Category: Narrator Interviews

Narrator Interview with Brittany Pressley

Posted June 21, 2017 by Jennifer in Narrator Interviews | | 3 Comments

Welcome narrator Brittany Pressley!

Can you walk us through your prep work for a narration project? Do you prepare any notes to help decide the tone and voice to give a character when there’s not a clear description of their voice in the novel (when they do not have a distinct accent)?

 

For every book I start by just reading.  Sounds pretty simple right:) However I immediately “hear” the book and I’m acting it out in my head.  I guess I’ve always done this (maybe everyone does?).  I know sometime actors will read through things flat without inflection just to absorb the content but I’m performing from the first sentence (at least in my head).  So if you were to see me sitting on a park bench reading you might notice me making facial expressions or even slightly moving my lips. So basically I will look a little insane but do not be alarmed!  As I’m going through I’m highlighting every new character as they are introduced.  For books with more than 10 characters I will keep a written list as well.  But under 10 I can usually keep them straight without written notes.  The voices will come to me based on their personality.  I like to have a unique voice for every character.  Again, if there are more than 10 and/or there a bunch of characters of the same age and gender this can be tricky due to basic vocal limitations.  So in those cases I develop a “posture” for the character.  I imagine how they stand or carry themselves.  I envision their facial expressions and mannerisms. This gives me a sense of their voice and demeanor and while it may not completely transform my voice it gives them a distinct identity that differs from the rest.  Once I’m about halfway through and I have a good understanding for the “world” I will start to skim a bit more just for content and events so that I’m prepared for any potential big plot twists that could inform my narration.  However I also like to keep it a little bit fresh so that I can also have a sense of discovery in my narration.  Especially if there is any element of mystery to a book. I want the narrator to be experiencing the journey at the same time the reader is so as not to give anything away.

 

You have worked a few dual narrations projects. How is that process different than a solo project?

 

The prep process is essentially the same other than taking the time to listen to the other narrators voice.  I will then try to compare notes and ideas with the other narrator to make sure our character depictions are consistent.

 

I once read an interview with another narrator who referred to a scene with many male characters as a conference table scene and how hard it was for him to make all the characters have their own voice. How do you keep the female characters different during your performance?

 

As a female I always prefer there to be more female characters than male because as I mentioned before there is only so much range and variation the human voice is capable of.  Male characters are already outside of my normal speaking voice so keeping them varied without putting excessive strain on my vocals is always a delicate balance.  I’m fortunate that I think due to my background as a singer I have a pretty expansive vocal range in terms of pitch and timbre.  So if there are a lot of female characters (who are of similar age) it goes back to identifying each individuals personality and really connecting something specific to them.  I did a series of books about 5 sisters (twins and triplets ages 16 and 18!)  Yet each character had a unique personality that made it easy to distinguish them.  I find it easy to switch back and forth between voices during dialogue even amongst a large group of characters because I’m visualizing them as they speak.    When the characters are prominent in the story it’s not a problem.  My issues arise when you have random characters who pop up for maybe only one scene.  You still need to honor them with a unique voice but it can be hard when there isn’t much information.  So sometimes I will just make up a backstory which gives me a visual that I can connect to in order to create the voice.

You narrate a wide variety of novels. How do you decide which books to perform?

 

I’m incredibly fortunate to make my living as an actor.  However I learned that in order to do that I had to adopt a “Say yes to everything” attitude in life.  I’m a bit of a workaholic.  In addition to books I do commercials, animation and other voice projects like learning tutorials or ESL.  If I’m not stressed out about work, I get stressed out because I don’t have enough work! That said, I don’t really turn anything down.  I don’t do a lot of the “naughty books” as I’ll call them.  I have no judgment about them…they just make me blush a bit!  Fortunately I’m not cast in them too often, so its not much of an issue.

 

Since you spend so much of your time reading novels for work, do you enjoy pleasure reading in your spare time? If so, what types of books do you enjoy? And, do you find yourself thinking how you would narrate those books while you’re reading them?

 

Unfortunately, it has been so long since I read something for pure entertainment.  I average 4 books a month, and I’m a slow reader ironically.  So it doesn’t leave much time for non work related reading.

I was a psych major in college, so I actually really enjoy reading non-fiction texts or case studies about psychology or sociology or health and sciences.

 

 

Name one book/series/character that you’ve read that you wish you could narrate?

 

Like almost everyone who read it, I devoured Gone Girl.  I would have LOVED to narrate that book.  The character was so complex and layered.  I think it would have been an amazing experience to be able to take on someone so cunning and twisted.  The challenge would be to maintain her facade and keep the audience/listener unaware of her true intentions.  She is sinister yet you have to maintain her likability to a degree in order to make the story work.

 

What narration job are you currently working on?

 

This week I’m in studio recording for Penguin Random House, The Address by Fiona Davis.  I’m particularly excited about this dual narration because my co-narrator happens to be one of my best friends, the very talented Saskia Maarleveld!  We have always wanted to be paired up together, but we tend to be cast in very different styles.    This book tells the story of 2 different woman in 2 very different time periods (The 1800’s for her and the 1980’s for me) and how their lives intersect in a mysterious way.

 

About Brittany Pressley

Brittany Pressley is an audiobook narrator, songwriter, and vocal producer in New York City. She has narrated several audiobooks, including works by Alyson Noel and R. L. Stine. Her notable screen credits include being a newscaster on FOX Kid’s News and playing Courtney in the Fox Television Network series Swans Crossing. Pressley also has a background in theater, having played Peaseblossom in Shakespeare in the Park’s production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Maria in The Sound of Music for Carey Productions. She has also done both regional and national commercial spots and PSAs for TV and Radio, including MasterCard, Nickelodeon, and MTV.


Dirty by Kylie Scott + Narrator Interview with Andi Arndt

Dirty by Kylie Scott + Narrator Interview with Andi Arndt

Posted June 14, 2017 by Jennifer in Book Review, Narrator Interviews | 5 Comments

    NARRATOR INTERVIEW     First, congrats to Andi for winning 2017 Audie award for her narration on Dirty in the Romance category. Dirty is my first Kylie Scott novel and it was a good experience. I have her Flesh series on audio so that will most likely be my next listen. After listening to Dirty I’ll have to check out Scott’s Stage Dive series. Dirty was a fun listen while doing yard work, too bad I wasn’t laying by a pool instead of mowing. Any story that starts off where the heroine is a run away bridge after finding out the groom to be is gay and the bride is the last to know is going have some drama. But when side bride […]


Narrator Interview with Michael Crouch

Narrator Interview with Michael Crouch

Posted June 12, 2017 by Jennifer in Narrator Interviews | 3 Comments

Please welcome narrator Michael Crouch to The Book Nympho   Can you walk us through your prep work for a narration project? Do you prepare any notes to help decide the tone and voice to give a character when there’s not a clear description of their voice in the novel (when they do not have a distinct accent)?   Thank you for asking! I’m so happy you’re interested. My process begins by giving the book a thorough read, bookmarking characters as they’re introduced, looking up unfamiliar words or references, and making marks that will help me read aloud with as few stumbles as possible. Once I finish reading the book, I write a Gut Response to the story. This could be anything from a few […]


Narrator Interview + Giveaway with Amy Landon

Narrator Interview + Giveaway with Amy Landon

Posted June 7, 2017 by Jennifer in Giveaway, JIAM, Narrator Interviews | 4 Comments

  Welcome Amy Landon to The Book Nympho   Since this a narrator interview why not listen to Amy answer the Q&A? Sit back and listen while Amy takes you on a journey. Oh wait she’s not narrating a book, just answering some silly questions I threw at her. But really there’s some great stuff in the clip below. Listen carefully because in order to enter the giveaway below you will need to answer a question about one of Amy’s answers.         Giveaway Tantor Audio is giving away 3 AUDIO CDs of The Veil by Chloe Neill, narrated by Amy Landon. US ONLY a Rafflecopter giveaway About Amy Landon Amy Landon is a classically trained actress with numerous off-Broadway, film, and television credits. Her […]


J.F. Harding the New Male Narrator in My Life

J.F. Harding the New Male Narrator in My Life

Posted June 17, 2016 by Jennifer in JIAM, Narrator Interviews | 6 Comments

Welcome, J.F. Harding to The Book Nympho. I first fell in love with Harding’s narration through Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series. Now I’m looking forward to listening to more of his work. Can you walk us through your prep work for a narration project? Do you prepare any notes to help decide the tone and voice to give a character when there’s not a clear description of their voice in the novel (when they do not have a distinct accent)? It definitely depends on the book. Regardless of the material, I always scan the text front to back, looking for new characters, plot points, and surprises dealing with how a character should sound: “That guy you’ve been voicing for 400 pages? Surprise! He’s Irish!” That actually happened. I also scan for […]


New Favorite Paranormal Voice, Nicole Poole

New Favorite Paranormal Voice, Nicole Poole

Posted June 15, 2016 by Jennifer in JIAM, Narrator Interviews | 10 Comments

  Welcome, Nicole Poole to The Book Nympho. I first fell in love with Nicole’s narration through Dannika Darks’s Seven series. I’m getting ready to start Dark’s Mageri series also narrated by Nicole and I just know I’m going to enjoy it as well. Can you walk us through your prep work for a narration project? Do you prepare any notes to help decide the tone and voice to give a character when there’s not a clear description of their voice in the novel (when they do not have a distinct accent)? First off, thanks so much for this interview! Narrating is a solo profession, and hearing from other people is a real joy. (waving at everyone!) So. To get on with your question: I have the best job in […]


Narrator Interview with Alison Larkin The English American

Narrator Interview with Alison Larkin The English American

Posted June 8, 2016 by Jennifer in JIAM, Narrator Interviews | 4 Comments

Welcome, Alison Larkin to The Book Nympho. I first fell in love with Alison’s narration through Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series. Now I’m branching out into more of Alison work with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and shortly after her work on many Jane Austen titles.   Can you walk us through your prep work for a narration project? Do you prepare any notes to help decide the tone and voice to give a character when there’s not a clear description of their voice in the novel (when they do not have a distinct accent)? The kind of prep work needed varies from book to book. For example, if I know and love the story already as was the case with Agatha Christie’s The Secret Adversary, Peter Pan and […]


Sweet Romances or Kick Butt Urban Fantasy, Lauren Fortgang Does it All

Sweet Romances or Kick Butt Urban Fantasy, Lauren Fortgang Does it All

Posted June 27, 2014 by Jennifer in JIAM, Narrator Interviews | 4 Comments

Welcome Lauren Fortgang back to The Book Nympho. I first feel in love with Lauren’s narration through Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. Once I saw she was the narrator for Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski Family series I knew I had to listen. Lauren nails both UF and Contemporary Romance. Next I’m trying some of her Young Adult work.   Can you walk us through your prep work for a narration project? Do you prepare any notes to help decide the tone and voice to give a character when there’s not a clear description of their voice in the novel (when they do not have a distinct accent)? Sure! The most important element is, of course, reading the book in advance. It’s useless to begin narration without knowing […]