*Name: Suzan Hennen
*Tell us a bit about yourself:
How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production?
I have a younger sister who does audiobook narration and I became interested in 2013 and started doing auditions through ACX.com. Then my first grandchild came along and I was needed to help out with him so the audiobook narration went to the back burner. I have recently become involved in auditioning for audiobooks.
Is this your day job?
No, I am semi-retired from my husband’s hardware sales business of 33 years where I am the Secretary/Treasurer. I find audiobook narrating very fun and a learning experience.
Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these?
I auditioned for Victoria Zigler’s “Puppy Poems and Rodent Rhymes” and have just recently finished it. I really enjoyed doing this book for Tori and would love to do more if requested. I am currently working on “Courage is a Redhead” by Mary Lou Cheatham which should be finished in February 2020.
Do you have a preferred genre? Do you have a genre you do not produce? Why is this?
I am a Christian and new to narrating and prefer to narrate God honouring, Christian-based material, family friendly material, including biographies, historical, and children’s books and books about pets. I will not narrate books with erotic or sexually explicit content or which go against my faith.
What are you working on at present/Just finished?
I am currently working on “Courage is a Redhead” by Mary Lou Cheatham which should be finished in February 2020.
*Tell us about your process for narrating? (Be as elaborate as you like.)
I begin my day with studying the script of the chapters I will be narrating for that day. I have a special “studio” area just for that in my house, which works out very well for me. I complete each chapter and edit it and submit back to the author before moving on to next chapter. I know other ways can be used, i.e. narrating several chapters and then editing, but this seems to be the best for me.
What aspects do you find most enjoyable?
I find preparing and putting myself into each chapter reading and doing my best for the parts which require character dialogue very rewarding. Characters were a challenge for me at first and sometimes still are, but they are FUN!
What do you find least enjoyable?
Editing can be tedious and tiresome at times. If I could just get it all right the first time, that would be the best!
Have you ever found an author you couldn’t continue to work with? How was this resolved?
Since I am a newbie narrator, I have not had enough interaction with several authors to have experienced any adverse situations. So far I’ve only had great interactions with authors I’ve worked with.
Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? If not why is this?
Again, being new to narrating, royalty share seems to be the most common offered on audiobooks. I am not sure whether royalty share or paid per the hour would be best and I’m sure it would depend on the books and it’s ratings.
Do you listen to audiobooks?
I do listen to audiobooks, mostly while traveling with my husband. I find it a great way to enjoy a book.
*With many people owning MP3 players do you think this is the future of storytelling?
Just like ordering anything online is becoming more and more the way to shop, I believe that audiobooks for sure have a great future in storytelling. I do however, enjoy a book in hand myself.
Why do you think audio books are becoming so popular?
Audiobooks are so easily accessible when you can’t bring a book with you, or forget your book. Just use your MP3 player, your Android or I-Phone and have quick and easy access. This world has become a “quick and easy” world.
Can you remember the first audiobook you owned?
I can’t, but I remember about 15+ years ago, going on a business trip with my husband John, and it was an 8-hour drive and we went to a restaurant chain that rented audiobooks and picked one up. We really enjoyed the audiobook experience. Time flew by while listening to the story.
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?
I am not an author so this would not apply to me.
Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?)
I am in the process of just finishing the narration of my first audiobook so I can’t answer that at this time.
Have you ever had a negative experience producing a book?
Not so far.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve had?
There really is so much advice that is freely given through ACX, different narrators through videos, I cannot off the top of my head give you the best piece of advice. My sister who narrates as well told me however just get started, work through, listen, learn, make mistakes and get up and keep going.
What is the worst piece of advice you’ve had?
None so far.
If you could narrate any book you wanted which would it be and why?
There was a book on ACX that I saw but I was not available time-wise to audition for it. It was a biography/memoir about a young girl and concerning real life and ordinary activities set in the Dust Bowl of the American West. A true account of a child coming of age on a 1920’s Nebraska farm. There was no dialogue and the audition script was so intriguing with so much rich history and every day happenings in that time period. But due to me being unavailable from working on another audiobook, I could not audition.
Please tell us a silly fact about yourself.
I am a very melancholy person so this will be hard because I usually don’t do silly. Silly is wanting a certain coffee cup for my morning tea, no ifs, ands or buts. Silly is sleeping with a feather pillow over my head, a feather pillow cuts out most sound. And yes, I take it with me when I travel. Silly is expecting others to be perfect when I certainly am not.
Where can we learn more about you?
Social Media links: