One Voice Awards 2019 . . .
The Acceptance Speech I wish I'd made
"Thank you so much for this wonderful award - it seems that after a career spanning fifty years during which time I have undergone several re-incarnations - actor to TV continuity announcer to TV researcher to TV programme producer, to voiceover, to video director, to tutor, to director, to theatre producer, and then full circle back to acting and voiceover - and finally I've found my way into audiobooks. At last I've found my niche - Thank goodness!
Being nominated for an award for something you love is amazing. Winning an award really is the icing on the cake!
What makes this award particularly sweet for me, is that the audiobook submitted for consideration was one that I self-directed and recorded remotely from my personal studio, delivering chapters as clean audio to the publisher for final editing and mastering. This is not the way audiobooks in the UK are generally produced as many of you will know. The vast majority of UK publications are recorded in a mainstream recording studio with a producer or engineer sitting on the other side of the glass. But for this book, I was flying solo! This means that the tech stuff and the sound quality was down to me. My personal studio and I rose to the challenge successfully and though I had obviously discussed the overall feel of the book, the characters of the people within it with the author and publisher, essentially, the choices I made about the overall tone of the read, the narrative voice, the ambiance, the pacing, the characters, their accents and their relationships and reactions, were my decisions.
I know that remote recording is a somewhat contentious issue, with some voicing concerns that it's impossible to achieve high quality audiobooks when narrators self-record. Of course, not all 'home studios' are equal, but superb audiobooks with the highest possible production values can be, and are, regularly narrated by performers who are flying solo. I, and many other UK based narrators work regularly and successfully with major publishers in the US (Brilliance, Blackstone, Harper, Tantor, Audible, Macmillan, Disney Audio and many more) as well as with a few pioneering publishers in the UK and these productions regularly get fantastic reviews in Audiofile Magazine and elsewhere, are awarded Earphone Awards and Audies - and now a One Voice Award - so are being acknowledged for their technical and creative quality.
I am not knocking mainstream studios. Many extraordinary audiobooks are created in the traditional way, and it is a real treat when I am cast to record in a mainstream studio - but working from home gives a flexibility which makes the whole process more relaxed - but believe me - I am much tougher on myself than any director or producer I have ever worked with.
I'd like to congratulate all the nominees and winners this evening, particularly all my audiobook colleagues. I know the quality of your work and how tough the competition for this award has been. I'd like to thank the One Voice Awards and Gravy for the Brain and their teams for pulling all this together, and to Penelope Rawlins for presenting this beautiful thing to me ... it will be in pride of place. I'd like to thank Equity - particularly the Audio Committee for the support they give to everyone working in this industry. And thank you to the publishers and producers of audiobooks who keep raising the bar; to the listeners who keep on listening; and to the authors who create the words and people - before bravely hand over their babies. And finally, I'd like to thank my long suffering husband. It can't be easy living with a woman who spends much of her life shut up in a small padded room talking to herself."
PS - and I was so flumoxed, I didn't have my celebratory photo taken at the end of the evening!
An exciting update!
I am delighted to announce that Amanda Rose Smith will be giving tech advice and personal studio feedback to everyone taking the new Audiobook Specific Narrator Coaching Course from Helen Lloyd Audio.
Amanda is a 15 year audio industry veteran with notable projects in the audiobook, gaming, film, and television fields. Amanda is something of an audiobook engineering legend having recorded, edited, and directed over 1000 audiobooks, including 7 Audie nominations. Bryan Cranston, George Takei, and Hillary Rodham Clinton are counted among those she's recorded throughout her career.
After earning a Master’s degree in Music Technology from New York University, she spent time working as a live sound engineer before turning to studio work. She served as ADR engineer for hit shows such as ‘Orange Is The New Black’ and ‘The Good Wife’, and recorded and edited dialogue on video games such as Telltale's ‘The Walking Dead’ as well as directing voice performances for animation.In addition to continuing her studio work, Amanda is audio producer for SerialBox.com and coaches voiceover actors in the NYC SAG-AFTRA voiceover lab.
I first met Amanda in New York when I attended her one of her audiobook technical workshops – she has since been my Audiobook editor of choice whenever I am producing independently, including for ‘But My Brain Had Other Ideas’ which is shortlisted for the best non-fiction audiobook performance in the 2019 One Voice Awards.
I am so exciting to have Amanda working with me and the narrators taking the course. I know her insight and feedback will be invaluable.
Muse from The Booth - It's that time of year again
2018 was the year in which I was fortunate to get represenation from one of the UK's top voice agents, Suzy Wootton at Suzy Wootton voices.
2018 was also the year I began my personal studio upgrade - purchasing a new mic and interface and investing in a Kube isolation booth. I also attended more coaching and audio related workshops than ever before and invested in new headshots and new voice reels. I am blogging more than ever and have joined Instagram and You Tube as well as being on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
A 'silver surfer' grasping the nettle with a vengeance!
As far as audiobooks are concerned I have been so lucky and have performed some really wonderful titles in 2018 including several for publishers and producers I hadn't worked with previously. I am so grateful to them all - existing colleagues as well as new ones - for casting me and giving me such great books to read.
Looking forward into 2019 - I have, as many of you may know, been considering offering audiobook narrator coaching for some time. I spent several years running BeeAudio's highly acclaimed Audiobook Narration Studio Certification Course - and when that came to an end, the material I created for that course was sitting on my laptop doing nothing. Several friends and colleagues approached me last year asking me to work with them, so using my existing material as a starting piont, I developed it into a comprehensive and detailed coaching package designed for trained actors wanting to get into audiobook narration and for narrators who want to raise their game and find out about working remotely.
I'll be sharing more information about this exciting development shortly - and adding some coaching content to my website in due course - so watch this space.
I'm still going to be narrating of course - so am limiting the number of students I take on at any time to six - so will still have lots of time to collaborate on more wonderful books.
In the meantime - I wish to thank all my blog and social media followers, my friends, coaches and mentors, my fellow narrators, actors and voiceover colleagues; all the people I have worked with and for - authors, collaborators, producers, proofers, audio engineers, directors, casting directors for their continued support - and wish you all A Very Happy, productive and creative year in 2019.
I am delighted to announce that I have new voice reels! They've been a long time coming - but I think the wait has been well worth it.
These voice recordings are my calling card if you like - a way of allowing casting directors, producers, publishers, prospective clients and indeed anyone seeking a professional voice, to hear what I sound like across a range of different types of voiceover recording across a range of genres.
My voice reels cover Audiobooks, Commercials, Corporate VOs - including IVR & Explainer voiceovers. E-learning, Gaming, Narrative VO - including narration for documentaries - and Web commercials.
You can find the full version of my these recordings on the HOME PAGE of my website - or by visiting my VoiceZam profile HERE
The compilation Voice Reels - short clips combined into a genre specific file on my Soundcloud profile: By clicking HERE
Helen Lloyd - Newsletter 2018
You always knew I was super organised didn’t you?
Here is my latest quarterly update:
‘Life in the Garden’ by Penelope Lively has been published in the US by Penguin Audio.
'Helen Lloyd’s Trina is warm, thoughtful and seeking. The Curator, Anders, who has been fairly recently widowed, is writing to her in his second language, so Lars Knudsen’s Danish accent conveys the differences and distance between them, even as they come to trust and rely on each other as they acknowledge joys and face hard truths about their own lives … to deeply satisfying effect. ' Audiofile Magazine Review
‘Widow’s Wreath – A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery’ by Cynthia Riggs Published by Blackstone Audio.
‘The Allotment Girls’ by Kate Thompson. Published by Whole Story Audiobooks.
‘Lady Osbaldestone and the Missing Christmas Carols’ by Stephanie Laurens This is the second 'Little Moseley' Christmas adventure for the redoubtable Lady O and her grandchildren. Published by Blackstone.
‘The Hour of Death– A Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Murder Mystery’ by Jane Willan Published by Blackstone.
‘But My Brain Had Other Ideas – A Memoir of Recovery from Brain Injury’ by Deb Brandon for Findaway.
AND IN OTHER NEWS: The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I have a new headshot. This is a major thing for me, I hate being photographed, but it was comparatively painless. I also have a new logo, and am getting some new voice reels recorded next month.
And due to demand, I am also now offering audiobook narrator personal coaching and am working one to one with a few select narrators.
And finally … after many years as an unrepresented actor, I am delighted to be represented by one of the UK’s foremost voice agencies, Suzy Wootton Voices
Till next time!
February 2018 ... Newsletter
Crikey it’s been cold here in Derbyshire! We’ve been in the grip of ‘The Beast from the East’ and storm Emma – and have had snow! Proper snow and -10C temperatures if you count in the wind chill factor. Fortunately, I have heat and a cosy and toasty recording space.
Here’s my latest news:
Published in February:
Fern Britton’s latest novel, ‘Coming Home’ – reached no 5 in the Sunday Times Best Seller list within four days of being published. The audiobook, read by me and produced in-house by the lovely folk at White House Sound for Harper Collins UK is now available on Audible.
Jung’s Psychology – An Introduction’ by Freda Fordham recorded for Ukemi Audiobooks. Something of a classic this one!
‘The Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II’ by Karen Dolby recorded for W F Howes Ltd
In the Studio:
‘The Allotment Girls’ by Kate Thompson is a WW2 novel woven around the lives of the extraordinary women who worked at the iconic Bryant and May match factory in London’s East End. In production for Lamplight Audiobooks
And in other news . . .
End of Year Review 2017
- The year's undoubted highlight was attending The APA (The Audio Publisher's Association) Conference in NYC in May. It was such a pleasure to meet so many colleagues and friends from the US, many of whom I have collaborated with on various projects over the past five years and to make many new friends from the Audiobook community. It was great to put names to faces and to catch up with the fellow Brits who were there, and to be inspired by some amazing narrators and performers at Johnny Heller's 4th Splendiferous Workshop. Of course APAC is about networking too and I met many audiobook producers and directors, some of whom I have subsequently worked with or have joined their roster of narrators. APAC (and New York itself) were extraordinary and I shall be returning in May this year - I have already booked my conference tickets, flight and hotel and look forward to making more friends and gaining more knowledge and inspiration later in the year.
- Alongside the jaunt to the US, I also attended The Voice Over Network Audiobook Weekend in London in early December, taking another opportunity to meet colleagues and to make new friends – as well as working in depth with Sean Pratt and Johnny Heller. I look forward to being my continued involvement with VON over the coming year.
- Alongside all this gadding about, I have also been busy recording audiobooks for many major publishing houses and producers in the US and UK including Harper Audio, Audible US, Avon, BeeAudio, Clipper Audio, Lamplight, Quercus Publications, Rosa, Whole Story Audio, W F Howes Ltd., and Blackstone Audio – and received glowing reviews for ‘An Affair with a Notorious Heiress’ by Lorraine Heath recorded for Harper Audio and ‘Lady Osbaldestone’s Christmas Goose’ by Stephanie Laurens, produced by Blackstone Audio in Audiofile Magazine.
- Another memorable moment from 2017 was being interviewed for the Talking Audiobooks Podcast by Casey Trowbridge. If you missed it, or want to listen again, the link to the You Tube version is HERE
Thanks to everyone, producers, publishers, colleagues, coaches, friends - and readers of these blog pages - who helped to make 2017 so memorable.
I wish you all a productive, creative and very happy year in 2018.
'Girls From The Local' by Rosie Archer
A heartwarming wartime story
Narrated by Helen Lloyd
Even in the middle of war the local pub provides a warm welcome, thanks to its trio of barmaids.
Ruby has been living and working at the 'Point of No Return' pub since her parents were killed by a bomb. She loves the bustle of the pub; it helps take her mind off worrying about her fiance, Joe, away fighting in France. The only thing Ruby doesn't like about the Point is Sylvie. This singing siren may have a beautiful voice, but she's out for all she can get, including Joe. Finally there's Marge, a true party girl and the mother of two young children.
The three of them face many obstacles to fulfilling their dreams, will the bonds of friendship and camaraderie that hold the Point together keep them going through the darkest of times?
- ‘Life in The Garden’ by Penelope Lively – published by Whole Story Audiobooks A horticultural memoir that laces together the author’s two passions – gardening and literature.
- ‘A Summer House Party’ by Caro Fraser – set just before the beginning of WWII, this is a saga of secrecy, lies, unrequited love and a lot of stiff upper lips. Lamplight Audio
- ‘The Girls from the Local’ – by Rosie Archer coming very soon from Quercus
- ‘The Bomb Girls at Christmas’ – by Daisy Styles for Lamplight Audio
In other news
- ‘Lady Osbaldestone’s Christmas Goose’ by Stephanie Laurens which I recorded for Blackstone Audio in October has received a glowing review in Audiofile Magazine Click HERE TO READ
- I spent last weekend at the Voice Over Network Audiobook Weekend getting some in depth coaching from Sean Pratt and Johnny Heller. It was an exhausting but exhilarating experience and I look forward to putting all that inspiration and knowledge into practice in 2018.
- I am blogging again … mainly about audiobooks and voice training – but there are other nuggets in there too – please join me.
May I also take this opportunity to thank the authors, publishers, producers, production houses and colleagues that I have worked with over 2017. It has been my most productive year yet and I am looking forward to reading more great books in 2018.
Thanks also to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog posts ... I will be sharing many more audio insights soon.
In the meantime - I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Peaceful and Productive New Year.
My interview with Casey Trowbridge for the ‘Talking Audiobooks’ Podcast about my career in theatre and television, how I got into Audiobooks and cakes, went live in September 2017. It's proved to be the most popular podcast in the series so far!
It's had some great feedback - so if you missed it - it's still available HERE
Published this month:
‘Lady Osbaldestone’s Christmas Goose’ by Stephanie Laurens for Blackstone Audio. Available HERE
With the Editor:
‘Life in the Garden’ by Penelope Lively (Penguin Books) Audiobook for W F Howes Ltd
A Summer House Party’ by Caro Fraser (Head of Zeus books) Audiobook for W F Howes Ltd
Recording this month:
‘The Bomb Girls at Christmas’ by Daisy Styles (Penguin Books) Audiobook for Lamplight Audio
‘The Girls from the Local’ by Rosie Archer (Quercus Books) audiobook for W F Howes Ltd
What a fantastic October it has been … well it was in the South West France anyway!
I was so lucky to get away for a couple of weeks before winter sets in: such a treat and I returned relaxed and raring to go. Freddy the pup came too and behaved impeccably on the long journey. He can now bounce in French as well!
Until next time
Published this month:
'A Patient Fury' by Sarah Ward - audiobook published by Whole Story Audio and available from Audible.co.uk
With the Editor:
'Lady Osbaldestone's Christmas Goose' by Stephanie Laurens for Blackstone Audio '
'Life in the Garden' by Penelope Lively (Penguin) Audiobook for Whole Story Audiobooks at 'W F Howes
'The Summer House Party' by Caro Frazer (Head of Zeus) Audiobook for Lamplight Audio at W F Howes
My opinions are mine and my views are my own!