Saturday, June 1, 2019

The World of #Audio for A Legacy of Love and Murder #Interview with Holly Holt

Holly Holt, talented audio narrator, is back with us today. Maybe we can learn a little more about her world of audio. Holly has now narrated three of my Love and Murder Series books—The Art of Love and Murder, Southwest of Love and Murder, and most recently A Legacy of Love and Murder. It’s exciting for me to have a narrator who’s in demand taking on my whole series!

Me: Hi Holly! Great to have you here again. Last time you told us how your daughter tells her friends your studio is where you talk to yourself. Do you get any comments from friends about what you do? I get some reactions about writing romance.

Holly: Now I’m dying to know what comments you get!!!  Most people who know me really well aren’t too surprised as I’ve always been an avid reader, but people are always curious about the details as to how I got into it and how it works etc.  Its kind of fun like you are a spy or have some fascinating job that people want to know more about.  People get a kick out of the fact that I do some erotica and some are very surprised at that.

Me: A spy or equally fascinating. Fun. I am so excited about A Legacy of Love and Murder, the latest release. This book had a few more challenges, in my humble opinion. Although I edited out some of the German for the audio version, there were still quite a few words and phrases. Plus, you managed authentic sounding accents. How did you do all of that? 

Holly: This book was SO much fun.  I think I did more prep work for this book than I’ve done for others, mainly because I haven’t had extensive experience with the accent.  I have narrated books with German characters, but never a main character. 
I’ve always wanted to expand my experience with a German accent, so this was a great challenge for me.
It was especially fun as my husband and my father speak German so I definitely practiced with them.  Thank heavens for the internet, so I was also able to find lots of YouTube videos to help me practice the accent as well.  I know I can always improve and do better, but I feel practicing until you can do it with confidence is key.

I also really enjoyed how beautifully you describe the scenery and the castles for this book, I felt I lived abroad vicariously with the characters in a sense, so overall it was a delightful experience for me.

Me: And how lucky for me you had help at hand. I'm glad the setting popped out for you. I lived in Germany for
three years and in our travels, I found Austria to be so beautiful and intriguing. Have you narrated other books that required some language skills outside of English?

Holly: I started off doing books that had varying accents on occasion, but as time has progressed and I’ve gained more experience (and confidence), I’ve done more and more accents which I truly enjoy.
I’ve done quite a few British accents which has always been easier for me probably because I’ve practiced that accent more than any.  (My husband teases me because I also love British shows and while watching one I’ll slip into the accent without realizing so he likes to tease me with “and now your British”)

I also speak Spanish so that accent is always fun for me. I did have a book set in Ireland that was a great challenge for me as well.  Definitely had other accents I’ve tackled with minor characters like Russian and other European accents.

Me: What was the biggest surprise for you once you became a narrator? Maybe something you hadn’t expected? 

Holly:  You know, there have been a few surprises, but the biggest one by far is that I didn’t expect to get so into it.  As a young girl I really enjoyed acting but I had such anxiety about it that I never played a lead but was always in the chorus of musicals and other plays.  I didn’t realize narrating would fulfill that need for me that I even forgot I had.  It’s fun trying to really get inside each character and perform them in such a way to truly make it an enjoyable experience for the listener – always my goal I strive to achieve. 

Me: I think good narrators have to have a flare for acting. And you do! I know you come from a background of loving to read. Do you have time to read any books you aren’t narrating? Does it feel like you’re reading new books when you narrate or is it more like a job and not entertaining?

Holly: SUCH good questions!  Normally I do still find time to read though I did just have a baby so my reading time has lessened lately, but that is worth it! 

Most of the time narrating is so much fun and doesn’t feel like a job.  Sometimes when I’m editing my work it can feel more like a job, or if I do a book that isn’t my favorite genre.  I’ve learned to stick to books I really love as I enjoy the process more which will translate into a better piece for the listeners.

Me: I’m wondering if you’ve seen any trends in the audio field since you started your career? For instance, is any genre more requested now or any new genres going to audio?

Holly: I think the biggest change is the crossovers which personally I LOVE.  I kind of consider yours that way as it is just as much a mystery/suspense novel as it is romance – both genres I love!
I also love how Erotica is expanding in a similar fashion.  There is a major trend for many supernatural novels to be considered Erotica due to their content, but many of them are a blend of multiple genres which I find to be very fun!

Me: So last time you were on, you divulged you are pregnant. How are you feeling and when is the baby due? 

Holly: I just had Ivan Charles on April 13th!  So exciting.  He was only 6 pounds 1 ounce and was born with huge blue eyes and strawberry blonde hair.  We are already so in love with him (he is 6 weeks old now) which is a good thing as I’m not sleeping much lately!

Me: Welcome to the world Ivan Charles! It was great having you stop in again, Holly. I hope everyone checks out all of the books you’re narrating. Want to give us your alias for your erotica narrations?

Holly: It is such a pleasure talking with you as well and your novels are my favorite to narrate (don’t tell my other authors).  I just love how your mind works, your creativity, and how you describe things so beautifully.  You honestly feel like you are right there, almost like you are the character experiencing the story that you don’t want to stop listening to and you never want to end.
My alias for erotica is Michelle Jones.  Sssshhh!

If you're new to audio, be advised you can listen to a sample of the books on audible (Amazon). Click on the name of my books up in the first paragraph to listen.

And if you want to get a really good feel for the books, you can read the first chapter on my web site: Click HERE FOR THE FIRST CHAPTER

Find or connect with Holly here:

TWITTER:  hollyholtnarrates