by Barb, in Key West gearing up for the launch of Shucked Apart on February 23rd.
I’m lucky that Dara Rosenberg has been the reader of all nine of the Maine Clambake audiobooks. We “met” before she recorded book one, Clammed Up, when she reached out to me to ask how a Mainer would pronounce certain words. She just finished recording book nine, Shucked Apart, and reached out again with a reaction to a story development. You’ll see why when you read or listen to it. I took the opportunity to see if she would visit the Wickeds for an interview. Happily, she said yes!
Barb: Hi Dara. Tell us about yourself. How did you come to be narrating audiobooks? What other kinds of voice work and acting do you do?
Dara: I actually began working on audiobooks back in 2010 when I began transitioning from the onstage world to behind the mic. After working on a few commercials my agent set me up with an audition at Audible. Audiobooks were just taking off and after that one audition I began narrating full time!
I basically voice everything you can imagine. Aside from books and commercials, there is so much more audio out there! I record for Apple News, Corporate 500 companies, even on hold messaging for hundreds of companies!
Barb: That is so funny to think that at sometime when I’ve been sitting on hold, I’ve been listening to you. How do you get the gigs? How are voice actors matched with books? How do you choose what to accept?
Dara: A lot of my jobs are from clients I have worked with for years. Big commercials will come through my agent. For Audiobooks, I have developed relationships with publishers over the years. A publisher will have the audio rights for a book and then cast it. Some you audition for but some the author might specifically ask for you or the publisher thinks your voice would be best for it.
Barb: How do you prepare for a recording session?
Dara: First, I read the book. After that I make choices on certain voices for characters and just begin!
Barb: What is the recording session like? How long does it take? Who else is there?
Dara: Pre-covid, I would work from my home studio or record at the publisher’s studio. If it was at the studio there was always an engineer on the other side of the glass helping and directing me. Since I have a full production studio from my house, I can record at home! I sit down and narrate as long as I can before needing a break. Usually it takes about 2 hours to record one finished hour of audio.
Barb: Be honest, do you have favorite books and series? Tell us about a few.
Dara: So honestly, each book is so different that it’s hard to have a favorite. I would say some are more challenging than others which is a good thing! I really love books with humor in them because it’s great to laugh while you are basically talking to yourself all day. Sometimes, the nonfiction books are great because I am learning about a topic that I previously knew nothing about. There are a few books on women’s health that I have narrated that have just blown my mind. Doing Harm by Maya Dusenbery was one of those. It was about Auto Immune Diseases because misdiagnosed because of the history of women with hysteria.
Barb: Any funny stories you’d like to share?
Dara: Well, Covid has made recording full time at home quite the challenge. But funny none the less. I have a silly, crazy, loud, 3 year-old who is doing “virtual school” and likes to pop in the booth every 10 minutes to sing a song. So that keeps things entertaining!
Barb: That is funny. My daughter is currently teaching a college course remotely with a one year-old and a two year-old in the house so I totally get it. What are you working on now?
Dara: Currently I am recording The Exceptional S Beaufont series by Michael Anderle and Sarah Nofke. I am on book 10 of 12 and actually sad that it’s almost over. It’s been quite the wild ride!
Readers: Do you have questions for Dara about audio book narration? What are some of your favorite audiobooks and narrators?