Friday, 26 April 2013

I've always wondered...

In an occasional series of interviews between writers and the actors who record their books, crime writer Chris Nickson asks narrator Lorelei King what it’s like to record an audiobook...

Q. How do you get in the mindset of the character for an audiobook?

I rely on the writer! A good writer makes that part easy for the narrator. For example, in your book ‘Emerald City’, I knew right away what Laura was like – the clues were all there.

Q. What research is involved for the different voices and accents?

For the narrator’s voice (whether first person or third person) I stick pretty close to my natural accent, as working in another accent for an entire book can be tiring and difficult to sustain.

Some accents I’m familiar with – I was born in Pennsylvania and lived in the south when I was a child, and California when I was a teen, so those come pretty easily.

If it’s an accent I’m less familiar with, I’ll do research online. YouTube is a great resource for modern accents. I’ve also been known to phone up companies in the town I’m researching – memorably, an artist on Tangier Island, Virginia (when I was recording Isle of Dogs by Patricia Cornwell). He chatted to me quite happily while I made notes about his unusual accent – and he eventually told me he was actually in the middle of teaching an art class! He had very patient and well-behaved students... J

But having said all that, I rarely do very strong regional accents unless it’s called for in the text – I think it’s too distracting for the listener.

Q. What's the most satisfying thing about narrating audiobooks for you?

Hearing from the listeners! Audio book listeners are some of the most engaged, intelligent, aware consumers around. I love getting feedback and connecting.

Q. What's the most frustrating thing?

Very, very, very long sentences – authors sometimes don’t think of the poor narrators, who do have to breathe now and then! :D

Emerald City, first in the Laura Barton Mystery trilogy, is available in eBook and audio book formats.

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