Guest Post: Zara Ramm

Hello all you lovely Jodi Taylor fans out there. My name is Zara Ramm and I am the reader of all those wonderful tales from St. Mary’s.

Jodi has asked me to say a little about how I bring her brilliant words to your eyes and ears.

So where to start?

Well… I have been an actor for twenty seven years doing mainly theatre and television. In the last ten years I have also been recording audio books as well which I sort of fell into and found I really enjoy. Which is lucky as I do quite a lot of them.

It’s a funny old job as you sit and prep the book (i.e make tons of notes and decisions about what voices and accents you are going to give all the different characters) and then spend two or three days sitting in a tiny studio with a producer in the next room making sure you don’t talk total rubbish and letting you out for a cup of tea every few hours.

You could of course risk not reading it before you record it and just wing it in the studio. Not a great idea though as you might get to the end of the recording and find out that all the characters were French!

I love a dialect so am very happy to give characters all manner of them but sometimes a change of pitch or pace is all that is needed to distinguish one character from another.

Unless specifically requested by the author I will always narrate in my own accent and then add different voices for lesser parts as I get to them, as sustaining a voice that isn’t your natural voice for a whole book is pretty demanding. I did do that with a Geordi accent once and also Glaswegian but it was quite hard work!

Reading and recording The Chronicles of St. Mary’s is always a treat… Here’s to many more! Thanks Jodi for giving me the opportunity to record them and thank you readers and lovers of audio books for continuing to read and listen to them.

23 thoughts on “Guest Post: Zara Ramm

  1. Hi! Thanks for being with me when I was service engineer and needed some well narrated books. I don’t get that time now, but I’d just like to say how much you helped! 🙂

  2. Amazing. I might actually be tempted to listen to a book, which I don’t. But the most amazing thing…Zara can do this without giggling! I don’t think there’s any way I could have read the lakeside contest scene without cracking up! In fact the more I think about it…wonder if the library has any of these on tape?

  3. I have all of Jodi’s books in either audio and ebooks. I listen to the books when I’m driving and sometimes I like to curl up in my chair beside my fireplace with a cup of tea and read a book. The funny thing is that now when I read one of the books, I hear Zara’s voice as Max and some of the other characters. I quite like that. Thanks Zara.

  4. I am currently binge listening to the St. Mary’s Chronicles, which is helping me get through a difficult time. I absolutely love the stories, and your portrayal of each character makes them seem so real. I want to thank you and Jodi for bringing this delightful alternate reality to life.

  5. That’s such a good insight. I’d love to read audio books. Probably children’s books as I can do good cartoon voices. Lol.

  6. Thank you Zara, interesting on how you actually prepare and do it.
    Obviously works as you really do bring the books to life and they wouldn’t be quite the same without you.
    The clever people who narrate audio books don’t get as much credit as they should. Glad Jodi gave me the chance to thank you!

  7. thank you for this Zara. it is good to get the chance to thank you as you otherwise get no credit for your hard work before and during the recording process. you really do add to the enjoyment of the stories so please take a bow – virtual though it may be – for your acting talent in this regard. well done!!!

  8. What a great chance to thank the narrator of Jodi’s books! I absolutely love the way you do all the accents and character tones – I am a longhaul truck driver and listen while driving at night and your voice brings Jodi’s characters to life. I don’t even have to hear references but know immediately when you’re doing Markham, or Peterson, or Dr. Bairstow, or pretty well any of them! Thank you so much, Zara; you do a fabulous job! All the best!

  9. Hi Zara, I’m a blind reader, I only do audio books and you are one of my all-time favorite narrators. I happily pay for your recorded books and Jodi’s writings, of course. Thanks so much to both of you for sharing your gifts with us.

  10. Thank you, Zara, for taking these on. As much as we love Jodi, those of us who use Audible love you just as much. You ARE the characters. Your sense of humor has brought these books to life!

  11. I’d pay to hear you read the tabloids, much less the tales from St. Mary’s. Assuming Max is read with your normal voice, I can only hope the character your vocalizations create is something akin to the real person. (Not the willful trouble-making part, but the warmth and personality). In any case, you have made the series come alive for me and i hope you continue to do so.

  12. My husband got me on to this series and I am waiting for book #8. I have never done an audio book, but from the comments here–I’m missing something special! Jodi – I love this series and you make me laugh out loud. Zara – I will definitely try one of your audio books. Thank you both for what you do!

  13. Thanks for the info Zara. I would have loved to listen to the Geordie book as I’m one of them lol but living in Aus.

  14. Zara, you are one of the best in audiobook narrators! I started The Chronicles of St. Mary’s by listening to the audiobook and now I don’t think I can ever go back to print for this series! Thank you for lending your talent to this amazing series.

  15. I have listened to literally thousands of audiobooks, and your narration of The Chronicles of St. Mary’s is among the very very best. And re an earlier comment, you look exactly the way I had you pictured in my mind. A double win!!

  16. Zara, no one in the entire world could have brought all these characters to life as you did. The birth of Matthew has to be the funniest birth ever! I laugh out loud whenever I listen to it 😊 and that’s just one tiny example,of how brilliant the audiobooks are.

  17. My husband is now addicted to the nutters at St. Mary’s. We listened to JODTAO on a roadtrip last week, now we have story time every evening, listening to the audiobooks. Many thanks to Jodi and Zara!

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