Ruby Allure's Books

Ruby Allure's Books
Ruby Allure's Books

Saturday, 18 June 2016

An Interview with Lisa Hicks, the voice behind The Hairy Legged Mystery!

An Interview with Lisa Hicks,  the voice behind The Hairy Legged Mystery!

This week The Hairy-Legged Mystery burst onto the audiobook market and made a hugely hairy impact. With the audio fluffaciousness reaching the masses,  I felt that the world like to know a bit more about Lisa Hicks - the voice artist and producer behind the audiobook. Lisa trained as an actor, spent several years acting on stage, in TV and film, and then became an elementary school librarian.  I guess you want to know a little bit more than that... So here are some questions that will give you a better insight.
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Q: How did you get into producing audiobooks?

I love “Kid Lit”, I love reading it, I love listening to it and I love being a matchmaker – finding just the right book for each kid.  Part of my job in the library was to read aloud to the students, and they enjoyed my readings as much as I enjoyed performing books for them. 

I am also an avid audiobook listener.  I listen during car trips, while walking and while doing housework.  When a narrator “gets” the author’s voice, then has the skills to communicate that voice, it is magic and I am transported into the book in a powerful way. 

A few years ago I began to wonder if I could combine my acting training, experience with kids, love of books and technical skills to become a narrator myself.  It has been two years of a roller-coaster-learning-curve, but I am enjoying the ride! 

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Q: What do you look for when choosing to work on an audio book?  

For the moment I am sticking with what I know – kids’  ‘tween and teen books, but I feel sure I will branch out with experience.   I look for books which respect the intelligence of the audience.   I will not audition for a book if I feel the author is talking down to the young reader, or manipulating a reader of any age.

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Q: What are some of your funniest/ weirdest and most awkward experiences within audio production? 

Hmm…  I’m something of a newbie.  Check back with me in a couple of years ;-)

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Q: What was it about The Hairy-Legged Mystery books that appealed?

I fell in love with the characters and their family life.  I wanted to be in that family where the kids love to play outside, where they think fast, take risks and back each other up.  Hats off to their working parents, who manage to give their kids space, but hang with them at bedtime too, telling wildly imaginative stories. 

Also, I should mention Ruby that your writing style makes narrating easy.  You have a natural conversational tone with realistic dialogue, which made the job of a narrating this book an absolute pleasure.

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Q: What are your favourite bits of The Hairy-Legged mystery that the readers should listen out for? 

Listen for the tea-time scene in which Ben and Jenny hide the creature under the table.   While banana peels and orange skins fly, the pair try to cover the sounds and distract their parents from discovering their secret.
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Q: What advice do you have for authors intending to produce audiobooks?

GO FOR IT!  The audiobook audience is growing.  There are people like me who listen while doing mindless tasks, people who are learning English and will use your book to improve their language skills, and there are brilliantly intelligent people who are dyslexic and who appreciate a good read minus the agro of decoding .  GO FOR IT!

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