Meet Hillary Huber, Narrator in Vintage Love Stories
Blunder Woman Productions, with the help of eight talented authors and nine equally talented narrators, released a remarkable volume of short tales set before the age of the internet and cell phones. Vintage Love Stories features Hillary Huber’s narration of Second Best by B. L. Aldrich.
We were able to chat with Hillary, and we’d love for you to get to know her, too!
What has been your favorite book to narrate?
The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante. These books are such a beautiful exploration of a lifelong friendship. Of women in a misogynistic society. Subtle and powerful. Exquisite writing.
Have you had any funny or interesting things happen while recording?
I’d say frustration is the most common occurrence in the booth - a misbehaving, growly tummy, external noises beyond my control, computer snafus… When things are all aligned and I’m in the zone it’s bliss though.
How many books have you narrated and do they have a common thread or theme?
I’ve narrated over 400 books. Everything from vampire porn to a non-fiction about the Vietnam War. From romance to a mother/daughter joint memoir about addiction. From Sci-Fi to Concussion. Every few days brings another opportunity to learn!
What do you like most about narrating audiobooks?
Someone pays me to READ. I’d do that for free. It’s nuts.
What do you like least about narrating audiobooks?
When I don’t care for the book and have to sound like I do. :)
During your downtime, do you prefer to read in print or listen to stories in audio?
I do both. I’m an avid listener and always have a book in my ear and one on my bedside table.
How do you select a book to narrate?
Oh wouldn’t that be nice?? ;)
Do you prefer a specific genre or types of characters?
I love historical fiction - an opportunity to learn but still weave a story. I love playing kickass gritty women, dark nefarious creeps and crotchety Southern octogenarians who smoke and drink whisky.
Do you read a book several times before you record the audio?
No thank you. Once please.
How do you decide on the specific voice and tone to do for each character?
The clues are in the text. How they are described both physically and mentally. What others say about them or how they react to them. I take notes as I’m reading - writing down all the clues. Do they remind me of someone I know? That’s the best.
Do you have a ritual or routine you do before sitting down to record the audio (such as vocal exercises or warm-ups to strengthen your vocal cords)?
I do vocal exercises, I drink a LOT of water before hand, try to get a little physical exercise in, set up my space just so, turn off distractions like my phone.
Is there an audiobook you just loved listening to? What about that narration makes it special?
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah was a recent fave. Narrated by the divine Julia Whelan. Perfect narrator for the book. She has range and grit and a connectivity to the material.
What qualities make a great narrator? If you like, share some tips for aspiring voice actors.
A pretty voice does not a narrator make. You can tell when a narrator is too busy worrying about how they sound rather than how they connect to the material.
Is there a scene that was especially difficult to narrate?
Yes. In The Lost Years- the aforementioned memoir, when the mother tells her alcoholic daughter, who has shown up on the doorstep after escaping from rehab, that she is no longer welcome and that if she never sees her again, please know she will always love her. I balled like a baby. PS she got sober.
Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents? If so, what are they?
I can recite the alphabet backwards!
ABOUT HILLARY HUBER
Hillary Huber has recorded hundreds of titles spanning many genres. She has multiple Audie Nominations, Earphone Awards and is an AudioFile Best Voice. Hillary has a BA in English Literature and is a voracious reader and listener of audiobooks. Being raised in both conservative Connecticut and hippy Hawaii has provided her with a unique perspective. She now splits her time between Santa Monica and NY. Most of that time is spent in a small 4x4 booth.