If you’re a romance fan, you know that bestselling author Ali Hazelwood’s molten-hot paranormal romance Bride is out now. And if you’re an audiobook fan, you know something else: when you see Audie Award-winning narrator Thérèse Plummer attached to a project, you cannot hit play fast enough. While Thérèse has narrated over 450 audiobooks in all genres (including previous Ali Hazelwood novel Love, Theoretically), there is something special about the quick wit and simmering tension she lends to Bride that left us needing to know…how does she do it? And now you can know too…
PRH Audio: Thank you for sitting down with us to talk about narrating Bride! Before we dive in, could you tell us a little about the book?
Thérèse: For this answer, I have to defer to the blurb from Ali Hazelwood’s book page: “Misery Lark, the only daughter of the most powerful Vampyre councilman of the Southwest, is an outcast—again. Her days of living in anonymity among the Humans are over: she has been called upon to uphold a historic peacekeeping alliance between the Vampyres and their mortal enemies, the Weres, and she sees little choice but to surrender herself in the exchange—again.”
I mean, what can I add to that except to say…YES please!
PRHA: How did you prepare for reading Bride, and is there any special prep that goes into narrating a romance novel that’s unique from reading other types of fiction?
Thérèse: So I will read the whole book before heading into the studio, and my director, Beth Hicks, will read it too. Then I cast all the characters in my head so that as I perform the story I will see the movie playing out in my mind. It’s a process that really works well for me. What’s so incredible about working with Beth is that she has the second set of eyes and ears on this story and if/when a scene could use a different take, we talk about it and we try it. There is a ton of fun recording books with Beth. We both are in love with this book and are so hoping there will be another one!
PRHA: In Bride you voice both romantic leads, the vampyre Misery Lark and the werewolf Lowe Moreland. Could you tell us a bit about how you work to build romantic tension between characters through your voice work?
Thérèse: Since I see the characters in my mind as I perform a story, it’s as if the movie is playing in real time for me. It becomes a one-woman show and I disappear and the characters come alive through my voice. At least that’s what I hope happens!
PRHA: Relatedly: the love scenes! Wowza. We have to ask: what is it like to record spicy love scenes, and what do you think audiobook fans would be most surprised to know about the process?
Thérèse: For the really passionate scenes, Ali does an incredible job building the sexual tension and will give me hints for audio: “he said huskily,” “she said breathlessly,” that sort of thing. There is a really fun way to do these scenes by getting closer to my mic and saying all the lines as passionately, huskily and breathlessly as I can as these two beautiful creatures surrender to the chemistry between them. Again, Ali’s writing makes my job a lot easier.
PRHA: Is there a scene in Bride that you’re especially excited for audiobook listeners to hear, or that was particularly fun to record?
Thérèse: Without giving away anything I will say anytime there are scenes involving women standing up for themselves physically and emotionally I am all about it. Misery is a badass and that is all I am going to say about that. NO SPOILERS!
PRHA: We can’t help but ask: if you were a part of the Bride “universe,” would you be a vampyre, or a werewolf?
Thérèse: I would definitely be a vampyre. And I would absolutely be me but with a splash of Misery.
PRHA: And last but not least—since we’re all listening fanatics here—what is the last great thing you listened to? (It can be an audiobook, podcast, album, or song – anything that’s made your ears happy!)
Thérèse: I LOVE this question so much! The thing I listened to that made my ears happy and put a smile on my face was “Summer of Luv” by Portugal. The Man—I dance to it with my dog Butter.