Before April turns into May, I wanted to update you about my 2 audiobooks that were released in March.
Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang by April W. Gardner
Lizzie Browning loves nothing more than her tiny, island-home of Guernsey, but when German bombs drop on her crystal beach, her peaceful world explodes. For months, the big war in Europe has been nothing more than stories in the paper, but as the enemy takes over Guernsey, the war rushes to her doorstep. For Lizzie, younger brother Andre, and cousin James, the time to escape is now, and they know just how to do it.
This wonderful YA book was a challenge to narrate as almost all of the characters are British children. Before I started my pre-read and research phase, I confess that I didn’t even know where Guernsey was. I also felt a bit of trepidation in voicing the book because I haven’t been a young girl in a long time, and I’ve never been British. It might seem strange that I was the one chosen to narrate the book.
As an aside, several months before I was contracted for Lizzie, a well-known producer told me that I have an earnestness to my sound that would work well with YA and faith-based titles. Lizzie is both of those things.
The true Guernsey accent is difficult to achieve, especially with limited preparation time. However, the producer and I felt that some sort of passable British accent was needed to truly convey the author’s intent. It wouldn’t sound right to have an American accent speaking to her “mum” or using some of the other British-isms in the book. Since the book was written in first person, the narration had to be British as well.
Perhaps it was my earnestness rather than an authentic accent which made Lizzie’s producer choose me for this project. Perhaps it was because the author also lives in Georgia as I do. Whatever the reason that I was chosen, I wanted to the best possible job on it, as I do with all my audiobooks.
As part of my preparation, I listened to the delightful audiobook The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. Five fabulous narrators told the fictional story, which was a series of letters between a London writer and Guernsey residents in post-War 1946. This story helped me get the lyricism and rhythm of the British speech patterns implanted in my mind. Through the incidents portrayed in this book and my additional research, I better understood the fear and uncertainty of the characters in my book.
Recording the book was a very difficult experience that required many stops and starts, but I’m proud of the outcome. The book may have some inconsistencies, and maybe even the casual listener would discern that I’m not British. Still, I told a good story.
I am honored to bring this story to audio.
Irretrievably Broken by Melissa F. Miller
Book 3 in the Sasha McCandless Legal Thriller series
One of the partners at the venerable Pittsburg law firm of Prescott & Talbott has been murdered, and her estranged husband is accused of the crime. A few days later, a second female partner is murdered; her husband is also accused.
Although former Prescott lawyer Sasha McCandless doesn’t have experience in criminal defense, she agrees to defend both men as a favor to the firm. The cases take her away from her boyfriend Leo Connelly. Even worse, she doesn’t know that the killer is on a vendetta about a past case that went wrong, and one more lawyer is on his list.
I love narrating this well-written series! Sasha McCandless is a physically and mentally strong person, and we see the character grow as the series progresses.
In addition, the legal wrangling is always extremely interesting. I research the legal rules and citations so that Sasha can say them correctly and talk intelligently about them. In this book, a dramatic development toward the end had me asking the author about the legalities of the resolution. While I won’t reveal the scene or tell you what she said, let me just say that Melissa Miller certainly is adept at making the reader feel something in her page-turning mysteries!
Sasha fans will be delighted to know that I have finished narrating book #4, Indispensable Party, and expect it to be released in May.