I usually don't go and revisit audiobooks that I've done. After the final stages of QC and corrections, I treat each book like a message in a bottle and throw it out to the Audible sea. Any time I've done a series, producing the books has been concurrent so there's no real visitation.
I finished recording Tell Me It's Real in June of 2014, now more than a year and a half later, I am revisiting the characters which made up my first real success an audiobook narrator. A few things really strike me:
One of the things I really like about TJ is that he can make a small amount of time last impossibly long, because the neuroses of his narrating character nitpicks every detail in finely-exaggerated flair. I'm struck by how effective he can compile all of the things that race through Paul's mind into a stream of ridiculous, manic impulses. Rather than doing 10 minutes in one page, TJ has the uncanny ability to make 1 minute last ten pages. He bedazzles a scene with detail, which is why his characters are so rich. They are observing so much!
Listening to me has been a force of extreme ambivalence. I am guessing it's biological to have the nails-on-a-chalkboard approach to your own voice. I've become used to hearing me, but 11 books later I feel like my ability to narrate a story has greatly evolved. I've always had an emphasis on building character voices, but storytelling is something done with nuance. I'm very excited to add (what I feel) much, much more feeling to the narration of The Queen and the Homo Jock King.
Settling into this story now, I'm becoming that much more reminded of Paul's beautifully, manically-minded self whose insanity is so comfortably uncomfortable. I love this character because he actually does the things that in passing, you would only take a second to contemplate then leave be (e.g. googling the minimum sentence for voluntary homicide in Arizona; says the exact joke he was attempting not to say). You live vicariously through any narrator, and cringing along with Paul's actions brings him so close to my heart. I'm grinding my teeth in between laughing out loud, embarrassing myself in front of people (I understand the reviews now).
I remember very well feeling these characters. I remember being in the scene where Helena embarrasses Paul in the drag bar and seeing the stage viscerally. That helps a lot in narration. The more I can actually be there, see the characters, hear their voices; the more, I think, that reflects a true identity in the narration.
I'll be posting more as the book comes along. I'm very excited to be pursuing this story, which I have reminded myself I have a very tender memory thereof. I hope you all can fall as much in love with Sandy's story as you did Paul's.