Patrick Lawlor

Patrick LawlorI started out as an actor, primarily on stage. Actually, my MFA is in Classical Acting, primarily Shakespeare. I have done all I can to make a living as an actor, and part of that has been expanding my definition of what it means to be a working actor. Subsequently, over the years, I have done stage, film, television, radio plays, theme parks, renaissance faires, murder mystery weekends, corporate training projects, industrial films. I’ve been an actor, director, stuntman, fight choreographer, teacher, tour guide, dancer, pub singer, bad mime, and yes, waiter, bartender and LOTS of file clerk gigs. Then, I was living in Los Angeles, working as a records management consultant for a major studio, the ultimate file clerk gig, when my wife surprised me with an Introduction to VoiceOver class one Valentines Day. I was hooked and took more classes. During one class, I heard about an APA event in New York that would put me in front of a lot of audiobook publishers. I had really never heard of audiobooks before, but in preparing, I immersed myself in the genre. (My favorite book in this period was Carl Hiaasen’s LUCKY NUMBERS, narrated by Ed Asner) I went, auditioned, met a lot of great people, and had my first book by lunchtime. (Daniel James Cabrillo’s NEW HOUSE, a short story from the anthology, AQUA EROTICA. Yes, my first gig was Erotica! I was so worried that my first book would be my last, that I recorded under a pseudonym! Now, approaching 300 books recorded, I think I’ll be okay.) I got 5 books that first year, 7 the next and then things took off. I now average between 25 and 30 books a year.

As far as my preparation is concerned, I have a fairly flexible routine. Each book is unique and presents unique challenges. Some have a lot of technical, foreign or invented words that need pronunciations. Some need a lot of character voices and/or accents or dialects. Sometimes I have to learn a whole way of talking, for instance if I’m reading Military nonfiction, business books  or any number of things I don’t personally know about. Nothing is worse than listening to an authority who obviously doesn’t really know what he’s talking about! Generally, though, I always read the book (well, almost always. Sometimes time prohibits a preread). I make a list of all words I don’t know how to say. You’d be surprised how many everyday words you think you know that you’ve never actually said aloud. I pay special attention to real people’s names, regional pronunciations, odd words and technical words and phrases. If possible, I talk to the author to get her/his take on pronunciations and anything else they might find important. If it is a nonfiction, I then start to record. I normally do not do any distinct voices for nonfiction, unless they are specifically called for or the person has a famous voice. If it is a fiction, this is where the fun starts. Character Work! I come up with voices, accents and dialects for every character in the book. I draw as much as possible from clues in the text – accent, stutter, quiet, fast talker, etc. once this is done, I hit the studio!

photo-29I have won 4 Audiofile Earphones Awards and  a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award. I have been an Audie Award Finalist 3 times, as well as several starred reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. I have been featured in numerous Best Of, Year’s Best, Editor’s choice, Fan Favorite and other similar lists.

I am the only working male audiobook narrator in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (There ARE two female narrators, but one of them lives in a suburb, and the other does mostly theatre.) I continue to do theatre, and as a matter of fact, will be playing Jacques in Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT, later this summer (that’s the guy who says, “All the World’s a Stage…” for those of you keeping score at home).

I’m happily married to the very talented filmmaker, Karen Erbach (check out the Girl Scouts of America’s 100th Anniversary commercial, To Get Her There. It still airs all over the country! I’m a huge fan!) We have a fantastic 3 year-old American Staffordshire (Pittie) Mix named Charlie, who is, quite possibly, the best dog in the world. To relax in our spare time, we run marathons, and are currently preparing for our 9th one together.


Contact Patrick through AudioGals

Patrick’s Recorded Talk with Lea


Patrick’s Romance Audio Titles

(a number of these titles are dual narrations)

Suzanne Brockmann

Troubleshooter Series


Hot Target

Breaking Point

Into the Storm

Force of Nature

All Through the Night

Into the Fire

Dark of Night

Hot Pursuit

Breaking the Rules

Headed for Trouble


Born to Darkness

Future Perfect


Letters to Kelly

Love with a Proper Stranger

Unstoppable: Two books in one audio – Love with a Proper Stranger and Letters to Kelly


Jennifer Crusie/Bob Mayer

Don’t Look Down


Carolyn Fyffe

Before the Larkspur Blooms


Jayne Ann Krentz

The Golden Chance


Nora Roberts

All I Want for Christmas





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