A Breakdown of our March 2015 Narrators Forum

Earlier this month, we featured a Narrators Forum with Patrick Lawlor, Karen White, Tanya Eby, Simon Vance, Renee Raudman, and Luke Daniels discussing several areas of the audio industry. We were thrilled with the final product – an hour and forty-two minutes of sharing information, offering advice, and laughing – a lot.

From our first stages of planning this forum, we desired to publish a transcription of the forum after the fact but reality had a different plan for us. We searched and searched for a method of transcription that could pick up seven different voices from seven different locations and just couldn’t find one to do the job. So today, we’re breaking down the discussion for you. Below you’ll find the sound clip for each discussion question. If one topic interests you more than another, you can listen to just that topic.

Our Discussion Topics

Topic 1A – We’ll start with the question we most often receive from listeners. Why aren’t the majority of audiobooks performed by both a male and female narrator interacting with one another while each performs the appropriate gender roles? Simon Vance led off the discussion.



Topic 1B – And, as an extension to that question – what about the multi cast productions? At what point does an audiobook narration become more of an Audio Theatre type of production?



Topic 2 – What are methods you use to differentiate your characters? Are there times when you feel it is more appropriate to read a book without vocally distinguishing one character from another? And accents – when does a narrator choose to perform an accent? Do audiobook publishers prefer the use of accents or is that more of a narrator’s personal choice? Renee Raudman takes the lead on this one.



Topic 3 – Series – they seem to be everywhere these days but it must be a challenge to the narrator. How do you prepare for and continue working on a series? What are the special demands a series requires? The questions were directed first to Luke Daniels.



Topic 4 – Working with authors. It’s our understanding that at one time, interaction between the narrator and author was discouraged yet we hear that this type of relationship is often encouraged now. How does working with an author benefit each and have you made joint appearances with an author? We asked Patrick Lawlor to take the lead on this discussion.  



Topic 5 – Now to address what we as listeners assume are poor production issues or, let’s be honest, we might just be wondering if the narrator is responsible for those blunders. It’s those times that we repeatedly hear the narrator take a noisy breath or possibly there’s an annoying click. It’s the presence of a hum or fuzzy background noise. Also, it’s the obvious edits – repeated sentences or words left out all together or a clear change in background noise or volume level when a correction is made.

What goes into assuring a crystal clear listen? Do narrators make a conscious effort to avoid audible breathing or, are there techniques to minimize this effect? Is there advice you can offer to other narrators to avoid this type of problem? Tanya Eby started this discussion for us.



Topic 6A – Our last discussion has to do with the inexperienced narrator. With the large influx of self-published audiobooks, we also discovered a large number of sub-standard performances. When we see that an eagerly anticipated book is to be performed by an unknown narrator, we now assume that the chances of a poor narration are significant. What advice do you have for the inexperienced/untrained narrator? Where can they start? Karen White led off this discussion.



Topic 6B – What can we say to the narrator who comes to us and says, “You talk about all this training – where do I find that? Where do I find a director? What is my first step?” Luke Daniels took the lead on our final question.



Again, we thank Renee, Patrick, Karen, Luke, Tanya, and Simon for participating in our March 2015 Narrators Forum!


Lea Hensley


Currently Playing for the Gals – March 27, 2015

Woman listening

What are the Gals listening to this week? If you are looking for your next listen, consider trying out one of these along with the reviewer.


Falling for Jillian by Kristen Proby

Narrated by Deacon Lee and Elizabeth Louise


Soaring by Kristen Ashley

Narrated by Hollis McCarthy


The Kraken King by Meljean Brook

Narrated by Alison Larkin


Soulbound by Kristen Callihan

Narrated by Moira Quirk


Rome by Jay Crownover

Narrated by Alicia Neil and William Sharpe


For the Love of Lilah by Nora Roberts

Narrated by Kate Rudd


The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper

Narrated by Amanda Ronconi


About That Night by Julie James

Narrated by Karen White


Sweet Revenge by Rebecca Zinetti

Narrated by Karen White

We’d love to know what you’re listening to too.


Deyan Audio and the Bob Deyan ALS Nurse Fund

Los Angeles, CA — March 16, 2015 — Deyan Audio is announcing the creation of the “Bob Deyan ALS Nurse Fund,” to financially help ALS patients convalesce at home. The fund is being financed by private donations and is being handled by the ALSA.

Helping others deal with ALS is a cause dear to Deyan Audio. Bob Deyan, co-founder of Deyan Audio, was diagnosed with ALS in early 2013 and passed away in August of 2014. Bob, an extraordinary producer, won the 2013 Lifetime Achievement award from the Audiobook Publishers Association. Bob and his wife, Debra’s successful audiobook business sustained them through the staggering expenses of ALS. Others are not so fortunate.

During his illness, Bob made his wishes clear. One was to create a fund that made nurses available for ALS patients convalescing at home. The Bob Deyan ALS Nurse Fund will provide much-needed financial resources for ALS patients.

Many ALS patients have had tracheotomies, live on a ventilator and require round-the-clock care. Unfortunately, medical insurance does not cover the costs of caregiving or nurses. The cost of care can be as much as $8,000 a week.

Without quality nursing at home, patients are often placed in a respiratory hospital. With compromised immune systems, these patients quickly catch viruses and die.

Bob felt that all ALS patients should get quality care. The Bob Deyan ALS Nurse Fund helps families financially, so patients can live out their final days at home, if they wish.

The fund is a special endowment within the ALSA (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association) and will be governed by the ALSA Golden West Chapter. A kickoff celebration will be held at the Northridge location of Deyan Audio on Bob Deyan’s birthday, May 5th from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Guests are asked to bring a donation.

For further details please go to the ALS Association, Community of Hope.

Knight Avenged by Coreene Callahan

Knight AvengedNarrated by Heather Wilds

Knight Avenged is the second book in the Circle of Seven series. Unfortunately, the book wasn’t able to live up to its synopsis, leaving me wishing for something better.

Cosmina is a powerful oracle. She’s been in hiding for several years, but knows she can’t live this way forever. So, she sets out for the city of White Temple, home of The Goddess of All Things. Cosmina is determined to perform an ancient and sacred rite that will restore White Temple to its former glory, pleasing the Goddess in the process. Just as she’s about to begin the ritual, the enemy invades. Read the rest of this entry »

The Price of Blood by Patricia Bracewell

the price of bloodNarrated by Heather Wilds

This is the second book in a trilogy about Emma of Normandy who was Queen of England at the beginning of the eleventh century, some decades before the Norman invasion of 1066. This is a little-known period of history and not one often come across in historical fiction, but Patricia Bracewell brings it to vibrant life, skilfully fleshing out historical figures and events to create a compelling and complex story.

Life in Anglo Saxon England was every bit as turbulent and full of intrigue as in the more familiar Tudor period; and in fact, I’d say that anyone who enjoys historical fiction set in that period is likely to enjoy this Read the rest of this entry »

Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

archers voiceNarrated by Kris Koscheski and Emily Durante

Mia Sheridan is one talented author. She writes in a contemporary new adult genre that spans several years in her characters’ lives (Amazon calls it “coming-of-age”) and she has the grounding of compassion and humor required to help any of us relate to the angst of early and late childhood, as well as all stages of adulthood. There are many ages that I do not relish re-living, but somehow, with Sheridan at the helm, I can feel the empathy without the pain. I end up falling in love with her characters as much as I do her writing.

Archer’s Voice is a book with two different points-of-view. Bree Prescott is a young woman running to find Read the rest of this entry »

Ripped by Katy Evans

rippedNarrated by Elizabeth Louise & Sebastian York

Ripped is a New Adult, second chance romance. Sporting a great performance by two of my favorite New Adult narrators, this is a great title to enjoy in audiobook format. One note of caution though – if you choose to undertake this journey, please be prepared for an angst-filled, anger-masked kind of love. In many ways, this story reminded me of a Young Adult title, as the heroine, although supposedly older throughout most of the book, acts in many ways like a rebellious teenager, struggling to cope with heartbreak by lashing out at the world and closing herself off from everyone and any potential happiness. Of course, such a destructive attitude only leads to a Pandora’s box of other evils Read the rest of this entry »

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