Keira Gillett (Author): Greetings everyone! The second book in the trilogy, Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword, features an amazing voice talent, Michele Carpenter. Be sure to check out the other parts of this interview series to read more about what it takes to be a young adult/middle grade narrator. We’ve been having a lot of fun talking about the book and the series, so let’s dive right in. Michele, can you share a sample from your work process?
Michele Carpenter (Narrator): This is 7 minutes of unedited narration. I felt like it was real and sometimes comical, as it shows what narrating is often like for me.
Keira: Were you surprised, scared, disappointed, etc. with any part of the second book?
Michele: Disappointed that Zaria still hasn’t met a mermaid, possibly, lol! Or a unicorn… But what she has encountered isn’t your normal, everyday, frilly fluff like that. She’s meeting ‘real’ creatures from the fairy tale world, like mountain giants and ellefolken ladies. So that’s pretty awesome.
I was scared at the end when Zaria decided to be brave and conquer her fears, and surprised at the outcome of the confrontation through the mirror with…
Keira: Sh! No spoilers! Haha. I’m glad you liked those scenes. Zaria and her friends will meet a water creature in the next book. It won’t be a mermaid though. Who would you cast as Zaria Fierce in a movie? Any ideas for other characters?
Michele: That’s a tough one. Teens grow up too quickly to really pick someone the right age.
Skai Jackson could be pretty great as Zaria. She’s adorable, lovable and talented. It’d be neat to see her with violet eyes.
Maybe Mitchell Hope for Hart…?
Ryan Potter, who played Hiro in Big Hero 6 might make a good Christoffer.
Keira: Ooooo… I like your picks! If Zaria ever becomes a movie franchise, I’ll have to bring you along to help me cast… that is if I get a say. How do you keep track of the voices from book to book?
Michele: Well, reviewing is a big part of it, but sometimes that’s not enough. I started out trying to imitate my previous voices without remembering the heart of why I gave them those voices and it didn’t go so well.
I also have to remember what/who my inspiration for that character was. I often have another character or actor in my head that I was imitating to create someone’s voice. Remembering those really helps.
I have to admit, I really wanted to try to use the voice of the Goblin King, Jerreth, for the voice of Koll, but dog-gone-it, I totally forgot and gave him a different voice. Will he slowly morph into Jerreth in the next book? I can’t say he won’t, lol.
Keira: Well I think you nailed getting the voices to sound the same the second time around and I love your new characters, too, like Granny. She’s fantastic. Do you read the book in full before you record?
Michele: I always prefer to, yes. Do I always read the book in full first? No, I don’t. And it can cause you to run into unpleasant surprises further down the book.
Keira: I bet! That’s why I tried to give you hints as to where I saw some character arcs going from one book to the next. Thank you so much, Michele for talking with us!