Updated: Nov 5, 2019
Ella Lynch narrated Always in My Heart by author M. Claire Gager and it is available now on iTunes, Amazon and Audible.
Thank you so much for connecting with us today! We are excited to learn more about the voice behind this book!
First, some particulars:
Title of the Book You Just Narrated For Us:
Always In My Heart by M Claire Gager
What City do you live in?
Exeter, Devon, UK.
Now for the cool stuff. Here goes!
IHS: What was your favorite part about narrating this particular book?
Ella: This was the first audiobook I narrated. So my favourite part was that I was finally putting my dreams into action. That I was able to bring an exciting, interesting story to life and make it accessible to more people through the medium of audio.
IHS: How did you get into narrating audiobooks? Did you fall into it or was it planned?
Ella: I have always wanted to be an audiobook narrator and voice actress. But my fear of failure stopped me from trying for a very very long time. Finally in early 2018 my daughter had started school, and I had been talking about wanting to do it now I had the time, but didn’t know where to start. I was with a good friend and she asked when I was going to make it happen… I said I didn’t know if I could do it, I was scared of failing, of being rubbish at it, of not getting any work, of not being good enough. She said that was fine, but I would only be living a half life, I wouldn’t be being true to myself. There were a lot of tears, as I realised the only thing holding me back was me. She got me signed up for 2 courses that day to show and remind me that I am a talented actress with a passion for audio, and from there my truth unfolded.
IHS: What a. wonderful story! Your daughter sounds like a wonderful person! We're really glad she talked you into following your dream! Do you have a theater background? Is it something you think is necessary to be a success as a narrator?
Ella: I studied performing arts in college, as I always wanted to be an actress. I couldn’t say whether it is something that is necessary to be a success, but I know for me, that it was an integral part of my being. I had wanted that course my whole life, and I did it, and got triple distinction and affirmed to myself that I was good enough.
IHS: Were you an audiobook listener before you started narrating?
Ella: YES! I listened to audiobooks as a child every night, and in the car on long journeys. I absolutely loved them. If 6 year old me could see that 32 year old me is creating audiobooks for a living now, I would be ecstatic! Since realising my dream, I have found I listen to so many audiobooks now, but I have to stop myself from judging the production quality, which is something I never thought about or even noticed before!
IHS: Wonderful! Narrators seem to each have their favorite niche or genre, and things they don’t like to get into. What kinds of books do you stay away from?
Ella: I am pretty open to narrating almost anything to be honest. The only things I wouldn’t narrate would be things that don’t sit right with me. I have to be able to be authentic and true to myself and the author, and if a project made me feel uncomfortable due to its content, then I couldn’t do it the justice it and the author deserve.
IHS: Learning to narrate audiobooks can sometimes feel like going through the school of hard knocks. What was a the most unexpected lesson you got in your early narrating career?
Ella: Good question. I guess learning that I can’t be everyone’s narrator. I can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. My old worries of not being good enough, and fear of rejection had to be let go, because I realised that there are thousands of books out there, and not all of them will suit my voice and narration style. By accepting that it is so freeing, because if I don’t get chosen for a job I know it’s not that I can’t do the job, just that I’m not the right fit. And that is okay.
IHS: Let’s talk reviews. Do you read your reviews and listener comments?
Ella: Yes, I read every single one. I absolutely love reading what people thought of the books and my narration.
IHS: Do you research an author and book before taking on a project? If so, what do you most want to see?
Ella: Yes I do. Honestly, that was a steep learning curve too, because I want and deserve to make money for my narration and production. I read the blurb, and people’s reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and I look at the Amazon sales ranking. There are a large amount of hours that go into a finished audiobook are significantly more than just recording the work.
IHS: Once a book is finished, then the work of marketing begins. What do you do to spread the word about a new audiobook release?
Ella: You can mostly find me on Instagram! I always talk about the projects I am working on and then when they are released let everyone know there, as well as on my website. I ask friends, family and followers if they would like to listen in exchange for honest reviews, to help potential listeners learn more about whether they will enjoy the book.
IHS: Any audiobook haters in your friends or family? People who are avid “page-turners” or those who think listening to audiobooks is not really reading? What do you say to them?
Ella: No haters no. There are members that are ambivilent towards them, but no haters!
IHS: What were you most worried about when starting out as a narrator? Did the worry happen or was it unjustified?
Ella: I was most worried once I had started about the editing and production. I realised that I am a good narrator, that I have the skills to read a story well and really engage the listeners but I am not a computer technically minded person at all. I was so terrified that I would fail all the quality checks, that I wouldn’t know what to do, that I wouldn’t be able to make the work sound good quality. What happened? I hired a sound engineer to help set up my space and to teach me how to use the software. I did fail some of the quality checks to begin with, but I learnt how to fix the problems and moved forward. I was so out of my depth 18 months ago, it was so so hard. But it was so worth it. I have only really learnt as an adult that it is absolutely OKAY to make mistakes! In fact, it is beneficial! Because through making mistakes I learn and grow, and get better and that can only be a good thing.
IHS: And, as a follow up, what should you ACTUALLY have been most worried about instead??
Ella: I think my worry was valid. I think having humility and realising that all humans are fallible, and that’s okay is an important life lesson.
IHS: So now, what advice would you give those who are thinking about becoming a narrator?
Ella: If you truly want it, if it is your heartfelt desire, then do it! It doesn’t happen overnight. You need to do your research on equipment, and how to use software. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Make sure you communicate with authors. Believe in yourself. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get everything right first time. You are learning, and making mistakes is okay, as long as you learn from them. It is a lot of hard work, but if you love it, it is so so worth it.
IHS: Great advice! Finally, what advice would you give authors who are thinking about doing an audiobook?
Ella: Do it! What have you got to lose? Audiobooks mean your work will reach even more people, what more could you want?!
Thank you so much for your input!
Top 10 Best Audiobooks You’ve Listened To in the Last Year. And in 10 words or less, Why?
1) Supernova by Ericka Waller (narrated by me!) – I really resonated with this - all about teenage anxiety and growing up.
2) The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, narrated by Rupert Degas – so random and bizzarre, SO GOOD!
3) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, narrated by Tim Robbins – dystopian future, utterly gripping
4) Chomp by Carl Hiaasen, narrated by James Van Der Beek – YA fiction, really funny!
5) Behind the Beautiful Rivers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo, narrated by Sunil Malhotra – so vivid. Harrowing and beautiful at the same time.
6) Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan, narrated by Trini Alvarado – poetic, beautiful, vivid, wonderful, evocative.
7) Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead, narrated by Jesse Bernstein – Intriguing and witty.
8) Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli, narrated by John Ritter – oh this book was so good! About a girl unafraid to be herself, in a world that wants her to conform
9) Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool, narrated by Robbie Daymond, Mark Bramhall and Cassandra Campbell – literarily stunning.
10) Lily and The Octopus by Steven Rowley, narrated by Michael Urie – loved the funny dog voice!
IHS: Social Media links for you that we can share with our fans so they can find out more about you:
One Paragraph Narrator Bio
Versatile none-accented British female narrator & voice actress working from my home studio in Exeter, England
There you go folks, amazing narrator Ella Lynch - a truly great performer.