Matt Haynes to reveal secret of audiobook narration
Those interested in learning the secret behind narrating an audiobook will have to attend "The Life and Art of an Audiobook Narrator," a presentation by Matt Haynes, at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Ledding Library Pond House.
"That is when I will show the audience how to stir in that magic ingredient," he said.
Haynes is well known to Ledding Cultural Forum audiences who have attended performances by The Pulp Stage, as he is the founder and artistic director of that group, a Portland-based theater company that specializes in presenting bare-bones readers' theater.
But Haynes will be wearing a different hat during his upcoming presentation when he talks about how he has narrated more than 25 books from authors around the world. He is the voice behind memoirs, thrillers, romance, business education, science fiction and more.
'Verbal balancing act'
This is the first time that the Ledding Library has featured a program showing the craft of audiobook narration, and it will probably be the first time audience members have ever met a narrator, Haynes said.
During the hour-long event, he will share up to five selections of books he has narrated each from a different genre.
"I will demonstrate how I would tackle each genre, and still maintain a consistency. It is a verbal balancing act," Haynes said.
He also must be vocally adroit, he said, noting that in one book he had to narrate dialogue in four different accents in a 30-second timeframe.
The last part of his presentation he will take questions from the audience, answering "everything they ever wanted to know about audiobook narration, but were afraid to ask."
Popularity of audio books
Why are audiobooks so popular these days?
"People who like audiobooks are intelligent people who like to read, and they can incorporate audiobooks into their schedule," Haynes said.
Many of the books he has narrated are available on Audible, he said, noting that the company is the No. 1 distributor of audio-books.
Haynes has been involved with performing arts for 20 years and has always loved storytelling, which he considers the core of the dramatic spectrum.
He began narrating audiobooks in 2014, and said it is a "wonderful companion piece to theater."
Authors contact him through his Facebook page and several other platforms, and then he negotiates a contract with each author.
A huge plus factor for Haynes is the fact that he is truly an independent contractor, unlike other realms within the performing arts.
He added, "I have complete control over my schedule, and that is almost unheard of in this profession."
Listen and learn!
What: Matt Haynes presents "The Life and Art of an Audiobook Narrator"
When: 7 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 7
Where: The Ledding Library Pond House, 2215 S.E. Harrison, in Milwaukie