How I got started….

Do your remember taking road trips when you were a kid and anxiously looking forward to the next stop at Cracker Barrel (or “crackabarrel” as my quintessential southern mother calls it). For that matter, maybe it was one of those huge truck stops that always had mouth watering smells coming from the all night diner adjacent to it. Regardless, when I was a kid, I was always fascinated by those racks of cassettes with signs above them that said “Rent now and return on your next trip”. You chose a story you wanted to hear, rented a box of cassette tapes, and went on your way down the highway listening to your favorite books on tape.

Nowadays, there’s no need for cassette tapes (do cars even have tape cassette players anymore?) and you don’t have to be on a road trip to listen to your favorite books. They can be downloaded on your phone (or iPad or whatever gadget you have) and listened to in your car going to work, while you are walking the dog, cleaning the house, ignoring your husband or your kids……just about anywhere!

I always have a hard time listening to them myself. Maybe because I have such a strong imagination that I am mostly disappointed that the narrator doesn’t sound like I imagine the character should sound. I always prefer to read a book silently. But, it turns out, a lot of people love to listen and prefer it to reading. Sigh…that was hard for me to accept. Yes, people, I am one of those that ALWAYS prefers the book over the movie…..

Just a brief history about me…..I am a YOUNG middle age lady with lots of life experiences and many successes and failures. Just like most of you. I am not perfect. I raised 5 kids in my twenties and thirties, and because I was so young when they were born, I am free in my forties! Although, to be honest, are we ever really free? My vices? I am a people pleaser too much of the time, and I do enjoy one or two vodka/sugar free red bulls at happy hour. I’m from the southeast, so every once in a while a “ya’ll” or a “fixin” will slip into my speech, but I lost most of the accent when I moved out west to Arizona. I come from a long line of intelligent drunks…my maternal grandfather was a self made millionaire at a young age, although he enjoyed a stiff mixture of Early Times and milk every morning. My father is the CEO of a multi billion dollar corporation, but he is currently being accused of some very bad behavior. (No skin off my back-he was a deadbeat dad and I have not seen or spoken to him in 30 years) My mother (not a drunk by the way) is my best friend to this day. Me? I got pregnant at 18, married a military guy and divorced the military guy. Married an ex-drug addict 16 years ago and am still VERY happily married to him (he turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made, NEVER judge a book by it’s cover). I have worked for corrupt people, and worked for admirable people. Those millions of dollars in my family? Never saw a dime of it. I am just a regular person. Everyone has skeletons in their closet.

I started this blog because I decided to start narrating audiobooks last year. When I say that, I mean it. I decided I was going to do it…period. I was looking for a way to earn some extra cash, and started self analyzing to see what I might be good at. I still work a day job, running a small home repair business 40+ hours a week, but the pay isn’t much, and I am starting to get scared of not having retirement money. God forbid we have to live with the kids….I love ’em, but NO. So what to do?

Bartend? I did that in my 20’s, lots of fun, but I can’t compete with the young bodies out there now. Hmmmm…..what was I good at? Well, I enjoy reading a lot….can you make money somehow doing that? Turns out you can!

I love the internet. I started researching how to narrate books, you know, those cassettes you used to see in Crackabarrel? My blogs are going to be how to get started for dummies, like me. I said that wrong…wait….I am not a dummy, I am actually quite smart, but I was a teenager in the 80’s, I didn’t know how to practically build a frickin computer when I was 15. My computer skills are sadly lacking. As a matter of fact, I had to read up on how to start a blog.

I also have a somewhat selfish purpose in this too, I want to promote my narrations! I need that retirement fund folks! I started narrating in September 2019 and have 38 completed books under my belt. Want to know how I did it? Follow me and find out!

Email me at leighlovestoread@gmail.com and I will add you to my email list. I send out promo codes to my contacts that allow them to download my books for free (but not all the time…remember…RETIREMENT) Next up? Some tips on how to get started!

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