And here’s the second audiobook in the Lindsay Harding Mysteries, A Death In Duck by Mindy Quigley and narrated by Holly Adams.
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With the new year approaching, hospital chaplain Lindsay Harding heads for a much-needed break in the peaceful resort town of Duck on North Carolina’s outer banks. Her plan to attend the wedding of her friend, Anna, runs aground when a boatload of trouble washes ashore, and as the old year ticks down, the body count goes up. Thrust into the path of an increasingly desperate killer, Lindsay must uncover a sinister secret before she winds up swimming with the fishes.
Old family scandals, sunken World War II U-boats, obscene desserts, and a stolen Doberman all guarantee a far from restful break for the irreverent reverend, who makes her second appearance in this lively mystery.
About the Author: Mindy Quigley
Mindy Quigley is the author of the Mount Moriah cozy mystery series, which is based in part on her time working with the chaplains at Duke University Medical Center. Her short stories have won awards including the 2013 Bloody Scotland Short Story Competition and the 2018 Artemis Journal/Lightbringer Prize. Her non-writing career has been stranger than fiction, taking her from the US to the UK, where she worked as the personal assistant to the scientist who cloned Dolly the sheep, and as project manager for a research clinic founded by the author J.K. Rowling.
She now lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with her Civil War history professor husband, their children, and their idiosyncratic miniature Schnauzer.
About the Narrator: Holly Adams
An actress and physical theatre performer for many years before becoming a Voice Actor, Holly continues to divide her time between stage, screen, circus, and audiobook narration.
Holly began her VO career doing radioplays and audiobook characters with the amazing Full Cast Audio company. Since then, Holly has voiced radio and web commercials, various e-learning projects, documentary shorts. . . and of course, audiobooks! She has been nominated for Best Fiction and Best Female Narrator. Holly has conservatory training; her attention to tone, energy and rhythm make her work personal and dynamic. Holly’s performance projects abroad (Italy, Afghanistan, Haiti, Russia, the UK, France, and the Middle East!) support her training and skill with dialects and languages.
Holly records for Audible, Deyan Audio, Christian Audiobooks, Tantor, and more. Holly loves telling stories!
When she’s not in the recording studio, she is on stage or screen; favorite projects include Richard II, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, the films “Here Alone”, “Gotham Blue” and “Your Loving, Virginia”, working with girls in Kabul for the Afghan Children’s Circus and with performers in Balan, Haiti, as well as with her ‘home circus’ Circus Culture. Holly is a SAG-AFTRA performer, a graduate of the International Dell ‘Arte School, and holds a Master’s in Theatre, Education and Social Change. Https://shearwaterproductions.com/voice-actor and on IMDb as Holly Adams III.
Hi Holly, and thank you for being here with us.
So, how did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
Great question! Hmmmm…. Well, loooong ago, I loved listening to audiobooks. I was a young actor and dreamed of one day following in the footsteps of the incomparable Barbara Rosenblatt. How that happened for me—I was (still am) a stage, screen, and circus performer. And I got asked to do a live radio play! Loved it, did more radio plays (many with the great John G. Hetzler! God, what a voice), and someone from Full-Cast Audio invited me to audition! After that, I got into single-narrator (and duo narrator) audiobooks. I feel so honored, so lucky, and I absolutely love it. Although I did attend a conservatory program in performance, I keep taking classes (acting, voice acting, and other performance) to continue to grow!
You have been on the stage and screen since you were a teen. How does audiobook narration compare to those media?
For me, it’s more like stage plays I have done where I play multiple parts—you have to understand the whole play/ and each character’s arc in it, but when you are performing, none of the characters can anticipate what other characters are going to do or say, and oftentimes, are expecting something quite different than what happens. That being said, there are a couple ways that narrating is like film—you can do very very subtle things with your face and voice that make a huge difference, AND if you hate what you did or make a mistake, you can do it over!
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
I think because I continue to perform in other ways, I don’t experience burn out in any one category. However, I really do have to be careful to give myself downtime, or at least time when I don’t have to be “on”– and for me that includes social gatherings and social media. I just “peopled out”. But when I take time to center or go for a walk or be in the woods or something like that, I am ready to be open and all-in.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I LOOOOOOVE AUDIOBOOKS! I usually listen when I am driving or cleaning up, and I find that I experience the story differently than when I read it. I listen to things I have read long ago, or things I know I won’t get a chance to read, or children’s and YA books to keep current, or works narrated by people I just want to listen to.
How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
I really enjoy working with authors. I love hearing their thoughts about the characters and who they remind them of or how the character moves through life. As an actor, part of my prep is looking at how the different characters feel about things, respond to crisis, use words and gestures, along with what other characters think and say about them. But having the “inside scoop” on why they do what they do is gold for me.
How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
Working with Mindy was terrific. I got quite a few ideas from her notes to me and the book itself is rich with description. I did some initial character tests of main characters and the first 15 minutes for her to review, and her feedback really helped shape the tone of the book and the world the characters inhabit. That being said, some of the characters I based on people in my life; for example Lindsay’s best friend Rob is a combo of one friend who is a car mechanic and another friend who Is a bit of a social butterfly. They came together in my mind and I could “inhabit” this new person easily, hear them talking in my head. I have to create whole beings for the main characters, really know how they feel and talk and think and move so that I can jump in and out of them quickly and smoothly. Because of that, I draw inspiration for main characters from people I know smooshed with other influences, like characters from films or television or old radio (one of the smaller characters is sort of Joe Friday and another is John Goodmans character from “Oh Brother’). Other smaller characters came to me as I watched small localized videos from the regions people are from–people talking about local disasters or triumphs to their tiny local tv station, people doing their own video promo for a flower shop or septic service, interviews with emotional parents at a special event like a church picnic or a race for children with disabilities or a fundraiser for something with deep community resonance. Anytime you have strong, raw emotions you hear how people really sound, really ARE, and how they see and feel about the world around them.
What types of things are harmful to your voice?
Yelling at the kids! And normal things, like trying to be heard in a loud place for too long or too many days of not enough sleep. Oh gosh and extreme pollen days. GAH. It takes forrrrrevvvverrrrrrr to get my throat and chest and head to not sound like I am a chain smoker with pond scum in my lungs! Works great for chain smoking characters though 😉
If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
Oooooo can I have more than one answer? I would enjoy the Italian Renaissance in what is now Tuscany. What a time for artists! I am essentially a traveling player and my skills include mask making and some circus as well as acting and storytelling, and I think I would be with a troupe and have regular work, food and shelter, and be on the open road in a beautiful part of the world. It is never deathly hot or cold, so even if the troupe hit hard times, the climate is manageable and the fresh food is delicious and plentiful. And to be alive in the time of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci!
How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?
For me, all VO is story telling. A commercial is the shortest story in the world: a compelling problem that seems overwhelming on some level, a searching or reaching out, and a resolution with the help of someone/something… In 29 seconds. Even E-learning is a story with a narrative: the wonder of the discovery, then contemplation of the discovery, then questioning, then bold steps… And a new discovery! Animation and Gaming VO is more like having a part in a play or in a full-cast book. And single-voiced narration? YOU PLAY ALL THE PARTS! What actor doesn’t want to play all the parts? Plus you play the part of the story teller, weaving the story, breathing life into it for the listener, never giving too much away but always supporting the truth of each POV. When I am doing my best (and I keep growing my skills), it should feel like a dream, like you are there and I have you by the hand and we are at the table watching these people as they eat dinner and argue (or whatever).
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
That’s so bogus. They are different experiences that engage different parts of your brain. Often times, listening to an audiobook is a richer experience than reading it because you don’t skim and the subtle nuances and subtext between the characters are brought out by the performer. Besides, why fill your time with taking away someone else’s joy? If you need something to be superior about, go volunteer at the SPCA and be upset about people who are cruel to puppies. I am very much into books and literacy and the happiness they bring, and audiobooks are a huge part of that agenda.
Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author
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