Rennie has a voice!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am so very pleased to announce that the search is officially over. My dear Rennie, main character of Drawn In has a voice!! I’m thrilled to introduce you to the sweet and talented woman who will bring Rennie to life via audio book: Julianne Lawson.

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The last time I worked with Julianne, I think she was probably twelve. Although I haven’t worked with her since, I invited her to audition for the role and I was absolutely blown away by what she was able to bring to a simple reading. Her voice is sweet and pleasant with just the perfect touch of quirky, she understands the character(s) and really gets the style and the humor written into the text, and her pacing and instincts are just perfect for this. I couldn’t be more pleased with this match.

My top four choices made this an incredibly difficult decision, but in the end I had to go with my gut. And now we start making an audio book! So so SO excited for this project, I can’t even tell you! (Except I just did.)

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Choosing a Voice, or Decisions Are HARD

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Auditions for the narrator of the audio book version of Drawn In went very well! I received thirteen auditions and every single one had SOMEthing that I loved about it. There is a particular thing that I’m looking for and it would be so much easier if I could identify what that is in a clear and concise manner. But ultimately it’s just a feeling… something in the way a certain phrase is read, or the way that a bit of humor is approached, or the way that a pause is used rather than just taken. It is truly an art and those with a flair for it have my highest respect.

Somehow I managed to narrow it down to my top four. I had intended to choose a top three, but that just wasn’t possible. Let’s face it, I know some amazingly talented people. And yesterday I received the callback recordings I asked them to do to help me decide, which was supposed to make my decision easier. It’s still REALLY. FREAKING. HARD.

Maybe I’m making this too complicated. Maybe I just need to close my eyes and pick a name (they’re all wonderful, I couldn’t go wrong!). Or maybe I just need to trust my gut and make the best decision I can with the information I have.

Giving a voice to Rennie is a very personal thing. She’s mine. I know her and understand her and I know what she sounds like. Trusting that to somebody else feels like a very big thing, even though I know that anyone else listening to it won’t have those preconceptions at all. My pro/con lists help, my friend Katherine and my niece Shelby are helping, and in the end I’m just gonna have to trust my gut. There isn’t a bad choice to be made when all four could easily do it. That should make this easier, right?

The Voices in My Head…

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My latest venture is to work on transferring the voices in my head into your head. In other (less creepy) words, I’m figuring out how to make Drawn In into an audiobook. I’m using ACX, a website that is linked to Amazon in the same way that CreateSpace is linked to Amazon. By using them, I will be able to release my book with Audible, iTunes, and Amazon all at once. Exciting right? I’m still a little confused on the process. It all seems too easy, too casual. I’ve read the site so many times, but it just seems too simple. Pick someone to read, approve their first 15 minutes, give some notes, approve the whole thing, put it out there. Done; people can buy it. Shouldn’t there be some angst or drama involved? Maybe there will be some of that in the notes and approval phase. Or maybe it’s just that easy. Here’s hoping, right?

So now is the truly thrilling part… I’m auditioning narrators. This is also the difficult part however. See, I know what Rennie sounds like, she’s been in my head for a very long time now. I think as soon as I hear it, I’ll know it. I have a background in theatre, and I posted on facebook, tagging a bunch of my actor friends to have them audition. I have amaaaaaazingly high hopes for several of them who are interested (can’t wait to hear them ALL!!), and I have particularly high hopes for one in particular who has the potential to BEEEEEEEE Rennie. Seriously. I won’t elaborate, because I am open to all possibilities, all auditions, and I would love to be surprised. I’m just excited at the chance to find The One.

I love audio books. If I didn’t have GPS, I would have completely gotten lost on my trip moving from PA to Missouri while I was listening to The Host. (And say what you will about Stefanie Meyer, but I freakin LOVE that book, and it’s due to the audio version that completely sucked me in.) So anyway, all I really want is a chance to join that world. To have my book available while people are walking their dog or jogging or stuck in traffic… how amazing would that be? What are your feelings about audio books? Do you prefer single voiced narration or multi-actor casts?