APAC 2017


Phew! It feels so long ago that I was busy sweating the small stuff. I’m back from my adventures in New York and Florida, and still trying to get caught up. It’s busy, busy, busy here. I only had one book officially scheduled for after APAC, but shortly after getting back, I signed on for three more titles, so looks like I have to get back to recording!

NYC was incredible. I’ve never been there before, so getting to see the city was amazing. I never realised how much of my images of New York are from books and movies. Some of my favourite things to see, may sound silly, but Belvedere Castle in Central Park, which features in Peter David’s Knight Life series, and the Dakota building which is what the “Bram” from Rosemary’s Baby was based on. I also got to check out some geeky haunts. The Strand bookstore, which for West Coast people is Powell’s but fancier, Forbidden Planet (not like their Central London store, but worth a visit anyway) and The Mysterious Bookshop, a great store that specialises in mystery novels, which was recommended to me by Lisa M Lilly, who wrote The Awakening series.

One thing I really wanted to see but didn’t get a chance was The Guggenheim. Since so much of my early VO work revolved around Frank Lloyd Wright, and one of the documentaries I narrated (A Girl is a Fellow Here) premiered there, it holds a special significance career-wise.

apac javits center

I did get to go to the Audio Publisher’s Association Conference which was overwhelming and exhilarating all at the same time. Like last year, I once again learned a LOT, met some truly wonderful, talented narrators, and got to meet a few publishers too.

I made a lot of notes after last year’s APAC, some of which I heeded, some less so. I did NOT eat healthily- how could I when there was real New York bagels, and real New York cheesecake to try? But I did sit in on some of the business panels this time, which was interesting, to see how things are changing marketing-wise. I also got to do what’s called a director’s diagnostic, where you receive one-on-one coaching with a member of the audiobook industry (casting/coach/narrator). It was a really great experience, and I am so glad I took the advice of another coach and recorded it, because being able to play back the conversation was very helpful.

Of course, I didn’t get to meet everybody I wanted to meet at APAC. There were some publisher’s I’ve worked with this past year, that I was hoping to say hi to, but it just didn’t happen. But it was still a wonderful experience.

As for my nerves about the whole networking thing. It’s getting better. There were still some events I didn’t attend, but I have plans to rectify that next time. Big thing for next year- get to events early! It’s a little easier for me to get situated if I get there early, rather than arriving late when the music’s already going and you can’t hear a thing. But all in all it was a successful outing for someone who spends so much time in a 4×4 foot box. Speaking of, having a TARDIS for a booth was a great conversation-starter!

Finally, for those who don’t already know, June is audiobook month! I’m a little behind because of the trip, but keep a look out for me on Facebook or Twitter for giveaways, samples, etc. In the meantime, have a listen to a piece from my newest release, book four in the Ministry of Curiosities series, Grave Expectations:

The End of Another Productive Year!

Wow the month just flew by! The whole year did for that matter. I released not one, not two but three new audiobooks all of which are available for sale right now- audiobooks make great Christmas gifts by the way!

The first to come out was book two in Jovee Winters’ Dark Queens series, titled The Passionate Queen, a retelling of the Queen of Hearts story from Alice in Wonderland, featuring both new and familiar characters.

The second is book two in The Ministry of Curiosities series by C.J. Archer titled Her Majesty’s Necromancer (I just completed recording book three also, but that won’t be available until the end of January).

Lastly, book three in the Awakening series by Lisa M. Lilly called The Conflagration. This was the closest I’ve ever come to not pre-reading a book. I had pre-read it much earlier when Lisa asked me to help proof it, so I made notes back then, which meant that even I had forgotten certain plot details. It was enjoyable to (re)discover the story at the same time as my listeners.

It’s been a really busy and yet fruitful year. Admittedly, not as fruitful as I would like. I’m always hungry for more, what can I say? It’s my fault, I still need to balance my marketing and recording time better. I was booked out until the end of the year since May which is crazy. Even crazier: attending APAC for the first time and getting to meet so many audiobook narrator A-listers. I still can’t believe I did that. I met some great people, learned a LOT, and honestly can’t wait to go again. Hello New York City!!

Let’s see, what else is on the agenda for next year? Hopefully some audiobook coaching, as well as a new video game demo featuring all my new skills, and I’m actually going to be helping out with a workshop in July which is so exciting! Aside from that though, I’m not sure what I have work-wise lined up for next year. At least nothing definite. Which is scary, as I’ve shared before. The next few days for me will be working on that business plan some more, doing taxes and putting together a proper marketing and blogging calendar for next year.

Stay tuned!

Taking Stock

time to evaluate concept clock closeup isolated on white background with red and black words

Gosh it has been a busy few weeks for me, and will continue like that for a little while longer as we reach the ACX deadline for submitting audiobooks so they can be available in time for Christmas. Over the past few weeks I have recorded book two in the Ministry of Curiosities series by C.J. Archer which will hopefully be coming out soon. I recorded The Passionate Queen by Jovee Winters, and I am in the middle of recording book three in Lisa Lilly’s Awakening series.

Unfortunately, due to my busyness I haven’t been able to audition or market much, and because of that, combined with having a title that would have taken me into January fall off my schedule, I am quickly realising that in a few weeks I am not going to have any work, and this leaves me, frankly, a little nervous.

The vast majority of my work this year has been audiobooks, which means, not only am I wondering how to book more work in general, but I’ve found myself looking for new types of work I can add to my voice over repertoire, because as we all know, income streams can dry up, including this audiobook gold rush.

It’s an uncomfortable feeling realising you got so busy that you forgot to market yourself and you’re about to be out of work. I have some big life plans in the next year or so, and they hinge on me being able to keep up my income.

One of the steps I have taken to move beyond audiobook work has been to work with a coach on preparing a new interactive demo, so I can book more video game work. So far, it’s going amazingly well. She’s tough but fair, and really made me feel comfortable that I have what it takes for this genre. It also has been taking up a lot of my time, but I think this is one seed that will blossom quite well.

Other areas I would like to work more in include elearning, museum tours… Truth is, I’m pretty open to most areas of voice over. I’m even considering actually putting together a commercial demo.

Over the next few days, I am going to be reassessing my business plan and deciding how I want to proceed now and into next year. It’s too easy to get complacent, which is probably the worst thing a freelancer can do. But, as usual, when the work dries up, I have to try and remember not to let that tiny panicky voice take over, and instead focus on learning some new skills and try to enjoy the downtime.

However, that downtime won’t be for a little while, and in the meantime, here’s a sampling from my latest work. Enjoy!