A Brief Word From Ellie Mae

So. A couple of months ago I drove way out in the country to record the audio for my book trailer. I mean, I didn’t drive out there because I wanted to stand in the middle of the woods and use my phone to capture the sounds of rare birds – though that would’ve certainly been kicky and fun – but it just so happened that I had an appointment with a local sound engineer who lives in a remote-ish area, hence the “way out in the country” part of the story.

The folks at Tyndale had set up the whole thing, which was so great of them to do because, well, some of y’all have heard what happens on the rare occasions when Melanie and I try to podcast. It is no secret that I am none too gifted in the recording arts. So yes, oh have mercy yes, CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS.

Anyway, the very kind sound engineer has a studio in his basement, and after we enjoyed several minutes of fairly stilted conversation about my book (it wasn’t him; it was me – because apparently I will never be able to talk about this book without turning into a case study for all the many facets of awkward human behavior), I put on some headphones and stood next to a really big microphone and resisted the urge to lean over and say, “Check, check, 1-2, check” just like the singers on TV do.

I also may have contemplated what it would be like to play a guitar and sing a few bars of an old George Jones song.

Fortunately, though, I didn’t sing. I just read the script. And when the nice sound engineer called me into another room where he was working on a bunch of fancy-looking equipment, we listened to what I’d recorded while I shifted in my chair and also cringed at the sound of my voice. We had to re-record one little section because I had unintentionally said the word “God” like “Ga-ad,” but even still it didn’t take more than five minutes for me to read through the script a couple of times.

Afterwards, though, there was a whole lot of tweaking. Adjusting. Checking sound levels. Etc. And I probably would have been totally fascinated by all of that (I get such a kick out of watching people do the things that they love to do) if listening to the sound of my own voice OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN hadn’t been a part of the audio equation.

Nonetheless, this was my view for the better part of an hour.

 photo a81f701d-583d-43b7-b056-4a46fab60ddc_zps91236af0.jpg

In that hour, I thought about all the people whose voices I would like to have instead of my own.

Here are a few of them.

Kerry Washington
Emma Stone
Charlize Theron
Ashley Judd
Susan Sarandon

Unfortunately, I was and continue to be stuck with my own voice. In all my Ellie Mae glory.

Once all the editing stuff was finished, I didn’t have anything else to do with creating the video other than providing five or six family pictures. You’re gonna be really grateful for that, I think, when the circa-1971 picture of Martha and Sissie pops up on the screen because OH, THE HAIRDOS. And as you will see, I was very enamored of the side ponytail when I was in 4th grade.

The pictures are by no means a reflection of my whole family, but since the book mostly focuses on my experiences with family members who are a generation or two ahead of me, the pictures follow suit. And oh my goodness that picture of Alex with Sissie makes me want to scatter glitter and rainbows as far as the eye can see. They were always so delighted with each other.

So all that to say: here’s the book trailer. The concept, the execution, every bit of that stuff came from Tyndale – and I am mighty grateful.

And judging from the sound of things, I am also a little bit of a Clampett.

I hope you don’t require subtitles.

There you have it. We must never speak of this again.

Unless we speak of Martha’s hair in that first picture.

Because seriously. THAT IS SOMETHING ELSE.

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  1. Shannon says:

    Love the trailer, can’t wait to read the book!!!! (And you don’t sound Clampett to me at all.)

  2. Love it! Love your voice, sounds like visits “down home” growing up. Can’t wait for the book!

  3. Oh, Sophie, you don’t sound like Ellie Mae; you sound like a true Southern belle! And from one Mississippi girl to another, I CAN’T WAIT TO READ YOUR BOOK!!!

  4. Aunt Annie says:

    You are wonderful and I love your voice.

  5. Tanner says:

    I found your blog through another blog, and it has quickly become my favorite. Love the book trailer and can’t wait to read your book!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Oh, my!! It’s perfect!!!!!! What an absolutely awesome intro to what is sure to be an absolutely awesome book!! I know you’re excited (and probably nervous enough to be completely ill with much thought about it at all!!)!!

  7. Destiny says:

    I can’t wait to read your stories, and now that I’ve heard your voice, I will be able to read your blog as if you are speaking. What a treat!

  8. Perfect! What fun to put an audible voice to you at last!
    So excited for you.
    But really….Susan Sarandon? Nah.

  9. Stacey says:

    What? You sounded great! I can’t wait to read your book – I’ve already ordered it.

  10. The trailer is great!!! And I think your voice sounds so warm and friendly! :) But I can relate–I hate hearing my voice played back on the phone!

  11. Allison says:

    Can’t wait for the book! Your voice sounded great! You should hear my country twang! Love from NC!

  12. You’ve won my heart and I haven’t even read the book yet! Bring on the salty AND the sweet!

  13. I LOVE hearing your voice because it reminds me of your podcasts and Oh, how I miss them! And I am so excited for your family stories. I hope there is at least one story with a JACKET!

  14. Oh! I just cannot WAIT for your book! I was already excited about it, but the trailer made me even more so. I’m so excited I’ll be catching an airplane on the release day- I’ll snag myself a copy and enjoy it on the plane! We are all very excited for this.

  15. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED hearing your voice, and I can’t wait to read your book! I pre-ordered your book, so hopefully it will arrive VERY soon!

  16. I watched the trailer yesterday. Got me so pumped for the book. Can’t wait! Xoxo.

  17. Crying and clapping!!! And I love your voice!

  18. Oh, Sophie, it’s perfect. And so is your voice. Can. Not. Wait. for the book to download to my Kindle!

  19. Oh! I am so hungry! Why did you have to mention fried chicken! I am so looking forward to reading Salty. I am leaving for Thailand next week. I’m sad I will have to wait until I get home to read it. But it will be here waiting on me! Thanks for sharing your family with me for a little while in the pages of your book, Amy

  20. Phyllis says:

    Oh Sophie. You have A TRAILER. For a BOOK YOU WROTE. You did it!!! : ) And it looks ~ and sounds ~ like a WONDERFUL book. So looking forward to its release and SO happy for you and proud of you!

  21. Wow. You sound so. much. more. per-fesh-i-nawl that y’all did that time, on the phone, with those ‘people’ we had to ter-ry and converse with )like we knew what we were actually talking ’bout).

    I ♥♥♥ it and cannot WAIT to get my copy and read it from to back and then all over and over and over again.

    Seriously. I Have time marked out to do just that when it arrives.


    Anyway- I love you, and your Ellie Mae voice and the pictures and and and and …

  22. Anf I forgot to ask …

    What is the date that the audio version of the i-tire book will be available. I already have Mel’s on pre-order, and need yours to sit right next to it.

    Please. Do let me know ♥

  23. Congratulations! The trailer is beautiful, and your voice is absolutely perfect, as it is the voice of the one who experienced those stories, who penned those stories, who brought life to those stories. I’m excited to read your book, and eager to share it with others. Enjoy the ride that lies ahead!!

  24. Sallie Baker says:

    You do NOT sound like Ellie Mae! In fact, I thought you were a little too polished!
    I wanted at least one good belly laugh, like on the old podcasts when ya’ll would get tickled! ( PLEASE do another
    podcast…..you and Melanie could do one on the subject of being new authors and
    stories of book signings, etc. …)
    Can’t wait to get MY book . . . and I already have many I know I am going to give it to!

  25. What accent? I didn’t notice a thing. Listening to you is like listening to one of my people. In fact, if a crazy woman every runs up and hugs you at the Galleria, Target or somewhere else you are minding your own business, it will probably be me. I visit my sister in law and friends in B’ham often and always tell them I feel like I should visit you, too!

  26. Annette says:

    Ah, Sophie, I love it!! Putting this book on my definite wish list at Amazon. Keep up the good work. Girlfriend you do not sound like Ellie Mae!!

  27. Goosebumps…..and a little teary eyed! I’m so excited for you – and proud for you!
    I absolutely CAN NOT wait to read it!

  28. Michelle Marchessault says:

    Loved, loved, loved. I can’t wait to read the book. And the music, it was spot on Girl. I need for that song to play while I am reading the book. I would like to say I would hum it in my head whilest reading, but that requires my brain to do two things at once. NOT HAPPENING! Anyway, congratulations Ellie Mae.

  29. JeanJean says:

    Loved your voice! Loved the graphics, the music, and can’t wait to love the book.

  30. That trailer is something special and I know your book will be as well. So looking forward to reading it. Family is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

    • Meant to say, “Family is what life is all about, isn’t it?”

      Obviously, your book is about family. You just told me that in the trailer!

  31. Love, love. You are just precious.

  32. Melanie M says:

    Oh my goodness, you have a beautiful voice. As un-Ellie Mae as they come. I was prepared for banjo-twang and instead, it was like a silky ribbon of honey. I could listen to that all the live long day!

    Very excited for the book and for you! Enjoy these moments.

  33. Karen Ward says:

    You don’t sound AT ALL like Ellie Mae but you don’t sound anything like I thought you would! Don’t ask me what that is though.

    Can’t wait for the book – I love what Annie Downs said about laughing out loud and talking back because I did all those things with Melanie’s book and I can’t wait to do those with your book!

    • Karen Ward says:

      Updating to say I just pre-ordered and saw the release date. So excited because I’ll be at the beach that week and I’ll have something GREAT to read!

  34. Rachel says:

    Love the trailer, preordered my copy od your book in February, right after dotMOM! Can’t wait to read stories about your people. And as someone from East Texas that Siri can’t understand and who gets made fun of by her own students, friends, and family for my accent, I love how you talk!

  35. OH MY STARS! It was absolutely perfect in every way-from the music, to the pictures the art work to your sweet voice. . . I teared up, yes I did. So excited for you and I CANNOT wait to read this treasure!
    Blessings xoxox

  36. Julie in Michigan says:

    You have a very nice voice and I’m so excited to read your book!!

  37. Is it normal to tear up while smiling at a book trailer?

    Don’t answer that.

  38. Lauren Kelly says:

    I just adore this and can’t wait to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  39. Terrie Cash says:

    Now when I read your blog I have a voice that goes with each word.

  40. Excellent, excellent, excellent. Love you, Sophie!

  41. And I am just as tickled as I can be that you are sharing them with us. I’m so excited to read your book! AND… your grandma is my grandma’s twin. This makes me especially happy b/c my grandma died 6 weeks before I was born, so all I know about her is what I hear from others. I’m just going to pretend that some of your stories might have been my stories, too, if I had had the chance to know her. Thank you.

  42. Your voice is lovely, Sophie! Wonderful accent – I’m from Baltimore, MD and our accents are not the best, ha ha! I can’t wait to read this.

  43. I’m so proud of you! Your trailer was so heartwarming.

  44. After hearing your comforting voice, I love you even more & I don’t even know you, yet!
    Hugs & Congrats!
    Nancy Hudspeth

  45. Jeanie says:

    You don’t sound at all like I thought you would. I expected the southern accent, but somehow your voice didn’t sound like what I had imagined. Great job, though. The book sounds wonderful.

  46. This makes me soooo happy!!!!!!!!!! I cannot, absolutely CANNNOT wait to read your book!!

    Speaking of your podcasts, will you please record another? I’ve listened to the old ones approximately 7,816 times while waiting for a new one to be released. ;)

  47. I’m going to go ahead and get the audiobook, because if I read it I will hear it in your voice in my head anyway. Might as well have the real thing. But you’re not going to make me cry on my way to work, are you?

  48. Honey !
    I am so looking forward to reading this book ! I do not even hear an accent at all [ but I am a Mississippi girl, as well!] And any way – as I recall, Ellie Mae was a beautiful young lady ! Nothing wrong with that!!!

  49. Barbara says:

    Adorable. Just adorable! Can’t wait to read it!

  50. Yes! We DO all want to be your BFF!!!

  51. Meg Wood says:

    Love, love, love!! And you sound awesome!

  52. Love the trailer!! Cannot wait to read the book.

  53. im crying already and all ive done is watch a trailer ABOUT your book that is about your family. im looking forward to this!!! thank you for sharing your gift with us.

  54. This is beautiful. Your humbleness and genuineness comes through–just like it does on your blog. Very good.

  55. Sophie, this is wonderful!!! I cannot wait to read your book :). I am so proud of you! I don’t think I can use enough exclamation points this morning to show my happiness right now :)!!!!!!!

  56. I CANNOT wait, I mean CANNOT wait until this book comes out. I’m taking a Mommy Vacay and reading it in one sitting and eating bon bons WITHOUT counting points.

  57. KimberlyOKC says:

    Ohmigoodness, Ohmigoodness, Ohmigoodness!!!! I can’t wait! I’m with Beth Moore. Being your best friend would be a hoot!! Guess I will live with reading your blog tho. AND the occasional email when something I say makes you wanna say something back!!! I love that!!

  58. Lori Guthrie says:

    I’ve decided…your voice sounds a LOT like Trisha Yearwood. For really realz! I consider that a compliment b/c when she speaks it makes me want to curl up in a ball & suck my thumb. Buttah!!! ;-)