THE NAKED TRUTH With Noah Michael Levine (Vol. 3)
RomanceNarrators.com is shining a light on the Narrators and Authors who received Audie nominations for Romance.
This Week …
Noah Michael Levine: Jessica … Christian … in the words of John Oliver … “Welcome, welcome, WELCOME!” Congratulations on your Audie nominations. Most excellent. What happened when you found out? Jessica?
Jessica Hawkins: I’m not ashamed to admit—I cried! The road to audio has had its ups and downs, so recognition for Possession feels like a major accomplishment. I was both humbled by the nomination and proud looking back over the journey that led me here—not to mention patting myself on the back for my choice of narrator. I’m beyond thankful to Christian Fox for a superior performance. He embodied both lead roles in such a nuanced way that I got to know my own characters in a new light.
NML: Definitely no shame in tears. It IS a great accomplishment, especially when you think about how many titles had to be judged to get it down to just six contenders. Christian? What about you?
Christian Fox: Ecstatic. I’ve been nominated a handful of times now, and it’s always validating that the work is getting recognized. Makes me want to do a better and better job! One of these times, I’ll win it and put the trophy in my glass case just outside the dungeon and look at it longingly while I sip the evening’s choice of scotch.
NML: VERY niiiice. Um … what’s your preference when it comes to the esteemed, amber liquid? Inquiring minds want to know!
CF: Macallan 15yr triple cask, or on those select nights when I need to think introspectively and be knocked around a bit, a hefty pour of Ardbeg 10 year.
NML: I’ll drink to that! So … I know reading reviews can be a double-edged sword at times, but I know you got lots of rave reviews on Audible. Any favorites stand out?
JH: Mostly listeners’ reactions to Christian becoming the book’s hero, Beau Olivier. The steam level in this story is already high, but Mr. Fox likely set some earbuds aflame!
CF: Hah. Well, I love reading the reviews, and knowing that all my listeners are turned on, and coming back for more. ;-) So, if you’re writing one, who knows? I’ve probably read it and incorporated your desires into the next book.
NML: A true man of the people, you are, Christian. Always leave them wanting more.
CF: You know it!
NML: Jessica … what made you decide to produce your book in audio format?
JH: Watching my audio audience grow at such a prolific rate, I can’t help but recognize that listeners are just as voracious as e-book readers. After a certain point, it was a no-brainer to turn my entire backlist into audio with help from Lyric Audiobooks. This particular series has a Pretty Woman-meets-Indecent Proposal vibe, and considering my love for 90’s-era cinema, I was desperate to bring Possession to life. With Christian’s impeccable narration, it’s akin to seeing my books on the big screen.
NML: That’s such a powerful thing – when the story, dialogue and performance give the listener that cinematic experience. Christian, tell us a little about your process in the booth to make that happen.
CF: When I’m recording, it’s always a balancing act for me between keeping the flow going and keeping the integrity and quality consistent. My bar is high, and I always want to do justice to the authors vision. In the biz, we are always on a timeline, and some days you cruise through minutes at a time and other times, it’s a slog. But for me, I often am slower than I’d like, especially in the beginning - so that I establish the world - and keep the intensity of the characters moving and present. And I never sacrifice the performance for anything. So, there’s that. I always want it to feel engaged, sexy, and captivating. And if I don’t feel that, I go back and fix it.
NML: And that’s part of the reason your performance was nominated. Writers and narrators are always striving for the most engaging and captivating work. But sometimes, there’s the special something extra that catapults the project even higher – that coalescing of text and presentation. Very cool.
CF: Possession was a really, interesting title to perform. While I know it might sound cliché to love the two main characters, I really did. Beau and Lola are both complex, REAL humans with strengths and vulnerabilities. Like in real life, they both want things that are bad for them or strange or uncomfortable, and simultaneously love and hate those things. They’re just like the rest of us.
NML: I love that. It’s that aspect of duality that we’re faced with all the time. The light and the dark – independent of each other and inextricably linked. Well, I’m sorry to say we’re almost out of time. SO before we go down another existential rabbit hole … Jessica … what’s up next for you?
JH: My latest audio release just dropped, and I’m currently embarking on a brand-new trilogy … an improbable love story set against the dangerous world of cartel crime. I’m feeling very inspired, and as I get to the know the characters, narrator options aren’t far from my mind.
NML: Wow, that sounds amazing! Mr. Fox? What about you?
CF: Oh … wouldn’t you like to know? Mr. Fox is always on the hunt for another thriller...
NML: Hahahaha! Well, we’ll all look forward to hearing that! Thank you, both, for taking a break from your schedules to talk about POSSESSION! Wishing you, and all of the nominees, the best of luck. Jessica, I’ve included your social media links below so any of our readers can follow along with your journey. And Mr. Fox … well, if anyone can find you on Social Media, they’re a better sleuth than I.