Audio Spotlight: The Yes Factor + Author & Narrator Interviews

the yes factor

Title: The Yes Factor

Authors: Erin Spencer & Emma Sable

Narrators: Ava Erickson & Andi Arndt

Length: 6 hours 51 minutes

Publisher: One Night Stand Studios

Released: Jun. 30, 2020

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Liv just wants her best friend Bex to find love.

Bex just wants to stay in bed with Outlander.

With 40 just around the corner, divorced single mom Bex is too busy being a chauffeur for her teenage daughter to bother swiping for dates.

Her best friend Liv, who is married to the supposedly perfect man, swoops in from London on a mission to get Bex out of her own bed and in to someone else’s. Liv pushes Bex into a week-long whirlwind of dates, awkward kisses and missed connections.

What could possibly go wrong when Bex agrees to Liv’s harebrained scheme of saying Yes to every possible suitor? And why is Liv so intent on fixing Bex’s love life, or lack thereof?

Just what do you find out when all of your no’s turn into the yes factor?

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the yes factor

Erin Spencer and Emma Sable are two Southern girls who met in L.A. at a mutual friend’s engagement party. They bonded over their shared love of fried shrimp, queso and The Golden Girls. After a girls’ night out in Hollywood to celebrate Emma’s birthday, the two were inspired to begin writing The Yes Factor, their first novel together.

To celebrate finishing the novel, Erin and Emma travelled to the Amalfi coast where they enjoyed a week of sunshine, pasta and Pinot Grigio. And where a few notes might have been scribbled for their next book, too!

Erin lives in L.A. and Emma now lives in London.



Q&A with Authors Erin Spencer & Emma Sable
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Erin: Absolutely! Because I am an audiobook narrator myself and I own an audiobook production company ( – I am very involved in the audiobook world. Everything was read aloud when we were writing so we could make sure that it flowed and that the dialogue fell off the tongue naturally. We really wanted the dialogue to feel real and conversational between these best friends, and there is nothing like reading your writing out loud to test that!
  • How did you select your narrators?
    • Erin: Andi Arndt is a queen in the romance genre and she’s also a good friend. Ava Erickson is someone I know quite intimately, because, well…she’s me!
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Erin: There is a certain amount of trust that authors need to have with the narrators that are cast for their audiobooks. It’s not just about finding the right “voice” but the right actor that you feel can elevate the work in their own way. We knew that Andi was the right choice just because we know her work and we know her as a person and we trusted her completely. There is a reason this audiobook was nominated for a Voice Arts Award – the narrators were emotionally invested in the material and brought it to a whole new level with their performances.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Emma: My writing is so informed by life and just the every day experience and emotion of it. For The Yes Factor, as a woman of a certain age (on the other side of 40!), I was really drawing on the questions you ask yourself as you get older. Am I with the right person, what’s important to me, what makes me happy. Basically mid life crisis stuff! 🙂
    • And more specifically, I was inspired by some very L.A. real life experiences from my ten years of living in that crazy town!
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Emma: During the pandemic, I struggle with burn-out on a daily basis. Times are so tough right now for everyone and it can feel almost impossible to focus on creative endeavors. Reading has really helped me get through it and keeps me inspired to put something down on the page (even if sometimes it’s only one sentence a day).
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Erin: Audiobooks are like a movie for your ears! It triggers a multitude of senses and can make the simplest words jump of the page and impact you in a big way. I love audio just for the fact that it adds a whole other layer of emotion!
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • Emma: I’m so blown away by the emotion that Ava and Andi brought to the characters. Bex and Liv are both written in first person POV, so each character has a lot of internal thoughts and musings in their chapters. Ava and Andi captured that so well, which I think gives the writing even more resonance than on the page.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Emma: um, YES. It’s hard to choose just one place/time so I’ll give you two — 1900s Vienna for the art; Christmas 2019 to hug my friends and family and to not take any of it for granted!
  • If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    • Emma: Christina Applegate for Liv, and Constance Zimmer for Bex.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • Emma: That they need to loosen up! Seriously though, the written word is there to be enjoyed and celebrated in any way possible, whether it be “real reading”, audio, or braille. The only cheating for reading is Cliff Notes! (Not that I would know anything about that…not at all, nothing to do with The Mill on the Floss in 8th grade…)
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • Emma: Erin visited me in London then we went to the Amalfi Coast! There were lots of carbs. It was magnificent.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • Emma: Oooof, the dreaded writing slump. Sometimes I’ll spend hours procrastinating when I know I should be writing but I just can’t seem to put one word down. My writing community really helps in those dark moments. We keep each other motivated — it helps to know you’re not alone with feeling blocked.
    • As far as a reading slump, I’m never in one (unless there’s a new season of Selling Sunset, Below Deck or Succession…then I’m in a reading ‘break’).
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Emma: Keep writing! It’s what I’ve been told by writers that I admire and it really is the best advice. Just write something every day, even if it’s a few sentences. Don’t get obsessed with word count. Enjoy the process and be kind to yourself.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Emma: Erin and I are writing the sequel to The Yes Factor, and I’m working on another book of my own.

erin  emma

Narrator Bio

Multiple Audie and Earphones Award winner Andi Arndt is the narrator of hundreds of audiobooks, and a member of the Audible Narrator Hall of Fame. She’s known for romance titles, loved working on The Yes Factor with her dear friend, and has also narrated high profile releases in literary fiction, mystery / thriller, and bio / memoir, including Notorious RBG.


Narrator Bio

After sailing around the world and watching nearly a thousand sunsets from the bow of her boat like a true Viking, Ava Erickson settled down and started telling stories. Those stories can be anything from laugh-out-loud-funny rom-coms to ones with a more sexy twist. When she found out she was nominated for an Audie for her audiobook narration, she called all her girlfriends together and went to Provence, France, where they drank rosé and ate lots of bread and butter.




Q&A with Narrators Andi Arndt & Ava Erickson
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
    • Andi: I try to get out ahead of my calendar as much as possible and claim time for myself first so that projects don’t occupy every available moment. Scheduling a variety of genres and new-to-me authors helps keep my brain from going on autopilot. Working on The Yes Factor was so great because knowing Erin as I do, I could just imagine we were spending time together via our characters. And who wouldn’t love that?
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Andi: I am a listener for sure. I love the discovery and immediacy of the format. When I’m reading print, naturally I see fragments of things ahead of where I’m reading, but with a narrator delivering the story to me, I’m at her mercy as she leads me through the book. It’s really a different experience.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    • Andi: I’ve worked with authors who are very involved, others who didn’t even know their book was being recorded until I congratulated them on release day. I appreciate when authors give pronunciation notes and other helpful guidance, but I respect their privacy as well. In a few cases authors have become friends, and a couple of winters ago I got snowed in for a couple days at one author’s house after we went to a concert together! It was a blast.
  • What types of things are harmful to your voice?
    • Andi: Dairy, dehydration, lack of sleep.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
    • Andi: I can answer this question and the next one:, a new website offering courses, coaching and community for audiobook narrators at all levels. It’s been a long time coming and we launch this winter!
  • Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
    • Andi: I can tell you that it’s quite distracting when I’m narrating–especially intimate scenes–and my dog comes in and stares at me through the window of my isolation booth. It’s like…do you mind? I’d like some privacy!
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • Ava: Before I started my journey into audiobooks I was an actress who loved to read. I had never listened to an audiobook at that point and when they came on my radar I thought – What a perfect fit! After recording my first few books I fell in love with it. Being able to play every character in the book is a wonderfully rewarding challenge!
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • Ava: My favorite thing about narration is being able to completely immerse myself in story. When that veil falls and you are just ‘in it’ – well, it’s magical. My least favorite thing is the isolation. I am alone in a small room, talking to myself! Facebook has been a great way to connect with fans. When I’m narrating, I think about the listeners I engage with on social media if there is a part I know they will laugh or cry at. Audiobook fans are wonderful – they really keep me going.
  • How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?
    • Ava: Audiobook narration is so emotional! We aren’t selling anything, or telling people what to do, buy or watch. We are just in the emotion of the moment on the page. It requires your full attention and also takes you places and into lives that you never would have dreamed of!
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
    • Ava: I’m similar to Andi in the sense that I maintain a schedule that is a good balance for my professional and personal life. In fact, Andi may have been my inspiration in doing that a few years back! Both of us work a lot and we love what we do, so it’s really easy to get overwhelmed with books. It’s important for me to find space in my life for ALL the things that bring me joy.




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2 Replies to “Audio Spotlight: The Yes Factor + Author & Narrator Interviews”

  1. This looks like a book I would either love or loathe, no in between. Lol. I guess I’ll have to read it to find out.

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