I'm very excited about the upcoming release of the Sydney Rye audiobooks. Sonja Field is my partner in this and she is awesome. I've gotten to know her through email since she won the “Vote for the Voice of Sydney Rye” Contest and it turns out she grew up near me and has a great sense of humor. I invited her to write a guest blog post so that you all could start to get to know her. So I'm going to let Sonja take it from here…
Hello Sydney Rye fans!
Very nice to virtually meet you all. I’ll be recording the first three Sydney Rye books over the summer, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
Like Sydney herself, I live in Brooklyn, where I record from a very small (in NYC we say “cozy”) recording studio, which I constructed in my closet. So basically I sit inside my own closet for hours at a time, talking to myself.
I typically record in the mornings, when my roommates are at work and the blonde demons who live above us – pardon me, the Very Lovely Children – are at school, and aren’t seeing how loudly they can jump or throwing heavy things at the floor for fun or whatever it is they do all the time. Don’t you wish you lived in NYC?
It’s very interesting to spend so much time at home, desperately wishing for silence. You come away with very particular knowledge about the neighborhood. For instance, I’ve grown very familiar with LaGuardia’s air traffic patterns. I know that my upstairs neighbors’ cleaning person comes every other Thursday. One poor guy in the courtyard carefully recounted his relationship problems on the phone the other day. I can only hope he got the emotional support he needed, and finally dumped Sheryl.
Mostly though, it’s quiet. Time flows by, and before I know it, I’ve been sitting in my closet for seven hours, not having interacted with another human soul, until I finally emerge and remember what the rest of the world looks like. I’m sure others who work from home will be able to relate to the awkward re-adjustment period when you climb out of your work-tomb and attempt to interact with other people. “Greetings, co-human. I would like to hand you currency in exchange for several slices of turkey and leafy greens held together between two slices of yeasted baked dough. How much monies shall I place in your man-paw?”
Typically, for me, one hour of finished audio takes 4-5 hours to produce. After I’ve recorded a chapter, I do an in-depth edit, where I listen for misreads and remove any breaths or distracting “mouth noises” (as they say in the biz, which sounds vaguely disgusting). Once the author has approved what I’ve recorded, I go back and master the track so it meets Audible’s quality standards.
Recording audiobooks is genuinely a dream come true for me. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. In many ways, it’s like putting on a one-woman show. It’s all-consuming and extremely rewarding. I’m always striving to improve my technique, to do justice to the author’s intentions, to make the storytelling more vivid, dynamic, and engaging. Most importantly, I want the listener to completely melt into the story without distracting them in any way. It’s the story that matters, more than anything else.
I’m incredibly thrilled to have the opportunity to record the Sydney Rye series. It has all the elements of an ideal audiobook: it’s full of unique and vibrant characters, a plot that constantly drives forward, and a protagonist who is whip-smart, hilarious, and a total badass. Thanks to all who voted for me, and I hope I can do justice to the Sydney that lives in your minds.