Audiobooks have changed my reading habits in a big way. Listening to books allows me the pleasure of multitasking. I can devour a wide variety of novels while knitting, cooking, gardening, or driving! Friends – And Then Some and Borrowed Dreams are now available in audio for the first time and both were narrated by Kate Rudd. She gives some insight on what it takes to narrate a book.
1. What has been your journey to becoming an audiobook narrator?
I started narrating audiobooks around ten years ago when I auditioned for the wonderful folks at Brilliance Publishing. What I thought would be a short term gig turned into a full-time vocation I love!
2. How many books have you narrated, do they have a common theme or genre? How do you select which books to narrate?
I have narrated somewhere around 500 books across many genres. I love the variety! My work is mostly in fiction; I especially enjoy YA and Middle Grade work. Generally a publisher’s casting department will offer me a project they feel will be a good fit, and I accept as long as I can fit it into my schedule.
3. What is special about narrating a Debbie Macomber book?
Stepping into a Debbie Macomber story is always really cozy, like returning to a favorite fall sweater once the summer heat changes over to crisp leaves! The small towns in her books are so richly built I end up thinking of them as characters themselves.
4. Do you prefer to read or listen to books?
My mom was a librarian so I grew up wandering the stacks and always loved the feel of a book in my hand. These days I’m often occupied with the stories I narrate, so in my limited ‘free reading’ time I tend to listen while multitasking.
5. Where is your favorite place to listen to audiobooks or your favorite activity to do while listening?
I often listen while cleaning the house or while driving. Also at night before falling asleep, especially nonfiction.
6. What is your routine for recording a book? How many times do you read it before? How do you decide on the voices you do for different characters?
I adjust my process somewhat based on what’s needed for each book. Ideally narrators receive a script several weeks in advance of recording so we have time to read through and research any areas that need special attention. I often stop to call a library, restaurant, visitor center, or communicate with authors in order to confirm pronunciations referenced in the story. I focus on who the characters are and what they want, as well as any vocal characteristics described by the author, and the specific voices usually take shape pretty naturally from there.
7. What is something that people may not know about being a narrator?
One funny thing is having to wear ‘quiet’ clothing when we work. I remember being surprised when I first got started how much of my wardrobe just wouldn’t do! Raspy fabrics, jingly zippers, jewelry, belt buckles; it all had to go. My closet has slowly morphed into a collection of yoga clothes and hoodies.