Viviana, from Enchantress of Books and I am so excited to have Dianne Duvall and Kirsten Potter on our Audio Book Lovin’ Series. Let me introduce you to the ladies.
Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series and The Gifted Ones series. Her books have twice been nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews, and/or Night Owl Reviews. Reviewers have called Dianne’s books “fast-paced and humorous” (Publishers Weekly), “utterly addictive” (RT Book Reviews), “extraordinary” (Long and Short Reviews), and “wonderfully imaginative” (The Romance Reviews).
Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn’t writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she creates in her books.
For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit www.DianneDuvall.com. You can also find Dianne online here: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tsū | YouTube | Pinterest | Goodreads | Google Plus
Kirsten Potter is an actress and narrator who has performed in dozens of major theaters nationwide, voiced over a hundred audiobooks, and portrayed numerous vixens, villains and polar bears in various video games. Favorite audiobook titles she has narrated include Station Eleven, Madapple, Hattie Big Sky, Brooklyn; and Lisa Gardner’s DD Warren, Diane Duvall’s Immortal Guardians, and Joanna Bourne’s Spymaster series’. She currently voices the Queen of the Reef for the Bungie franchise “Destiny”, a role she likes to imagine she was born to play. Learn more about Kirsten here: Website | Twitter
Kelly: Ladies can you tell me how did the author/narrator relationship begin?
Dianne-My publisher contacted me and let me know Tantor Audio had bought the audio rights to the first three books in my series. I was thrilled. I had been so busy focusing on the paperback and ebook formats that I hadn’t considered the books being made available in audio, too. And Kirsten had an excellent reputation as a narrator.
Kirsten- Tantor emailed me saying they had a new series for me. I was a little apprehensive at first. I had just been offered a swell of romance books by multiple production houses and I didn’t want to get type cast exclusively for that genre. But then I read a short excerpt from the first Immortal Guardians book, and I was hooked! There is so much going on there! An action-adventure-suspense- thriller romance. And really, who wouldn’t want to voice a vampire?
Since Kirsten has narrated every novel in my Immortal Guardians series, she’s already familiar with the major players, some of whom also appear in A SORCERES OF HIS OWN, the first book in my new series The Gifted Ones. So I often simply provide Kirsten with the latest manuscript, then wait to see if any questions arise. Usually the few that do pertain to name pronunciations. Some of the characters in my series are hundreds, if not thousands, of years old and are from foreign countries. The names that were common back then sometimes aren’t used at all today. And those that are may not be used in America, making it difficult to nail down the right pronunciation. J
Kelly: Kirsten, how do you go about selecting how each of the character are going to sound like?
Kirsten- If I’m lucky, as with Dianne’s books, the author gives me a colorful description of the character and that leads me in a particular direction. Dianne’s cast ranges from across the globe, so I make sure to get the regional dialect right first, then I try to take into account what era they come from—those who first surfaced during the Classical Age I thought might have a more articulate edge then the more modern ones. That said I do want to make sure they all sound like they belong in a single book together. I try to make my choices subtle enough to do that.
Kelly: Kirsten, Along the lines of the previous question, how do you manage or what is your process of remember what the character from a previous book sounds like when they reappear in a new book?
Kirsten-I take pretty detailed notes about the voices I’ve chosen. The notes are on pitch (low, mid, high in relation to my natural voice), texture (if I’ve added a little extra roughness to a voice), and where in my throat or mouth I’ve placed the voice (some characters go up in the nose, others way back in the throat.) If a character brings someone I know or a celebrity strongly to mind I will sometimes “cast” someone in the role instead, then do my version of that person’s voice for the role.
Kelly: Kirsten, tell us about the narrating process (i.e. do you read the book before narrating it? How long are the recording sessions per day? How long does it take for you to narrator a book? If you make a mistake while recording, what happens?)
Kirsten-I do like to read the books ahead of time. Sometimes—especially with such fantastical books like Dianne’s—you get surprises about a character revealed later in the book. He or she might mention where they come from 100 pages in, and then it’s—“Oops! She’s from Scottish and I’ve been doing standard American!” I’d rather get all the info up front and avoid the errors. Detective books too. If the murderer is an anonymous voice until revealed at the end, I need to make sure the one who did it and all those red herrings we think might have done it, sound alike enough to be mutually implicated throughout the book.
Kelly: Kirsten, authors have writer’s cave, do narrators have something similar?
Kirsten- I call it “the box”. It is a heavy, dark, black cube that sits in my studio and soundproofs the narration from outside noise. It can be pretty depressing to get in there on a bright sunny day, but I live in Seattle so it’s grey a lot! And once I get started in the story I’m not really too aware of my surroundings anymore.
Kelly: Here’s a fun question for Kirsten that both Viviana and I have been wondering… as a narrator, do you get “oh say it in ‘the voice’” question often?
Kirsten- Not about books so far. I’m the voice of the Queen of the Reef in the video game Destiny though. I get asked to do that one fairly often.
Kelly: I would ask you to talk like Seth… *dreamy*
Kelly: Dianne, once the audiobook has been recorded, do you then listen to it or have final approval or is it automatically done when it’s done recording?
Dianne-I don’t have final approval. That’s all on Tantor’s end, so I listen to the books for the first time when I receive my author copies. And I’ve enjoyed them all. I think Kirsten has done a wonderful job narrating my books. I’ve thrown a lot of accents at her—British, French, Russian, Celtic, Egyptian—and she’s mastered every one. J
Kirsten—I thought Seth and Marcus’ voices were going to kill me! Dianne has created these semi-gods. They hail from multiple continents and centuries and possibly even other dimensions. Assembling a voice majestic enough to encompass all that was daunting.
Kelly: Dianne, what do you love about having your books in audiobook format?
Dianne-I’m always interested in hearing someone else’s take on the characters and how they sound. I read all of the dialogue in my manuscripts aloud several times before I finish editing them to make sure it flows smoothly and admit I don’t mimic some of the accents very well. (And, yes, that’s probably an understatement.) So it’s nice to hear someone else’s take.
And, too, we live in a very busy world. The only way some booklovers out there can get their fiction fix is by listening to audiobooks during the long commute to and from work or while cooking dinner or grabbing some exercise time. Listening to my own books on audio totally hooked me on the format for just that reason. I wasn’t finding any time to read, but now can listen to favorite books on audio, so I’m very happy to provide other readers with that option.
Kelly: Kirsten, of all of Dianne’s books, which one has been your favorite to narrate and why?
Kirsten- That’s a hard one. I suppose I approach audio books much as I approach theater in that my favorite one tends to be whatever I’m currently gnawing on. But trying to think a little more broadly, I think I’ve enjoyed the Sorceress of His Own the most. This book takes us back to the beginning of the legend. We get to learn the origin of these mythical characters we’ve been with throughout the previous series and it’s exciting to have some of their mysteries revealed. I can’t wait to find out where Seth and Marcus really come from!
Dianne-If you’re like me, and aren’t able to indulge your love of reading because of time constraints, I highly recommend you give audiobooks a try. And, even if you do have plenty of reading time, listening to audiobooks can make time pass much more quickly when you’re doing something tedious . . . like waiting in line at the post office. I know some are skeptical and don’t think they’ll like audiobooks. I believed the same thing until I listened to my own. But most sites, like Amazon and Audible, even offer samples you can listen to so you can get a feel for the narrator before buying. A talented narrator can make all the difference
Kirsten- I think having a story read to you taps into something we all connect to from a very early age—since childhood, since our days around a campfire millennia ago. When it’s done well, it gives us the freedom to close our eyes and visualize these people in a very satisfying way. A gifted narrator can transport us to these other worlds. We get to dream while awake.
To enter Dianne’s giveaway for a copy NIGHT UNBOUND audio book (CD set), please fill out the rafflecopter below