Narrator Karen Commins Makes Cinderella Magic – Get the Audiobook Online & A Peek at Her Story Notes – Part 2

romance narrator

If you get the audiobook online and give it a listen, within two minutes you’ll know why I feel as if a fairy godmother connected me with Karen Commins, who narrated my chick lit romantic comedy Fooling Around With Cinderella. (Storybook Valley #1) Thanks to ACX for the behind the scenes magic that allowed us to work together. I’m so pleased that Karen took time out of her busy schedule to do this in-depth two-part blog interview with me. Audiobook listeners will be fascinated with all the work it takes to narrate an audiobook. Authors and voiceover artists will be intrigued by the processes and tips Karen gives. You can read Part 1 of her interview here. Below in Part 2, you can learn more about how Karen approached working on Fooling Around With Cinderella, what drew her to the book, and get a sneak peek at her story notes – hint, it involves Friends star Matt LeBlanc.

Part 2:

What attracted you to Fooling Around With Cinderella?

The bright colors in the cover and the fun title really caught my eye! When I saw you wrote it, I was even more excited since you and I had been friends on Facebook for a while following a previous audiobook promotion. I knew you are a really talented writer, and you take your craft and career seriously.

I read the Kindle sample and didn’t want to stop! You presented the characters, their feelings, the setting, and situation in such a realistic manner that I was watching the movie in my head more than reading words on the page. Your book passed my test to determine the level of graphic sexual scenes, so I auditioned immediately. I was thrilled you chose me to narrate this book for you because I love the story!

I remember being drawn by the tagline for your web site, A Vacation for Your Ears. What does A Vacation for Your Ears mean to you?

We are inundated with commercials on the radio, TV, and web. In those instances, the voiceover is used as an interruption of your task and concentration. We don’t usually seek out those experiences! Audiobooks, on the other hand, allow the listener to escape from their real lives. As the listener becomes more engaged with the story, the voiceover heightens their concentration.

audiobooks onlineWhat is your process as a professional narrator? Do you read the whole book first before narrating it? Do you need to mark it up? What kind of notes do you mark it up with?

A narrator absolutely must read the complete book first in order to understand the story arc and the author’s intent in writing it! In addition, the author leaves clues throughout the book that help me develop the characters’ voices before recording. I read and record from a PDF of the book on my iPad, which ensures no sounds are made as I turn pages in the book while recording. Also, I use an app called iAnnotate because of its flexibility in marking the PDF. I created the below 2:25 video to show how we use the app in the corrections process.

I take notes every time the text says anything descriptive about each character, including things the character says about himself and what others say about him. I create a new notebook in Evernote for each book I perform. Within the notebook, I create a new note page for each character. As I read a description in the manuscript, I copy and paste the info from the book into the note for that character. I end up with a complete profile on each character, like this one for Sean, one of the secondary characters in your book. I cast each character in a book using people in my life or actors to play the roles. It makes it easier to become each character when they are anchored in a real person. For instance, Matt LeBlanc seemed like a good fit for Sean.

How do you keep track of the different voices and inflections that you give to the characters? Do you need to write reminders to yourself?

Aside from my notes in Evernote, I also make small recordings of new character voices as we record the book. That way, I can hear how I portrayed the character previously and maintain continuity of voices across the book. These clips are vital when doing a series.

Who was your favorite character to portray in Fooling Around With Cinderella, and why?

Lois Callahan, Dylan’s grandmother, was such a fun part to play! Without giving too much away, we learn along with Jaine that Lois is not the way she seems to be.

What are some of the other books you have narrated that might appeal to fans of Fooling Around With Cinderella?

I did another sweet romance that, like your book, read like the script to a favorite rom/com movie: For A Good Time, Call… by Trish Jensen. The Dixie Divas Mysteries is a cozy mystery series that includes romances for the 2 main characters. The relationships build in each successive book of their funny adventures while they eat chocolate, drink wine, and solve murders.

Click to sample on Audible

Click to sample on Audible

If you missed Part 1 of Karen’s interview, you can read it here. Visit Karen at the below sites:
Audiobooks on Audible
ACX profile
Follow 1 or more of her Twitter lists of audiobook folks

About Fooling Around With Cinderella: What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella’s toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom. First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun.

Buy the audiobook online at:

Karen Commins is a professional audiobook narrator who has given voice to over 50 audiobooks. She is an Audible Approved Producer who specializes in performing cozy mysteries and sweet romances. She especially shines in books containing humor and/or Southern voices. Karen also has excelled in narrating biography, history, self-development, and other non-fiction titles. In addition to earning a BA in broadcast journalism and MS in computer information systems, Karen has completed extensive specialized training in voiceover and audiobook narration technique, as well as digital audio production. Visit her web site to hear demos, see a list of her titles, and watch a video demonstration of her stunning soundproof studio. In addition to writing articles about audiobooks on her blog and other sites, Karen curates and maintains information for authors seeking to create audiobooks.

For more interviews with audiobook narrators and authors, visit Stacy’s Audiobook Corner.


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