I’m so excited to have a guest with me on the blog today!
I always love sharing behind-the-scenes with you guys, and today I’ve got a cool new perspective for you—the world of audiobooks!
The amazing narrator for the audiobook version of The Prenup (now available on Audible!) agreed to answer a few questions about what it’s like to be an audiobook narrator, and I know those of you who love to listen to romance on audio will love it!
I met Brianna through my husband, actually! The two of them connected while working as hosts of Reward the Fan, and stayed in touch. And in a perfect case of kismet, on the very day I was trying to find the perfect narrator for Charlotte (a character very near and dear to my heart, so I was being picky) Brianna emailed Anthony and asked if I had any need of an audiobook narrator.
Did I ever.
In addition to doing an amazing job with The Prenup, Brianna was also generous enough with her time to answer a few questions about the process …
Interview with Brianna Cohen
How did you get started in voice-acting/audiobook narration?
One Christmas season ( always a time when the acting biz is pretty slow) I decided to make some audiobook demos on my own in my room. I was really intrigued by the freedom behind the mic and the creativeness of forming your own portrayal of the written characters. After seeking some coaching from a mentor, I then I submitted it to a few agencies, production houses and sent it out to contacts. And voila! I had done a lot of commercial VO work to this point and on camera acting work and felt it was the perfect mix of the two.
What is the hardest part about being an audiobook narrator?
Making sure you stay present and create enough distinction between characters in a scene. Especially when there are more that two!
The best part?
Creating the characters vocally, tonally AND getting lost in the story as a reader!
What is the process like? How much preparation do you do, how long does it take, do you have to do a lot of do-overs?
So, if you’re on a tight timeline, it’s about a week to read the book and prep the characters. Then about 3 6hr sessions of recording depending on the book’s length. And then a day for “pick ups” AKA clean up your mistakes. That usually doesn’t take long, maybe a half hour tops. Then the editors and engineers get to work to make sure it sounds good! Start to finish you could get a book in and out in about 3 weeks.
You so perfectly capture Charlotte’s voice (literally!) and her essence. Was that instinctive, or did you have to play around with getting her character just right?
I have to say a good part of it was instinctive BUT what made it easy was that I did have a lot of help from the writer! : )
If you’re ever unsure about who your character is you can always lean on the text. It’s your roadmap. Things like: what’s their cadence like? What words do they use frequently? What’s their point of view? All of these lend to creating the voice. And confession: I saw a lot of myself in Charlotte so it wasn’t such a jump.
Okay be real with us … just how hard was it do Colin’s parts!
Ha! The Irish gent. I have to say I almost didn’t accept this project because I was worried about pulling him off. I had never done an Irish accent before and I didn’t want to take the reader out of the story so I consulted my dialect coach, PJ Ochlan and he helped me get it there. So glad I went for it and didn’t chicken out. His lines became some of my favorite parts of narrating this book.
Did you have a favorite part of the story?
Well, as always with a good romance you gotta love the tension! I thing my favorite part was when Charlotte brings all the flowers into Colin’s room as an apology one morning. For me it was the point of no return for them. They electricity was apparent, Charlotte’s vulnerability was just adorable and her “good intention/poor execution” behavior was SO relatable. Plus, it’s a sexy scene. I also really love their late night cab ride and spontaneous west village dinner. There’s nothing more New York than that.
Do you listen to audiobooks yourself, or do you prefer to separate work from pleasure?
I do love listening to audiobooks and podcasts. They’re great when you’re on the go. But I do have to say the real audiobook buff is my mom. The soundtrack of most car ride’s as a kid was some British murder mystery. Maybe one day, I’ll do one of those and come full circle.
Rumor has it you were a romance cover model once upon a time — what was that like?
Ha! This is TRUE. I’ve done 4 covers actually and they are always a ton of fun. My first one was classic. Big bustling dress and a shirtless Frenchman. But the reality was that we had to stand is a strange squatting position for about 2 hrs so man were my legs sore after that. Was certainly worth it!
What’s next for you?
I recently appeared in the Hulu show Wu Tang: An American Saga and shot a small role in a new indie with Jon Bernthal and Shea Wigham that should be coming out next year. I’m currently writing a comedy pilot which I hope to shoot soon and hopefully MORE AUDIOBOOKS!
I have to say I had so much fun recording this as hopefully you have listening. I hear actors all the time talking about how sad it is to put some characters to bed and I finally know what they mean. I was sad to end my time with Charlotte and Colin. I really did fall in love when them and their story. So, a question for you! Any hints at a SEQUEL?!
Huge thank you to Brianna for taking the time to answer all my questions, and to answer her last question. No, no sequel for The Prenup, though I can tell you they’re headed to Ireland for New Year’s this year 😘