Award Winning Fantasy with a Twist!
Finalizing the audio for Fighting Mad had a bittersweet feel to it. It was the end of my first series and the end of a publishing contract. But I’d learned so much since it first came out, that really, the whole upgrade and relaunch was a natural progression into a new life for this book.
Part of that process was finding the right voice to record it. Meet Sally Barron!
How did you end up doing narration?
I’ve always had an ear for voices and accents. For years I thought about getting into voice overs. I eventually took an amazing in-person voice over class. I had done a few eLearning voice overs for my employer at the same time I was taking the class. I was working full time so I looked for a way to manage work and get into voice overs. I came across ACX and Findaway Voices. Thankfully they both offer amazing tutorial videos. I watched quite a few YouTube videos. I then set up a home studio and began auditioning.
What draws you to it?
I love bringing the author’s story into the audio realm and being creative with character development. I hope that my narration adds depth to the scenes and helps to build the characters they have created. I get to be an actress without anyone watching. Heck, I get paid to read. It’s my dream job.
Is there any aspect of your job that spills over into your personal life?
Recording requires silence in my home so I need to coordinate that timing with our household. I sometimes find myself using some of the character’s voices in conversation.
Which character voice would you consider your biggest influence?
I have a few character voices that I enjoy so will repeat them if fitting for another character. One favorite female voice I used for Megan O’Malley in Fighting Mad is sort of childlike but spunky.
Which real person would you consider your biggest influence?
Carol Burnett – as a kid I would watch her variety show every Saturday and I would imitate her characters. However, there are many amazing audiobook narrators that I listen to, to hear their cadence, intonation and overall performance.
What was the hardest part of this project and how did you manage it? (yes, you can say me!)
Staying consistent throughout a project can be challenging. In Fighting Mad, there are many many characters who appear at various points in the book. With that, it can be challenging when those multiple characters are conversing. There are at least 2 scenes I can recall with more than 10 different characters including male, female, young, old, strong accent and light accent. I make note of where a character first appears. Often I’ll go back and relisten to that recording.
What part did you enjoy the most?
I loved the character development, especially the heroine, Carla’s. It’s always fun to be able to be creative with character voices like Padraig and Mrs. Carmichael. Also a good, well written story like Fighting Mad is fun to narrate.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to try narration?
I read this when I was starting: Sit or stand in a closet and read aloud to yourself for a while, like an hour. If you can endure that, dig into tutorials about technology, manuscript preparation, characterization – learn everything you can and keep learning. I am constantly researching, learning and working to improve.
The narrator community is very supportive. There are a number of narrator Facebook groups which are very helpful. From those groups you can find other resources for support and networking.
What projects do you have in mind going forward?
I’m currently working on a short series of children’s chapter books and a teenage romance. I enjoy narrating all genres including non-fiction, but my favorite books to narrate are romances, the steamier the better. So if there are any other romance writers out there, I would love to audition for you.
Hear an audio sample, narrated by Sally Barron!