I wanted to celebrate the Seasons of Magic series being available in audio, by sharing this interview I did with my wonderful narrator, Stephanie Dillard (you can also hear her voice on Into the Lion’s Den).

While Book 4, Winter’s Reckoning, isn’t out yet, you can grab the first three books on Chirp at a fraction of their retail price. You can click the banner at the end of the interview to snag your copies today!

Q: Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m a professional actress and singer with Masters and Undergrad degrees in Music, a wonderful husband, and two sweet little boys. Oh, and I mustn’t forget my rescue kitty — Ginger! I live in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee and record from my home studio. Before meeting my husband, I sang in professional opera choruses and acted in regional theatre productions while working in a library for my day job. I’ve always had a passion for both reading and performing, so when a fellow theatre professional mentioned his success in the world of audiobooks, I jumped in with both feet! 

Q: What led you to voice acting? What is the most fulfilling/rewarding part of your job?

See above for how I got into voice acting! The most fulfilling and rewarding parts of my job are creating nuances, colors, and emotional depth for each character to bring an author’s story to life! In live theatre, you’re usually only able to tell the story of a single character in the span of a show, but in audiobooks, you have the pleasure of bringing an entire world to life! It’s incredibly special to be able to collaborate with authors to give voice to their vision!

Q:  Tell me your favorite part about narrating the Seasons of Magic series.

I’ve had MANY favorite parts of narrating the Seasons of Magic series! Chief among them — crafting Ezri’s mother’s voice, bringing warmth and longing to it, and then being able to voice Ezri’s responses and emotional inflections to show her loneliness, her isolation, and her relief at seeing and hearing her mother again…and their intense love for each other. It was such a pleasure to bring this well-crafted mother-daughter relationship to life!

Q: If you had to pick one character (other than Ezri) as your favorite to narrate; who would you pick and why?

I SO enjoyed voicing Des! The intelligence, wit, good-natured sarcasm, and warmth all combined to make him a big favorite!!

Q: If you had one piece of advice for authors looking to collaborate with a voice actor to create audiobooks, what would it be?

My advice for authors when collaborating with narrators: Communication is paramount. Let them know your expectations, preferred pronunciations (I highly recommend a joint Google Doc!), any key characteristics you’d like highlighted, accents, hard deadlines, and if it’s a Royalty Share contract, communicate your marketing plan in the audition text. Be sure to listen to samples of their body of work on Audible and read their reviews BEFORE hiring them. Before approving their first fifteen minute sample, be sure to bring up any pacing or technical issues you’d like changed. Then let go. If you’ve taken the time to communicate this information and offered enough pay (or in the case of RS, outlined a thorough marketing plan) to employ a professional, you don’t need to micromanage their performance! If you’re not able to employ SAG-AFTRA union members (their base rate currently is $250 per finished hour of recording), then setting up a hybrid deal with at least SOME amount per finished hour plus Royalty Share will open your book up to a much higher tier of the narrator populace.