Q&A with Holly Adams

Holly AdamsPlease welcome guest columnist Holly Adams, to our Featured Q&A series at Writer’s Fun Zone.


If you’d like to be considered for an interview, check out our guidelines here.


ABOUT Holly Adams

A SAG-AFTRA performer, and a stage and film actress for many years before joining the audiobook world, Holly Adams began her VO (voiceover) career doing radio plays and full-cast audiobooks. Since then, she has narrated books in multiple genres, including romance, mysteries and classics, and has been nominated for Best Female Narrator. The Spirit Tree by Kathryn M. Hearst is narrated by Holly Adams. Available here.

On to our interview!

Q. How did you get into narrating audio books?

A. I was (and still am!) a stage actress for many years before breaking into the audiobook world! I started the Voice Acting part of my career doing radioplays (which I also still do!) and audiobook characters with the amazing Full Cast Audio company; fans of Full Cast may know me as Alannah in books by Tamora Pierce, or any number of characters from other audiobooks, including “Sun Moon Stars Rain”, “Stop the Train!”, and “The Goose Girl”.  Then came radio and web commercials, various e-learning projects, multiple videos, PSAs, animation, ​and of course, single-narrator audiobooks!

Q. What other acting work have you done?

​A. I have been a professional performer all my adult life. I had conservatory training early on, and continue to take workshops, seminars, and classes. I do stage, film, and clowning as well as Voice Acting, and am a SAG-AFTRA member.

Some of my favorite roles: stage productions of Henry V; Love, Loss and What I WoreA Midsummer Night’s DreamFurther Adventures of Clown; MacbethMy Father’s Dragon, and multiple productions of A Christmas Carol. Feature films Gotham Blue and Here Alone, and some small films where I got to do terrific characters and action-y stuff! You can find me on IMDb here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2346170/

Q. What do you like about narrating audio books?

​A. EVERYTHING. As a performer, it is my job to speak each character’s truth…. and I also love stories, so the journey of being the conduit for an author’s tale, walking with the listener through an arc of emotions… it’s an honor and a pleasure.​

Q. What are your favorite types of books to narrate?

A. ​Hmmmmmm….. that’s a tough one! I think when I have favorites, it is more about who the characters are and how the story is told than about a given genre.​

Q. Do you listen to audio books? If so, what are your favorite kinds?

A. ​Oh, yes, I have been an avid audiobook listener since I found out they existed! But my listening genres are all over the map–everything from mysteries and adventures to children’s and YA books to classics, sci-fi, romance and non-fiction. I guess that’s not really an answer! I have “eclectic tastes”.

Q: Holly, what are you hobbies?

A: Reading (!!!), walking/hiking in the woods, cooking, snowshoeing, more reading, and trapeze.

Q: If someone is interested in hiring you, how do they go about that?

A: People can hire me directly or request me as their narrator from their publisher if their publisher has the audiobook rights. I just finished a project via ACX and another with an audiobook publishing company, and am finishing up where I am sending the final mastered files directly to the author. Whatever floats your boat!

Q. Any other things you’d like to share?

​I think audiobooks can reach people and touch hearts in a whole different way than reading a book. A good narrator illuminates a story, bringing to life aspects or layers or nuances the reader might have skipped over or missed… make us laugh out loud or be willing to become more vulnerable than we might have been. When I am preparing a manuscript, I look at the characters’ arcs, their subtext, what they know and don’t know at any given moment, what prejudices they bring to a given situation, all the things I do for a screen or stage play. But I am also ‘listening’ for the author’s tone, asking myself what effect it has on me as a reader, and how I can bring all that out in a way that makes it seem like I am not there at all. I absolutely love it.

The Lion of Khum Jung

To Connect with Holly Adams

Website: http://shearwaterproductions.com/voice-over/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/hollyadamsnarrator/

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2346170/

Twitter: @hollyshearwater

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hol.adams/

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