I have some great news to share. Lost: Cinderella's Secret Witch Diaries is in the final stages of being made into an audiobook for Audible. Before the book is launched on Audible, I wanted to share an interview with Jessica Mann who narrated the book. Enjoy!
How did you find out about and then become a narrator for Audible?
It was an out-of-the-blue blessing! When I went to a friend’s recording studio to record something for a show, I mentioned that my husband is a character animator and I had done some voice over work in the past for his previous animation studio. My friend jumped at the chance to share this awesome narration hub with me.
What did you find appealing about becoming a narrator?
I love books and reading on top of my love for acting and storytelling. I’ve actually always been surrounded by books too. I worked at Borders and Barnes & Noble so I can’t seem to get away from them.
Can you share with us an overview of all the work you do to create a novel into an audiobook?
First, I read the novel. While reading, I note each character mentioned and the descriptions used throughout the whole book, including any notes I may have on voice choices. In addition to that, I make note of words I am unfamiliar with as well as their definition and pronunciation. Then I do a reading, followed by a proof reading to check for any errors. After listening and revising, I have another pass at it in the editing program to be mastered. The mastering process is very long with many extra passes. After that, I have a listen to the finalized project and then send it out to be approved by the author or publisher.
How do you come up with the different voices needed for an audiobook?
I have a bank of go-to voices, regarding pitch, placement, texture and personality. I combine those voices with the descriptions given to me by the author through the entire book or series. Then it happens relatively organically. Playing and reading it out loud before concluding the voice.
How many audiobooks have you narrated so far?
I have narrated 3 books so far. My first book released in January 2015. I recently started narration, but before that, I used my voice for announcements and an international animated television show.
Can you walk us through a typical day for you when recording? When do you fit it into your busy schedule?
A typical day starts out hanging out with my husband and pooch before sending him out the door to work. I take a little quiet time for myself and then get ready to work! I try to do all my recording in the day and my proofreads at night. Once recording is done, it’s the same schedule only I am mastering the tracks.
When you're not making audiobooks, what other work do you do?
I am also a dance instructor/choreographer and voice and acting coach. I typically teach classes in the evening which is why I have the day to use for voice over. It works out very nicely.
Jessica Mann is a diverse performer currently residing in Reno, Nevada. She is currently working as a voice-over actor for audio books on Audible.com, as well as teaching and choreographing dance for stage productions, recitals, competitions and weddings.
Her credits include singing and dancing on Disney Cruise Line, SoShy in Aladdin's 3D Adventure, Miss Dorothy in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Beatriz in Juanita's Statue, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jekyll and Hyde, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Seussical the Musical, The King and I, and has been seen in several New York City Showcases. Voice and media includes narration for The Woodlands: The Wall, Frankenstein: Overture of Chaos, the voice of Princess Tam in Princess Tam and a featured commercial spot for Winn Grips.
She studied vocal performance at the University of Nevada, Reno for one year before being accepted to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She graduated with a certificate of achievement in the musical theater conservatory program, and completed her bachelor of Fine Arts at The New School in New York.