Hey there! Thank you for all the well wishes, last week. I'm slowly returning to the land of the physically moving and fully cognizant, and starting to dip my toe in to the cool waters around Gorey Harbour again.

Also thank you for the feedback on recent features. I will definitely be inviting more guests to edit this newsletter and there will be more jigsaws.

Please continue to let me know via your replies what you want to see more of and given sufficient positive feedback, I will endeavour to build those into my plans. I'll also be bringing you new and exclusive subscriber benefits.

This week I want to introduce you to a new member of my team, Penny Scott-Andrews. She is currently narrating Annabelle for audio.

I will be interviewing her soon and after reading about her, I would love you tell me what you would like to know about her work and how she does it.

A stroke of blind luck

Back in 2017, I was approached by a narrator who offered to narrate the Annabelle series for me. Let's call her Jane. After interviewing Jane and listening to her audition reel, I hired her to narrate the series thus far. I'd just finished Horror in the Highlands.

While going through the hiring process, I received some additional reels. One of them was from Penny Scott-Andrews.

As I had already agreed to hire someone else, I decided not to listen to the extra auditions as I worried that I might like one of those more than the hired narrator. The books were subsequently narrated by the original narrator and went up for sale as audio books. It was fine, we were fine.

Fast forward a couple of years and I was a bit bored one day. I was futzing about, not getting on with what I was supposed to be doing, and I came upon those extra auditions. I reminded myself not to listen to them, but as is often the way, I didn't listen to the little voice in my head. I clicked on each of them. There were three.

The first two were pretty comparable to the narrator I had hired. And then I listened to Penny's . . .

She'd narrated the first chapter of Death at the Cafe. I still remember her describing Annabelle on “the number forty-three bus to Islington.” I was wowed. I thought I was listening to a BBC Radio 4 play. Penny sounded amazing. She made my words sound amazing.

Penny had perfectly captured the spirit and energy I attempted to communicate with the series. And I learned in a few seconds that a great narrator can send an author's writing into a new dimension.

I eagerly listened to the entire reel and some more of Penny's work, and got very excited. But in the end I came down to earth. I was contracted to a different narrator and I didn't want to change mid-series. I calmed myself down and got on with the job.

When I finished Killer in the Cult, I contacted Jane to hire her for the new book. Imagine my surprise when she told me she didn't narrate books anymore! After an initial rush of frustration, I realized that this was my opportunity for a do-over.

And so earlier this year, I finished the Annabelle series, pulled down the existing audiobooks, and set about hiring the narrator that had made my writing sound so wonderful.

I am immensely grateful and proud that Penny agreed to narrate my work and am looking forward to sharing her with you. It is a joy working with her and we're marching through the books at a clip.

Penny Scott Andrews

Penny was born and raised in Oxfordshire before training at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London as an actress.

She has performed in the West End and played leading roles in national tours of many classical productions prior to finding her niche as a voiceover.

She now spends many happy hours recording audiobooks, commercials, e-learning materials and radio dramas from her studio by the sea.

When escaping from her two children, Penny is a staunch advocate of equal opportunities – socialising with both red and white wine.

Penny says:

I am an experienced, quintessentially British voice over and actress, with a quirky and distinctive voice and great flexibility – warm and sexy to childlike and innocent. I can sell and I can add character. Perfect for a range of projects.

I have my own excellently equipped home studio.

Clients include the BBC, Audible, Virgin, Visa, Facebook, BMW, Weightwatchers.

Listen to Penny's narration of the first chapter of Chaos in Cambridge.

Happy reading!

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