An Interview with Narrator Cynthia Hemminger

Greetings, all!

Please enjoy this interview with narrator Cynthia Hemminger by author Eleanor Prophet!  

  1. How did you get into narrating audiobooks? I’ve always loved to read aloud, so when I became involved with a group of amateur writers who were interested in having audio versions done of their books, I used that as an opportunity to learn the skills required. It’s a very difficult field to break into, however, so when I discovered ACX where I could connect directly with authors/publishers, everything clicked. I’m about to begin work on my 11th audiobook and I’m loving it!
  1. What is your favorite genre to narrate? I don’t know if I have a favorite genre, particularly. I would say instead that I’m drawn to books with a lot of dialogue because they allow me to stretch myself into many different character voices. Beyond that, I simply choose to work on books that I would want to read, and my interests are eclectic.
  1. What drew you to narrate Tess Mercury and the Crooked Pink? I noticed right away that the book was set at least partially in New Mexico, where I’ve lived most of my life. Quickly after that I saw that it was hilariously funny, another BIG plus for me. Once I realized there was a strong, independent female main character (more than one, even!), I was hooked.
  1. Do you have a “process?” What is it? Ha, I’ve never been quite sure what that word means. I suppose it’s mostly a matter of becoming familiar with the story and the characters. Sometimes if there are a lot of characters, I’ll make notes beforehand, and spend some time practicing different voices, but too much futzing around with the character voices can result in inconsistent or (conversely) stilted outcomes. I like developing the voice as the story develops, if I can.
  1. How did you get into the characters? For me it’s simply a matter of getting a picture in my mind of who the characters are and putting myself firmly into that character’s head when speaking for them. In fact, I’m speaking *as* them, as much as possible. It’s similar to “method acting.”
  1. How did you decide on the voices? I did have some input from the author, but otherwise the main character/narrator of any story will always wind up being the one with a voice closest to my own “natural” voice. That’s easier on me. The other characters’ voices will vary depending on their personalities, quirks, appearance, habits, etc. For instance, the last book I did had a character who was a heavy smoker, so I always tried to make his voice sound a bit rough.
  1. How did you prepare to record? Since I can’t devote myself to producing audiobooks full time (yet!), often this simply means finding time to get into the studio, and making sure my voice is in good condition when I do. I’ll usually go back and listen to what I recorded previously before I start to read, especially if there’s been a significant gap in time between the current session and the last, to help me be consistent over the course of the project.
  1. Do you record at home or in a studio? Both, actually. I have a small studio in my home. (We don’t talk about its former life as a closet, so as not to hurt its feelings.😉
  1. What’s your favorite thing about being a narrator? I dearly love to read aloud, always have. And since I choose to narrate books that I love, there’s a feeling of communication with the listener. It’s hard to describe, but when I’m reading, I’m thinking, “I love this, and I want you to love it as well.” I like to think that comes through in the recording.
  1. Did anything funny/horrible/interesting happen while you were recording? Oh, man, I wish I had a great story about it. My family and friends rolled their eyes at me a lot when I was practicing Tess’s Southern accent, but that’s about it. 
  1. What was the hardest part about producing the audiobook? I’d have to say differentiating the voices. There are a lot of characters in this book and they all have fantastic quirks and personalities, and I wanted them each to have a unique voice. That was a challenge sometimes, especially when they were all in a scene and talking together.
  1. Do you have any influences or favorite narrators? I actually don’t listen to audiobooks very much (she said sheepishly). I prefer to read aloud rather than to be read to, for one thing, and I’m also short of time to listen, especially since I spend so much time working on my own audiobooks. (Generally I will have spent about 4 times the running time of s project working on it, i.e., 10 hours of running time = 40 hours of work in editing, mastering, uploading, etc.) There’s also the “professional hyper-critical” factor: I hear mistakes and find myself critiquing other narrators, at the expense of the story. I am currently (slowly, whenever I have significant driving time to fill) listening to “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson, a nonfiction book (I mostly do fiction) which is read by Scott Brick. Brick is a fantastic I’m in awe of his performance.
  1. What’s been your favorite book you’ve narrated so far? (It’s okay if it isn’t mine!) I love all my audiobook productions; I couldn’t possibly play favorites! J But Tess Mercury is certainly in my top 3. The humor, the great characters, and the opportunity to add to my repertoire of accents made it a blast to do.
  1. What other projects do you have out/coming up? I’m really excited about my current project, “Security Through Absurdity,” by Rachael L. McIntosh, which is a series of books that are a fictionalized account of the author’s life, starting with her work as a U.S. defense contractor before and after 9/11. Rachael has great storytelling instincts and a funny, well-paced writing style that really drew me in, but it’s also an important work politically for people to read, especially people in the United States. It will definitely open your eyes about some things. The first book in the series, “Little Yellow Stickies,” recently went on sale, available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes.
  1. Any other plugs you want to share? I think that should do it.🙂

You can find Tess Mercury and the Crooked Pink at Audible here:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Tess-Mercury-and-the-Crooked-Pink-Audiobook/B01298CMN8

Enter to Win a Great Giveaway!

The Press is excited to announce we are giving away 3 Audible downloads of the new audiobook Tess Mercury and the Crooked Pink by Eleanor Prophet, ready by Cynthia Hemminger.

Just click this Rafflecopter link between August 10 and September 10 and visit ours or Cynthia’s Facebook pages to enter the raffle! We look forward to seeing all of you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

old paper on brown wooden texture

In the years after the American Civil War, the West is wild, and the East is run by the robber barons battling each other for power and money. The range is untamed and blood-soaked, and the cities are dazzling tributes to culture and questionable scientific development. Outlaws roam free on the frontiers, and crooked lawmen and Pinkertons compete with lawless bounty hunters for the prices on their heads. Tess Mercury and her posse are the best damn bounty hunters in the West. When Tess and her posse, trick shooter “Bonny” Quimby Burton, mad scientist “Lightning” Hazel Harley and Vaughn, a former slave, are run out of town after brawling with some card players who don’t take kindly to being swindled by Quimby, Tess decides a life of leisure just doesn’t suit them.

They go in search of a new bounty to hunt and discover the case of Zeke “Angel” Cooper, a Pinkerton wanted for murder in Boston. The hunt for Angel leads them through the untamed frontier where Indians lie in wait, young men fighting for honor are shot dead in the streets, Che Chucho and his posse of peculiar bounty hunters are hunting them, and savvy, sophisticated Madam Esther Star courts the big bugs from D.C. at her famous brothel, the Governor’s Mansion. When Tess and her posse finally run into Angel, they’re tangled up in an even greater mystery involving faulty death rays, crooked lawmen, missing secretaries, murdered government agents, bribery, corrupt Congressman, clockwork horses, Tess’ long lost husband, and Sterling Rush, the technology robber baron who might just be a more dangerous enemy than any of them have ever encountered.

Tess Mercury and the Crooked Pink, a damn good audiobook!

The Press is extremely excited to announce that our first audiobook, Tess Mercury and the Crooked Pink by Eleanor Prophet, read by the wonderful and talented Cynthia Hemminger, is now available on Audible and Amazon. Action, adventure, romance, bounty hunters, and irradiated lizard spit. Rip-roaring fun!

http://www.amazon.com/Tess-Mercury-Crooked-Pink/dp/B012F5AL7E

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Tess-Mercury-and-the-Crooked-Pink-Audiobook/B01298CMN8

In the years after the American Civil War, the West is wild, and the East is run by the robber barons battling each other for power and money. The range is untamed and blood-soaked, and the cities are dazzling tributes to culture and questionable scientific development. Outlaws roam free on the frontiers, and crooked lawmen and Pinkertons compete with lawless bounty hunters for the prices on their heads. Tess Mercury and her posse are the best damn bounty hunters in the West. When Tess and her posse, trick shooter “Bonny” Quimby Burton, mad scientist “Lightning” Hazel Harley and Vaughn, a former slave, are run out of town after brawling with some card players who don’t take kindly to being swindled by Quimby, Tess decides a life of leisure just doesn’t suit them.

They go in search of a new bounty to hunt and discover the case of Zeke “Angel” Cooper, a Pinkerton wanted for murder in Boston. The hunt for Angel leads them through the untamed frontier where Indians lie in wait, young men fighting for honor are shot dead in the streets, Che Chucho and his posse of peculiar bounty hunters are hunting them, and savvy, sophisticated Madam Esther Star courts the big bugs from D.C. at her famous brothel, the Governor’s Mansion. When Tess and her posse finally run into Angel, they’re tangled up in an even greater mystery involving faulty death rays, crooked lawmen, missing secretaries, murdered government agents, bribery, corrupt Congressman, clockwork horses, Tess’ long lost husband, and Sterling Rush, the technology robber baron who might just be a more dangerous enemy than any of them have ever encountered.

Calling all voice actors!

Lots of things happening here at the Press! What, did you think we did nothing all day long? We don’t! Well, sometimes we do but only when a new season of Once Upon a Time or something is on Netflix.

We are extremely excited to announce the Press will release its first audiobook, Tess Mercury and the Crooked Pink Eleanor Prophet, read by the talented Cynthia Hemminger, in July through the great folks at Audible.com.

If you are a voice actor or a producer interested in reading one of DC Press’ great books, visit our projects currently open for audition:

Angel of the Abyss New cover

Angel of the Abyss, a steampunk fantasy by Stella Drexler:

https://www.acx.com/titleview/AR7FB2ANNYR9R

Tooth Claw and Venom Cover

Tooth, Claw and Venom, an erotic supernatural thriller by Delia Cortez:

https://www.acx.com/titleview/A349HELQDFUOA7

CHANT Cover

CHANT, an urban fantasy by Stella Drexler

https://www.acx.com/titleview/AYI804WM37KS

Eye of Ra cover new

and Astrid Darby and the Eye of Ra, an elegantly crafted steampunk adventure by Eleanor Prophet

https://www.acx.com/titleview/A31JRZAS0DZHNT

And look for more audiobooks open for audition for the Press at http://www.acx.com!

New from the Press: Divine Disorder: The Unmaking, a darkly comedic fantasy by Stella Drexler

Still more from DC Press! We are excited to announce the mostly amusing, often satirical, and occasionally dark fantasy from Stella Drexler, Divine Disorder: The Unmaking now available on eBook and look for it soon in paperback!

http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Disorder-Unmaking-Book-One-ebook/dp/B00YCLUY4U

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/545969

Divine Disorder The Unmaking

In the unpredictable land of Pandia, angels heavenly and infernal interfere in the lives of humans, and trivial, man-made gods muck things up at every turn. Modern technology and ancient magic battle it out in cities populated by men and beasts. Penthos falls prey to a mad necromancer. In Scathach, the Darklords command the darkest of elements, and a mysterious Shadow Council is behind the whole mess, secretly maintaining the divine disorder.

In Hyperion City, the delicate balance is about to be disturbed.

When Zebulon Tan, a runic sorcerer at the Gwydion Academy of Sorcery discovers a spell to unlock the gate to Hao, a dimension of pure, destructive chaos, infernal angel Darius enlists Sho Sange and Associates, a motley mercenary firm with a variety of curious and rather embarrassing abilities. While Sho attends to troubling matters in Scathach where he is heir to Darklordship Blood, his associates Xen, a vigilante wizard on the edge of madness, Oni, a maniac with an alarming adroitness with explosives, and Simon, a mysterious gentlemen after whom accidental nudity follows, take the case. While Xen meets Zebulon’s assistant, Sora, and tries not to lose his head, Oni gets caught up with a number of male professors and the destruction of several valuable items, and Simon is excruciatingly embarrassed. Things are going awfully wrong. If they can’t stop Zebulon from opening the gate, the entire world will descend into utter chaos. The god of Poorly Executed Magic Tricks and his friends, Unrequited Love and Minor Inconveniences, might want to start over with better patron powers, but the rest of the world thinks that’s a pretty rubbish reason to die. What ensues is a series of ridiculous events and endless cock-ups which lead to the very brink of complete disaster, unavoidable tragedy, and the unmaking of everything.

New from the Press: Wandering Star, a supernatural teen thriller by Stella Drexler

The Press is thrilled to announce the exciting, sweet, heartbreaking new teen thriller by Stella Drexler now available on eBook! Look for it June 1st in paperback!

http://www.amazon.com/Wandering-Star-Stella-Drexler-ebook/dp/B00YBQ6U4O

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/545965

New Coventry, Virginia is a quiet, peaceful town. The people are friendly, the streets are safe, and hardly anything ever happens until the mysterious Jayne family moves into the creepy old house in Dinwiddie Hills and begins pedaling medical miracles in the form of hypnotism and New Age medicine. Something about the Jaynes and their handsome, inscrutable sons, Van and Sable, is not quite right.

Still reeling from the tragic death of her mother, Aurora Geller feels like something is missing in her life, and the Jaynes might be the solution. But when she meets Sable and runs into his terrifying brother, Van, Sable warns her away from his family. By then, it’s already much too late. She can’t stop thinking about Sable and the strange, breathless feeling she gets whenever he is near. She just wants to be close to him, and she isn’t going to let him stop her. When she starts seeing Mariah Jayne to treat her depression, she hardly notices when she begins to change. Sable does, and he’ll do anything to keep Aurora away from his mother.

Then the bizarre deaths begin, and Aurora begins to suspect the Jaynes aren’t exactly as they seem. She’s right. They’re monsters. The police might be baffled by the freak accidents, but there is something sinister about these deaths, and the Jaynes aren’t the only suspects. Sable is trying to discover the killer and stop the deaths, but he is sidetracked by the human girl he can’t stop thinking about and who loves him despite his secrets. Though they’re forbidden from being together, Sable and Aurora are in love, but they must stop the monster responsible for the deaths, hide from a malicious Van, and escape his parents before one or both of them is killed or they are torn apart forever.