Ann Richardson

I recently learned that some casting directors want to know a bit more about their narrators than just the normal bullet-points we include in our outreach emails. So here’s a full bio with a bunch of obscure background stuff about me in the hopes that it will help me stay hired!

My origin story…

I was born and raised in Nebraska, stayed active in our Lutheran church and also in 4-H, showing sheep, rabbits,  chickens and my horse. I worked my way through high-school and college as a Conservation Technician with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in the Fisheries Division, where I was a tour guide for school groups, talking about fish native to Nebraska, and assisted in the collection of fish and amphibians to be used in the aquarium displays. I was studying broadcast journalism at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, when I met my future husband and left to marry him and move to California (San Francisco bay area/Silicon Valley), where I currently reside.

I worked 9 years in the pharmaceutical industry, had two children, then took a variety of jobs working for public elementary and middle schools teaching computers, a veterinarian’s office, and on-the-road selling after-market products and point-of-sale insurance to car dealerships. With the economic crash in 2007 I began narrating audiobooks and as of 2024, I have narrated over 350 of them!

The kinds of books I love to narrate…

I love pioneer and western stories. I think I was born in the wrong era. I used to ride my paint pony as fast as her little old legs could go, pretending I was a Pony Express rider.  Pioneers and Native Americans were studied extensively in every elementary school classroom. I have a true affinity for the Great Plains… the agricultural aspect, livestock, hunting and fishing, and the endless vistas of cornfields, sandhills, flat and wide rivers, and breathtakingly beautiful sunsets

Over the years I have discovered that I really enjoy narrating books with foreign words and phrases, specifically having narrated books rife with Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Finnish, Polish, Dutch, Danish, Hungarian, Russian, and Old Norse. I’ve enjoyed narrating several books about Vikings and mythology. Not only do I speak conversational Swedish, I have lots of family there and visit as often as I can (every few years). I took Swedish language lessons for 6 years and was fluent but have grown a bit rusty over the past several years with not speaking it very often. I was a member of our local VASA Lodge (an organization for emigrants and those of Swedish heritage) for many years as well.

I have narrated lots of Christian books, as well as narrating and loving spiritual books about crystals, communicating with spirits, heathenry, meditation, and mythology. Fun fact: the longest book I’ve narrated to date is Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses (Witchcraft & Spells). Its run time is 64 hours, 34 minutes. The research for that book was over 2500 words long and spanned many different languages.

I love stories about strong women, sweet romances and cozy mysteries as well. (I do have a pseudonym who has narrated some erotica, and while she would consider narrating that genre again, she doesn’t seek work in that arena.) I also love non-fiction, and have been awarded three AudioFile Magazine Earphones awards for non-fiction titles. For many years I volunteered my narrations for Learning Ally, and that means I’m adept at describing charts, diagrams, illustrations, photographs and the like. While my professional work generally doesn’t include these, there have been occasions where a bit of interpretation of such features in a book has been necessary, for listener comprehension. I value problem-solving for my clients and collaborating to make the best possible product. I am an excellent communicator and am phobic of missing deadlines.

My clients include…

Audible, Blackstone, Brilliance, Dreamscape, Hachette, Harper, Macmillan, Oasis, Penguin Random House, Spotify, Tantor, and scads of smaller publishers and independently-published authors.

When I’m not narrating…

I coach new, aspiring narrators, teach Introduction to Audiobooks for Voice One school in San Francisco, and I’ve created a 10-video lesson course for independent study, available on Andi Arndt’s Narrator.Life Mighty Network. I am a member of the Audiobook Publishers Association (APA) and a member-volunteer of the Professional Audiobook Narrators Association (PANA). I find great joy in helping and encouraging others, both personally and professionally. I have trained to man the crisis phone line for our local crisis center, but as that’s a very intense duty I spend more time volunteering at the homeless shelter’s thrift store, sorting donations.

In 2022, I began publishing audiobooks with my company Great Plains Audiobooks. My focus is on Midwestern and Scandinavian literature. It’s an oddly narrow niche, but my books are doing quite well!  Inlands, by Elin Willows, a Swedish book that was turned into a movie, is one that I narrated, produced and published the audiobook, which won an Earphones award and led to a feature article in AudioFile Magazine.

In my free time…

I used to spend weekends cheering on my husband (and sometimes helping change tires) as he raced cars (autocrossing). These days I enjoy long distance running, (I’ve run scores of half-marathons and one full marathon), wine-tasting and spending time in the beauty of the vineyards near my home. I also enjoy painting, photography, gardening, hiking, and exploring. In fact, one of my favorite pastimes is picking up cool-looking rocks while I’m hiking and tumbling them in my rock polisher.

Thank you for making it this far, and learning a bit more about me. I hope I’ve provided some helpful tidbits that will aid you casting folk in knowing what is behind my voice, what I draw from every time I step into the booth. We are all the sum of our experiences, and I’m tickled to share about mine.