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

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.

Another Delightful Giveaway of Astrid Darby and the Eye of Ra

The Press is pleased to announce another Goodreads giveaway. Enter to win one of two copies of Astrid Darby and the Eye of Ra by Eleanor Prophet.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22699134-astrid-darby-and-the-eye-of-ra-astrid-darby-adventures

Eye of Ra cover new

It is a time of steam technology, scientific innovation and quietly simmering political tension. Having lost her husband to the dangerous life of an adventurer and the hazards of hot air balloon travel and murderous mercenaries, Astrid Darby has found herself alone in the world, aside from her motley assortment of eccentric associates, mad scientists, cheeky Ministry of Defence agents, and her keen, clever young cousin, Alexander Knightly. Now an esteemed and erudite adventurer herself, Astrid is, once again, embroiled in a grand conspiracy, the scale and nature of which she has only begun to imagine. When Dr Sebastian Cross, one of England’s most acclaimed physicists and inventors, is discovered missing along with the Eye of Ra, the doctor’s revolutionary new directed energy weapon, the executives of Rake & Gage, premier defence contractors, enlist Astrid to locate the doctor and recover his apparatus. Despite Messrs Cole’s and Thorne’s certainty that the doctor and his assistant, Dr Joseph Ramsey, have absconded with the weapon and defected to a rival contractor, Astrid suspects something far more sinister is afoot. Her search for the Eye leads her into a world fraught with colourful characters, improbable death rays, flying airships, awkward wagon rides, uncouth wranglers, murderous mercenaries, perilous train trips, underground tunnels, ludicrous disguises, condescending Ministry of Defence agents, treacherous executives, malicious terrorists, and the destruction of a beloved national landmark.

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Now Available in Paperback! ASTRID DARBY AND THE CIRCUS IN THE SKY

The Press is pleased to announce the release of ASTRID DARBY AND THE CIRCUS IN THE SKY by Eleanor Prophet, now available in paperback!

http://www.amazon.com/Astrid-Darby-Circus-Sky-Adventures/dp/1622010221

Circus in the Sky Print Cover

CIRQUE DU FLAIRE Pietro Augustus Flaire’s Dazzling Spectacle of Delectation! Stimulation! and Stupefaction! Amidst the Clouds and Among the Firmament! When she is accosted in the street by the bedazzled and flamboyant Eitenne Allard, a funambulist for the Cirque du Flaire, who claims his employer, Pietro Augustus Flaire, has bewitched his twin sister, Elodie, and has concocted a most nefarious scheme involving the apparent disappearance of a favoured spectator, Astrid Darby and her clever young wards, Xander Knightly and Juliana Coffin, are drawn into a surreal and shocking mystery upon the famous flying carnival. Amongst cavorting clowns, frolicking funambulists, exotic beasts, a gruesome freak show and a mysterious snake charmer with an uncanny instrument, Astrid, her wards and Agent Asher Key of the Ministry of Defence attempt to thwart the charismatic Flaire’s dastardly plot. They are soon to discover, however, that their considerable skills are little match for the ringmaster’s adroit and deadly tricks.

Astrid Darby and the Eye of Ra–An Exquisite Re-Release

The Press is pleased to announce the re-release of ASTRID DARBY & THE EYE OF RA by Eleanor Prophet, an elegantly crafted Steampunk adventure, now part of the Smashwords Summer Sale catalogue!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/141281

Eye of Ra cover new

It is a time of steam technology, scientific innovation and quietly simmering political tension. Having lost her husband to the dangerous life of an adventurer and the hazards of hot air balloon travel and murderous mercenaries, Astrid Darby has found herself alone in the world, aside from her motley assortment of eccentric associates, mad scientists, cheeky Ministry of Defence agents, and her keen, clever young cousin, Alexander Knightly. Now an esteemed and erudite adventurer herself, Astrid is, once again, embroiled in a grand conspiracy, the scale and nature of which she has only begun to imagine. When Dr Sebastian Cross, one of England’s most acclaimed physicists and inventors, is discovered missing along with the Eye of Ra, the doctor’s revolutionary new directed energy weapon, the executives of Rake & Gage, premier defence contractors, enlist Astrid to locate the doctor and recover his apparatus. Despite Messrs Cole’s and Thorne’s certainty that the doctor and his assistant, Dr Joseph Ramsey, have absconded with the weapon and defected to a rival contractor, Astrid suspects something far more sinister is afoot. Her search for the Eye leads her into a world fraught with colourful characters, improbable death rays, flying airships, awkward wagon rides, uncouth wranglers, murderous mercenaries, perilous train trips, underground tunnels, ludicrous disguises, condescending Ministry of Defence agents, treacherous executives, malicious terrorists, and the destruction of a beloved national landmark.

Astrid Darby and the Circus in the Sky FREE ebook

New from the Press!

We invite you to enjoy the newest Astrid Darby adventure from Ellie Prophet with the appealingly low price of absolutely FREE.

Read it now at http://www.ellieprophet.wordpress.com or download it FREE at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/321752

Circus in the Sky

CIRQUE DU FLAIRE

Pietro Augustus Flaire’s
Dazzling Spectacle of Delectation! Stimulation! and Stupefaction!
Amidst the Clouds and
Among the Firmament!

When she is accosted in the street by the bedazzled and flamboyant Eitenne Allard, a funambulist for the Cirque du Flaire, who claims his employer, Pietro Augustus Flaire, has bewitched his twin sister, Elodie, and has concocted a most nefarious scheme involving the apparent disappearance of a favoured spectator, Astrid Darby and her clever young wards, Xander Knightly and Juliana Coffin, are drawn into a surreal and shocking mystery upon the famous flying carnival. Amongst cavorting clowns, frolicking funambulists, exotic beasts, a gruesome freak show and a mysterious snake charmer with an uncanny instrument, Astrid, her wards and Agent Asher Key of the Ministry of Defence attempt to thwart the charismatic Flaire’s dastardly plot. They are soon to discover, however, that their considerable skills are little match for the ringmaster’s adroit and deadly tricks.

Tess Mercury and the Crooked Pink Goodreads Giveaway!

Enter to win one of three copies of Tess Mercury and the Crooked Pink, the new Wild West Steampunk Adventure from Eleanor Prophet, author of the Astrid Darby Adventures!

Enter here between now and 3/15/2013!

http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/44066-tess-mercury-and-the-crooked-pink

Tess Mercury Cover

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.