Conversations With Book Lovers

Amazing Audiobook Narrator, Ted Brooks

We have a special treat for Audiobooks fans today. Please meet Ted Brooks, talented and gifted narrator of our Sullivan Boys Romantic Suspense Series. Ted Brooks Sound supplies voice-overs and audio production throughout the country. Ted has over 30 years’ experience in recording, talent direction, voice over and project management. He has narrated ninety-eight books – including five of our romances – and, soon to count ninety nine books if he agrees to narrate our contemporary romance, Reunion For The First Time.

Ted is the recipient of awards for best national commercial, local spot and top interactive K-5 reading course, Reading Adventures.

Welcome Ted!

K.M. Daughters: We loved your voice from the very first audition audio file, Ted. What attracted you to the sample script of Capturing Karma?

Ted Brooks: I loved that someone was speaking to Mattie from the grave.  I knew that would lead to some creative production to make the voice from the grave sound a little ethereal.  I loved the sound effect that we used to do this. Mattie is such a great character with her intuiting and wonderful nature,  that she really helped me to get to know the Sullivan family.

K.M. Daughters: How did you start book narrating?

Ted Brooks: I studied Radio/TV in College and worked in the field for a few years, but soon tired of the constant moving to new areas, trying to find a job that paid well, so I switched to recording studio work.  While I had assumed that I would just record music, it soon turned out that I was really good dealing with corporate clients and soon found myself producing commercials and industrials almost exclusively.  I was usually on the other side of the glass during my early days, but once I switched over to working for a division of Viacom that produced educational software, we got into a time bind on a project and I volunteered to do the VO. That worked out well and soon I found myself with about as much freelance work as I wanted, so I “kind” of switched to being a voice talent in addition to whatever type of multimedia production I was currently doing. When I found myself without a permanent job, I soon was exclusively doing VO work and one day, while searching for more ways to make a living, I stumbled across the site set up by Audible to connect narrators to authors. I then auditioned and got my first book, a novella entitled “Little Graveyard on the Prairie”, by Steven E. Wedel.  I loved the work, and jumped in a little deeper, and recorded a bunch of books and short stories.  I took a break for about 1 1/2 years as my wife dog and I bought an RV and traveled through 37 states, looking for  a new place to put down stakes, as Northern California just got too crazy and expensive.  We eventually ended up in a little town in Arizona, called Prescott, where I have set up my studio and now record books more as a hobby than a job, which makes it even more fun for me.

K.M. Daughters: Do you read a novel in its entirety before you begin recording? Do you make script notes prior to recording? What is your process?

Ted Brooks: I pre-read the entire book, making character notes, looking for difficult pronunciations and generally try to get an idea of what I want to do. Then, at night, I usually pre-read what I expect to record in the morning to refresh my memory.

K.M. Daughters: Do you become invested in books you narrate?

Ted Brooks: Oh yes I do. I will sometimes look at what’s going on in my life and see connections to what I’m recording at the time. I’m currently working on a non-fiction account of a couple of WWI draft dodgers called “Arizona’s Deadliest Gunfight”, which took place about 3 hours away from where I live. I have many connections to that story, which makes it a great book for me to record.

K.M. Daughters: Is it hard to narrate stories that you don’t particularly enjoy? How do you decide which projects you undertake?

Ted Brooks: It is hard to narrate books that I can’t connect to and, one time, after recording more than a hour of a sci fi book, I just had to tell the author that I couldn’t really connect to his book and begged out of my contract. My real problem was that the book was so poorly written, it didn’t make any sense to me.  So, I usually now look especially hard at the audition script and whatever else I can find on the internet to convince me that the author is a good writer.  With all of the freedom to self publish these days, there is, not surprisingly, a lot of bad books out there. That’s one of the reason I love narrating the KM Daughters books as the writing and wordsmithing is very well done.

K.M. Daughters: I think our series represents the first romance novels that you’ve chosen to narrate. Are you planning to narrate more romance genre novels?

Ted Brooks:  I knew that romantic fiction is very popular these days, so I did set out to find one to try my hand at it. I’m most grateful that you gave me the chance to do a whole series about the same family. I think I have somewhat of a knack for it and hope to continue to record more of this genre.

K.M. Daughters: What is your recording studio like?

Ted Brooks: It’sjust a spare bedroom in our house that I put up a bunch of sound reinforcement in and treated the walls with acoustic tiles, so it sounds good. Being an old brick house, it’s a nice quiet place to record. My studio takes up much of the room and my actual recording space is just a closet, lined with acoustic tiles:  (Please don’t tell me to come out of the closet)

I have a couple of excellent microphones, use the industry standard ProTools recording software and am quite pleased with how it sounds.

K.M. Daughters: Working with you is a pleasure, Ted. Thank you so much for bringing our stories to life in such a wonderful way. Is there anything you would like to add for your audiobook fans?

Ted Brooks:  I love what I do and hope that listeners appreciate it. I love working with KM Daughters and I am already looking forward to my 99th audio book “Reunion For the First Time”. Thanks for asking me to do this.