It’s almost here. Granny Pins A Pilferer will be out in audiobook within the next week. I have a new narrator for my series. Priscilla Finch who did an outstanding job narrating my other books decided to take another way with her career and so that left me looking for someone new that could interpret my vision of my books. Enter narrator Beth Kesler. She brings a new flair to the series. You might note some of the characters take on a different flavor or tone as far as dialect and those will be written into the future series books. Up until now, we haven’t delved too far into some of the other characters in the books such as Lulu or Ditty Belle but in the future, you will learn more about them.
Now I would like you to meet Beth Kesler.
Interview with Beth Kesler
Please tell me a little bit about Beth Kesler.
Although I’ve spent most of my life in Ohio, I’ve had many chances to broaden my worldview through travel: to China and South Korea as a student, to Australia on a job exchange, to Canada for culture, and most recently to Nigeria to visit friends.
How did you get into producing with ACX?
As a novice voice actor, it was a way to break into the audiobook narration scene without having to have the “credentials” one needs with big publishing companies. As a matter of fact, I was officially on ACX only 24 hours before an author contacted me and asked me to narrate her series of three novels! I didn’t even audition – she heard my demo and liked it enough to hire me.
What makes you decide to audition for someone’s book?
Would you think less of me if I say that I judge a book by its cover? Anyhow, that’s where it starts. I do read as much of the book as I can get my hands on to see if it sounds interesting, is well-written, and is something I could hear myself contributing to.
Is this your career or are you a master of many talents?
This is currently my career. I do voice-overs of many kinds. In addition to audiobooks, I do radio and TV ads, online videos, eLearning, public service announcements, award show announcements, telephony, and cartoon voicing. Before I worked as a voice actor, I taught English as a second language for many years at two different Ohio universities.
You are producing and narrating Granny Pins A Pilferer for Julie Seedorf. What is the most difficult part of narrating this book? What was the most challenging?
The most difficult part for this book was trying to create not only the distinct voices for 29 characters but keeping them reasonably consistent throughout the novel. In the final chapter, which lasts only three and a half minutes, there were 13 characters speaking!
How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been a full-time voice actor for four years.
What tweaks your creativity?
Well-written books make my job so much easier. When I can get lost in a novel, I hear the characters’ voices in my head. Then I just have to make them come out of my mouth!
Do you have something that tries to distract you when you are working such as a shyster or a furry creature? Or do you lock yourself away?
Yes, my furry distraction is named Bitsy! She’s a 6-pound Yorkie and would be perfectly happy having me cuddle her and play ball with her all day long. But she’s learned to be good when I’m recording, and naps on the small sofa in my studio.
Are we writers difficult to please?
No, not usually. I had one author who was also a screen director, and he found it difficult not to direct my entire performance. I must admit, that the direction he did give me was great! Only once was I unable to work with an author. She didn’t know what she wanted until she heard what I’d recorded, and then decided it was “all wrong”, and “couldn’t you just do that one more time?” After 6 chapters like that, I suggested she find another narrator. I hope she did – it was a clever book!
What advice would you give to those wanting to get into the field or to an author who is scared to try and look for a narrator for their book?
For narrators, listen to other audiobooks and learn from those who do it well and those who do it badly. Then practice, practice, practice: read aloud to your microphone, read to your family, volunteer to read to kids at the library. Then get as much training as you can afford. A professional coach is invaluable.
What are you working on now?
I like to end my interviews with an author’s favorite quote. What is yours?
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Listen to my work at bethkesler.com
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