Bend Author & Voiceover Artist Hit The Right Chord

Two Long-time Friends Collaborate on Audiobook

Eighteen years ago, two women sat down next to each other at choir rehearsal and started talking. They became fast friends and haven’t stopped talking since. At the time, Kai Strand was a stay at home mom shepherding the lives of four active children and Barbara Rich was a public servant working to protect water quality. Neither imagined that their friendship would include goats, Mexican food and publishing.

Rich got an inkling of Strand’s talents, about three years later, when she read an early draft of a book Strand was working on. Yet they still didn’t imagine the collaboration that would play out in the future. Strand published her first book, The Weaver, in 2010, at a time when both women were unemployed as a result of the Great Recession. While exploring new employment options, Rich toyed with the idea of voiceover, but was waylaid by employment until 2016, at which point she caught the voiceover bug in a big way and opened her own studio. Meanwhile, Strand remained prolific and published 12 books for middle grade and young adult readers as well as three titles for the grown-ups among us, under a different pen name.

Finally, the stars aligned, and Rich and Strand took the plunge to collaborate on Strand’s latest young adult novel, I Am Me. Rich admits to a certain trepidation taking on the project because she was concerned about doing a great job for her friend, and because — after all — I Am Me is an excursion into a teen brain. But Strand says she never had a thing to worry about. “I listened to other audiobooks Barb narrated and knew she was up for the challenge.”

About the book:
Lola’s only beginning to understand how lucky she is to live her life of privilege when her life falls apart. After losing friends, her boyfriend, even her newest acquaintance, Rodney, Lola finally recognizes what she wants to hang on to and what specifically she wants to go after. But with all she’s been through, will she be able to hang onto who she wants to be? Or will she lose all that defines her?

About the author:
When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of adding, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award-winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults.


About the narrator:

Barbara Rich of Richcraft Studios is a professionally-trained voiceover actor whose past lives in environmental science, computer software, music and theater enable her to deliver high-quality audio from her dedicated ProTools studio. As a recovering project manager, Barb can express your copy effectively, efficiently and with eloquence.

While Barb has lent her voice all over the world for big names like Toyota, KFC, Udemy and Pfizer and for public agencies like the U.S. Office of Consumer Protection, her true love is story telling via audiobooks. In the past year, she has completed 14 audiobooks with another in the pipeline and is eager to see what 2019 brings


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