Ruby Allure's Books

Ruby Allure's Books
Ruby Allure's Books

Monday, 16 November 2015

An Interview with Erin Lillis - Voice Artist and Audio Producer

Over the last eight months I have had the pleasure to work with a number of wonderful audio producers. Eight of my nine books have been transformed from words into audible reality. Each of the producers has been professional, insightful and really hard working. For all of the authors out there who are thinking about releasing audio books these interviews will provide and insight into what producers are looking for. What's more, audio producers are friendly and are always looking for great books to bring to life. So this week I intend to post a couple of interviews with some of the wonderful people I have been fortunate to work with. I am so grateful that they dedicated their precious hours into bringing my books to life. The first in a series of interview is with Erin Lillis.

An Interview With Erin Lillis -  Voice Artist and Audio Producer (U.S.)


How did you get into producing audio books?

It was the next logical step in my voice over journey towards being a voice heard at an amusement park! :)

This is true. One day I had the idea that I’d like to be the voice you heard announcing the fireworks or the parade at Disneyland. It’s something simple and informative yet those voices have the power to stick with a person and bring back wonderful sense memories when heard years later.

It was that plus people telling me I should do voices and my secondary love for sound design and recording that I’d picked up when working on projects in film school.

In recent years I’ve been working on a slow but steady path towards doing work in the voice over industry. I'm building up to putting together a professional demo. I started by doing voicemail gigs on a freelance site and when I felt I’d finally figured out the timing and quality aspects I moved up to short voiceovers. I discovered ACX (the Audiobooks Creators Exchange) in a conversation with another person on a similar path and signed up. At the same time I also began writing, producing and recording my own podcast (SubverCity Transmit to get more practice in the art of reading fiction.

What do you look for when choosing to work on an audio book?

Since my projects with ACX are done via a profit share model, my first book was done on a gamble. I picked and auditioned for titles that seemed like they’d be a good bet for a steady stream of residuals. My audition was approved and I produced my first book. When I did that I discovered that the process of recording and producing a complete (albeit a very short ebook) was very time intensive and an arduous process.

I took a break after that experience but after I saw that the title was earning me some passive income I decided to dive in again. This time, however, I decided that I would only audition for titles and topics that thoroughly interested me since I knew I would be spending a lot of time with the product.

What are some of your funniest/ weirdest and most awkward experiences within audio production?

As far as awkward goes, after a process of moving around my apartment to find the best location for sound recording (which originally included the kitchen and having to turn off and remembering to turn back ON the refrigerator), I finally managed to make a makeshift sound booth in my hallway closet. My first time recording in there I was noticing that I was getting breathier and breathier until suddenly the room was spinning and I nearly fainted. I quickly learned that there is no air in the closet and I was essentially poisoning myself the more I talked! Awkward and dangerous! I learned a life lesson there (the lesson being “keep the door open”).

What was it about A Short Course in Creative Writing  that appealed?

As I mentioned earlier, I decided to only audition for titles  that were going to be of interest to me. At the time that I started the audiobook I was also attending a “bootcamp” for creative writing and prepping for a writer’s retreat. The audiobook project was a way for me to keep the lessons alive and active. What I ultimately liked best about the book was the lists of questions that I (and other readers) could use to beef up my characters, scenes and settings.

What are your favourite bits of A Short Course In Creative writing that the readers should listen out for?

Personally the little tid bits I enjoyed were reading some obviously British words and phrases like “mum” and “she fancied him” in my very American accent. It made me smile each time.

As for content, I enjoyed the section on "Defining Moments in Character." I'm, at the time of this interview, attempting the NaNoWriMo challenge (which is a challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November). My intention was to do a bunch of plot outlines and character backstories in October so come November 1st I could hit the ground running but that didn't happen as planned. Instead I'm using my November to do all of this pre-work and I'm spending a great deal of time now working on my characters' backstories and THEIR defining moments in character. I'm actually working through the audiobook instead of just narrating it!

I also enjoy the references to writing as catharsis. A reader could totally throw out the fiction/non-fiction writing aspects of the book and entirely use the workshop chapters as guidelines for journaling and self help. It's the "free gift with purchase" aspect of the book.

To hear Erin in Action:

A Short Course in Creative Writing
by Ms Ruby Allure

What other listeners thought:

"Fantastic Beginner Or Refresher 4 Creative Writers"
This short, two-hour, recording is packed full of writing tips, instruction and almost everything one would need to write any type of book. This includes nonfiction or fiction and Ruby Allure breaks down each subject into helpful steps to achieve your story!

I found myself marking each section so that I could go back and reference it as needed.

Though I doubt I have the discipline to ever write anything, I found that this would be an excellent resource should I ever try. Ruby Allure, it is excellent, thank you.

Erin B. Lillis narrates this text in an engaging and clear tone. Excellent and easy to understand.

*I received this book in exchange for my review. However, I am going to keep this very handy to me and would recommend it for anyone who is contemplating writing in all categories.

I NEVER really know what to expect when agreeing to these "listen in exchange for review" relationships. Lately, they have been one home run after another! This is no exception. A short course in creative writing: a compilation of lessons may not be for everyone (those who don't ever plan on writing a book) but for everyone who has ever considered it, this is a fantastic resource, four stars!

Thank you for taking the time to read my review. If you found it helpful in your decision to purchase (or not), would you take a moment and select yes directly beneath this text? Thank you.

"Short & Sweet Writing Course"
Any additional comments?
While the book was short at 2 hours, it took me much longer to get through it. It is packed full of lessons and idea prompts to make you think. Everything is covered from making a mind map to get your ideas down, should you use 1st or 3rd person and the differences between them, to which POV to use.

The ideas here are very practical and give you ideas on how to tame the mass of ideas floating around in your head(I'm guilty of this) and bringing one down to Earth to start your story.

She covers uses the senses, and even trying to think from some one else perspective, like a friend, or someone you know. Good exercises to help you find your characters voice.

There are so many tips to help you get going if you don't know where to start. And enough practical advice for those that do but still need a bit of guidance. I have many books on writing, but having this in audio format is almost like having a teacher right there with you. It leaves your hands free to write and explore the ideas put down to make you think, and to help get your story down on paper. I myself will be using it to help with my own writing.

*I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com".

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