We're switching things up today with an interview from the amazing, Karen White! If you're an audio book fan then you might be a little familiar with that name. ;-) Stick around at the end for an audio book giveaway from Harper Collins!
Are you presently working on another installment in this series?
I am! I’ve already recorded About That Kiss, which tells Kylie and Joe’s stories. We met Kylie in the Trouble With Mistletoe and Joe has been with the series since Sweet Little Lies. I’ve sent off my files to the producer and am waiting to get the “corrections” or “pickups” which is the list of things I read wrong. Usually that’ll take me an additional half hour to re-record those. It’ll be available in January.
When there are so many characters, how do you keep the distinct voices for each so consistent?…. And how do you remember which voice is for who?
I’ve always typed up detailed notes on all the characters in fiction I record but soon after I started doing series (and as my brain has aged), I’ve learned that I have to keep little sound files for every single character no matter how small. You just never know who is going to come back. This sound file becomes like their signature and it helps me remember who they are, not just what they sound like. It also helps me keep characters consistent throughout a book if they appear early and then don’t come back until later. I keep them all in a folder and I am pretty sure there are about a hundred for this series alone!
Who has been your favorite character to voice in the Heartbreaker Bay series? Or do you even have a fav?
For main characters, I think my favorite has been Willa. Her voice was a bit of an extreme choice for me, but it really seemed to fit her. It was a challenge to maintain her sound but a lot of fun to play with.
I think my overall favorite character is Mrs. Winslow. She’s an octogenarian who lives in the building and she often has the best lines, including one coming up in About That Kiss so look out for that!
How do you decide on a voice and tone for a character?
As I said, I take copious notes when I prep-read the book – I basically type up every single thing that the writer says to describe each character. This is from my acting training; it’s how you prepare to play a character in a play. But in this case I’m playing all the characters, of course. Once I’ve done that, I highlight words that are specific to their voice but also words that help me form a mental picture of the person. Like for Spence, I highlighted “Amused and enigmatic” “Mr. Poker Face” “Believes will end up alone because of how he is wired” and “Compartmentalizer” whereas for Finn (Sweet Little Lies) I have “easy confidence” “Quick and efficient, quiet hustle” “unflappable”. For Colbie I have “Big green smiling sweet eyes with haunted depths”, “Voice matching her husky throaty laugh” “Felt like there was an elephant sitting on her chest” and “Likes to put a good spin on everything” vs. Pru “Smartass. Sassy.” “Easy going.” “Tumbleweed, never belonging”. Some of these lists include things from multiple books, especially with a character like Spence that we’ve gotten to know gradually. Then when I go to record I kind of find where they live in my body and just go with what happens. Sometimes it takes a few tries till I find something I like and then I edit that little sample and save it.
Have you had a favorite scene in the Heartbreaker Bay series?
What comes up for me are the scenes in Trouble with Mistletoe between Keane and the cat, Petunia (which he calls Pita, acronym for Pain in the A--). I just love scenes where humans talk to their animals because I have to admit I do that all the time (including my chickens which are a new addition to my menagerie). But there was something special about how we got to know Keane’s good heart through his attempts to take care of this cat that hated him.
Has there been a scene that you found particularly difficult to perform?
I don’t like to record scenes with graphic violence - luckily Jill doesn’t write those. Technically, it is tough when there’s a whole room full of characters of one gender – and she usually has at least one of those per book! But that’s a good challenge.
Find out more about Karen and all of her works at karenwhiteaudiobooks.com
Follow this link for a sample from Karen and Chasing Christmas Eve. Enjoy! → https://www.dropbox.com/s/snk1s87zpkfs562/ChasingChristmasEve.mp3?dl=0
Winner will receive one audio book download of CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE by Jill Shalvis courtesy of Harper Collins Audio. The audio download will be via a link to a zip file which will unzip to MP3 files. The link expires on 9 Dec 2017. Those MP3 files can then be moved to any compatible device. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post and fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!