You might be wondering: What is Sniplits, who is Kailey Bell, and why does any of this matter to you/me?
MY ASSOCIATION WITH SNIPLITS
Sniplits produces short literary and genre audio to go. A couple of years back they published one of my stories, Aunt Charlotte. Kailey Bell was the actress who narrated it.
That’s pretty neat in and of itself, but it matters to me for much deeper reasons.
BASED ON REAL EVENTS
When I answered Phasma Ex Machina’s “6 Questions With…” I talked about my aunt, Pearl. If there’s one person I’d like to bring back from the dead and try to get to know, it’s her.
I never knew her. I didn’t even know of her until I was about 10 –and it was a fluke I even found out then.
I was in my teens when I found out she’d been murdered. Again, it was sort of a fluke. My mom was insanely jealous of her sister, who apparently was quite the beauty. We’re not talking, “Oh, yeah, she’s attractive.” We’re talking a classic kind of beauty. (Think Jackie O, Grace Kelly, or Audrey Hepburn.) That was the number one thing anyone remembering Pearl started off explaining.
The next thing was how jealous my mom was of her. Mostly because Pearl was so glamorous.
Needless to say, Pearl grew to be an icon in my mind. I based the character of Aunt Charlotte in part on her.
THE LAST WORK SHE EVER KNEW
I was over the moon when Sniplits accepted my story. Unfortunately, at the time it was released was when a maelstrom was unleashed in my life. (My mom fell ill, and I had to move her from Colorado to Tennessee and become her full time caregiver.)
At one point during this time my mom’s conditioned worsened. She had a stroke which exacerbated her dementia. She no longer knew me, grew combative, and had to be watched like a hawk 24/7.
I was doing it all, and I was exhausted. One afternoon I remembered my Sniplits story, which I hadn’t had the chance to listen to yet, and wondered if that would entertain my mom for a while. (By this point she “read” the paper, but not really. She was simply mimicking remembered actions. TV only aggravated her. She relied on me talking to her –or, rather, answering her questions. The same ones over and over for hours.)
I didn’t have high hopes that an audio presentation would hold her attention, but it did. Maybe it took her back to the time of her youth when her family would crowd around a radio for entertainment. (I was born late in my parents’ lives, so, yes, they grew up pre-TV!)
Both of us were entranced. I’d like to say the storyline had something to do with it. It was exciting. But it was the voice telling it that hypnotized us both. Her voice was amazing. It was like the voices I’d heard in my head while writing the story had found a way to come alive!
For 45 minutes my mom and I sat together in peace enjoying Kailey Bell telling us my story.
It was the last calm moments of together time before she was moved to hospice a month later that I remember having with her. She didn’t throw any fits. She didn’t expect me to talk. And best of all, she didn’t ask one question the whole time! She just sat and listened.
When Kailey was done, my mom said, “That was spooky. But I could listen to that lady tell a story all day long. Even spooky ones. It was good!”
It was the last time my mom would ever be able to enjoy anything I wrote. (Even though she didn’t know I wrote it.)
WHO IS THAT LADY?
I remember sending Anne Stuessy, Sniplits’ founder, an email asking who narrated my story, raving about how much I loved it, and could she please let the actress know what a fabulous job she’d done.
I don’t know if she had time to, but when voting commenced for Best Narrator a couple weeks back I hoped on voting for Kailey.
I’m glad she won. All of the narrators are amazing, but Kailey will always be a personal fave of mine because of the gift of that pleasant interlude I had one afternoon with my mom before she died.
GET A FREE SAMPLE OF KAILEY’S WORK
Sniplits gives away a free download every week. This week it’s McKenna Donovan’s “The Story Rug” narrated by Kailey Bell.
Just head to Sniplits.com to download it. You’ll see it near the bottom of the Home page.