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Monday, November 23, 2015

Interview with audiobook narrator, Stevie Zimmerman

I thought it might be fun to get to know the awesome narrators of my audiobooks. So today, I've intereviewed Stevie Zimmerman who narrated "Falling in Love Again".

1st review for audiobook:

"Romance par excellence"
All the elements of a complete romance. Pirates, spies, highwaymen, period detail. Fantastic.
The narration Stevie Zimmerman delivers is amazing. All the characters come to like - even the hero who is TWO people. Sexy and fun and enticing performance.



Me:
Briefly tell me about yourself. What makes Stevie Zimmerman tick?

Stevie:
Other than family (two almost grown kids and an almost grown husband) my first love is the theatre. I wanted to be an actor but didn’t have ‘it’, so I tried directing and loved it. That’s where I feel most at home. I direct whenever I’m asked pretty much, and have had some real successes in the DC area. I’m from England originally but have been living here for almost 23 years. Both my children were born here. But I must admit, my heart is still in England and I get back whenever I can, although I try to travel as widely as possible and have a bucket list of places way longer than I have years left to live.  My other great love is our perfect puppy Charlie who is reminding me it is past supper o’clock so I better get a move on!



Me:
Well, that's probably why you've done such a great job with the British accents in this story - you're from England!  So, what made you want to become a narrator?

Stevie:
I guess it is a bit of a return to acting in a way. A few years ago someone suggested that my British English accent might have a niche in the voiceover world and I started doing some local commercials. That developed into a little business doing some longer narrations for companies, e-learning and such. And then I thought I’d see if I could get into the audiobook world. The ebook self publishing boom has been a boon for narrators too as there are so many more books on the market.

Me:
I agree with you on the self-publishing boom. There are a lot of ebooks now. Do you always enjoy narrating stories? Was there ever a time when you became frustrated with this career?
Stevie:
I do really enjoy it, even when the book itself isn’t one I might pick up and read myself. I love finding different voices for different characters, and even though most of the books I have voiced have been period romances of one sort or another, it is always fascinating the way different authors develop the characters and spin the tales out.


Me: 
You are really good at what you do!  Tell me of a fun experience you had narrating a story.

Stevie:
Well, one of my earliest books was not quite as ‘romantic’ as I had thought when I took it on. It was rather more risqué than lovey dovey. I found myself a little shocked, and also shocked that I was shocked -  I’m not a prude! I ended up putting it out under a different name, not because I was embarrassed to have done it but I didn’t want it to damage any of my ‘cleaner’ authors’ sales by association.  But of all the books I’ve done, that’s the one my husband likes to tell people about!


Me:
That's funny about your husband! How do you create such compelling voices? What goes through your mind when you’re recording different characters?

Stevie:
Well, firstly – thank you! I try to have a picture in my mind, usually helped by the authors’ descriptions. And I try to imagine them on the stage, if I were directing. I don’t read the books ahead of time, so I have to hope that I’m not going to give them a voice that turns out to be inappropriate later. I did have a situation recently when an author didn’t give me any notes going into the narration and it wasn’t until the fourth chapter that she mentioned that the main male character was Australian, so I had to go back and get that accent in there. But generally, I don’t want to know if someone is going to turn out to be the bad guy, and give that away in my voice too early. I want to go on the same journey as the listeners.


Me:
That's a good way to do it, I think. Do you have a website where other writers can find you if they want to hire you as their narrator?

Stevie:
I do. Although I’ve been so busy narrating recently that I haven’t got it up to date. Which is a nice problem to have. You’re not on there yet for example.
Anyway it is:
http://steviezim.wix.com/stevie-zim-voice


Me: 
I really hope you get my book on there soon, though (winks), but I'm happy to know you are kept busy. You are very good at what you do, and I'm glad this has been successful for you!

Thanks so much letting me interview you, Stevie.  I know I told you this before, but "Falling in Love Again" is one of my personal favorites, and it was awesome listening to your voice make my characters come to life!

1 comment:

Megan Calista said...
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