Category Archives: Narrator Corner

10 Tips for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

From a Narrator Who Has Made It through Several.
By Graham Halstead

In no particular order…

  • Find your crew. All good zombie apocalypse survivors have a close-knit crew of two or three battle-hardened companions they can rely on. Find yours and keep them close.
  • Kill it. Kill it dead. In the zombie apocalypse, remember the classic mistake of the supervillain vs. the hero: This is no time for monologuing, taunting, or otherwise carrying on. If you have a kill shot—take it.
  • Secure your homestead. Whether it’s a string fence with cans tied on to make noise, a barbed wire and chain link affair, or even shipping containers laid end to end—make safe the castle. Everyone needs a home base and its security can make or break your struggling community.
  • Don’t trust strangers. Only the living can help you in the fight against the undead hordes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be your undoing. Never let your guard down, trust your instincts, and keep your weapons handy.
  • There’s always a zombie. You’re exploring a new area for your blossoming community to inhabit; you’re scavenging a warehouse for food and supplies; you’re looking through the library for that last Hunger Games book you never got to read: guess what? There’s always a zombie. Don’t ever think just because it’s quiet, that you may have found the one place that lucked out and missed the zombie takeover. Trust me, you didn’t. Also, look behind you.
  • Never forget what makes us human. Just because it’s the zombie apocalypse and it seems like The Purge may finally be here, never forget your human decency and decorum. It’s what separates us from them, and in the end, acting humanely will go a long way to helping convince your fellow survivors that you too belong in the brave new world you’re fighting to create.
  • Don’t lose your head. You may think this goes without saying, but many a survivor can lose their cool at the most inopportune moment. Yes, it’s the end of the world. Yes, things do not look great. But by golly, you ARE somebody darn it, and you can do it. Keep your calm and use your noggin. It’s the best weapon you have against the brainless.
  • Lighten up. Yeah, okay. Killing zombies all day can get pretty depressing. But life’s short these days, and you might as well make the most of it. Kick back once in awhile and try to blow off some steam. You know what they say: all zombie-killing and no play makes Jack a dull boy…
  • Know thy zombie. Zombies come in all shapes and sizes, speeds and threat levels. Learn how to handle walkers, runners, crawlers, and more, and you’ll be more than prepared for whatever the end of the world has in store.
  • Keep your gun close, and your stabbing tool of choice closer. Guns are a great tool for putting down the undead, but most situations are helped by a little stealth and strategy. Guns are loud and will draw the attention of the dead—and the living.  Plus there’s only so many bullets out there and this ain’t your grandma’s action/adventure film. Keep a knife or pick somewhere close at hand. Heck, get creative! Use a screwdriver or a sharpened stick to get the job done.

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An Interview with Narrator Karen White

By the fans of Ellery Adams

Writing All Wrongs Cover
Writing All Wrongs. Audiobook available now!

Last week we brought you an exclusive interview between narrator Karen White and author Ellery Adams. This week we bring you a twist on the interview with the fans of Ellery Adams asking Karen White some questions!

Ellery did a Facebook post asking her fans for questions about audiobooks.  Several people asked similar questions, so we grouped those together in the post.

Laura, Terry and Donna all had questions about how Karen got started as an audiobook narrator:
When and how did you decide that narration work would be something you wanted to do? How did you get started?
Do you consider yourself to be a performer or actor and did you “plan” to be a narrator? I think this interview will be fun!
How did you get into this business?

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Ellery Adams and Karen White Discuss the Books by the Bay Mystery series


By Karen White

Karen White, narrator of Ellery Adams Books by the Bay series, recently had a few questions for the author. Read on to find out some interesting facts about the author, her processes, the series, and even her take on audiobooks!

Author Ellery Adams
Author Ellery Adams

Dixie! What a character!  Is she completely sprung from your imagination or was there a human inspiration?  You describe her movements so clearly it makes me feel like you must have seen someone of her stature skate around inside a diner somewhere!  (And I was kind of sad she was not around for most of this book – though I made her voice a little bit difficult to do, so I was also kind of relieved.)

Dixie is totally fictitious (though there are times she seems so real to me that I can imagine her skating around my kitchen). I was a big fan of the movie Xanadu when I was a kid and later, of the play, Starlight Express. Dixie brings all the flair and color of those stories—and on roller skates!

You mix some real life events into these books. For instance (p.11) a crewman on the ferry to Palmetto Island tells Olivia about the lady that was killed in a boating accident at the Quarantine Pad. I remember when this happened a couple years ago, since I live quite close by.  How do news events like this work their way into your stories? And might there be some shark attacks coming in future books since they were the big news in coastal NC this past summer?!

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Interview with Narrator C.S.E. Cooney

By Sarah Barning

I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing C.S.E. Cooney. Ms. Cooney is an in house narrator at Tantor and her smile and personality lights up the place. It is always a great day when she is here recording. She is very talented, and I am thrilled to share her interview with everyone.

Narrator Photo
C.S.E Cooney

How did you get into narrating?

This is a question that people have been asking since I landed my job at Tantor back in April! I find it tricky, because there is no short answer. Some of it was luck: right place, right time, right email address. But to get to that time and place and email address, I spent two years stopping everyone I met who had any connection whatsoever with the audiobook industry to say, “I want to do this; how do I do this?” Some of it is my BA in Fiction Writing with an Acting minor from Columbia College Chicago (a peculiar combination of education that makes this job peculiarly ideal). I began by narrating for such short-form fantasy podcasts such as Uncanny Magazine, Podcastle, Tales to Terrify, and Goblin Fruit.

Mostly though, after looking into a job as a proofer for Tantor, I heard from a friend—at the time employed in that same position—that the company was also looking for narrators. I sent in an email with an audition reel, made an appointment to audition, and landed a trial run with two cozy mysteries (later mentioned). After that, I got a 13-week contract, and found myself booked through the summer and early fall doing the Best Job Ever. It was the most glorious, double lightning strike of luck and work.

What was your favorite audiobook to narrate?

Well… I think that’s a toss-up between Combat Ready Kitchen and Tales from the Back Row. This surprised even me, for I read and write fiction primarily, and these were two of only three non-fiction books I narrated. I felt like I was learning loads of interesting things in the process—not just about narrating, but about cheese bacteria, and New York City Fashion week—and on a very basic sentence level, I found the sentences conversational and cathedral-like. Sometimes in fiction a sentence can get very basic, making way for a forward-driven plot, snappy dialogue, and colorful characters. With these two memoirs/histories, the focus was on conveying new and often useful information with clarity and beauty and wit; I found it extraordinary.

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Full Circle: The Story Behind My Narration of Divorce Poison

By Daniel Penz

There are a few, precious times in one’s life when one can give back, specifically, to one who has done… much for… uh… one….

Narrator Photo
Narrator Daniel Penz

Oh heck… That’s way too many ‘one’s.

But now is… ummm… one… of those times.

Back when I was going through some of the most difficult times of my adolescence, my father (with the wrong kind of PhD to help him really understand his kids) reached out to the RIGHT kind of PhD, one with the sort of training who COULD help me figure out my path.

That man was Dr. Richard A. Warshak, and it’s no great stretch of the imagination to say he probably saved my life. (No, I was never THAT bad, but there were times…)

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