Author: Jennifer Kincheloe
Narrator: Moira Quirk
Length: 10 hours 52 minutes
Series: Anna Blanc Mysteries, Book 2
Released: Dec. 6, 2017
Publisher: Jennifer Kincheloe
Genre: Historical Fiction Mystery
Los Angeles, 1908. In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles, police matron Anna Blanc and her former sweetheart, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. Her lover has fled. If news gets out that a white woman was murdered in Chinatown, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese. Joe and Anna plan to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret. So does good-looking Mr. Jones, a prominent Chinese leader who has mixed feelings about helping the LAPD and about Anna.
Meanwhile, the Hop Sing tong has kidnapped two slave girls from the Bing Kong tong, fuelling existing tensions. They are poised on the verge of a bloody tong war that would put all Chinatown residents in danger.
Joe orders Anna out of Chinatown to keep her safe, but to atone for her own family’s sins, Anna must stay to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes.
Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse’s aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She’s currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.
Moira grew up in teeny-tiny Rutland, England’s smallest county, which is fitting as she never managed to make it past five feet herself. Moira’s work spans the pantheon of the voiceover world: plays for BBC radio, plays for NPR, video games, commercials, television promos, podcasts, cartoons, movies and award winning audiobooks. She’s won Multiple Audie Awards, Earphone Awards, as well as Audible’s prestigious Book-of-the-Year Award. She has lately set foot in front of the camera again, appearing in “Pretty: the Series” and the Emmy-winning “Dirty Work.”
Q&A with Narrator Moira Quirk
- How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
- A director I work with on plays for BBC radio introduced me to a producer who was looking for a young, female British narrator, so it was serendipity meets preparedness really.
- A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
- I don’t think there are any real rules in performance. Just be good, or be compelling, preferably both. Obviously, you get better by doing, so be it theatre or improv or stand-up or reading out loud every day, just keep doing that.
- What type of training have you undergone?
- My degree is in English and Drama, so kind of the perfect degree for an audiobook narrator. I also attended Central School of Speech and Drama, and then went on to perform in theatre, improv, and stand up. I hosted for Nickeleodeon in my twenties and then went into animation and videogames and the voice-over world. Then I found my way in to plays for BBC Radio and LA Theatreworks… and then audiobooks.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
- I’m fortunate in that I have quite a varied voice-over career: cartoons, videogames, radio plays, film and TV, in addition to audiobooks. Also, and I don’t quite know how, but I have managed to always go to a studio with at least an engineer with me to record books. The digital age is great and everything, but it means that so much is done remotely, or in home studios. It can feel a little isolated this brave new world. Yes, I know everyone says, “You can go to work in your pajamas!” I just don’t know if I rate pajamas that highly.
- What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
- It is the absolute worst when you are sick and coughing or blowing your nose at the end of every paragraph. It is the best when you are flying through the pages because you really get the author’s rhythm and syntax and characters.
- What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
- I love characters! And I really love characters with accents! Accents have always been my bread and butter.
- How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
- The simple part is just going off the author’s description. Then I decide, based on the author’s style if I’ll give a “full character” or an idea of the character- am I creating a play where I play all of the characters, or am I a narrator giving an idea of the cast? Then you get into logistics. If you have a group of characters of a similar age and demographic how do you differentiate them? What is sustainable? What is distinct? What is truthful? And how might the character’s sound change depending on their arc? This is all part of my decision making. Also, as a female, I have to decide how to approach the male voices. For me, I generally try to initially establish the ‘maleness’ but really emphasize their character, so that as I continue I can focus on making them interesting and truthful with an idea of maleness and avoid that full basso profundo which always reminds me of that scene in The Life of Brian: “Are there any women here?!”
- What types of things are harmful to your voice?
- Screaming. Yelling. Using unusual placements of the voice. Talking out loud for unnaturally long amounts of time… Wait? What?
- Has anyone ever recognized you from your voice?
- How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?
- a) It’s way longer
- b) It’s way, way longer
- What’s next for you?
- I have a couple of YA titles coming up. I am hoping I have a Jane Austen set in the very near future because I do love lit-er-a-ture. Very Good, Jeeves should be airing soon for BBC radio where I play Stiffy Byng. I adore Wodehouse.
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