Yellowstone Heart Song will be available in audiobook format soon! My special guest today is producer/narrator, Alexandra Haag, who did an outstanding job in bringing the book to life.
Tell us about yourself. What else do you do besides VO?
I volunteer with various organizations within my community. I love to travel, golf, snow ski, fitness walk, ride my electric bicycle and, of course, read a wide variety of books. I'm a firm believer that learning is a life-long process and that a curious mind makes an interesting life.
What made you decide to become a voice actor?
I came upon this craft along a very circuitous route. I volunteer for the Radio Reading Service for the visually impaired at our local PBS Radio station and have read scripture at church services for many years. Additionally, I head up a neighborhood book club. One month's selection seemed like a great book for audio, but was not available in that format. I knew someone who was essentially blind who would like the book, so I informally recorded it just for him. It occurred to me that I'd like to make a career out of this. Although I thought I'd read only non -fiction, I was quickly offered opportunities to narrate dramatic fiction. That is when the experience I'd had at weekly post-graduate acting workshops kicked in and I found I loved doing fiction, too.
I like to say that a book by a 14th century mystic led me to voice acting!
When you are reading the script, do you become animated? Describe what we would see.
I stand when I narrate, and my face becomes pretty expressive, but I don't flail my arms around or do things that might cause extraneous noise; one has to be careful even about clothing so that any movement made in turning pages or operating the recording software and equipment is soundless. I always have water at hand, as well as Chapstick.
What is your favorite type of story to which you lend your voice talents?
I like any stories that have relatable heroes and heroines whom I can cheer for and plots rooted in values that reflect my own.
What drew you narrate Yellowstone Heart Song?
Yellowstone Heart Song has characters that are likable and admirable and who are also very human. History has always interested me and time travel is always a fascinating concept.
Do you do anything to prepare for a narrating session?
I read over my notes from my initial reading of the book, note the characters who will appear, and skim the pages for the plot and character devices used by the author in furthering characterizations and story. On the days that I record, I "wake up my voice" in the morning by wandering around my house singing.
What sets you apart as a voice actor?
That's a tough question for me to answer. I do hope the listener hears a voice they can enjoy over the course of several hours, and one that engages them and immerses them in the world the author creates.
What was your favorite part of narrating Yellowstone Heart Song?
The setting for the story is gorgeous. Aimee and Daniel are compelling characters and I like the banter between them; and, I must admit, Francoise and Pierre were fun to voice.
The most challenging?
The correct and smooth pronunciation of some words and names required some research and practice. And it's sometimes a little weird voicing both parts of an "intimate" scene.
What do you hope the listeners will take away from your delivery?
I hope the listeners feel the book comes alive for them, become absorbed in it, and look forward to more from the author (and me!).
Share an unusual experience that happened during or as a result of narrating
Well, I have an appreciation of tall, dark, and scowly men!