When the Gals start talking about our favorite romance authors in print, we all enthusiastically include Rachel Gibson on our lists. We hope to see her entire backlist in audio format one of these days soon but, in the meantime, we eagerly anticipate each of her new releases. Her latest, Run to You, is being simultaneously released today in print and audio formats. So, it’s time for another AudioGals’ celebration! We’re giving away three copies of Run to You and talking with narrator Tanya Eby, our newest Narrator Friend. But first, more about the giveaway.
We’re giving away three audiobook download copies of Run to You. Winners will be gifted their copy through Audible.
It’s simple – just enter by midnight (CST) Friday, September 27th. You will find the easy entry form at the bottom of this page – no comments are necessary for entry although we’d love to hear your thoughts in the discussion area. You may only enter once. We’ll contact you the morning of the 28th so watch your emails as we must have acknowledgement of your win within 24 hours. If we don’t hear from you, we’ll select another winner. Bloggers and reviewers, we welcome your entry. Due to possible audio restrictions, the giveaway is limited to the availability of Run to You in your geographical area.
Talking with Tanya Eby
Lea: Welcome to AudioGals Tanya!
Let’s start at the beginning. Can you give us a look into your background, particularly that which prepared you for narrating audiobooks? And are there any awards or nominations you can share with us?
Tanya: I started doing voice overs when I was in college, and eventually found my way to audiobooks. In fact, a director for audiobooks saw me perform one of my monologues in high school and dropped off a card, but I thought he was creepy. I remember thinking “Books on tape is a thing?”
Ten years later, I was cast for my first title. Then I took five years or so off to start a family.
Narrating is a natural fit for me. I have a passion for writing, and I’ve always loved hearing work out loud. Performing stemmed from that love of words spoken in a way to make them dance a bit. So it all works together beautifully. I have a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing, and taught writing for about a decade at an art college in Michigan. Now, I’m a full-time narrator and still work on my own books. Last year I was nominated for an Audie. It was, of all things, for a business title. Maybe I made business sound romantic or something. It was probably all that heavy breathing.
Lea: Now that’s a different way to see things! I see you have been narrating for five years with more than 70 romance titles to your name. Do you think narrating romance differs from other genres?
Tanya: For me, romance titles require real personality for the characters, so I try to use the text as a guide. Not that other kinds of books don’t need personality, but for romance, the people and their relationship become the plot, so those people need to feel real. I don’t exactly try to sound like a man, I mean, I have some real limitations in the testosterone area, so I try to suggest a man.
There’s a thousand ways to say “I love you”, but depending on the level of your voice, if it’s hushed, if it’s rushed, if it’s weighted with emotion, “I love you” can mean many things too. I try to add nuance to a love story in how something is said.
Lea: I like the way you put that – suggest a man. I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to borrow that phrase when discussing the range of a female narrator’s voice in the future.
I don’t see any historical titles in your romance backlist. Is that something you are open to or do you prefer a contemporary setting?
Tanya: I’d love to narrate a historical! I’ve been wearing a long velvet dress with a corset forever, hoping someone would get the hint. I forget that people can’t see me.
I’ve been lucky to read some terrific series. I think I’ve done a good job at those, and maybe casting now hears my voice in that one area. I’m hoping that as my career goes on, I can continue to branch out. I can do lots of characters and accents, and I haven’t had a real chance to do too much of that, but I’d love to. Every story, for me, is an adventure. I’d love to go back in time for a bit.
Lea: Well, this is our official statement to those who influence casting decisions – we’d love to hear Tanya Eby narrate historicals!
When I search your titles at Audible, I see you listed as an author and narrator. I also see you have 25 narrated titles as Tanya Eby Sirois. And I just learned that you narrate under the name of Tatiana Sokolov as well. Can you expand on the author identity as well as the additional names for narrating?
Tanya: I always thought of myself as a writer first, and a narrator second, but people who are just getting to know my work tend to hear my voice before reading my own words.
When I started narrating, “Sirois” was my married name. I thought it would be just a book or two, and I was trying to “do what you’re supposed to do” when you get married. The name never really fit. When I got divorced, narrating became a lifeline for me. It was a gift financially but creatively as well. Now I’m “Tanya Eby” again, even though I’m remarried, and I’ll stay “Tanya Eby”.
Lea: We often discuss narrator pseudonyms here at AudioGals, at Speaking of Audiobooks, and in our Romance Audiobooks Goodreads group. Can you explain why you chose to narrate under the name of Tatiana Sokolov? Were you advised to do so?
Tanya: I record under Tatiana Sokolov for erotica titles only. I thought long and hard about this, and it’s not because I’m ashamed or anything. Love is beautiful, especially hot and spicy love, but I was thinking more of listeners. I’ve narrated a variety of books from mystery, women’s fiction, and even some Christian titles. I decided that the erotica titles called for their own branding. If that’s your thing, you’ll find those titles with my “Sokolov” name, and if it’s not your thing, you won’t be shocked when those Amish characters start undressing.
Lea: We’ll be sharing your answer with other listeners many times, I’m sure, as it is a common question. It makes sense to me but I so wish it wasn’t necessary. Thanks for letting us know your “other name” as it helps us identify your narrations, something that is so important when choosing a new title.
I see you have narrated work by some big names in romance – Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, Susan Mallery, Julia London, and Jayne Ann Krentz (to name a few). Today, we are celebrating your latest release, Run to You by Rachel Gibson. All the Gals are big Rachel Gibson fans and I see this is her first title for you. Can you tell our listeners about the setup for Run to You?
Tanya: I’ve been so lucky to have such great material to work with, and I feel that way about Rachel Gibson’s new work too. I had so much fun with this title. In it, Stella has to high-tail it out of Miami, and has the hunky Beau (an ex-Marine) helping her. The characters are vibrant and fun, and there’s some terrific action. I mean like car-chase action, but I guess, the other kind of action too…especially this one scene in New Orleans when they are…Where was I? Ah. I loved how Stella and Beau related and their dialogue. Gibson has some wonderful three-dimensional supporting characters too, from Stella’s long-lost sister (protagonist of the first book in the series) to thugs to cross-dressing friends.
Lea: Rachel Gibson writes real men that think and talk male. They are like the extra cool guys I have known in my own life. I’m currently listening to Run to You and not only is Beau a good example of Gibson’s real men heroes but your interpretation of his character is spot on! I’m having such a good time listening.
What are some of your current or upcoming projects?
Tanya: My writer-personality is excited that Katie Rudd just finished production on “Foodies Rush In”, a sweet romance. That’s coming soon.
My narrator self is excited about the series of books by Juliet Sobanet I recorded at Brilliance. One of them is called “Midnight Train to Paris” which is a mystery/romance. It’s in Paris and time-travels back to the 30s. Fun. FUN! I love that combination.
And this week, my Tatiana Sokolov personality is in the studio recording the Six Pack Ranch series by Vivian Arend for Tantor. Yeehaw!
Lea: What fun this has been! Thanks for joining us today at AudioGals.
Tanya: Thanks so much, Audiogals! I appreciate the questions and the interest. It’s nice to know there are people out there listening. :)
Lea: You can discover more about Tanya at her AudioGals Narrator’s Page. As I listed her romance titles for the page, I was surprised to find that two of the books she has written are romance!
Melinda will be reviewing Run to You tomorrow as we continue our Rachel Gibson celebration.
Time to Enter
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