I stumbled across Melanie Skipp when her father, horror author John Skipp, posted that she was in a competition for a speaking role in a Neil Gaiman audiobook. Being the book lover I am, I did my part to support and voted. I truly enjoyed Melanie’s reading voice and shot her an e-mail to see if reading other works was an option. The next thing we both knew, she’d completed an audio rendition of my Horror Addicts’ 1920s story entitled, “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Her use of distinct character voices – complete with accents, pacing and emotion add a dimension of “being there” as the tale unfolds.
“Someone To Watch Over Me” will be available for your listening pleasure (and download) June 9th, 2011 on Horror Addicts’ episode 61. You can find them at http://www.horroraddicts.net or through iTunes.
I had a few minutes to ask Melanie a few questions about her desire to become a reader . . . .
Why reading books aloud?
Well I’m a huge bookworm to start. When I was a kid, my little sister and I didn’t really have our parents around a lot. My dad left when we were pretty young and my mom worked crazy hours. I took to reading out loud to my little sister before we went to bed or whenever she had friends spend the night who liked scary stories. I’ve been reading out loud to friends and loved ones ever since. Just plain ole tickles me pink.
Do you have a preferred genre and why?
I love horror first and foremost. Dad’s a horror novelist, it’s in my blood. When it comes to reading out loud though, I gotta say that children’s fantasy novels are just more fun. Doing a thick Scottish brogue for a satyr is just silly fun.
When reading these works, have you had any hurdles to overcome?
GARDENERS!!! Oh those bastards with their weed-whackers and their soul-destroying lawn mowers. My cat’s also like to try and eat the laptop while I’m reading, which can get distracting and a bit noisy.
Do you find yourself getting into the story or laughing at yourself as you bring the work to life?
Oh of course I get into the story. I found that I need to read the story all the way through (once in my head and once out loud) before I can record it. At least with short stories. With novels I do the same only page by page. And I’m always laughing at myself.
Is there a way for people to get a hold of you about reading for them?
E-mail or facebook is the best. I am in the process of figuring out my way through this complex web of interverse and eventually plan to have a website.
And, as someone who actually reads your wall, what’s the best “bus people” story so far?
That’s tricky. Oh man, there are so many. From the crazy veteran who is screaming at terrified little old ladies about how he is a natural killer, to the man in the nice jacket and the mushroom cloud hair trying to stick his tongue down my throat. There was a man who showed me his nipples (which I can remember all too clearly in their thick buttony nipple-ness), that he had pierced himself with his mother’s gold hoop earring. That was kind of terrifying.
You’ll be seeing a lot more of Melanie, performing both my work and my wife, Hollie Snider’s, in the near future.
Watch for her . . . or should it be, “Watch out for her!”