Please welcome Madeline Mrozek professional audiobook narrator and voice over artist!
*How long have you been a narrator?
I’ve been an audiobook narrator since February of 2015. My first audiobook went on sale at Audible.com in May of 2015.
You’re off to a good start!
*Do you have acting experience?
I have acting experience in community theater, having performed in seven local stage performances.
I’m sure this helps with your performance with audiobooks.
*What did you study in college?
I am a retired Registered Nurse, having received my nursing degree in 1992.
That’s when I graduated from high school!
*Do you work for a publishing company?
I’ve just completed recording my 24th audiobook and the first for boutique publisher Gemma Halliday.
Wow. That’s a lot of books under your belt already.
*So where are you originally from?
I’m a Southern California girl, born and raised!
YES. I used to live in Orange County.
*What led you to become a narrator?
I’ve wanted to be a performer for as long as I can remember but the opportunity didn’t present itself until about 6 years ago when I was invited to audition for our community theater. After performing in several productions, I knew I wanted to continue performing anywhere I could! I retired from the nursing profession 3 years ago so I seized the opportunity to embark on an adventure in VO—voiceover. I studied with the fabulous David H Lawrence XVII in Burbank, California for a year and knew I’d found a ‘home’ in audiobook narration. I just love it!
That’s great, Madeline! So happy for you. Audiobooks are wonderful. I secretly make up voices around the house when no one’s looking.
*Tell about your work with Sofia Salgado.
I was fortunate enough to have been chosen as the voice for Sofia “and Co.” by the wonderful writing team of NYT Bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell and Sean Black. Having been such a new narrator at the time–just about 6 months after completing my first audiobook–I was thrilled to have been selected to bring these wonderful characters to life. A sassy and strong former child television star-turned-private eye who solves crimes with her cocky know-it-all partner who’s too handsome for his own good…..set in the sunny California coast. Yes, please!!!
Hahahahaha!! I just bought the first book of the Malibu Mystery series, A is For Actress. Looking forward to it.
*How do you connect to the story and characters?
I’m pretty selective about what projects I will audition for so I always read the audition piece first and then do some additional reading on Amazon to make sure the story and characters resonate with me. If I can’t see myself as one (or more) of the main characters, I won’t audition because I really need to feel like I can relate on a personal level in order to give a performance that’s not only enjoyable for me, but more importantly, for the listener. After reading the title of the first book in the Malibu Mysteries series, “A” Is For Actress, my interest was definitely piqued but after reading the audition piece, I just knew I wanted to be part of this hilarious journey. Sofia and I are basically the same soul in two bodies (she got the younger, hotter one, doggone it!)
Well, it’s a perfect match! I could tell when I first listened to the sample. The clarity and richness in your voice matches the story superbly.
*Is there a method for pacing? Or who determines the pace of narration and length of the audiobook?
I’ve always been a really fast reader and talker so I’ve had to learn to slow down considerably with narration. The pacing just comes naturally to me. I picture that ‘audience of one’ and read at the same pace that I would have in a natural, relaxed conversation with that person. The projected length of an audiobook is determined by the total word count of the story based on a 9,300 word/hour formula. Of course, each narrator reads at a different pace so the actual finished length of an audiobook may vary somewhat from that estimation.
This sounds like quite a science. I can tell that you’re a fast reader.
*How closely do you work with the authors?
Some books may require more assistance from the author during production—for instance, ones that have characters who speak languages I’m not as familiar with as the author. Generally, I prefer keeping in close contact with all of my authors during the production phase and getting their approval and feedback as I complete chapters. It feels so great to read messages like, “Great job! Looking forward to hearing more!” and “you NAILED that character voice!”. It definitely keeps me motivated.
That sounds really fun 🙂
*Name 3 things you enjoy most about narrating.
1. I get to play ALL the characters in the show!
2. I get to read fabulous stories written by incredibly talented authors
3. I get paid to use all those voices in my head I’ve been hearing since I was a kid!
AWESOME. I’m so jealous! Making up voices is one of my favorite things to do.
*Name the most challenging aspects of narrating.
Patience is the first thing that comes to mind. You can’t rush anything when it comes to producing an audiobook. I’m pretty hyper so I’ve had to learn to dial it WAY back since completing my first book. Learning new accents and dialects can be challenging sometimes but then it becomes great fun and you settle in and just ‘become’ that character. Of course, then I end up walking around the house talking to my family with that same voice for days on end, which they all just LOVE…..
Hahaha!! I’m picturing you walking around the house talking in your character voice.
*When you work with a publisher do you have a choice which audiobooks to narrate?
(I’m assuming this question and the ones before and after it are implying working with one of the large publishing houses so I can’t answer them. I’ve only recently produced 2 books for a boutique publisher so my experience is very limited at this point. Maybe someday I’ll be ready for the big leagues…)
*What are you working on next?
I’m about to begin recording my 25th audiobook and 2nd non-fiction project. I’m having such a wonderful time as a narrator, learning more and more with each project I produce and giving the best performances I can deliver. I just want to get better and better. I’m blessed. I’m grateful.
I wonder if narrating non-fiction would be harder given the nature of the subject matter. Guess I’ll have to listen to a sample then.
Here’s a recent book by USA TODAY Bestselling Author, narrated by Madeline Mrozek.