Narrator Interview – Lesley Dessalles

*Name: Lesley Dessalles

*Tell us a bit about yourself:

How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production? That is a long story…but I have an Actor friend who has always said I should use my voice, eventually I reached a time in my life when I could investigate that option. I approached a voice artist local to me, Andy Turvey who is somewhat of a guru and whose advice I have valued and continue to appreciate. Audible told me to contact ACX and here I am, just over 18 months later, 16 books through ACX and various voiceover jobs completed.

Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these? Titles have varied from Thrillers, the paranormal, Ghost stories, the story of Joan of Arc, and Children’s books.

Do you have a preferred genre?  Do you have a genre you do not produce? Why is this? I seem to work on a number of Ghost stories. I am not sure why. My first commission was Veiled by Kat Green, which was pretty gruesome.  I have now completed 3 books for Kat and numerous other ghost stories, including a phantom caper in Las Vegas, the sad tale of a Mistletoe Bride, and of course The story of Blossom Rise.

If you could meet anyone from history or literature for dinner who would it be and what would you eat? I think it would have to be Joan of Arc, having narrated a book about her life. I have had connection with France for over thirty years, I would be interested to see what she would have eaten with the Men that supported her quest, although not in battle when she simply had bread and wine, to see if there are dishes that are still recognised on a French menu today. I expect so!

What are you working on at present/just finished? I have just completed a children’s book and I am about to work on a new genre for me, it feels very like a ‘chick flick’, in style.

*Tell us about your process for narrating?  (Be as elaborate as you like.) First thing, is to read the book carefully and think about the tone and the accents of the characters. I like to know the author’s take on characters too. It is important that the author recognises their work! I then work through chapter by chapter, usually working with the author to ensure that they are happy every step of the way.

What aspects do you find most enjoyable? I enjoy finding the voices and accents for each character. It is not always easy, and if it is a long book I make sure I know in which chapter the characters appear, so that I can ensure the voice is right later on in the book.

What do you find least enjoyable? The editing side. The ironing out the lumps and bumps within the sound file. I don’t think listeners necessarily appreciate how long this takes for a humble narrator in their own studio or sound booth. They are used to seeing clips of famous actors in a studio with a sound engineer on the other side of the glass who will ultimately edit and clean the files.

Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? If not why is this? Do you think this a fair split for your time? It is a good way for a beginner to gain experience. I am hoping that one day I get to have a sound engineer on the other side of the glass!

Why do you think audiobooks are becoming so popular? My friend, who has been shielding over Lockdown says that audiobooks stop her feeling lonely. I guess, in our busy lives, audiobooks can be absorbed whilst doing something else such as driving or exercising.

Do you prefer a spoken book, or reading? For you how do they differ? Reading, every time I am afraid!

Can you remember the first audiobook you owned? To Kill a Mocking Bird, Narrated by Sissy Spacek, she is perfect.

If you are an author, do you produce your own audiobooks or do you prefer to look for an independent narrator? Why have you made this choice? Maybe I’ll write something one day…

What is the best piece of advice you’ve had? I was told to be persistent and patient.

If you could narrate any book you wanted which would it be and why? A book that went on to be an unexpected bestseller would be nice…especially if I was able to narrate it with a sound engineer behind the glass!

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself. I sneeze when I eat mints and good quality chocolate! I am the same height as Dolly Parton!

Where can we learn more about you?

Social Media links:https://www.facebook.com/LezDezVoice/

Facebook Lesley Dessalles – Voice

Lesley has narrated the Secret of Blossom Rise

Audible.Com

Amazon.com audio https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Blossom-Rise-Ghost-Story/dp/B08CNCBNJC/

Audible UK

Amazon UK audio https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Blossom-Rise-Ghost-Story/dp/B08CNF6KJP/

Audible France

Audible Germany

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