Blunder Woman Productions, with the help of eight talented authors and nine equally talented narrators, release a remarkable volume of short tales set before the age of the internet and cell phones. Vintage Love Stories features Erin Bennett’s narration of The Painted World by writer (and narrator also) Cassandra Campbell.
We were able to chat with Erin, and we’d love for you to get to know a bit more about her, too!
What has been your favorite book to narrate?
That's a hard one to answer! I love narrating fiction but recently, a nonfiction book took my breath away. It was Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien. Incredible story about the women, including Amelia Earhart, who were pilots during the golden age of aviation. Their stories just leapt off the page for me.
Have you had any funny or interesting things happen while recording?
One time we were recording along and all of a sudden, the recording program my engineer was using went haywire. It kept repeating the same two words over and over on a loop....so I sounded like I was either completely off my rocker or else turned into a robot! We had a pretty good laugh while he restarted the system.
How do you get into a book/story?
I always start curled up in my favorite chair, my iPad in my lap, and I delve right in. I make notes on characters, setting, anything that strikes me....and before I know it, the world outside blurs and I'm absorbed in the story.
How do you prepare for all the different characters and their tones/vocal ranges?
Real life gives me a terrific supply of inspiration. I live in Los Angeles, and I have met some CHARACTERS here. But inspiration comes from movies and TV too. People from my past whose voices have left their imprint…memories...and sometimes, a character just zings from the text completely new.
How many books have you narrated and do they have a common thread or theme?
I've narrated about 350 and so far I have been extremely lucky not to be typecast. I have a pretty good range of fiction, nonfiction, mystery, memoir, science fiction, fantasy, biography, you name it.
What do you like most about narrating audiobooks?
Playing every character - it's like being inside and outside the story at the same time. I love "talking" directly to a listener. Sharing a story that's just for them.
What do you like least about narrating audiobooks?
Sometimes when I have a lot of words to look up it I wish I knew the pronunciation of every word in the dictionary!
During your downtime, do you prefer to read in print or listen to stories in audio?
Listening to podcasts, reading an old paperback in the bathtub...
How do you select a book to narrate?
It usually finds me via an offer from a publisher.
Do you prefer a specific genre or types of characters?
I like a mishmash of styles and genres. It keeps me on my toes! Last week it was romance, this week it's fiction; variety is the spice of my audiobook life!
Do you read a book several times before you record the audio?
I read it carefully once. Then I step into the studio and we're off.
How do you decide on the specific voice and tone to do for each character?
It's mostly instinctive. Authors give me so many great clues in the character descriptions. It's not something I necessarily have to work out beforehand as the author sketches that person for me!