1. Reintroduce yourself to listeners.
My name is Stacey Lind, and I’m an audiobook narrator based in Chicago. I’m also an actor, director, graphic designer, haphazard yogi, foodie, crappy dresser, and avid cook. I like dinosaurs, octopuses, and whales.
2. How many audiobooks did you narrate in 2022?
It was in the double digits.
3. What did you learn in the process?
I trained as an actor many moons ago. Still, I am only now entering my second year as an audiobook narrator, so there is much to learn about the quirks of the industry, finding my niche within it, and the intricacies of performing in the intimate way audiobooks demand. One of the big differences between audiobooks and other types of acting is the sheer amount of speaking (if I play Hamlet, I might speak for 2-3 hours, if I narrate a long novel, it could speak for 10-15 hours). So one of the things I learned this year is how much the prose style of a given author impacts my experience as a performer. Some authors write in a way that it feels natural for me to think and to speak – and some do not. It’s interesting to recognize and be able to take advantage of the gift of having a manuscript that fits your natural mode of expression – and also to figure out how to approach the challenge of one that doesn’t roll off your tongue.
5. What is the biggest challenge when narrating?
Playing all the parts! In other types of acting, you usually play one role in a story – sometimes a few, but almost never ALL of them. You also generally have a bit more time to prepare or to rehearse (or there’s just less material for you to prepare). So for audiobooks, you take copious audio and written notes, make strong choices quickly, and learn new dialects and other attributes for characters you would be unlikely to play in other contexts (of people who don’t share your gender, race, or nationality, for example). You don’t have the same opportunity to immerse yourself in every role, so sometimes it’s tricky when a minor character appears in chapter 1 and then again in chapter 23. If you didn’t take good notes and save an audio clip of the voice you used for the character, you’ll have to go back and re-listen before you move on. It can all feel very technical, but if you get it right, the experience is seamless for the listener.
6. Is there a genre you prefer to narrate? Why?
My biggest criterion for a good book (and one that’s fun to perform) is that it has characters that are complex and seem real to me – who interact in human ways as the story unfolds. That can be true of any genre! The stories I don’t like are ones that rely on tropes or stereotypes – or othering a group of people – to move forward. Those aren’t for me.
7. Let’s get to Killing with Kindness. What characters did you like to narrate best? Least? and why?
I love Davia because she’s written in the first person, so you get to experience the range of her thoughts and feelings – where she’s confident, where she’s insecure, where she’s torn. It’s fun to play someone who’s not a monolith – she’s an expert at some things and kind of hopeless at others. I love Sherilyn, too, because she doesn’t express herself as I do at all, and it would be easy to judge her when you first meet her. But when you get to know her, she’s multifaceted and smart and self-aware, and a good friend. Ava Gordon was maybe the most challenging character to voice in Killing with Kindness- because she’s a mood-matcher – a chameleon who adapts herself to whoever she’s with. In audiobooks, though, you need to know right away who’s speaking, and that’s a lot easier if the person sounds the same each time you meet them!
8. What are your plans/goals for 2023?
More books! I’m excited to continue to build relationships with authors and to try some new genres. There will certainly be more Davia Glenn adventures!
If you would like to know more about Stacey, visit her website at: https://www.staceylindstories.com/