OMG this is Mrs Fetcher (Murder She Wrote, anyone?) all over again, and I love it!
15 Minutes (Maizie Albright Star Detective Series) by Larissa Reinhart, narrated by Joan Dukore released in May in the Humorous, Mystery; Amateur Detective genre.
She played a detective on TV, but now that her life depends on it, can Maizie Albright play a detective for real? For fans of romantic comedy mysteries like Meg Cabot’s Size 12 Is Not Fat and Stephanie Bond’s Body Movers, The Wall Street Journal best-selling author Larissa Reinhart brings her listeners the first in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series, Hot Mystery Reviews’ “Top 10 Mysteries for Book Clubs”.
”Child star and hilarious hot mess Maizie Albright trades Hollywood for the backwoods of Georgia and pure delight ensues. Maizie’s my new favorite escape from reality.” (Gretchen Archer, USA Today best-selling author of the Davis Way Crime Caper series)
Three Teen Choice Awards, one Emmy nomination, and several Maxim covers later, Maizie Albright was an ex-teen star, stuck in reality show hell, and standing before a California judge. She has one chance for a new life: return home to Black Pine, Georgia, and get a job that has nothing to do with show business. So why not become a private detective – the person she played during the happiest days of her life?
First: She’s got 10 days to get and keep the job.
Second: She has to convince the only private investigator in town to hire her.
Third: She lost the client’s wife on the first day. (And the woman may be dead…)
Fourth: She just might be falling in love with her new boss. And she just might have lost him his business.
But what has she got to lose, other than imprisonment, her dignity, and possibly, her life?
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About the Author: Larissa Reinhart
The Wall Street Journal bestselling author Larissa Reinhart writes the award-winning Cherry Tucker Mystery, Maizie Albright Star Detective, and Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series. She loves to tell funny stories about women, looking for love (and sometimes dead bodies) in all the wrong places.
Larissa, her family, and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, lived in Nagoya, Japan, but have returned to Peachtree City, Georgia. You can see them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Larissa loves books, food, and traveling with her family. You can often see her adventures on Instagram (and her little dog, too).
Visit Larissa’s website to join her VIP Readers email group and get the free prequel to The Cupid Caper plus other exclusive bonus content! http://www.larissareinhart.com
About the Narrator: Joan Dukore
Born in Honolulu, HI, Joan DuKore began her performing career as a ballet dancer, and attended Virginia School of the Arts to continue her education. Her hobby of magic later became her profession, and she continues to perform in Las Vegas and around the world. Her love of reading eventually led to voice acting. She has produced over 30 audiobooks in numerous genres such as thrillers, romances, memoirs, mysteries and fantasies. She loves locking herself in her booth and living in the worlds that authors create.
When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
I started listening to books after a really bad breakup, so I’d have company in the car. After listening to a bunch, I really fell in love with the genre, and I started doing research into how to become a narrator.
Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
I found it difficult as you do all these auditions, and you don’t always hear back whether it’s a yes or a no, so you feel for a long time that you’re just shouting into the wind. Luckily, an author took a chance on a first time narrator and I got my foot in the door.
A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
I think theater is helpful, not just in delivery of lines, but to have the confidence to try things and to let yourself go into the story.
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
I love reading and I try to pick books that I like. There are a few genres that I find mind numbingly boring and so I don’t audition for those because I know that it will be hard to get through. (Each book gets read through 3-4 times between prepping, performing and editing/proofing)
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
Yes, I listen to audiobooks and I have an audible subscription. I like being able to listen to books while I drive (It’s like having a friend in the car with you), or while I’m walking the dogs. You can’t do that with a regular book.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
I am not a fan of prepping a book. I go through the book, highlight the different characters, make notes of how different people will speak and mark out how long the chapters are and how I will break it up into different recording sessions. It is essential that I do this, but it’s my least favorite part.
What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
I love doing different characters. I feel like a casting agent with my arsenal of characters and when I’m prepping a book, I get to cast different ones as different people.
Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
I am not a fan of historical fiction, so I don’t usually try out for those types of books.
What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
I don’t judge a book by the title. I look at the plot, what the author is looking for and if I’m working for royalties I look at how well the print version is doing. This book ticked all the boxes, it had super fun characters, great comedy, compelling mystery and people really seemed to like it (once I read it, I understood why.)
How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
It really depends on the author. With some authors, it’s really rewarding to help them see their vision come to life (Ok, maybe vision isn’t the right word for audiobooks, lol), but some authors just say, “here,” and leave it to me, and that’s lots of fun too.
Who are your “accent inspirations”?
Accent inspirations come from everywhere. Some come from friends, some actors, and the inspiration for the character, Jolene’s, voice came from one of my favorite audiobook series that I listen to (totally different character, but I love the essence of the voice).
How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
Mostly it’s just how I hear them in my head, but sometimes they get tweaked a bit depending on what the author hears in his or her head.
What types of things are harmful to your voice?
Lack of sleep is the worst for my voice. Sometimes I use a character voice that is a little harsh on it too, and usually it starts out as a bit character in a series and then I’m like, oops, that character has a huge part in the next book and now I’m stuck with it.
If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
That’s another genre that’s not my favorite, not big on time travel, so I’d probably just stay right where I was.
Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
Yes, but I try to take them with a grain of salt. People tend to review things they really love or really hate, the majority of people will fall somewhere in the middle and probably won’t leave a review.
What type of the review comments do you find most constructive?
It’s hard to say what’s constructive as listening is a very personal experience, and we all have a preconceived voice in our heads. When we hear something that doesn’t fit that voice, it tends to bother us more than most other things. But here’s the thing, my voice might be the perfect voice for one person and completely grating for another, and if I “fixed” it for the second person, then the first person wouldn’t like it anymore.
Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
I don’t know if I have a dream author. I think a lot of my favorite authors (John Irving, Christopher Moore) would be fun to narrate in theory, but I don’t know if I’d actually be the right voice for their books.
If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I have read it many times, and I love it so much.
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
If you find them inferior, then don’t listen. Just like “real” books, their job is to either tell a story, entertain, or impart information, audiobooks do the exact same thing.
What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
Just keep putting yourself out there.
What’s next for you?
There’s a few more Mazie Albright novels that I’m excited about, and I’m really hoping something bad happens to Vicki (one of the characters), I’m also narrating a vampire/fae series, and I’m going to start narrating one of my Uncle’s books soon.
Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
When I first started narrating, my cat did not understand why I needed to lock myself in a room away from him. He would sit at the door and cry like he was being tortured, and I’d have to stop recording because it would pick up on the microphone. Now he’s used to it, but it took a while.
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Thank you so much for the interview with Joan! She’s fabulous and I’m so thrilled to “hear” her side of the recording.
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It was my pleasure!