Yes, I'm so stoked to finally say that the audiobook for Child of the Night Guild is finally live! I was so lucky to find an amazing narrator to bring the book to life, and I'm thrilled for you all to listen to it.
Check out this sample:
You can get the whole thing over on Amazon. It's SO COOL to hear the journey from the little eight-year old Viola to the strong, confident, hard eighteen year old Ilanna. I can't wait to get the other two done as well.
I had a chance to talk to Rebecca McKernan and ask her a few questions about the audiobook recording process, her take on the story, and more. Here's what she had to say:
A.P.: Is this is the darkest work of fiction you ever recorded? How did you feel about the story?R.M.:Yes, it's certainly top three. It's definitely the darkest piece of fiction which ventures into the realms of fantasy I've recorded. I really enjoyed the story. I love how unapologetic it is, how honestly violent and unforgiving the surroundings are painted, how believable each of the characters and their actions are.
A.P.: What was your favorite part of recording this story? Your least favorite? The easiest? The hardest?R.M.: I loved taking Viola's/ Illana's journey with her, helping her develop from this young, frightened girl into a hardened, ruthless young woman. It was an interesting challenge as a voice over artist, and I felt like I'd grown with the character. I'm not sure that I had a least favourite part of the recording process, because Andy is a good person to work with and didn't place ridiculous demands upon me, but I suppose the most challenging part was making each of the male characters distinguishable from one another without making them into caricatures.
A.P.: Did you see bits of yourself in any of the characters? Did any one resonate with you or make you say, "Hey, I like his/her way of being/thinking/acting"? R.M.: Haha- I suppose I would like to see a few of Illana's determined traits in myself, but that's probably just daydreaming! I'm a big fan of both Denber and Prynn. I love Denber's brotherly but firm way of dealing with his fellow apprentices, his fair, just manner. And I love Prynn's gentleness. I'm also a bit of a sadist, so I do have a soft spot for Master Velvet...
A.P.: Which was your favorite character to record? Why? R.M.: I love working with different accents, so I enjoyed reading Master Hawk's dialogue. I also really got into Master Velvet, when I'd struck the note that Andy was looking for in the character. I was a bit disappointed when the action moved away from the menagerie and I didn't get to verbally bully children any more!
A.P.: Are you a big fantasy or science fiction reader? What is it about the genre that attracts you? What aspects of the genre don't you like?R.M.: I'm a big reader of everything. I don't get a huge amount of time to read for pleasure any more, but when I do, my favourite genre would be some sort of dystopian fantasy- that tends to be what I write, too. I love a book in which you can see elements of the world that we live in, but is twisted or morphed in some way. I love, and don't love at the same time, how in fantasy absolutely anything can happen and doesn't really need to be explained, because it's a fantastical world created by the writer. It can be anything. Anything goes.
A.P.: Do you share any of the characters' traits? Obviously not the villain's, but any of the other characters that reminded you of you?R.M.: Haha- I like how you say 'obviously not the villains''... I definitely have moments of being as stubborn as Illana. But generally, I'd say I'm gentle, like Prynn, and quite protective, like Denber. And I'm a Londoner, so I feel like I've got quite a bit of Fox in me. I can't help but think of them as London street urchins in some warped Dickensian Britain...
A.P.: Are there any character traits in the book that made you say, "I wish I could be more X"?R.M.: I like Master Hawk's no nonsense hard headedness, whilst still, I feel, being able to see things clearly and fairly. I could probably do with being a bit firmer myself.
A.P.: Do you have any quirks when preparing to record or during recording? Any rituals or habits?R.M.: Not as far as I'm aware. As long as I have plenty of tea to hand, I'm good to go. Or, you know, wine....
A.P.: How do you keep track of all the voices and not get mixed up when switching between characters in dialogue-heavy scenes?R.M.: It's definitely a challenge. I try to paint a visual image of the character in my mind, and then give them something small I can identify them with, things that might exist if they were real people. Prynn had a voice which I saw as being a slightly masculine version of my normal speaking voice. Denber (in my mind) was a well educated chap who'd play rugby but wouldn't cry if he lost. Sometimes I give voices shapes in my mind. Bert's was quite round. It makes words easier to form if you can visualise them.
A.P.: What are your top 5 favorite books of all time? Which of the books that you recorded have been your favorite?R.M.: Ooh. Ok, in no particular order:
The Handmaid's Tale- Margaret Atwood
World War Z- Max Brooks
Atonement- Ian McEwan
Never Let Me Go- Kazuo Ishiguro
The Princess Bride- William Goldman
Oh my god, I've just realised every one of those books have been made into a film. I promise I read the books first.
Apart from Child of the Night Guild, of course, one of my favourite books I've recorded has been by an incredible author, Johanna Craven, called Forgotten Places (available now on Audible, Amazon, etc). It's set in colonial Australia and follows the story of a woman and her daughter fleeing an abusive relationship. It is incredibly dark, incredibly haunting, and incredibly beautiful. Actually, that's probably one of my favourite books, too.
Check Rebecca out on her website: www.rebeccamckernan.com
And don't forget to pop over to Amazon and check out the audiobook!