THE NAKED TRUTH With Noah Michael Levine (Vol. 2)
For this week’s installment, I’ll be chatting with the very talented Mary Jane Wells, nominated for “Hello Stranger” and Romance Narrator’s very own Grace Grant, nominated for “Wanderlust.”
Noah Michael Levine: First off, congratulations to you both! Mary Jane … How did you feel when you found out?
Mary Jane Wells: Surprised and delighted! It’s such a massive honour! I'm very lucky with the books I get to read.
NML: What about you, Grace? I understand you’re going to the Gala. What are you looking forward to most?
Grace Grant: I am the most excited to see fellow narrators, and publishers, who I mostly only correspond with from my home far away. Because the job of narrating can sometimes feel pretty solitary, in a booth with only your own feedback loop in your head, it is especially joyful to have a gathering where everyone is in a great mood and there to celebrate all the work of audio.
NML: Yes – I think the Physicians’ Desk Reference has a new designation called Booth Isolation Syndrome Complex, or BISC. The main treatment is to encourage narrators to, you know … get out and mingle once in a while.
So, Grace, I know you worked with Richard Armitage on this title. Which means you two had to do similar voices for the characters you shared. How did you handle that aspect of the project?
GG: Because I was recording my half of the narration in a booth at Audible in NJ, and Richard Armitage was recording his in a booth in London, I never got to hear exactly what he was doing as Griffin. However, he has recorded a lot of wonderful books, including one where he reads love poems. So, on my way to the studio, and occasionally in the middle of recording if I needed a reminder, I would listen to him reading love poems to get his voice in my head. It was not a hardship, by the way.
NML: Dreamy McSteamy?
GG: Um … yeah. Definitely. 😉
NML: Mary Jane … I know that, sometimes, even with the most serious of books, some … interesting things can happen in the booth during the recording process. Care to share?
MJW: Sure. I tend to guffaw at times at my frequent goofs in the booth, although my hilarity about this is perhaps more representative of cabin fever at times. I'm working on putting together a romance audiobook myself, a spoof in the vein of Drunk History where my goofs form the entire script. In Hello Stranger there was "You deserve to be published" (punished), "The chains of his plest" (planes of his chest), "I hope they don’t pissmell your name." and “Tell Jenkyn I have the delivery he wanted,” Ethan said hoarsely. “Yes, Mr. Womble. He’s been expecting you.” (one for the Brits there.)
NML: Hahaha. That’s hysterical. I LOVE the idea of a “Drunk History Romance Audiobook. Keep us posted. But make sure you’re sitting when you record. After 5 or 6 shots of Jameson’s, you might hit the floor. Though, being in a padded booth could be helpful.
Grace … recording a wonderful title like Wanderlust – there must be some favorite moments for you. Any scenes, in particular, that stick out.
GG: I wanted to say yes, but I realized the 'scene' I'm thinking of is actually many moments throughout, and it's all of the scenes where they are wandering Paris. Noticing all the details of the architecture. Which culminates in Griffin leading his own specialized tours of the city pointing out fountains and hidden statues and stories you wouldn't normally sightsee. It all really set up the romantic backdrop of this story.
NML: That sounds really beautiful. So … I’m afraid it’s that time again when we have to wrap things up. Mary Jane, what’s up next for you
MJW: Heroinetheplay.com is the solo show I wrote and perform, and has been invited to debut at The Kennedy Centre in Washington, DC in 2020. So, I am terrified and excited in equal measure about that. Whee!
NML: Wow! That’s amazing, Mary Jane. Congratulations on that, as well. What about you, Grace?
GG: The start of 2019 has been wonderfully busy, so I have a few fun titles coming out soon. The first book in a trilogy for Skye Warren called Overture with Teddy Hamilton, Beyond the Bases by Kaylee Ryan with Stephen Dexter and Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Entice Me by Kelly Elliot with Joe Discher, and If by Randi Cooley Wilson.
NML: That sounds awesome, Grace! Well thank you, both, for taking time with me and sharing some of The Naked Truth. I’ve posted your social media links below for anyone who wants to follow. All best to you both. I know there can only be one winner, but it really is fantastic to be nominated.
Mary Jane Wells
T - @heroinetheplay
You can check more things Grace Grant at:
or follow me on twitter @msgracegrant