To kick off Audiobook Month, we’re thrilled to share this guest post from one of our talented narrators, Barbara Rosenblat. So without further ado, here's Barbara, in her words:
In 2013, the world lost one of the queens of the mystery genre, Elizabeth Peters.
And I lost a personal friend. When we first met I was appearing on Broadway in The Secret Garden and she had listened to one of my recordings of the Amelia Peabody series and wanted to meet me. We became buddies at the stage door and over the years our individual talents impacted the audiobooks. She knew I loved to create characters and I knew she would throw curveball characters into her latest tome to challenge me.
A marriage made in audio heaven. Her passing leaves a great hole in my heart.
Listen to chapter one of Crocodile on the Sandbank, book one of the Amelia Peabody Mysteries by Elizabeth Peters:
I’ve never really specialized in any particular genre, but recording mysteries has always been a great part of my recording life, probably because they afford the greatest opportunity for an actor to work the dramatic arcs to a satisfying conclusion more effectively than in another genre. I just finished recording the audio of Linda Fairstein’s latest, Terminal City, a gritty, New York City–based thriller that lays out all the elements of fast-paced, page-turning drama with characters that have become beloved over the years. I know that when a new Fairstein project hits my desk, it means I get to pull out my cast … Detective Mike Chapman, sex crimes prosecutor Alex Cooper, and so on. There is a level of expectancy from the listening public much like those looking forward to the latest installment of a movie series. Connecting with the special magic that the author has makes the listener eagerly await the next audiobook, and I try to live up to that expectation every time. And when a new author entrusts me with a book, it is an opportunity to discover a wholly individual gene pool of writing skill.
When I was first presented with the “dark” thrillers of Carol O’Connell, I knew I had to take a different approach to best channel the author’s masterly storytelling style. Voice actors over the years have asked me about my approach to this craft, and I finally bit the bullet and wrote my first book on the subject (it came out in March 2014 from the Kindle store on Amazon). The book is a personal and specific look at my methodology regarding preparation and voice work in general. My hope is that artists who wish to learn about the craft of audiobooks will find it helpful.
And even though I have been lucky enough to appear in the first two seasons of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix, recording audiobooks will continue to play a large part in my performing life.
(Image by Victoria Haigh)
The art of storytelling has been with us for millennia, and I am so very grateful to have been one of its conduits.