Recording Secrets Kept & What I Learned

Happy Monday!

Last week I finished recording Secrets Kept. It took me TWO months! This week I’ll be exporting them into MP3 files and getting them ready for our read-along in April. Which is only a week away! 😮

Many have asked me if I would be making my books into audiobooks. Maybe? But as I wrap up this project, I realized a few things about myself and what it takes to be a professional voice actor. And I ain’t got it. Ha! I’ve read to my children since they were born. So I thought I had had plenty of practice. I was wrong. Still. I had so much fun and I will miss it! Here are few things I realized or struck me funny.

  1. My voice. Growing up, I never liked the sound of my own voice. I cringed to hear it. I avoided any possible video cameras or voice recorders as much as I could.  What was I thinking?!?! But now I don’t seem to mind it as much. And a couple of times, as I was listening to myself read through the chapters, I was a bit impressed with myself. SOMETIMES. You know, when I wasn’t rushing through the words or out of breath or tongue-tied!
  2. Breathing right! We moved my hubby’s office upstairs to our bedroom because the reverb in our living room/dining room was so bad. My voice was bouncing all over the place. So I had to take care and not rush up the stairs like I normally do right before I was supposed to record. Ha! I would journal first or do something else to make sure I wouldn’t be out of breath. But I still had trouble! I think I was holding my breath or something or just not breathing right when it came to speaking out loud.
  3. Speech Therapy. When I was in preschool, I had to go to speech therapy. I don’t know if that has anything to do with the trouble I have pronouncing things. Some of it has to do with words I know only through reading/writing and have always heard them in my head incorrectly. You bet I was googling “How do you say….” AND I still messed up. Sometimes my mouth would go the opposite of what I was trying to say. I’d be adding extra letters in there or subtracting them. OR I’d completely replace the word entirely with a different word altogether. It was crazy! I kept thinking…I’d had trouble speaking since childhood, and now I’m trying to record myself reading my book? Oh the irony!!
  4. Rushing! I had to keep reminding myself to slooooooow down. Or I’d riskrunningallmywordstogetherlikethis.
  5. The computer! The computer hated me. We had glitches and scratchy noises that appeared for no reason. I need to double check a few of the chapters. Sometimes it would cut a few milliseconds in the middle of a sentence making a pause or word disappear. Hubby chalked it up to a need for a more powerful computer.
  6. Conveying characters and feelings. As I progressed through the chapters, I felt I had become a bit better at reading out loud. And then I realized, wait a minute, I need to become these characters. Say it like how they would say it, capturing their personality and feelings of the moment. Yeah. That didn’t go so well. BUT it was so much fun and I hope to do more and improve.
  7. Technology. Did I mention that I have a love/hate relationship with it? I just realized that I can’t upload the MP3s to my website, because they’d be too big. Never fear! I’m trying to figure something else out.
  8. ***new one*** BODILY FUNCTIONS. Oh my goodness! You would not believe how many times my stomach had to upstage me. It was constantly gurgling or growling or whining. And I think I swallowed a lot of air, because we won’t talk about the all burps I had to delete. 😀 So I was constantly redoing a sentence here, a paragraph there. Ha!
  9. ***new one*** Outside noises. Did I mention our neighbors have a dog? Or about the other neighbor whose car sounds like a jet engine taking off? Or when the trash truck would come? Yeah, I had to do a lot of pausing and repeating. Even though, I was standing in my closet with at least two feet of clothes surrounding me. Not to mention bumping into the clothes and the hangers screeching or the fabrics swishing. Ha! All. The. Noise. I felt like the Grinch. Ha!
  10. ****new one*** My made up languages. Need I say more? I’ve read them over and over. While creating them, I made sure they were pronounceable. But trying to read it like a natural language with proper flow and all? Haha. No. THAT was a challenge. 🙂 
  11. ***new one*** Turn of phrases. Some lines sounded good read out loud. Others not so much. Sometimes those turn of phrases would tie my tongue up in knots. I also saw how it could confuse us  about who was speaking or whether something was internal dialogue or not.  I could see where I would have reworded a few things. AND a few minor typos. Ha! And the fact that sometimes my brain would insert a completely different word and not discover it until it was too late. 😮

Well, there you have it. My creative endeavor into recordings. I can’t wait to share them with you next week! (If everything goes alright!)

Please join us as we read through Secrets Kept. Curse Bound will be coming this summer, so this will be a perfect opportunity to revisit the books, refresh our memories of the characters and their plight, and have fun! Plus, there will be sneak peeks, and I’ll be giving away an advanced reader copy of Curse Bound, in PRINT! When it becomes available. And some other cool Nälu swag. It’ll be like one big party all month long. And then, we’ll be diving into Darkened Hope in May.

Hope to see you there!

P.S. Clans Divided is finished!

Be watching for it in April’s newsletter! 

A big thank you to all my dear readers who responded to the Clans Divided cover question in the last newsletter. I’ll be sharing which cover won soon!

Haven’t sign up yet? You can do that on my newsletter page and don’t forget to download your free copy of A Thief Within. The original opening to Secrets Kept. I will be taking it down when Clans Divided becomes available to download.

3 thoughts on “Recording Secrets Kept & What I Learned

  1. Kessie says:

    OMG, this is like exactly my experience, all the way down to the stupid computer putting in gaps and cutting out crucial words. I read too fast, and really acting the characters is HARD. Especially the dudes. I found that I kind of pitched up a little for the girls and pitched down for the guys, but I don’t know if that comes through so well. And then you get to sit and edit the stumbles and things out of the files. Listening for hours, lol! I’d just spend my usual recording time editing a chapter or two, if I had time. And sometimes I just have to stop and breathe, especially during exciting bits. 😀

    1. jlmbewe says:

      YESSSSSSS! Yes. It was a fun experience. And I’d love doing it. I want to do it for all my books now. Ha! Oh and I forgot!!!! My stomach!!! It would growl and talk and I had to redo the paragraph. 😀 I must update my post. haha! I knew I was forgetting something. I got a little crazy when it came to trying to do the accents. Not good. I was going to try to record back over them, but time! Ha! Live and learn. Thanks for stopping by!

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