With my title as an homage to Wicked, you’d think this story might have a less than happy ending – yet on the contrary, I’m actually being quite honest. Because in terms of me as a performer and someone in the writing world, I’ve had a lot of excellent things happen to me recently.
And as much as I like to talk about the questions and concerns that come with the writing world, I think it’s important to take some time to look at the good times as well.
I’ve recently gotten into audiobook narrating. I’ve loved telling stories aloud to people for as long as I can remember, and since I have the nice microphone for the amateur voice acting I do, I figured that if I could get the audio to be quiet enough in the background, I should give it a shot. I messed around with a profile on a website for a while, gave up, and tried again later at the urging of fellow author M.C.A. Hogarth – a woman I have a great deal of respect for, both as a person and an author. Micah was looking for audiobook narrators, and I adore her work. I made the effort and got a page up.
However, before Micah even had a project for me to consider, I got a message from an author I was unfamiliar with. She’d heard the samples I put up on my page and wanted me to take a look at her books. Three in particular, but she had several that were looking for narrators, and she liked my sound.
I was blown away. Someone had come up at random, heard me talking, and wanted me to try out for a part. That hadn’t happened since…well, since the last time someone asked me to voice Trixie in yet another My Little Pony spinoff due to my work in Turnabout Storm. But. It wasn’t common, especially in what I considered a “serious acting field.” So of course, I tossed out three auditions, and waited.
The author liked one of them a great deal, and made me an offer to produce the audio for her book. It was about vampires – I liked the writing – it was a match made in heaven. I took the offer and got the manuscript to read.
(Something else happens here, but I’ll come back to it.)
Kathryn and I worked wonderfully together. She was responsive and quick with an email, had a laser eye for edits, and was always willing to be flexible if my life got in the way. Together we pieced up the puzzle that was her novel and, though a week after its original due date, sent it off to be produced. With any luck at all, it will find its way through the website and be up in time for Hallowe’en – something I know she’s really hoping for, given the subject matter. (I’m not naming the book for that reason; I’ll make an announcement when the book is actually available.)
Meanwhile, only a week later (and as I look at the messages, the same day I accepted the offer for Book 1), a new message shows up in my inbox. This one reads a bit differently…and confuses me.
A new author has made me an offer to produce their book.
Now, this is different in that this isn’t the author sending me a message to audition. No, this is an author outright giving me the offer. I messaged the author in question, asking if perhaps there had been a mistake, and would they like me to audition for the piece? The message I received in response was lightly amused, but still sure – there was no need for an audition. They heard my samples and liked my voice well enough that they were giving me the book sight-unseen.
I was completely speechless. I thanked them for the offer, and accepted. Luckily, the time frame on that book set itself after Book 1, so that I could focus on one project at a time.
Craig, the author of Book 2, is just as responsive and sharp as Kathryn was. I’m still working on recording his book now, but he’s always got an email back for me, and we’ve been working well together. It’s actually a line from him that made me write this post. I’d sent him a chapter to review last night, and received my response this morning. At the front of his email, he’d written this:
“I have to be sure not to take for granted how incredibly easy you make it all sound. Your thoughtful and patient understanding of the text brings it to life. I couldn’t be happier.”
It’s words like this that make me want to keep doing this. It’s authors like Craig that keep me going. It’s been a rough week – so much that I took a day off of recording entirely because I couldn’t fathom spending the day in front of my computer, talking to myself. But I did the next day – and I got that chapter out – and I got that response.
Today I sat down and delivered probably the best chapter I’ve done so far. I’m excited to keep working on Book 2, and I’m eager to see where all this goes.
I’ve accepted two more offers since then – one for a project due at the beginning of the new year (which is good, because that means that I have November essentially off to do NaNoWriMo, and then December to record it) – and…something that makes me smile every time I think about it.
All this time later – I’ve gotten an offer to record a short story for Micah herself.
Even in the midst of all the other recording I’m doing, I can’t say no to finally having a chance to record something for her. I almost jumped for joy out of my seat when she accepted my audition.
So yes – I’m running myself a little ragged. Yes, I’m pushing myself and working (essentially) two full-time jobs and trying to have a life outside of it as well. Is it working terribly well? Not all the time. But I’m doing something I enjoy, and I’m finding a way to make money at it – which is what I’ve always been told to do. And who knows? Maybe these books will sell well enough to finance a little bit of stuff to make my recordings that much better…and I might actually make myself a career out of this.
Now wouldn’t that be something. Half narrator, half writer…?
Yeah. I could do that.
And I’ll owe it all to people like Kathryn, Craig, and Micah.