That’s right folks, I’m still gushing about the audiobook of Debris! I can’t help it. It’s kinda surreal to hear your words read back to you in someone else’s voice, but mostly it’s just exciting. And it helps that Kate Rudd, who does the voice of Tanyana, is so wonderful.
I was pretty curious about how the whole audiobook thing comes about, and Kate has been kind enough to answer some questions about her work on Debris and audiobooks in general (and not back away slowly from the crazy, over-invested author)…
Jo: How did you get into the audiobook business? Is it something you always wanted to do, something you fell into?
Kate: I’m pretty new to this industry, and I did sort of fall into it. About two years ago I sent my demo to Brilliance Audio, hoping it would lead to a job or two, and eventually I got invited for an audition. As an actress, I really loved the film work I was doing locally; as a parent I needed another other source of income. Once I stepped into the studio, I was surprised to find that working as a narrator felt very much the same as acting. It’s all storytelling, and telling stories in one form or another is what I’ve always wanted to do with my life. I’m really grateful to have stumbled into this medium.
Jo: Do you have a particular genre you prefer to read?
Kate: I enjoy it all. With that being said, I do have quite a soft spot for YA fiction. I have had a handful of great sci-fi and fantasy stories as well, and they’ve kind of been pulling me along toward fandom. Then ‘Debris’ showed up and I was officially hooked.
Jo: Do you get to choose the books you read? If so, how do you do that?
Kate: I say ‘yes’ to just about everything I’m offered. If it’s a story I’d naturally be drawn to as a reader, it’s a joy to perform the audiobook. If it’s a story I would never think to pick up and connect with personally, I see performing it as a wonderful challenge. I try to find a way to honor the text and the characters, because every book is for *someone*, and because somebody put their heart into weaving each manuscript I’m handed. It’s weird and lovely to know that I’m given a chance to help those books reach their audience.
Jo: Do you do anything to prepare before a recording? Do you read the book first, do any research, exercise your voice?
Kate: Every narrator sort of has their own tricks, and I’m so new to this whole world that I think I’ve got loads to learn about preparation. Here’s what works for me so far: I receive the script and read it through once, just as I would if I grabbed it from the library. I then read it a second time, looking for unfamiliar words and items that require research. This read-thru is quite rapid. Then, another trip through the story, slowly, to let myself really imagine the characters and find anything I may have missed. Some books require more or less than this routine, but it’s my starting point. Vocally I just try to protect my voice, sing often, and cut out dairy on recording days. I’m always listening for accents, among friends or on the radio etc, because I’d love to develop a really large range over the years. I have a dear friend from Sydney, actually, and I kind of obsess over her voice.
Jo: How long is a recording session?
Kate: Anywhere from 6-8 hours, with a couple of breaks along the way.
Jo: I really love your interpretation of Tanyana in Debris, and I hope you enjoyed spending some time in her head. Was there anything particularly fun or challenging about playing her?
Kate: I love Tanyana. I wanted to convey her strength, creativity, bravery and vulnerabilities. She is self-reliant, resourceful, funny and imperfect. I always enjoy voicing a fierce and intelligent woman, and Tanyana was certainly both. It was an honor to perform ‘Debris’ and I can’t wait to see what happens next in Tanyana’s world.
Jo: And what are you working on now? Anything exciting coming up?
Kate: I have been working for the past few months on a web series called Perks. It’s a fun change of pace, wonderful to be back on-set and working with other actors. We’re just about to wrap up the season, and all the episodes are available for viewing at www.PerksShow.com. I’m loving my work with audiobooks and still can’t quite believe I’ve fooled someone into paying me to have so much fun!
Kate can be found online at www.KateRudd.com
Want to hear Kate’s wonderful work for yourself? I’m giving away a copy of the audiobook (which I can sign, you know, if you want me to…) Just leave a comment here, or over on the Facebook-a-magig to go in the running.