Welcome to one of the June 4th stops on the blog tour for The Fall of Mrs. Parsons by Phil Geoffrey Bond, organized by Audiobookworm Promotions. be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, audio excerpts, reviews, interviews, and more!
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When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
I have loved audiobooks for a VERY long time…
How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
It wasn’t till i started voiceovers and documentaries where i actually considered maybe it was something I could do too! Then i dove in headlong. It’s completely different than voiceover, but its where my heart is if I had to choose.
Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
Audiobooks are far more complicated than many realize. I, like many others, thought if I somehow could LAND the jobs…i would have all the skills i needed. Once i decided i wanted to do it no matter what it took, I quickly realized that it takes far more than just a love of audio and an acting background
A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
Essential? NO. There are probably milkmen and hairdressers and stay-at-home dads out there who would be great at it…that being said i would say that USUALLY it’s an extremely helpful background…because Audiobooks ARE acting. Even non-fiction!
What type of training have you undergone?
I have been working as a union actress in NYC since I was 18, and got all the training which that requires. As far as Audiobooks, i have amazing coaches i work with and i try to learn something everyday that makes me a better storyteller
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I’m a HUGE audiobook fan. I’m always listening to at least two.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
(Aside from the fact that I’d love to read with less flubs LOL.) I like to get things started …like wanting to open a present immediately! So prepping, while fun, can be a joy kill…. I want to get in that booth!!!
However, when i just get in there and dive deep…it also ends up feeling like a present too. Look at all the fun things I get to narrate!
I just really love the whole thing in the end.
What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
Gosh, I guess my passion abt it helps make me a good narrator, because i REALLY love it. . And the fact that i am MOST comfortable as an actor…that really helps.
Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
First of all…I’d love to try it all, but so far Sci-fi or Fantasy remain at the bottom of my list FOR NOW! I don’t think i would turn down a book if someone thought I was right for it…because they know their vision better than I.
What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
Honestly? My first thought was that it LOOKED really beautiful…and then i read that it was going to be a historical romance…which I love!!! Then I found out it was about a couple in Wisconsin…and I was excited. My family is from Wisconsin.
How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
It’s one of my favorite parts, and I’ve been very lucky to call some of them friends.
How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
I basically cast my books. Every character. But when i say cast…sometimes im thinking of people i know, or animals that inspire me or celebrities. Sometimes I even mix them together! For instance, I might have the look of Betty White in my mind in general, but also a motherly cat…which speaks more to manner and viewpoint.
What types of things are harmful to your voice?
You do have to be careful about choosing unsustainable voices that could hurt your voice.
Have there been any characters that you really connected with?
It’s my job to connect with them all! There’s a big part of me in everyone, because there has to be. The things i love about myself, the things I remember, the things i wish for…even the things i hate about myself ….These are the things that make ppl who they are, and connect them.
If you had the power to time travel, would you use it?
If yes, when and where would you go? Maybe i’d go to victorian london…i don’t know. I’ve actually never thought about it.
Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
I do, but I try not to focus on it. Often it’s a flavor choice…and just because I love peanut butter…doesn’t mean everyone does! I try to look for themes in the reviews I can grow from….and leave it there.
If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
There’s a book called LITTLE BIG by John Crowley I’d like to get my hands on!
What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
Do a lot of research before you think it’s for you. Take more than one beginner narration workshop,consult with a few coaches and go on the FB pages to just LISTEN to the conversations for a couple months.
What’s next for you?
A GROVE OF MAPLES should come out soon, and I think it’s going to be wonderful…thanks to Audiobook Empire and Jenny Knipfer! I also have a Italian spy romance that I absolutely LOVED doing coming out this spring by C De Melo. This summer I’ll be in the booth with two contemporary christmas romances by River Ford that I’m really looking forward to recording! Lastly, I’m really hoping for a dual narration this year…fingers crossed!
Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
I heard a VERY strange sound in my booth one morning. A whirring I feared was coming from my computer or something? I COULD NOT figure it out and I started to panic. I had a deadline and when technical things go wrong it’s an absolute disaster for a narrator! I was about to get on an emergency call with my Tech guru when i realized it wasn’t coming FROM my computer, but UNDER it.
About the Book
The Fall of Mrs. Parsons
by Phil Geoffrey Bond
Published 3 November 2016
Page Count: 37
Published 15 April 2021
Chess Books/Above Deck Entertainment
Narrator: Jenn Lee
Length: 50 minutes
Genre: General Fiction
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Mrs. Parsons lives a quiet life in a small cottage in the woods on the outskirts of town, having woken next to her husband, Lloyd, and gone about her normal routine every day for the past fifty plus years. But on this most extraordinary day, she will venture out into the world, reclaiming her place in it and, in so doing, rediscovering herself. In this lush, romantic short tale from Phil Geoffrey Bond, the simple life is revealed as not so simple at all.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Consider liking my review on Goodreads.
I was granted complimentary access to The Fall of Mrs. Parsons via Audible as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Audiobookworm Promotions. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
The Fall of Mrs. Parsons is the story of Mary Bell Parsons, an old woman in the twilight of her life who decides to act on impulse and run away from her husband and quiet cabin home to find herself in the nearby town of Tacoma and possibly far away on a trip by herself. As she revels in the freedom and independence she’s just gained, she also remembers how much she loves her husband, regardless of any annoyances and minor grudges she’s been holding onto, and figures out how to both honour this life she’s lead with him and also embrace something new and all her own.
This story is bittersweet, beautiful, heartbreaking, and oh-so real. As a married woman who lives far from her own family, I deeply understand Mrs. Parson’s inner conflict and selfish desires. I love my husband and our daughter and I love our house and neighbourhood, but that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about independence and faraway places. I can only imagine how these feelings will change and grow by the time I’m Mrs. Parsons’ age. I hope that if I ever get to the point of actually taking the truck off to town and buying a ticket to some faraway land, my husband will respond the way Mr. Parsons does. There’s so much unspoken love and deep understanding in the way this couple interacts with few words.
Read this if you want to run away for a day with an old woman who still wonders what else is out there waiting for her. It’s well worth it!
About the Author
PHIL GEOFFREY BOND is an award-winning author, best known for his collection of short pieces, All the Sad Young Men, and the celebrated picture book, My Friend, the Cat, based on the popular stage show. Often mixing dramatic prose with live theatre, his original pieces My Queer Youth, The Disney Diaries, My Friend, the Cat, My Roaring Twenties and Small Town Confessions have been embraced by a wide range of off-Broadway audiences. As a playwright, Phil has developed work at The Sundance Theatre Lab (The Citadel), and many regional theatres throughout the states. A fixture on the NYC nightlife scene, he is a seven-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets), two-time Bistro and one-time Nightlife Award-winner. Currently, he is the writer/producer/host of Sondheim Unplugged, now enjoying it’s 6th year at Manhattan nightspot Feinstein’s/54 Below. 2016 will see the release of his debut novel, The Last Year at Low Tide (Chess Books). In 1993, he was awarded the Presidential Medallion from President Clinton on behalf of his work as a young playwright.
About the Narrator
After 20+ years as professional NYC actor, I stumbled into some documentary voiceover work. From that moment on, I knew the trajectory of my career had been changed forever. I adore narrating and doing VO, and every job feels like a gift.
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