I love when everything aligns in a serendipitous manner. My audiobook for Wander & Roam released the same weekend as the second book in the Wander series, Rebel & Soul. What a choice: Listen to Abby and Sage’s Australian love story or explore Colorado’s forests with Maddie and Soul. Better yet, do both!
I am so excited to introduce Wander & Roam’s narrator, Shiromi Arserio. Shiromi has to be one of the most talented narrators I have worked with. Not only has she narrated a collection of stories by Melissa Marr (author of the Wicked Lovely series) and Kami Garcia (author of Beautiful Creatures), but she brings Wander & Roam to life with her delightful accents.
Anna: You may have one of the most unique recording booths ever. Do you really record audiobooks in a TARDIS?
Shiromi: I do. I have hardwood floors and animals, which aren’t a great combination for quiet recordings, so we decided to build a vocal booth. I figured why have a big grey box in your living room, when you can have a TARDIS? So that’s what we did. The booth part was easy. It took two weeks. Getting the TARDIS right took about five months.
Anna: If you record in a TARDIS, I have to ask: Who is your favorite Doctor?
Shiromi: Ooh, that’s a tough one for me. My Doctor, the one I grew up with, was Sylvester McCoy, and I still have a soft spot for the old eighties Doctor Who. Having said that, I’m quite fond of Matt Smith’s quirky Eleventh Doctor. I’m enjoying Capaldi, but I miss the childlike wonder of Smith.
Anna: I’m a Tennant fan myself. I loved the emotion he conveyed as the Doctor.
Anna: When I listened to your recording of Wander & Roam, I was impressed by how you were able to switch between Susan’s Australian accent and Abby and Sage’s American accents. How difficult was it to keep track of different characters and different accents?
Shiromi: Switching accents within the text can be tricky, especially when neither of them are my natural accent. Thankfully technology saves the day. I read off my ipad using an app called iAnnotate which lets me highlight and make notations. When prepping the recording I highlight the main characters with their own separate colour, so I can see with a glance which character voice is coming up next. With Wander & Roam I also had a separate colour for all the other Australian characters.
Anna: Were there any scenes in Wander & Roam that you particularly enjoyed recording? (Without giving away spoilers.)
Shiromi: Honestly, because I love to travel, I really enjoyed the scenes with Abby and Sage exploring Sydney. It was fun because on the one hand, I’ve been to Sydney before and reading those scenes let me reminisce a little, yet there were also things that I didn’t even know about, like the bats. I’d seen all the cockatoos at the Royal Botanic Gardens but I never knew they also had flying foxes. So now I have to go back and see the bats, and when I do, a part of me will be thinking about Sage and Abby and seeing it through their eyes. I should also add that if I had heard about WOOF when I was 19 or 20, I would have jumped at the chance.
Anna: I’ve had the exact same thought. I wish I would have taken advantage of more travel abroad and international volunteer experiences when I was younger. Although, I am trying to make up for it in my thirties! So… I heard a rumor that you acted on an episode of Lost. Can you tell us more?
Shiromi: It was basically all background work for about three different episodes during the third season. I was living on Oahu while Lost was filming there, so it was great both as an actress and as a geek. I already mentioned that I love to travel, and in the three scenes I was in they were recreating Sydney, Paris and London. It still amazes me all the work they did to make Hawaii look like all these places. In the London scene they even had a green screen around the base of a palm tree so they could CGI a more English looking tree. It was a very fun experience.
Anna: It sounds fun! I hadn’t watched the series until the end of the last season. I remember finishing writing a book and needing a brain break. I watched a few episodes of Lost, but it quickly turned into a month-long Lost marathon! Shiromi, thanks so much for taking the time to allow my readers to get to know you.