Between the Sheets with Erin Mallon
Romance Narrators: WOOOOOHOOOOO! Thanks for joining me, Amy Landon, this week for Between the Sheets as I get to chat with the delightful Erin Mallon. Interviewing the Interviewer. No pressure. I’ll do my best to live up to the high standards you’ve set.
Erin: Thank YOU for flipping the script this week. I’m excited to be on the other side of things!
Romance Narrators: I think I’ll start off with the big question we’ve all been wondering about. Tell me about those crochet skills. Speed, volume, accuracy? What is it that makes your work with a crochet needle stand out?
Erin: Girl, if I had a nickel for every time someone asks me this… Nah, actually no one EVER asks me about this. Once upon a time, if you had any sort of relationship with me (friend, family member, boyfriend, teacher, person who has been in my presence for more than five minutes), you likely had a handcrafted yarn product from me. Blankets, scarves, booties… I was a craft-machine. I learned backstage during summer stock when I had a small role and a solid amount of time on my hands. My crochet hook has been hung up for a while though. These days if my hands are free they are likely picking up an iPad to prep a book. But winter is coming! Perhaps I’ll return to my roots and bust out a beanie.
Romance Narrators: Well, I’ll be over here waiting on that beanie. I find it interesting that an artist who does so much work as a voice actor also has American Sign Language skills. Do the two inform each other?
Erin: I actually went to interpreting school for a bit after college. ASL is an incredible language and the Deaf community in NYC is awesome. Some of the best storytellers I’ve ever met are Deaf. I learned a lot from watching them in action. Does it directly inform my work as an audiobook narrator? I’m not sure! Though it is certainly a cool challenge as a performer to swing from telling stories in a completely visual language to the world of audiobooks where it’s all about what you hear. I think stories should engage the senses as much as possible, so working exclusively with one sense at a time teaches me a lot.
Romance Narrators: You’re also an accomplished playwright (storytelling skills of all kinds!). Do you write in all genres? Specialize? Any new plays on the horizon?
Erin: Thanks for asking this! Writing plays is one of my ultimate happy places. It was never my plan to specialize, but I quickly learned that my “way in” is almost always comedy. It’s the way my brain seems to work. I like to use the funny to explore the serious. And yes, I do have some things coming up! My play The Net Will Appear is having its NYC premiere this December at 59E59 Theaters. It’s a 2-character play about a 75-year-old man (Bernard) and a 9-year-old girl (Rory) who get to know each other over the course of a year, completely from their rooftops. The amazing Richard Masur is playing Bernard. He’s a dream. Tickets just went on sale. Wanna come and have a holiday drink with me in NYC? Check us out: https://bit.ly/2D0l3PN
Also, my first full-length play Branched is published here: https://bit.ly/2pdDExT
That one is an absurdist comedy that follows a 5-year-old entrepreneur named Ben and his baby sister who has branches for arms and legs. Tale as old as time, right?
Romance Narrators: Congratulations! Now I have a solid reason to go to NYC in December to see your play! You are also an accomplished stage actress with many roles gracing the boards of NYC (I saw you in Dance Dance Revolution in fact!). How do you balance playwriting, stage acting and voice acting? Do they all inform each other?
Erin: What??! You saw Dance Dance Revolution? You either saw very little of me (super small role) or a hell of a lot of me (tiny costume, tons of body glitter) depending on how you look at it. I acted in my first play when I was 15, and for a long time being onstage was my absolute focus. Along the way though, writing plays started feeling juicier to me than being in them. That was a shift I never saw coming, but it’s been 100% positive. Perhaps I’ll hop back onstage at some point? Though I get to act in the booth every day, and when I’m writing, it feels like I get to play all the characters as I put them on the page, so… I’m liking where things are at!
Romance Narrators: Tell us about your alter ego, Muffy Newtown. How does she differ from you? Do you have an alter ego costume?
Erin: You’re right! Muffy SHOULD have an alter ego costume! Anyone have suggestions on what she might wear?
Muffy emerged early on in my narrating career when I was offered my first book of the naughtier variety. Back then, I was doing a lot more Young Adult titles than I do now, so it felt wise to keep things separate. Now the majority of what I narrate is in the romance world, so it sometimes feels like a moot point to have a pseudonym, but Muffy has sort of taken on a life of her own and I like keeping her around. Sometimes she gets requested more than Erin does! She tends to work on books that have some darkness and danger to them. A listener from Aural Fixation (are you part of the Facebook group Aural Fixation? No? Dooo it!) came up with a hashtag that delighted me. #TheMuffIsTheBiz. Ha! And did you know Muffy has merch? Check it: https://bit.ly/2pcblAc Yes, dreams really do come true. You can now say you were “aurally screwed” by Muffy Newtown and celebrate that statement on a tank top or coffee mug.
Romance Narrators (sips coffee from the exclusive MuffyMug): You were nominated this year for an Audie for Nevertheless We Persisted. What was your experience working on such a large group project? And attending the awards show?
Erin: I am thrilled I got to be a part of that project. Blunderwoman Productions is the bee’s knees! I was a little concerned that I would miss out on this opportunity. It was around this time last year. I was nine months pregnant and working through a few more deadlines before a planned break with the new babe. I was getting early contractions in the booth while working on the beautiful piece I’d been assigned for Nevertheless, so I made a deal with my soon-to-be-born daughter. I asked her to give me just a few more hours to finish, then I’d give her my full attention. She kindly obliged and was born the next day.
Going to the Audie Awards with such a large cast was a trip! It felt very much like the camaraderie you feel in the theater when you’ve created a play with a group of passionate people. Also, I was so happy to see a project that lifts up the work of women get recognized like that. More please!
Romance Narrators: What are some of your favorite books you’ve narrated and exciting projects we should keep an eye out for coming up?
Erin: I am blissed out whenever I get to work on books that blend the sexy and the funny. Funny is sexy, don’t you think? Yeah, me too. I’ve been really lucky to work with some authors who kill it with that combo. Jana Aston, Lauren Blakely, Amy Daws and Helena Hunting are some boss ladies that come to mind. And the delicious dream team duo of Tanya Eby/Sarina Bowen.
I’m also psyched to be working with Meghan March on a few upcoming projects. She’s real crafty and twisty and takes you for a hell of a ride.
Add some new projects with Whitney G, Samantha Christy and Kendall Ryan to the mix, and this Fall is looking pretty sweet.
Romance Narrators (filling up Audible wishlist whilst sipping from MuffyMug): And tell me, are there any other secret skills you have that we don’t know? Anything you want to share? Do you make the penultimate peanut butter fudge or compete in Ironmans?
Erin: I wish my “skill” involved peanut butter fudge! Sadly, it doesn’t. I’m generally afraid to ask anyone about their significant other. Why you ask? Because every time I do, they’ve just broken up. Weird, right? It has happened so many times I’ve completely lost count. Here’s how things usually unfold: I avoid asking Jane about her boyfriend Horace for months. Then years. On year ten, I get bold and think, “Ok, they’ve been together for a decade, it’s safe now for me to bring him up.” I confidently say “Janie, how’s Horace doing?” Cue Jane’s insta-sad face and her story on how they just called it quits. Doh!
So. If I never ask about your boo, it’s because I love you and want you to be happy.
Keep up with me online:
Erin’s Audible catalog: https://adbl.co/2MAFDFL
Muffy’s Audible catalog: https://adbl.co/2NMGkk4
Facebook (Erin Mallon, Narrator) : https://www.facebook.com/ErinMuffyNarration/
Facebook (Erin Mallon, Playwright): https://www.facebook.com/ErinMallonPlaywright/
Erin’s Twitter: @ErinMallon
Muffy’s Twitter: @MuffyNewtown
People mentioned in interview:
Jana Aston: http://www.janaaston.com
Lauren Blakely: https://laurenblakely.com
Amy Daws: https://amydawsauthor.com
Helena Hunting: http://helenahunting.com
Meghan March: https://meghanmarch.com
Whitney G: http://www.whitneygbooks.com
Samantha Christy: http://www.samanthachristy.com
Kendall Ryan: http://www.kendallryanbooks.com
Tanya Eby: http://www.tanyaeby.com
Sarina Bowen: https://www.sarinabowen.com
Blunderwoman Productions: https://www.blunderwomanproductions.com
Richard Masur: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0557956/