Interview with narrator Desiree Ketchum

With Yael Waknin

Questions for narrator Desiree Ketchum

1 – How did you come to narrate romantic novels?

That one is a doozy, but I’ll try to summarize. Basically, I love romance novels. I love them so much that back in 2015, I started a booktube channel and began reviewing my favorite romances and authors. Then in 2018, I ventured into the world of publishing with my debut and it’s follow up. Having already been an avid audio listener, getting the books into audio was the next big step. To save on costs, I chose to try my hand at narrating, I’d always wanted to do it, so why not with my own book, right? If I screwed it up, no biggie. But, as it turned out, I found my calling. And while I’ve since stepped away from publishing, narrating truly is my dream come true.

2 – Have you narrated books from different genres?

I’ve kept mostly to romance, but have narrated all sorts of sub genres. I’d love to get into more fantasy and LitRPG just sounds like the coolest thing ever. My nerd heart needs that in my life.

3 – What was the most fun \ easy book you narrated?

Oh goodness, tough question, but I have to go with Reckless Miles by Claire Kingsley. That was the first book I got to co-narrate with the incredible Stephen Dexter, and it was just the most fun recording it. Claire truly has a way of writing witty banter and heroes that could both melt your panties and give you a laugh in the same go. Such fun narrating that one.

4 – What was the most difficult book \ character you narrated and why?

Briar Dillon from Damaged by Layla Frost. Hands down. I felt exposed narrating Briar. Like her mind and mine were one in the same. Her feelings and thoughts sometimes mirrored mine at one point or another. So in order to give true authenticity in voicing Briar, I really had to dig deep down into places I hadn’t been in a while. Briar has a very special place in my heart.

5 – What are the preparations you make before each project? Do you read the whole book in advance? Do you rehearse out loud before the recording itself? or maybe something else?

More often than not, I find that reading the whole book in advance allows me too long to settle and practice emotions and sounds within the characters and story instead of letting it flow naturally. Knowing information like accents, ages, personality type, vocal idiosyncrasies, are all necessary things to know prior to recording. You don’t want to get through 75% through a project narrating it in a General American accent only to discover it was Texan or British. But I do like to keep the emotion raw and unrehearsed, so I don’t read the chapters I’m recording that day until the very day. That way I know what happens, but it’s all very fresh with no time to overthink or over process.

6 – Is there a genre \ book \ character that you won’t agree to narrate? If so – why?

The fact that in fiction, there limitless possibilities of character types, arcs, personalities, etc, I generally don’t like to just write a character off if I only know or have heard very little of them. Even if a character doesn’t necessarily  resonate with me, that’s okay. As far as genres go, self helf books, maybe? Non-fiction doesn’t necessarily appeal to me all that much. Too many fun worlds and characters in fiction.

7 – How long does it take you to record an entire book?

I think I have roughly the same ratio as most other narrators of it taking two hours for every one finished hour of audio. But, it of course depends on the day. Somedays I have a really smooth day with very few flubs and I feel awesome, and then other days, I question my competency of the English language.

8 – Are you working on more than one book at a time?

Almost never. That can get very confusing very quickly. Plus, I prefer all of my focus and energy be in this one space rather than fractured between several. That gets exhausting and, in my case, I’ve found that it can lead to burn out.

9 – What is the genre you like to read in your free time?

I am a romance lover to my core. Give me all the love stories. Mia Sheridan? Yes, please. Lauren Rowe? All day long. Penelope Douglas? Yup!

However, I have a soft spot in my heart for the fantasy genre. Fire breathing dragons, magic, and mystical world’s are just the best escape for me. It’s therapy.  

10 – Is there a writer you particularly like? To read or to work with

Honestly? I can vividly recall having a very special experience recording just about every book, so far. All of the authors have been so wonderful and gracious, many of whom I’ve admired for years prior to becoming a narrator, which is still insane to me that I was given such incredible opportunities to narrate for these incredible folks. I will be forever grateful to them, my co-narrators, listeners, bloggers, producers, and everyone involved in the world of romance audiobooks. 

Like it? Share it


About the narrator

As a blogger, author, and narrator of the book world, Desiree has run the full gamut, and knows the in’s and out’s of building a story from the ground up. With this wealth of experiences, she is able to deliver a vocal performance that will delight authors and listeners, alike.

In a short span of time, Desiree has been able to build a brand and following dedicated to her love and passion for bringing an author’s characters and story to life with a meticulous approach of study, commitment and enthusiasm for the industry. Desiree has narrated for top selling authors including International #1  Bestselling author, L.J. Shen, as well as, #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author, Vi Keeland.

Authors will be thrilled with Desiree’s dedication to their stories and characters; studying each carefully to deliver quality performances that will ensnare and connect with listeners.

Producers can depend on her to understand the criticality of deadlines and a proficient knowledge of the field and industry so that each project is delivered on time and with a performance sure to be remembered.

Skip to content