Between the Sheets with Amy McFadden
Romance Narrators: There's quite a fun community of narrators where you live in Michigan. Are you all constantly going out on the town, sharing Throat Coat and talking Pro-tools?
Amy: There is a really fun professional narrator community here in good ol’ West Michigan! We do get together, but it’s usually to coat our throats with martinis when out-of-town narrators are here to bring us together.
Romance Narrators: You're a FIVE time Audie Finalist, huh? Amazing. Tell us a story about one of your many times attending the Audio Awards.
Amy: My first one was sort of ridiculous. I was up against Meryl Streep narrating The Testament of Mary. So, not only Meryl Streep, but Meryl Streep as MARY THE MOTHER OF GOD. But! She didn’t win either! So I lost, but in the most excellent company. ;)
Romance Narrators: Meryl Streep was in excellent company with YOU. You've narrated approximately 400 books. Wow. About how much time a week do you spend in your booth to accomplish that? You ever come out for fresh air?
Amy: Yeah, I don’t have an exact count, and that’s including both of my pseudonyms.* It adds up quickly when you do dual narration! Also, I got my start at Brilliance Audio with a director and an engineer, so I got in about 3 and a half million finished hours per week. It was luxurious! Now I bang out about 2 and a half not-million finished hours per day.
*Super sexy pseudonym is private.
*Super clean pseudonym is Cici Dee (Yes, that’s a Catholic joke.)
Romance Narrators: A catholic joke blended in with your pseudonym choice? Amazing. You have said that your favorite romance books are "laughter through tears is my favorite emotion" stories. Is that an official genre? What are some books you've worked on that fall into that category?
Amy: Yes! (And credit M’lynn from Steel Magnolias for the OFFICIAL genre title.)
You know, those messy, all-the-love-and-all-the-anguish books that make your guts twist and pull, then release with laughter (usually blowing snot tears all over one’s microphone)?? Yes, those are the books I love.
Matchmaking For Beginners by Maddie Dawson and Life and Other Near Death Experiences by Camille Pagan are two that fit that TOTALLY real genre.
Romance Narrators: More genre talk coming atcha. Small Town romances. Tell us all about them.
Amy: I just love the romanticized idea that when you're in a small town you get to see your friends and neighbors all the time (without the internet and three weeks of planning) and you'd better bury any lingering hatchets because you have to live, work, and love in a limited space with people who are not going away. There’s a sense of responsibility to the community, and to individual people.
A really funny Small Town RomCom series is Tracey Brogan’s Trillium Bay series. (Bonus: It’s set in Michigan on an island based on Mackinac Island!)
Two Small Town Romance series near to my romantic heart are Kait Nolan’s Wishful Romance Series, and Cindy Kirk’s Good Hope series.
I challenge you to listen to Kait’s books and not eat ALL THE PIES and Cindy’s and not drink all the spiked cocoa.
The Christmas books in these two series envelop the listener in cozy fires and cocoa and holiday lights and flannel. I recommend Cindy Kirk’s Holly Pointand Mistletoe, and Kait’s Dance Me a Dream. (Note: Kait Nolan is usually medium steamy—this one is a no-steam exception.)
Romance Narrators: You just moved out into the woods. That sounds like the setting of a sweet little romance just waiting to happen. Level with us. Is your life now a constant love scene set against a roaring fireplace, hot cocoa and flannel pajamas flying everywhere?
Amy: Yes, yes indeed it is a constant love scene...but more along the lines of me almost-molesting any plumber, electrician or other contractor who actually shows up and works on our remodeling. I have absolutely answered the door for them in flannel pajamas when they randomly show up, often before 8am.
My fiancé Joe and I do love to snuggle...ahem, etcetera...and the setting well, SETS the mood! It’s so private and ‘tucked in’ feeling out here in the snowy woods. And we have a fireplace in our bedroom!! The title of our own Romance book will be: Warm Is The New Hot: How To Enjoy Sex With Your Socks On.
Romance Narrators: That has best seller written all over it. Speaking of best sellers… you narrated an urban fantasy series called The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. It just got made into a movie! How cool! Have you seen it? Any chance we can get you a role in the sequel?
Amy: Sorry—can’t answer: Calling my agent to make sure I get an audition...
Romance Narrators: Fingers are crossed for you, girl. Tell us about KeepingAbreast.
Amy: This was a passion project for me, made possible by the wonderful, blunderful Tanya Eby at BlunderWoman Productions, and writer Jackie Rosenfeld. Jackie wrote the play KeepingAbreast about a 28 year-old woman with breast cancer and her struggle with the decision to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy. She and Tanya adapted it for audio. The five of us cast members were all together in the studio, like the old-timey radio plays — and Jackie flew in from Texas to direct us!
I had breast cancer when I was 34 and single. (It’s super sexy to be bald and in temporary menopause, considering what type of surgeries you’ll have which will inevitably result in your very own scarred ‘Frankenboob.’) Jackie cast me before she knew I went through that so the role was a pretty good fit! (I’m totally fine now, BTW).
The story is honest, blunt, real, and very funny, I promise! It’ll be out in 2019, so watch for it!
Romance Narrators: So glad you’re better. We love ya, girl. What other exciting audiobook projects do you have on the horizon for us?
Amy: I get to do another Camille Pagán book! It’s called I’m Fine and Neither Are You. Tracey Brogan’s My Kind Of Forever will be out in January. Pre-order time!
Romance Narrators: Where can people keep up with you online?
Links to people mentioned in interview: