Podcast with Jenn Broda

Hey everyone,

Earlier this month, Small Publishing in a Big Universe interviewed audiobook producer and narrator Jenn Broda. She has produced many titles in the Paper Angel Press catalog, including the Shelby McDougall series as well as the Shelby McDougall short story Treasure Hunt. I couldn’t have been happier with how she brought my characters to life.

I knew that narrating and producing an audio book was much more than just reading the book out loud. But I didn’t know how much more! In the podcast, Ms. Broda goes into detail about what’s involved: the preparation, the narrating, the editing, the re-editing, the technical requirements.

One piece that I never thought about was the emotional impact of being an audiobook narrator: what if you don’t like a character? Or the story? Or what if some aspect of the story resonates deep within, touching on something personal? As a reader, you can just put the book down and let it go. But as a narrator, you have to stick with it, put your own feelings aside, and continue with the job ahead.

Another thing I didn’t know was that each hour of audiobook can take six to eight hours of production time. Wow! And I thought writing required a lot of editing and re-dos! First, the producer has to study the novel to understand the characters, plot, and setting, likely taking a lot of notes about a character’s age, vocal tone, and how a character acts in relationship to other characters. Once the initial narration is complete, the producer has to review the audio, listening for glitches or external noises or mispronounced words. Then, there’s the review by the rights holder, followed by narration changes and a second round of review. And finally , the producer has to actually create the audiobook, conforming to required technical specifications for each platform the audiobook will be distributed on.

I was astonished by the the amount of work involved and the number of roles an audiobook narrator and producer has. I also loved the backstory of how Ms. Broda got into the audiobooks narration and production business. Listen to the interview here to find out for yourself.

I’ll be interviewed in an upcoming podcast, so keep your eye on Small Publishing in a Big Universe to find out more.

Until next time,


Book Review – Carnival Farm by Lisa Jacob

Hey everyone,

Well it’s been months since I posted on this blog — just about seven, in fact — and in the intervening time I have learned a lot about loss, grief, and love. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions, but I’m sensing some lightness these days. Some forward motion.

I haven’t written a word in the last year, save for journaling, which has been a lifesaver. I have paid attention to my books though, and thank you to everyone who has enjoyed them over the last year.

And I’m so excited so share with you that the Shelby McDougall audio books are now available! They were narrated by the talented Jenn Broda, who gave voice to Shelby’s story with enthusiasm, delight, and care. She was the perfect narrator! You can find them Amazon, Audible, and Apple Books. Here’s the links for the Audible versions:

To celebrate this amazing milestone, my books will be on sale from November 18th to the 21st.

I won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo this year; but I haven’t given up completely on writing! Instead, I’ve decided to read and review some of the amazing books published by Paper Angel Press, staring with Carnival Farm from Lisa Jacob.

Carnival Farm

Carnival Farm is a delightful read, and is just the right length to cozy up with. The main character, Seagn Conway (such a lovely name) is a veterinarian who is unhappy in her job, “bored to tears with dogs and cats and the every-once-in-a-while rabbit.” When she happens upon a travelling carnival’s petting zoo in need of an upgrade, she jumps in to save it, deciding in an instant to change her life.  A decision from the heart, not the pocketbook. She buys the ten animals – a cow, a Shetland pony, pigs, goats, and sheep – plus the semitruck used to transport them from site to site as well as the necessities to keep and show them. Next she quits her job, and sets about learning how to care for, display, and nurse ten farm animals back to health. All while trying to keep herself financially afloat.

Seagn is a woman with a big, big heart. The animals take over her life; and it takes everything – all her savings, all her energy, and all her wits — to nurture them. Her spine and her fire carry her through. I won’t spoil the plot for you, but it’s safe to say that Seagn gives her all. She wonders, every day, if it was worth it.

I’ll let you read the book and figure out the answer to that question. Safe to say though, that this is a fun and thought-provoking read. What does it take to make a leap of faith? How many times have we all looked at something and said, “Wow, I’d do that in an instant, if only…” Here’s a story of someone who ignored the countless “if only-s” and went ahead and followed her heart.

Highly recommended.

The book: Carnival Farm by Lisa Jacobs, 217 pages, published September 20, 2021, by Paper Angel Press. Available at all your favorite places.