Friday, June 29, 2018

THE FACE BEHIND THE VOICE--A Voice Actor Speaks to Suspense Sisters

Interviewer: E.E. Kennedy

Recently, my publisher Sheaf House and I decided to launch out into the world of audio books. The first of my Miss Prentice mysteries, Irregardless of Murder, was just recently released in Amazon Audible and I'm about to introduce you to the very talented woman who recorded the entire book: Sheila Stasack.


     EEK: Sheila, we met through ACX, Amazon’s audio book service. Have you been doing this for very long?  

   SS: I’ve been doing books through ACX for about four years.  Prior to that, I have worked in voice-over for about 30 years.
    
   EEK: What kinds of books have you recorded? What genres are your favorites? 

   SS: I’ve done a variety of books:  mysteries, romance, how-to books (e.g. Puppy Training), and several books on yoga and spirituality.  I’ve been told my voice can be very soothing, so I enjoy doing books that require a gentle approach.  Then again, who doesn’t want to be part of a fun mystery?

    EEK: Do you have your own home studio or do you record elsewhere? 
    
    SS: I have a small home studio in what used to be my front closet.  It works very well for recording, but there is no ventilation, so I have to limit my recording time in the summer or record late at night when the weather is coolest.     

     EEK:You’re a very good actress. Do you have a background in drama? 
     
    SS: I have been involved in theater or performance since I was three.  I do theater and some TV.  I have a movie, Love in Kilnerry, in post-production right now which I hope will come out by the end of the year.  I also teach acting.  Right now I’m working with children, ages four to eleven.
   
    EEK: Where are you from? Are regional accents a challenge?

    SS: I’m originally from Chicago, then lived in Boston for several years, and now I’m a New Yorker.  I’ve always had a pretty good ear for regionalisms.  Also, I had an excellent teacher in high school who helped me lose my Chicago sound.

    EEK: In my book, Irregardless of Murder, you do all kinds of foreign accents, including Scottish and French. How did you learn to do accents so well? Do you speak French, for instance? 

    SS: I studied French in high school and since that time I’ve gained a cursory knowledge of several other languages.  I think it’s polite when you travel to be able to say please, thank you, and a few other things in the language of the country you are visiting.  It helps when you are adding an accent to a piece.  Also, you only want to add a suggestion of an accent in an audio book.  If you go too far, it will be hard to understand.

    EEK: Have you ever considered writing yourself? 

    SS: Several people have asked me why I don’t write my own material.  I don’t think I have anything to say that would add to the world conversation.  I am very happy to interpret the words of others.

    EE: Is this your main career or a sideline? 

SS: Theater, voiceover, audio books and TV would be the only thing I did if I had my way.  Like any of the arts, it rarely pays all the bills. I also teach acting, and have worked a little in real estate.

    EEK: Your voice is your instrument. Can you tell us ways that you take care of it?

    SS: About twelve years ago I lost my voice. I was in Russia doing The Seagull and I caught a cold. Not enough sleep, cold weather, and the stress of traveling in a foreign country did me in. I was on vocal rest for three weeks and it scared me. A voice actor with no voice? I try to get enough sleep, eat healthfully, and not get sick!  I also try to use my voice correctly, supporting it even when I’m cheering at a baseball game.  Lots and lots of water, too.

EEK: Can you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?

SS: I think the most surprising thing about me is how normal I am.  I have three grown sons and was a soccer mom for many years.  Now, I’m loving my time in New York as a single lady.  Two of my sons live nearby, so I’m still mom.

EE: Thanks so much, Sheila. It's been a pleasure to interview you!

***
Please comment below and leave your EMAIL ADDRESS to be in the drawing for an audio copy of Irregardless of Murder, read by Sheila. I can tell you, it's very entertaining! She even had me laughing at the jokes I wrote myself and shivering at the scary parts!




41 comments:

  1. What a fascinating interview! I've always wondered about the person who is recording the book, wondering how they do it so well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did, too, Patricia. That's why I asked Sheila if I could interview her!
      By the way, could you please leave your email address in the reply section below your comment, so you can be in the running for a free audio book?

      Delete
  2. How fun to read about a talented gal I went to HS with! I'm not surprised by her success.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gayle, how great that you know Sheila. She seems like a nice person. Would you please leave your email address so you can be in the running for a free audio copy of the book Sheila narrated?

      Delete
  3. I love audiobooks so this was a great interview—to see the face behind the voice! Thank you so much for sharing it. Here’s hoping to win a copy of your book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you liked the interview! Sheila made it easy! Very interesting person!
      Anne, would you leave your email address in the reply section of this comment so you can be in the running for the free audio book?

      Delete
  4. nice interview

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, BN! May I call you B?
      Good luck in the drawing!

      Delete
  5. I have not gotten into audio books. My daughter loves them, but I prefer a book I can read myself. Perhaps I'll have to try it again...
    eldora2193@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe IRREGARDLESS OF MURDER will change your mind. Or, you could give it to your daughter, if you win!

      Delete
  6. I would love to listen to this book. Thanks for the chance. Nice to meet you Sheila.
    isisthe12th(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you liked the interview! Sheila is a very interesting person, isn't she? Good luck in the drawing!

      Delete
  7. Interesting interview. First one I’ve read from a voice author. Thank you for the chance.
    tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always to learn the story behind the story, isn't it? Good luck in the drawing!

      Delete
  8. Very interesting interview. Thank you for sharing :D
    hindsfeet_highplace at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I enjoyed doing the interview. Sheila did a good job on the book, and I'm eager for it to get out there. Good luck in the drawing!

      Delete
  9. Enjoyed reading the interview. It is interesting to learn what goes on behind the scenes.
    betsylu2@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m glad you liked it, Beth! I’m curious about the very same thing!

      Delete
  10. How very interesting to read personal details of a person who reads audio books! I love audio books, and have enjoyed so many voices--except one! Thanks for an opportunity to win an audio book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome, Barb, but I'm going to need your email address to enter. Just put it in the "reply" below this reply.

      Delete
  11. I love audio books. That way I can still read when I don't have time to sit down! Thank you for a chance to win.
    lhanberry1(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do the same thing with audio books, Linda! Especially while washing dishes, LOL!

      Delete
  12. I adore audio books, and love reading about the actors who read the books for the audio book. ReadingMama922 at gmail dot com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheila is a very talented reader. I really enjoyed learning more about her.

      Delete
  13. I’m blind, so now I listen to all my books. I enjoyed this interview and I truly appreciate an outstanding narrator. Listening to a book adds another rich dimension and greatly improves the pictures in my mind. Thank you both for all you do. Blessings, Susan Fryman. susanngarrylee@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope this book does this for you. It was a joy to write the book. Good luck in the drawing!

      Delete
  14. I would love to hear her read your book, it sounds so interesting. I always thought I would like to read a book but my voice is so southern. Maybe someday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy, you might be surprised. Have you listened to Fanny Flagg or Jan Karon narrating their books. A Southern accent can be a real plus there! By the way, I don't have your email address for the drawing. Just leave it in a reply to this below.

      Delete
  15. Very interesting to learn what all goes into recording an audiobook. I like listening to audiobooks, especially while I'm in the car. Would like to "Irrigardless of Murder".
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dianne, this audiobook is available on Amazon Audible and it can be played on just about any audio device.

      Delete
  16. Sounds like a great book. I'd like to enter.
    marcus802001(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you like it. You're entered! It's also available in Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon.

      Delete
  17. As I've grown older and my eyesight poorer, audiobooks have kept me connected to the world of words I so love. Thank you for this informative interview.

    patriciaburkhartsmith@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. patriciaburkhartsmith(at)gmail(dot)com

      Delete
    2. You're welcome! Good luck in the drawing!

      Delete
  18. Enjoyed the interview. Thank you for sharing.
    leliamae54(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Lucy. Good luck in the drawing!

      Delete
  19. Great interview, thanks for sharing. Is this audio book in the local libraries and if not how do I find it? Willa willastory@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Willa, it's only on Amazon Audible, as far as I know. Unfortunately, it's not in the public libraries. (Sigh.)

      Delete
  20. Great interview, Ellen; you asked some probing questions. Isn't it neat to hear your book on audio? An oral reading adds an extra dimension you don't get with just the written word.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, Linda. Thank you for inspiring me to do this!

      Delete