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Sharon Hamilton: Finding the Right Narrator (Contest)
Monday, December 30th, 2013


Smiling Sharon in RedThank you, Delilah, for having me on your site again today. I’ve just come back from a month-long vacation, a cruise starting in Italy and winding up in Brazil. This week I was thrilled to learn my second audio book in the SEAL Brotherhood series, Fallen SEAL Legacy, was live and for sale on Audible/ACX.  I worked on it with my narrator, J.D. Hart, while on board this cruise ship, and I have to say it was probably the most fun of my day! We battled the seas of the Atlantic and internet holes between Africa and South America to get this project done. But I’m over the moon pleased with the results.

There are a number of things I was looking for in a voice narrator. First, I wanted a masculine, slightly husky, mature male voice reading my story. I’m not sure why, but I prefer to listen to men narrators over women, if the voice is right. The instant I heard J.D.’s voice it was like my character came to life right in front of me. He was exactly how I thought my SEAL would sound.

I took other’s advice and asked several people to audition for the narration. What I heard was a variety of voices and tones, but none of them seemed to capture the “feel” of my story the way J.D.’s voice did. I imagined a listener spending eleven hours hearing my book on audio, and while other narrators eagerly wanted the job, I knew only one person was the perfect fit. I think an author knows when they’ve found the right voice.

Then came time for other characters to be portrayed. This is where I got to experience the genius of the narrator. Because he is a trained actor, and because of his extensive experience in doing voiceovers and commercials as well, he was able to give me accents and characterizations for my entire cast. It was not something I’d considered before. I can see that had I not chosen J.D., I would have been stuck with someone who perhaps wouldn’t be able to tackle this burden.

There are a whole host of other things I learned while doing these first two audio books, so perhaps on a future post I’ll go into them. At the end of this post, please leave me a comment. One lucky person will be chosen to receive the Fallen SEAL Legacy audio book for free.

CrusinforaSEAL (1) copy 3

Excerpt Cruisin’ For A SEAL:

He got up and left some coins on the table, and made the mistake of looking over at her.  He gave her a little crooked smile. She’d have to be completely insane not to pick up he found her attractive. She arched one eyebrow as he couldn’t help but admire her rack. Okay, to be perfectly honest, he wondered what they’d look like released to his hands.

He was normally the gentleman with these types of hot women, not knowing anything about them. It wasn’t proper to admire another man’s lady, and this one was too fine not to be attached. So, he closed his eyes by way of an apology and then looked back at her as if to say Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.

She did the wrong thing. She blew him a kiss with those red lips of hers in an obvious flirtation. The luscious lady slung her yellow Gucci bag over her shoulder, slipped her soft arm around his and snuggled to the side.

She said something in Italian. Marc was stunned. His legs felt like lead, unable to move as she unexpectedly squeezed her body next to his. He could feel her full chest pressing his resolve to the breaking point. His arm suddenly became the second most sensitive of his body parts.

She was holding him close, but leading him, as if he was reluctant. “Si, si, si…” and then something he couldn’t understand. Well, hell, he was reluctant, but for some reason he followed along anyway.

She looked over her shoulder checking out the deserted Piazza, maybe looking to see if her mother noticed her leaving with him. Why would that be a problem? On second thought, if he were her father, he’d definitely not want his daughter going off with some stranger.

But shit, he didn’t care. Whatever she had in mind, unless it involved something dangerous – well, hell even dangerous would be fine – he did that all the time. If it involved some dark underground cellar and beefy guys with lots of dark chest hair, okay, then he’d get out. But he kind of liked how her tits bounced as she walked in those four-inch boots he didn’t know they made. She had a fresh lime spice scent and something else wafting up from her hair.

She kept babbling on as they rounded the corner. She gestured towards the apartments above the shops lining the cobblestoned streets he’d just been walking on.

“Honey, this is all real fun, but I’m not understanding a word you’re saying,” he blurted out before he could restrain himself.

“Ah, Americano! English? No, Americano?” Then she added some other comments he didn’t follow.

You promised you’d learn Italian before the cruise, and now look at where it’s gotten you?

“You speak English?” he stopped and asked.

Her laughter fell like warm water all over him, bathing him in a golden glow he wanted more of. In between her gestures and her giggles, her brown eyes danced. She’d checked out his chest, the size of his shoes and the tent in his pants. Those were things professionals did all the time, or so he’d been told.

He began to worry he’d made a mistake being too compliant. It suddenly hit him that he was not acting with his usual self-control. He dropped his arm and hers slipped out of his grip. He pushed his hands into his jeans and shrugged.

“I’m sorry. Perhaps you got the impression I wanted—”

She cut him off before he could finish. His English was obviously not going to be an impediment to her communication, but it sure was to him.

“Scuse, scuse, signore,” she began, laughing. Then she said something like tey ammo and there was all that fluttering around of her hands. Her breasts were bouncing and the little bracelet was damned distracting on that wrist of hers. Her brown curls flying in all directions. She could have been Brazilian, Italian, Spanish, or anything, but whatever it was, she was live and full of fun and, hell, he didn’t care if she robbed him, it might even be worth it.

He pulled his hands from his pockets as if to say he didn’t have any money. Her reaction was immediate. She slapped him. Hard. She landed her hands on her hips and scolded him. God how he loved seeing her angry. She must have called him every name for a dog and no-good boyfriend and dirty American male, because he heard American several times. He hung his head, nodded as if he agreed, yes, he was a dog. Put his hands back in his front pockets and shrugged a lot.

He started to walk away, worried about attracting more attention than they already were. A shopkeeper was leaning on a broom watching them. A wizened older woman with no teeth leaned out of a lace curtained window overhead and said shouted something in agreement.

“Aye!” the little lady called out, stopping him. She crooked her forefinger and gave him the signal to come back. Well, it wasn’t a signal, it was a full-throated command, if only he could understand her language.

She continued with the finger action, unwilling to be deterred. He brought his palms out to the sides of his pants and didn’t shrug, but knew it was useless to speak. He shuffled back in her direction. She pointed to the ground at her feet emphatically. That got him so close he was almost touching her. She made little growling noises with her throat he took to mean approval. The voice got soft, more melodic. He’d have to say chestier.

She’d dropped her hands but then she raised one again and begged his face to come down to her level. He obeyed. His lips ached to kiss her, did she see it? He saw the soft hairs on her upper lip and the way her nostrils flared as she took in a deep breath, assessing him. He’d stay there as long as she required. He never did this, but it became more important than breathing to stay right in the vicinity of her aura.

Marc was rewarded with her hands pulling his face to hers, locking her lips on him and sucking his tongue deep inside her. He had never been so scared and excited at the same time. He hesitated with his hands.

Oh, fuck it.

shfallenseallegacy600x900-1Here is a sample of the buttery voice of my narrator, J.D. Hart. This scene happens an hour or two later, and after another exciting love scene. We are still working on this project, so words and tonations may change, but this gives you a rough idea of what we have going. I think you’ll like it. The book will be available in January of 2014, the audio book probably February.

You can here the sample narration here.

Enjoy! Don’t forget to leave a comment with your coded email address so I can pick the winner of the free audio book.

Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.
Sharon’s Blog ** Sharon’s Website ** Facebook**Twitter

34 comments to “Sharon Hamilton: Finding the Right Narrator (Contest)”

  1. Toni Whitmire
    · December 30th, 2013 at 8:44 am · Link

    WoW I just loved the voice and can’t wait to hear the rest of the story

  2. Cyndi Faria
    · December 30th, 2013 at 10:23 am · Link

    Sharon, loved the excerpt! Your voice is so fun! The audio experience via cruise is pretty awesome, too! Big congratulations on another fun endeavor. 😉

  3. Ronda Gough
    · December 30th, 2013 at 10:44 am · Link

    I thought it was really cool that you got to met the narrator and really make things pop! I knit so I spend a LOT of time listening to audio books while I’m knitting! 😆

  4. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 10:44 am · Link

    Tony, thanks so much. I’m in love with his voice, too. We get paid to do this, right? Good luck on the drawing. 8)

  5. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 10:46 am · Link

    Thanks, Cyndi. Fun doesn’t begin to describe it. A real collaboration and a labor of love. I have to admit, I’m getting into listening to audios more and more now. I’ve made a study of voices lately.

    If you want to be entered in the drawing, come back and leave your coded email.

  6. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 10:49 am · Link

    Ronda Gough, well, I haven’t met my narrator in person, but we talk and text on a daily basis almost. It takes a lot of tweaking to make it just right, so it’s important to work with someone who is responsive and easy to communicate with. We definitely have that going. 😛

    If you want to be entered, leave your email in a followup or edit your message. You can code it.

  7. Anne
    · December 30th, 2013 at 12:17 pm · Link

    I love audio books. I usually have one I use in the car and one at work, which is a mercy because sometimes I do routine work cutting, wrapping and labeling things for hours and I’d go nuts all by myself with nothing to listen to.

    It took a few audio books to get used to a single narrator doing both the male and female voices though.

    acm05atjuno dot com

  8. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 12:21 pm · Link

    Interesting you say that, Anne. Some people want to feel both male and female voices. I’m not like that, but I do understand, and I don’t like falsetto male voices, so I would say it is a fault of the narrator, from my experience. I’ve heard some big named authors with terrible narrations.

    I find when I listen to female voices though, I’m more critical of their little speech patterns than I am of a male’s. But that could be just me. I enjoy listening to the male voice more, I guess. And am more used to it, since just about every non-fiction book I’ve heard on audio has been male.

    Good luck with the drawing! Thanks for your comments.

  9. Karen Henderson
    · December 30th, 2013 at 12:44 pm · Link

    Omg I loved the book & audio sample
    That cover is hot can you send me the hot guy on it lol
    I love your books Sharon & following your posts of the cruise was so much fun

  10. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 12:48 pm · Link

    LOL Karen. Thanks so much. The hot guy is Jimmy Thomas, our fave around here, right? He’s on all but one of my covers. Hard to pick anyone else, just like with the narrator, I’m a one guy girl, well sort of, anyway! Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Christine Dabney
    · December 30th, 2013 at 1:28 pm · Link

    What a great voice you chose. Cant wait for the rest. My eyesight is not the best so I love the books on audio. 😯

  12. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 1:44 pm · Link

    Christine, Please leave your email address on the comments form and you will be entered to receive a free audio book. Thanks so much for braving the computer to reach back to me. 🙂

  13. Enikö
    · December 30th, 2013 at 2:38 pm · Link

    I am really glad that you chose JD for narration of your books. His voice is just mmmmm. I could … and am listening to him for hours 😀 You are right that the author can choose a voice for the characters in a book and that choice can make or break a book. I think his voice is perfect for your SEALs.
    Can’t wait to read Marc’s story. Thanks for the excerpt!

  14. Jennifer Little
    · December 30th, 2013 at 2:42 pm · Link

    Oh my! Never really done audio books before but for that voice I could listen for hours. Love all your books! May have to enjoy them again by way of audio book 🙂 Cannot wait for Marc’s book!

  15. julie
    · December 30th, 2013 at 3:10 pm · Link

    I love J D voice its so seductive and just right for all the SEALS Wish you well with it Sharon, cant wait to start it. I loved the excerpt and peek of Crusin, cant wait to read Marc story after reading him in SEAL the Deal.

  16. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 3:14 pm · Link

    Eniko, I agree completely. I have heard some wonderful books that were just ruined by the narration. I’m sure you have too. I’ve got your email addy for the drawing. Thanks for showing up here today.

  17. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 3:15 pm · Link

    Thank you, Jennifer. We are having fun with Armando’s book right now (and you won’t believe the Latin accent JD has in store for you). More fun than a gal should have! Thanks for stopping by and good luck with the drawing.

  18. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 3:16 pm · Link

    Julie, yes, I toyed with which SEAL to come next, and Marc seemed like the obvious choice the further I got to the end of the book. You’ll be pleased with SEAL Under Covers, which we’re working on now. Thanks for always being there fore me… 8)

  19. sunshine Kath
    · December 30th, 2013 at 4:22 pm · Link

    I am listening to Accidental Seal right now, and absolutely love J.D’ s voice, he just makes you melt, you have definitely picked the right narrator here Sharon, can’t wait to listen to all of the next book…

  20. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 7:32 pm · Link

    I so agree with you, Kath. Couldn’t have said it any better than you did. I’m thrilled that so many love his voice, too, and approve of the decision!

  21. Ma lewis Buwee
    · December 30th, 2013 at 7:40 pm · Link

    Great narrator, with a sexy voice! Good luck

  22. Rachelle Lerner
    · December 30th, 2013 at 8:14 pm · Link

    I like the voice.

  23. Diane
    · December 30th, 2013 at 9:29 pm · Link

    I would definitely like to hear more! I love to find good books to listen to while driving in my car!

  24. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 10:01 pm · Link

    Ma Lewis, thank you so much. Come back with your coded email if you want to be entered for a free audio book.

  25. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 10:02 pm · Link

    What’s not to like, right? Thanks for entering the contest. Good luck.

  26. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 30th, 2013 at 10:03 pm · Link

    Dianne, I aim to please. It is a fun collaboration and so glad my readers agree. Thanks for stopping by. If you want to enter the drawing, come back with your email address.

  27. Pamela Hargraves
    · December 31st, 2013 at 6:25 am · Link

    My brother-in-law is a Navy Seal and I understand what you are saying about getting the right voice. I love audio books and would love to win this.

  28. Sharon Hamilton
    · December 31st, 2013 at 9:27 am · Link

    Pamela, congratulations to you and to your brother-in-law. I’d be honored to get you this audio book. Remember, these characters are ones I’ve made up. My fiction, so any fault of the story is mine alone, and not theirs. PM me your email, or send it to: sharonhamilton2001 (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank him for me for his service, and I’d love to hear what he thinks!

  29. Robin J
    · January 1st, 2014 at 4:00 pm · Link

    I purchased Accidental SEAL on audiobook and have been saving it for after the holidays. After hearing the excerpt to this book, I can’t wait to start the series! JD’s voice has an easy to listen to tone & slightly sexy quality to it. Should be fun read.

    Glad you had fun on your cruise 🙂

  30. Sharon Hamilton
    · January 1st, 2014 at 7:36 pm · Link

    Thank you so much Robin. Let me know how you like it. Thanks for stopping by today.

  31. Sharon Hamilton
    · January 1st, 2014 at 8:39 pm · Link

    Thank you everyone, and Delilah too. I’ve notified winners and gotten the prizes out. I had a great time.

  32. Conchita
    · January 4th, 2014 at 9:16 pm · Link

    Hola Sharon, just before I really go to bed; YOU know and I know that JD is our man!!! SEALS are real men, JD has THE VOICE! Just sayin’! I speak from experience, lol. OK, maybe I should cut down a bit on my audible listening hours because I seem to be struggling with what’s real and what isn’t.

    Darn, so my husband isn’t a sexy SEAL with a smokin’ voice??, lol 😆

  33. Conchita
    · January 4th, 2014 at 9:19 pm · Link

    OOPs sorry, forgot to congratulate the winners! Congratulations and enjoy!!! :mrgreen:

  34. Sharon Hamilton
    · January 4th, 2014 at 9:35 pm · Link

    LOL Conchita!! I just love having you here. Delilah and her minions have some pretty hot sexy stories too.

    But yes, JD is our man. Probably lucky for both of us he lives so far away. But hey, my hubby loves it when I’m loving my books and writing and narration work. After all, he reaps the benefit! I have to say there’s something very sexy about someone who has seen me through good and bad, and that would be Don. But I have a rich fantasy life, and that makes me happy! 😳

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