Voicing Kayla and Paradise Cove
I fell in love with Kayla the moment I started reading Paradise Cove. She is a wonderful blend of being unassuming, stubborn, and sharp. It was a joy to get those nuances of her character and really grow with her as she comes into her own. She can be so stubborn and sexy at the same time. I won’t give anything away, but she makes a wonderful centerpiece for the story and a perfect way for the amazing Patrice Wilton to start her heartfelt series about these three different sisters.
People are always curious about my steps to voicing a novel. First, I block off time to get cozy and read the whole book to myself. Then, I read it again in a “work” frame of mind… making notes, highlighting the heck out of individual lines, and using about 100 sticky notes to flag certain sections. Plus, I always have questions about pronunciations of local spots… just to make certain I say things the way a local would. For Paradise Cove, Patrice was my guide to saying things like Islamorada! Once this process is done, I have a really well-rounded feel for each of the characters. For Kayla, I was able to understand her motivations, fears, and loyalties—and infuse them into her voice right from the start.
Now it gets really fun! You know how it is when you read to yourself and you can actually hear certain voices are in your head? I’m fortunate enough to be able to let those voices out! Contrary to what some people might think, reading the different parts really isn’t difficult. Each voice, whether it’s male, female, old, young, from different parts of the world can be varied by pace, tone, and accents. You never want the accents or pitches to get too crazy because then the listener will be just hearing you– and not the words. Subtle is best, even with variations in character. It’s the author’s words that are important… not the voiceover artist’s range of talent.
I read aloud several chapters a day, then I go back and edit where it’s needed and upload the chapter files so Patrice can hear them. She’ll catch errors or want me to re-do certain sentences that don’t sound quite right. As needed, I’ll go back and redo the sections and edit them back into the chapters and re-upload them. This is a great system so that the final product that you hear is free of flubs!
There’s always a sense of accomplishment, but also of wistfulness, when an audiobook is completed. I felt so connected to Kayla and her whole family. Fortunately, Hooked on You was right around the corner!
It’s a lot of detailed work, but as Kayla would tell you… hard work is always worth it in the end.