I’ve been lucky enough to be paired up with Patrick Lawlor for this fun project. I asked Patrick a few questions and planned to summarize his answers. He did such a good job summing things up himself, I’m just going to share his response here. After reading it, you’re going to want to hang out with him. Be sure to listen to Patrick’s fabulous recording of The Lottery Ticket by Anton Chekhov.
I 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!
I 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.
Be sure to check out other posts in this series from:
Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative! If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!
This week’s words came from Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman.
1. bombé – “It was an unusual piece, shaped like a tall bombé with pineapple feet.”
Bombé is usually used when referring to furniture and means having outward curving lines.
2. strié – “Techniques called strié and marbleizing filled my imagination, and there was a section about trompe l’oeil that made my head swim.”
Strié isn’t in my dictionary but, according to wikipedia, it is a popular form of faux painting using glaze and paint brushes to create a soft natural striped texture.
3. whompyjawed – “You know that chest is all whompyjawed.”
Whompyjawed’s not in my dictionary either. I had to go to Urban Dictionary to find out what it means. Whompyjawed means uneven, crooked, or off-centered. What a fun word!
What words do you want to celebrate today?
Even though there was an underlying sadness to her mother, Teddi Overman has a fairly normal childhood in rural Kentucky. Teddi discovers she has a passion for old things and finds that she has a knack for restoring them while her younger brother, Josh, knows that his passion is for animals and nature. After high school, Teddi heads to Charleston to pursue her dreams and shortly afterward, Josh disappears, leaving Teddi haunted by the loss.
Several years later something happens that makes Teddi believe that maybe, just maybe, Josh is still alive. While she tries to figure things out, she learns a few things about her parents that makes her understand them better. Digging into her past might be just what Teddi needs to move forward in her future.
I was lucky enough to meet Beth Hoffman when she was touring for her first book, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and have considered her a friend ever since, so while I’ve been excited that she has a new book out, I’ve also been a little nervous. What if I didn’t like it? After all, her first book is a personal favorite – I recommend it to people all the time. I put off reading her latest book, Looking For Me, until I decided that I just wouldn’t say anything if I didn’t like it. Well, it turns out, I did all that worrying for nothing! I’m happy to tell you Beth Hoffman does not suffer from sophomore slump – she’s got another winner in this wonderful book.
Told in the first person in the present day, with flashbacks to the past, Looking For Me is truly Teddi’s story. Teddi is a fabulous character – she’s sincere, kind, passionate, and loyal – much like Beth. I suspect there’s a lot of the author in this character and that’s why she’s so appealing. You can’t read this book and not fall in love with Teddi and root for her along the way.
Great characters alone aren’t enough for me, though, and I’m happy to report there’s a great story in this book as well. Teddi searches for answers in order to figure out her place in the world so this almost reads like a coming of age story. There’s a hint of mystery thrown in and just enough twists to keep readers flipping the pages to get to the marvelous ending. Looking For Me is sure to be on my list of favorites for the year!
Review copy provided by the author. I am an Indiebound Affliate.
- The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau came from Harper Collins
- Apologies to My Censor by Mitch Moxley came from Harper Collins
- The President’s Hat by Antione Laurain came from Meryl Zegarek Public Relations
- The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé came from Meryl Zegarek Public Relations
- Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell came from Random House
- Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa by Benjamin Constable came from Simon and Schuster
- Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker came from Blue Slip Media
Did you find any goodies in your mailbox last week?
Last year I read and enjoyed Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand. My sister, Karen, recently read it and sent me her thoughts and she liked it as much as I did. You’ll want to pick this book up this summer!
One minute the world is your oyster, and the next thing you know you’re the world’s most detested woman. Married to a Bernie Maddoff like man, Meredith Delinn suddenly and unexpectedly finds her world turned upside down. She reaches out to her lifelong best friend who takes her in despite a rift between the two. Connie O’Brien, recently widowed, is having trouble moving on with her life. The two women retreat to Nantucket Island where they help each other to heal.
Love, love, love Elin Hilderbrand’s books. This totally absorbing story made me think about the families left behind by some of society’s more notorious persons. I never really gave much thought to what they must go through. It also makes you think about the truly important things in life. This is one terrific book.
When I was in New York last week, I spotted this sign near Columbus Circle and thought it was a lot of fun.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda’s site.
Lola is a five pound Yorkshire Terrier with a big heart. She wanted to be a therapy dog but was told she was too small. She went to school anyway, worked hard and passed the test! Now Lola goes to nursing homes, libraries, and schools to bring comfort, cheer, and encouragement to those who need it.
Lola Goes to Work, by Marcia Goldman, is the cutest picture book I’ve seen in ages. I’ve read it over and over and have shown it to anyone who would look at it. Part of the appeal is the adorable pictures of Lola but there’s so much more to this book! Lola’s told she’s too small but she’s tries anyway. She discovers that her classes are hard so she works very hard. All of her hard work pays off when she passes her class and becomes a certified therapy dog.
This book is sure to appeal to young children. They’ll be able to relate to being told they’re too small and finding things hard to do. They’ll cheer for Lola and wish she’d visit their school and hopefully her story will encourage them to try hard too. There are adorable photographs and a sentence or two on every page. This book is sure to become a favorite of young children.
The back of Lola Goes to Work includes a page on therapy dogs as well as a teacher resource page that can be used in the classroom or home. If you have a little one in your life, be sure to check out this wonderful book!
For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.