Tag: #JIAM2014

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

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

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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 your characters or the tone of the story. The producer gets me a copy (usually in .pdf form these days) and I can start prepping.

I generally contact the author to get her/his take on characterization, accents, etc., and simply to open the door for input. I find most authors are quite helpful in this regard, though there are a range of responses. A few don’t get involved at all, a few are very specific about a great many things, but most genuinely trust the narrator’s abilities to craft the text into audio and offer awesome supplemental information. I make a variety of notes on the script including character notes and pronunciation clarification. I often pepper the text will little sound files so I can reference voices or whatnot without having to hunt back through the whole script. I sometimes have additional notes and bookmarks located in previous audiobooks in a series, too. This helps me keep track of characters over the long run.

In terms of voicing a character without obvious textual clues, I’ll either discuss it with the author or use my best judgement depending upon how clear I feel the choice is and how comfortable I am with making that choice. For instance, knowing where a character is from might inspire an accent. Personally, I tend to give lesser characters bigger accents (if it seems right) because they aren’t going to be distracting with only a minor role, but having the accent can help shape the setting and landscape of the book. It’s really a mixed bag of options!

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

Most of what I narrate (and this is true for many professional narrators) is simply offered to me by a variety of producers I have established relationships with, and I accept most projects, if time allows. Additionally much of what I have on my plate at the moment is series-related, so it’s generally preferred the same narrator continue (barring obvious complications).

Incredibly, I’m pretty busy these days(!), so occasionally a title needs to be turned down based on lack of availability, which is a bit bittersweet.

Some titles require auditions, but it’s actually pretty dissimilar from the rest of the acting world in that if we’re asked to audition for an audiobook, it’s generally more for approval purposes than ‘battling for the job’ reasons. Most producers have a good sense of what we’re right for and will only recommend a handful of appropriate narrators for author- or publisher- approval.

Naturally, there are books and genres I prefer over others, and I occasionally express that, which helps to add variety to my workload.

Last time you were here we talked about your work on Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. Since then I’ve followed your work over to Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski Family series. How fun is it performing those crazy Kowalskis? Which Kowalski romance has been your favorite to perform?

Ah, I’ve actually just started on the next Elemental Assassin title, Poison Promise. Gin and the gang are back for more!

The Kowalskis are definitely a bawdy bunch! I know a lot of fans of the series, so I’m glad you’ve jumped on board. It can be a bit intimidating trying to voice all those brothers and cousins and KIDS, but Shannon Stacey does a great job of giving them their own identity, which helps me translate them into audio. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite story, but I really love the rambunctious little Kowalskis, especially Bobby. He makes me laugh out loud. I’m a fan of the women in the family too, so I really enjoyed the latest installment (Love a Little Sideways) with Liz. Shannon knows how to keep the humor dry with a touch of sass which keeps the series feeling contemporary and real.

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?

I LUUURRVE reading for pleasure. But sadly it’s really hard to squeeze in pleasure reading like I used to. I still buy books by the bushel-full (…what even is a bushel…a unit of measurement?), but I feel guilty when I crack their pages open because I’m probably meant to be prepping something else.

I love literary fiction, but I’ve also gotten the YA bug, and am keen on many genres. And, no, when I pleasure read I try extremely hard not to think with my ‘narrator’ mind. I just want to enjoy the book the way any reader or listener would; that is to say I want to get swept up in it, enveloped in it, and not venture back out into the real world until I absolutely have to. I sometimes worry that my job will one day hinder my ability to allow a book to provide the escape it promises, but I still find myself getting swallowed up in pleasure reading when I have the time, so I know the whimsy of a good book hasn’t eluded me yet.Poison Promise

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

To Kill a Mockingbird will always be on the top of this list for me. I can’t imagine another character winning my heart quite the way Scout Finch has.

What narration job are you currently working on?

I just finished Ruin and Rising, the final installment of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy, which I loved. It was a real treat for me to do these titles and working with Leigh is ridiculously fun. I’m so sorry it’s over but there are some short stories coming and she’s recently announced new titles which will continue tales of the ‘Grishaverse’. I’m fingers-crossed that the audiobooks call for, well, me! Also, I just wrapped up Jennifer Estep’s latest Elemental Assassin book, Poison Promise, which I imagine you’re psyched about, too. On the literary fiction front, I found myself particularly passionate narrating Kim Church’s gorgeous, beautifully written novel, Byrd. And in the whodunit category, surprised by how much fun Diana Killian’s Mantra For Murder series is. I’m recording book one, Corpse Pose, now, and we are having a blast! You’ll be treated to a full cast of hysterical characters. There’s more YA on the horizon for me as well this year. Whew!

Big thanks for including me in your Audiobook Month festivities!

Additional interview between Jennifer Estep and Lauren.

 

 


 

ABOUT LAUREN

Fortgang

Lauren Fortgang currently works as an actor and voice over artist. She had early training at A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory and is a graduate of Fordham University’s Theater Program. She has since pursued diverse avenues of the field, taking on roles as actress, spokesperson, narrator, and costume designer and works in theater, television, independent film, and audiobooks.
Credits inclue Law & Order(s) (NBC), Important Things With Dimitri Martin (Comedy Central), Susan Mosakowski’s Escape (Creation Production Company, La Mama E.T.C.- 50th Anniversary Season), Laughing Pictures (Creation Production Company, The Flea) and the independent films Astoria, Queens and The Sunnyside Murders, both featured at a variety of festivals, including Queens World Film Festival, NYTVF, Brekenridge Festival of Film and NewFest

Commercially, she’s done national on-camera and voiceover spots for the likes of Walmart, TJ Maxx, Applebee’s and Woolite. She’s given voice to material spanning from video games to educational textbooks and works professionally as an audiobook narrator, having recorded roughly 100 unabridged titles and some 200 segments for monthly programming, including works by Joan Didion, Twyla Tharp, Bret Easton Ellis, and Judy Blume.

She’s participated in a variety of endeavors with a delightful smattering of companies headed by Fordham alumni and professors, and hopes to continue to support the work of this network of artists and friends.

 Website  | Twitter

 

 

 


 

 

 

GIVEAWAY

 

 Special Thank You to Jennifer Estep for sponsoring the giveaway!

Three audios, three winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


The Bookaholic Cat Likes Them Long and Complex

Posted June 25, 2014 by Jennifer in Blogger Guest Post, JIAM | 19 Comments
The Bookaholic Cat Likes Them Long and Complex

I Like Them Long and Complex! The other day I was talking with a friend about the lengths of the audiobooks. She was saying that the length of the audiobook intimidates some people. For some, an over 12 hours audiobook is a too long audiobook. I realized I’m completely the opposite. Sometimes I skip audiobooks when I see they are short (less than 10 hours). I like my audiobooks long and I like them complex. What do I mean when I say I like them complex? I like when my audiobooks have many characters, especially if they have two narrators, those are my favorite audiobooks ever. I also realized my favorite genre on audiobooks is Fantasy. I love to listen to fantasy audiobooks, loooove them! I think I enjoy listening to fantasy audiobooks more than reading the books. This might be because some of the first audiobooks I ever listen […]


Tavia Gilbert, Narrator that brought Chapter 32 to your earbuds!

Posted June 24, 2014 by Jennifer in JIAM, Narrator Interviews | 5 Comments
Tavia Gilbert, Narrator that brought Chapter 32 to your earbuds!

Welcome Tavia Glibert to The Book Nympho today. She has brought some saucy characters to life and the infamous Chapter 32 from One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost.  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)? When I get a new audiobook script, I read the entire book. Whether the project is fiction or non-fiction, I’m reading closely to identify any words that I don’t know how to pronounce (I’ve learned never to just assume that I know how something is pronounced). And with fiction, I’m marking the script for clues the writer has offered that will guide my performance. Is this woman described as having an unusually […]


MacLeod Andrews Narrates While on a Bearskin Rug

Posted June 20, 2014 by Jennifer in JIAM, Narrator Interviews | 3 Comments
MacLeod Andrews Narrates While on a Bearskin Rug

I am pleased to welcome MacLeod Andrews to The Book Nympho today. MacLeod has the gift of bring romance and gritty urban fantasy to life. And he has a pretty good sense of humor as you can see below.   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)? I start by lighting a few candles and pouring a tall glass of Bourbon.  Then I pull a few logs from the pile of firewood that I chop by hand in the early hours when the leaves are still wet with dew and you can almost, almost, see your breath in the dawn greyness.  I set a roaring fire in the fireplace.  I […]


Why Audio Books Make Work Better by Little Read Riding Hood

Posted June 18, 2014 by Jennifer in Blogger Guest Post, JIAM | 17 Comments
Why Audio Books Make Work Better by Little Read Riding Hood

Why Audio Books Have Made Me Hate My Job Less You don’t need to know what I do in the “real world” to sympathize with me here – most days I hate my job and I’d rather be reading. Come on now, having to interact with PEOPLE in real life on a daily basis for most of us has to be one of the circles of hell. Probably right between the lava monsters and the never ending lines that go nowhere. But there is one thing that probably makes my job a bit different from yours, and that is my commute. See, I am a District Manager so I have to travel to several different locations in a given week. The furthest I drive, one way, is about 2 hours. The closest, again one way, is about 30 minutes. So the minimum amount of time I spend in the car […]


Lorelei King, The Voice of Charley Davidson Interviews Darynda Jones

Lorelei King, The Voice of Charley Davidson Interviews Darynda Jones

Where turning the tables today and instead of me interviewing narrator, Lorelei King she is interviewing author Darynda Jones. King and Jones is one of my favorite teams in the Urban Fantasy world. Jones writes funny characters and King brings to life like no other can. So I am please to welcome both ladies to The Book Nympho today.      Lorelei King: I absolutely loved recording the Darklight trilogy and was totally thrilled with my name-baby, Lorelei. Why did you decide to make it a trilogy rather than an ongoing series? Darynda Jones: Thank you so much!!! I loved writing that series and my original idea was that it be ongoing, but after I wrote it (and thinking it would never sell), I wrote the first in the Charley Davidson series and ended up cannibalizing half the Darklight book to do so. After the YA series sold, I realized it […]


Renée Raudman the Voice Behind Ilona Andrews, Lisa Kleypas & More

Posted June 13, 2014 by Jennifer in JIAM, Narrator Interviews | 10 Comments
Renée Raudman the Voice Behind Ilona Andrews, Lisa Kleypas & More

When Renée Raudman is not bring Kate and Curran to life in the awesome Kate Daniels, Urban Fantasy series by Ilona Andrews to life she is bring sexy men like Lisa Kleypas’ Hardy Cates in Blue-Eyed Devil to our ear buds. I am please to welcome one of the best in business to The Book Nympho today. 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)? Hi Jennifer, Thanks so much for thinking of me for this interview!  I so enjoy your ‘blog’ and am very flattered you thought of me. In answer to your first question, the amount of prep depends on the project.  While I do prep every book I narrate, […]


Top 10 Magical Author/Narrator Combos by Audio Book Reviewer

Posted June 11, 2014 by Jennifer in Blogger Guest Post, JIAM | 8 Comments
Top 10 Magical Author/Narrator Combos by Audio Book Reviewer

Top 10 Magical Author/Narrator Combinations by Paul (Audiobook Reviewer)   Book fans already know what makes a good book. A successful combination the storyline, tension, suspense, interesting characters are all very helpful in reading a good story. But if you are anything like me you know that’s something magical happens when you’re reading a really good book. But what if you don’t have time to sit down to devote solely to reading. We all get too busy with life happening all around us and it doesn’t seem to be a spare minute in the day. Many people don’t even realize that audio books are becoming hugely popular and a great effort is put in to them. Now you can “read” while doing all sorts of various things. Listen to a book while folding laundry, while mowing the lawn, while raking the leaves, while driving to and from work everyday, or […]