This is part one of four for a new interview series with Michele Carpenter, the narrator of the Zaria Fierce Trilogy as we discuss the making of Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword.
Keira: When we chatted about the first book we discussed some of your favorite and most fun voices. Are there any new characters in the trilogy that you loved performing?
Michele Carpenter: I loved voicing Bjarke. As Olaf’s cousin, I wanted the two of them to sound reminiscent of one another, but Olaf is evil and Bjarke is kind, so I wanted him to sound trollish and lovable. The results was Yoda-esque. LOL!
I also enjoyed the snooty Fey family. They weren’t completely evil. They were just self-centered and needed to sound like the privileged royalty they believed themselves to be. I felt like I was having dinner on a yacht, with the offspring of the Howells from Gilligan’s Island. Isak was fun.
Keira: I loved how you voiced Lukas and Nori. Those were some snooty sniffs. And of course, Bjarke is just perfect. So, I’ve been terribly curious and I’ll just be nosy about it now – Would you share a picture of your work space? Or work partners/partners in crime?
Michele: My studio, my kids, and some artwork I’m painting on the studio door.
Keira: Oh that’s fun and what adorable kids! Your middle one could play Aleks with his beautiful red hair and dark eyes (at least they look dark in the photo). What do you most want to happen next in the trilogy? Where do you hope book three takes us?
Michele: I really felt–or maybe imagined–a spark of connection between Hart and Zaria. They had a mutual hero/savior experience, in which, both have rescued the other. And probably doubly so, by the time the story ends. I’d love to see something develop between them. I’d like to at least see them become really great friends. On one hand, I hate the idea of losing such an awesome character as Hector in order to gain Hart as a character, but that’s how you set up the mythology of the ellefolken. On the other, I’m really curious how that’s going to play out. Imagining Hector as a tree king is just so hard. So Hart is really going to have some huge shoes to fill! He better be planning something amazing to win us over to him. 😉
Keira: I do love both Hart and Hector. What’s in store for them though will have to wait to book three. Ask me no questions, I tell you no lies. LOL If you could be a character from the books who would you be and why?
Michele: I would want to be Queen Helena…except that I’m not entirely clear on what her life must be like. She seems to have amazing powers and beauty. But is she a prisoner of her own making to the Under Realm? It seems like she’s sacrificed her freedom to guard over the dragons down there. That’s very noble and honorable, but I can’t imagine not having freedom. Madam Brown is another interesting character. She can do pretty cool things, but I’d never be content to live in someone’s backpack until they needed me, LOL! No way.
Keira: Ooo, some very interesting choices. I agree with you about Madam Brown all the way. Unless the backpack was very special I just couldn’t see living in it. What has been your favorite part about collaborating with me on Zaria Fierce?
Michele: The books have definitely been a delight! But I have to say, it’s truly all the little explosions of creativity you and I have together in our conversations that are my favorite. Over the course of this year you have become a very good friend to me. Discussing plans and ideas with you feels like being a part of a fun and artistic ‘think tank’. It’s truly inspiring and your such an uplifting person.
Keira: The feeling is mutual!!! I couldn’t ask for a better friend or collaborator. You’re a great listener! I’ve had a blast bouncing ideas with you. Readers, before you head off, take a few minutes and listen to Michele read from the second book in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. You’ll have a chance to hear her Bjarke!
If you liked the sample from Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword, be sure to check it out and to tell others about it.
See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.
Narrator Bio: Michele Carpenter is an artist at heart, with a passion for acting. She and her husband (also a voice actor) often work on projects together and help one another through the journey. Together, they have three kids. Michele’s children love to hear her read stories and beg her to edit her narrations in the same room with them so they can listen too. It’s partially for this reason that Michele has come to feel a personal responsibility to only record books that aren’t inappropriate for children or young adults–at their respective age levels and according to the maturity levels of the books they’re able to read. “We never know how long we have on this earth and I’d rather leave behind a legacy of books that I’m not ashamed to have my friends, family and even future grandchildren, listen to forever.”