I want to thank Kristina Coggins for the wonderful work she did narrating FOREVER AFTER, my newest audiobook release. Kristina brought Seth and Darcy to life in this emotional and sensual story of a cynical custody lawyer and a pretty garage mechanic finding true love. Kristina agreed to be interviewed so my readers and listeners could learn about her background and the process of developing an audiobook. I also want to thank her son for the music he created to add to the beginning and end of the book.
Here is part 1 of our interview:
Tell us a little about your background. Where are you from?
Originally from Arizona (5 generations), I moved to California and began my career as an actress for thirteen years until I had my two children when my family moved to Santa Barbara. While I was a full-time mom, I also directed youth theatre and landscape painted until I began learning the ropes of audio book narration, directing and producing.
What was your schooling?
From first grade on, I loved telling stories. The teachers made me read out loud to keep me from talking in class! In high school and college (Arizona State University in communication and theatre) my favorite thing was performing literature. When, after years of acting on stage and television, I returned to literature, I had felt like I had come home.
How do you train to become a narrator?
Some classes in technique and style are helpful, but the real training is in DOING. It is a steep learning curve to be still for hours in a small booth, learning to use the mic, managing consistency in vocal technique, energy, mouth noises, body noises and driving a story while always thinking about the audience and the author's intent. It's so much harder than it seems and I am continually humbled by its demands and continual challenges.
What has been your experience with narrating so far?
I simply love it. Aside from the challenges mentioned above, I feel so blessed to be able to wake up in the morning and know I have a story waiting for me to tell. I enjoy taking the audience on a journey and creating characters that support the author's style and intent.
What genre do you like narrating the best?
Literary fiction that is inspirational to the spirit.
Did you read a lot as a kid? As an adult?
Yes. Always have and always will.
Why did you decide to begin narrating audio books?
Raising children, I would paint while listening to countless hours of audio books (to help me focus). Then I started to drive while listening, cook while listening...until one day I said, "I need to be doing this. I am an actress, I understand literature, for God's sake, let's just learn how to do it! So I did."
Coming soon--Part 2 of our interview and more about the process.
©2013 Karen Rose Smith
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