I recently had the opportunity to meet Karen White at a narrator luncheon. We sat right across from each other and I suddenly had 20,000 questions I did not know I had until we were there chatting. 🙂 Thankfully, she gracefully and patiently answered all my questions… and now she is about to answer some more. Please welcome to Book Journey, Karen White. ~ Sheila
Hi I am Karen White and I started narrating books in 1999. Some of the books I have narrated would be:
Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo
The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
My favorite literary fiction books i have narrated this past year are Here and Again, What I Had Before I Had You, and Sea Creatures. My favorite memoir this year (and very sad as this inspiring woman just recently passed away last week) Until I Say Good Bye by Susan Spencer Wendell.
Although the industry conventional wisdom is that it takes 2 hours in the studio to record what we call a “finished hour” (an hour after the recording has been edited and readied for release), for me it’s really closer to 2.5 or 3, depending on the complexity of the writing. I am pretty meticulous and I try to avoid recording many “pickups” (re-recording bits where mistakes were made). Not including breaks, I spend about five hours recording, about five days a week. I usually fill in the rest of my workday with preparing upcoming books, engaging in social media, and looking for work.
When I am not narrating,
I have two kids, a husband and a dog, so much of my time is spent hanging out with and doing things with them. I go to my girls’ soccer and softball games (and try not to yell too loudly so as to save my voice but am not always successful!). My husband and I like to cook and give dinner parties. He’s great with the grill and various fancy French recipes, I’m a pretty good baker and try to be creative with the veggies. We all like to make pasta together!
We live near the beach in NC, so in the summer we make trips to the water. There’s an island across the inter-coastal waterway only reachable by boat – it has a gorgeous, uncrowded beach – and we are slowly learning the ins and outs of getting there (you need TWO anchors to make sure your boat doesn’t float away while you’re swimming, you need flips flops to get across the island unless you want 2nd degree burns on the bottoms of your feet, etc.)
When looking for good audio when traveling, we are huge fans of the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, narrated by Katherine Kellgren. It is hilarious and unique and kept us awake driving across the country last summer.
Favorite movie and movie snack?
I am definitely a popcorn and a coke kind of gal. No butter.I just saw THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and that’s my favorite (I have a short-lived memory). I love movies that make me feel a LOT, whether I’m laughing or crying – and this had both. Besides all the obvious great moments, my girls and I really loved the casting and original song by the guy who led the support group – what is that guys name? See I already forgot. He was spot on, I remember that.
Bonus question – a funny narration happening
This is a little embarrassing, but I burp a lot when I am recording. I’ve directed other people quite a bit, and while everybody inevitably has interesting stomach noises, usually before and after lunch, I think I am the most prodigious belcher. I think it’s a combination of the fact that I drink a lot of Xiao’s Blend tea which has peppermint, which I learned relaxes the esophageal sphincter and the fact that when I’m reading, my diaphragm is just jumping up and down on my stomach as I’m breathing! I self edit as I go now, but I used to feel bad for the poor editor who had to hear all my loud burps. Now I just yell at my body in between takes when it burps too much or makes weird stomach noises (“Seriously!? Shut UP!”), often in the middle of a really good take… 😉
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