Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions and for all the time you took to record my book.
Learn more about Sara and her work at saramorsey.com
The Man, The Dog, His Owner & Her Lover
is available for download right now: