Saturday, August 31, 2013

An Interview With Kate Udall, Narrator of THE BATTLE LORD'S LADY


I am thrilled to present Kate Udall, narrator of my best selling sci-fi romance novel, The Battle Lord's Lady, Book One of the Battle Lord Saga.
Before we begin, I have to praise you again for doing such a superb job on The Battle Lord's Lady  When I listen to it, you make me laugh and cry. You’ve brought the book to life! What was it about the book that caught your attention, and made you want to narrate it?

Thank you Linda! That is good to hear. I always feel such a responsibility to an author. it's scary!  Well first of course - our blue haired heroine.  Her combination of courage, passion,  skill and vulnerability is appealing to me. And of course the way the relationship between her and Yulen is one of equals.

In general, I find all the characters and relationships nuanced and complex.

The world you have created is so fun and interesting - Ferrets! I am always excited to see what is coming around the corner. The animals are just the best. I am a big nature girl myself, so I enjoy all the time in the woods.
What was the biggest challenge in performing the story?

The biggest challenge? I find keeping all the tough guys distinct. Tough, soldierly, but distinct. You can't just use stereotypes. I have to make them individuals in my mind.
You once commented to me that you were “seriously in love with Yulen”. Care to elaborate?

Oh, Yulen! He is what we want, isn't he? Masculine - but not a clod! He has enough of the dark brooding quality that appeals to me - but he is not a dysfunctional idiot. Sexy, smart, capable, physical. Hmmm.
Do you keep notes as you read aloud? Like descriptive reminders as to which voice was for whom, etc?

Do I keep Notes. No, the story is in my mind, so as long as I remember what everybody looks like and a sense of  their personality I am ok. The voice comes from that - I have tried to do it technically - this person has these vocal characteristics, but then I find I lose sight of why they are saying what they are saying and it doesn't work. It is easier to create a picture in my mind - Karv has mean little eyes, squat, and suspicious and then I imagine I look like that and the voice comes. I am constantly morphing in my recording studio!
As a narrator, you have a large repertoire of voices, and I love the way you act out each point of dialogue to where I can almost envision that character on the screen. I especially love how you performed Liam MaGrath. Do you prefer male voices over female voices?

Male voices are much harder. I think women have a lot more vocal permission - we can be high or low, squeaky or scratchy. In general, men are culturally encouraged to be duller!

I am constantly working on how to voice characters. The challenge is to make them believable, sustainable and nuanced. Lately, I have been trying to listen to men having conversations around me. I am listening for what - other than pitch - makes it sound male. One of my teachers always tells me to make it flat - that most male American English speakers don't use much  variety when they speak. I am curious about that so I am listening for it. How do they express themselves?
Okay, one final question: what started you on the path of narrating books for ACX?

It is such a pleasure to live in my imagination and get lost in the story. It is, I suppose, the same way I feel when I read for pleasure.  I never thought about that before! What is the difference between reading aloud and reading silently? It seems to me that when I started out I found that I did the best job when I wasn't "reading aloud" i.e. just saying the words that were on the page but living the story, "being" the story. I suppose it is what I do when I "read to myself".   I am creating the story inside me. So, I think the verb "read" is wrong. As I think about it, I think the only thing I "read" are those instructions from Ikea! Wait a minute, they just have those funny little people and useless pictures!!!
If you'd like to hear more of Kate Udall, check out THE CURIOSITY, and this fabulous review!
Stephen Kiernan
Read by Kate Udall, George Guidall, Jason Culp, Erik Bergmann

This mesmerizing book is well written and superbly narrated--a possible best audiobook of the year. Scientists are shocked to find a man frozen in a massive iceberg. The story is told from the perspective of the four major characters, with the flawless narrators alternating chapters. Massachusetts Judge Jeremiah Rice perished in a 1906 Arctic expedition and is eventually reanimated. Experiencing Boston through his eyes is deeply moving. Highlights include hearing Jeremiah's 1900s vocabulary and perspective, and Dr. Kate Philo's bittersweet romance with him. Portraying the doctor, narrator Kate Udall is astonishing as Kate acts as Jeremiah's protector. Her delivery is deeply moving yet believable. When Udall portrays Jeremiah, his voice is deliberate and dignified, an approach that makes his quaint words sound perfectly in context. This splendid account is perfect for audio. S.G.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine [Published: AUGUST 2013]

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