Today our Audiobook Q&A series returns — AND HOW! — to help celebrate the conclusion of Audiobook Week and June is Audiobook Month with an in-depth talk with one of our favorite narrators, Xe Sands. During our interview — which Listen Up is posting in conjunction with Sands’s Going Public — Xe thanks the narrators who have helped her during her career, offers tips for aspiring audiobook narrators, and tells us what’s she’s working on next.
1. In one of his June Is Audiobook Month videos, Robert Fass describes you as “breaking out this year” with a string of very successful and well-received audio productions. Do you see this as a breakout year? Why or why not.
I was honored that Robert included me in his excellent JIAM video series and his wonderful introduction gave me something to think about. It’s tempting to consider your first year or two working steadily or in which you begin receiving industry recognition as your “breakout” year, but I would counter with this: breaking out implies pushing past the boundaries of whatever box you’re in — expanding and growing. Positive reception and professional recognition is a part of that, but I’d offer that there also needs to be that “something else.” This year marks a sea change in my approach to narration. With the help of a very insightful mentor, I’ve spent the better part of 2012 diving into my delivery to identify what is/isn’t working for listeners, and what should or shouldn’t change. It’s been a remarkable and sometimes painful process of falling out of love with how I sound and into love with what I do. If this process has led to a more fulfilling experience for listeners, it has been well worth it. And by that measure, I would consider this a breakout year.
2. How did you get your start in audio narration? And what tips would you offer aspiring narrators? Continue reading