Audio books. We love them or we hate them, there’s usually not a lot of middle ground, but regardless of our love-hate relationship, the completion of an audio book project is a journey not many have taken. Fewer yet are the interviews with audio book narrators. We know little to nothing about these orators of the modern age who fill our lives with complex stories, tales of woe and strife, steamy romance or the inconceivable. This is why, after working the narrator who is currently transforming Dark Fey into an audio marvel (if I do say so myself!), I decided to spotlight her.
So without further ado, please meet Jessica Gober. Jess is a lover of all things book related. From an early age, she discovered that books and stories could transport her to places like the world of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the cabbage patch. Since then, she’s been on a never-ending reading journey. Her vocal talents were acquired while attending Northern Arizona University for a degree in Theatre Performance. She has done voice-overs for plays like Why We Have a Body and various student films. Her audiobook recordings include The Dark Fey Trilogy, Dust and Roses, and a book of poetry titled Blue Crayon.
Hi Jess 🙂 Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us. Let’s dive right in, shall we? What prompted you to begin narrating/ doing voice overs? I was a theatre major in college and often did voice-overs for plays and small projects for my friends. One day, a co-worker of mine heard a mock up of an advertisement I had created for a class and said, “You know, you have a great voice for audiobooks. You should look into that!” I thought to myself, “Now why didn’t I think of that?!”
What sorts of preparations do you undertake before recording? Before narrating I read through the piece of writing to help me understand the feel of the characters, voices and mood of the piece. Then, I prepare a giant tankard of coffee and get underway!
Is there specific information you prefer to have that helps you in the creation of a character? Age and where they are from mostly. The needs of the character usually come out in the first couple of chapters of the reading.
What do you like the most and least about the narrating process? I enjoy getting to explore new books. I am a bibliophile to the core and love to get a chance to read. The editing process is a beast. Listening for every accidental beep of a watch or click of a fingernail on a surface is tedious work!
Not to mention time consuming, I bet. Just how long does it take to record a chapter and/or complete a project? Dependent upon the length of the chapter, it can take anywhere from twenty to fifty minutes to record a chapter. Editing that chapter will usually take about double the time it took to record it.
So basically a chapter can usually take about 3 hours to complete. Who knew! I imagine you didn’t realize that when you started out. What other things do you know now that you wish you would have known before you started? I don’t really think there is much I wish I had known previously. Each opportunity is to learn something new is a gift and our struggles are what lead us to that higher learning.
Do you have any tips to help prospective narrators? Take your time and really feel what you are creating. If you are not satisfied with the recording, feel justified in starting over. In the end, you are producing something that will make you proud.
I feel much the same way about writing. In the end, I want to be proud of what I’ve written. With so many options out there, is there a certain type of character that is easiest for you? Or most difficult? Very demure characters are difficult for me. I don’t relate to characters that could come across as wimpy, so I really have to dig deep to make them come to life. I love a good strong-willed character who finds their strength through struggle.
Like Gairynzvl! You’ve brought him to life in an amazing way I never anticipated. Now I understand how you did it. Is it the same with genre? Do you lean towards a specific genre or find some easier than others? I love science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction.
Is there a genre you wouldn’t choose to narrate? There is a lot of erotica to be read and, though I have no problem with the genre, as a full-time public educator, I don’t feel it would be appropriate for me to narrate something overtly sexual and put it in a public forum where my students or parents might stumble across it!
I agree. I’ve been asked to collaborate on several erotica projects and have declined for similar reasons. Well, I have to say Im very glad you gave us an insight into the world of the narrator…or perhaps to be more accurate, voice-over artist. You spend so much time on other people’s stories, Thanks so much for sharing YOURS.
Jess has done a marvelous job creating the realms of Jyndari and the Uunglarda for Dark Fey, not to mention bringing the characters to life! If you’re intrigued, I have several copies of Dark Fey The Reviled available on Audible that are currently FREE! Just let me know you’d like one!