Behind the Voice
Meet Kristen Jones, the narrator of Red Herrings & Pink Flamingos
One of the top items on my author bucket list has always been releasing an audiobook. And with the help of Kristen Jones, that is now a reality!
Who is the talented voice actress who brought clumsy, spunky Becky Robinson to life? I chatted with Kristen to find out.
Where are you from?
I was born in Chula Vista, California and spent most of my young years in the southwest.
How did you get started narrating? When did you start?
I home schooled all four of my kids and throughout that time in my life we did a lot of reading! To make things interesting, as I was reading, I always put a different voice to the different characters.
My kids loved listening to me read, and when I no longer had anyone to read to, I missed it! I always thought it would be interesting to narrate an audiobook but had no idea where to start! With the help of my friend Google and the audio/tech people living in my house I stepped out and auditioned for a book on ACX, and was hired to narrate the first book I auditioned for! It has been almost two years since this journey began and I have loved every minute of it!
Cozy mystery fans love pets… do you have any furry pals?
I have two gorgeous Boxer pups who are my constant shadows, except when I’m recording because they are just too noisy!
What other books have you narrated?
Secrets Above Book 1 by Amy Ward
The Lights by Michelle Baillargeon
The Girls’ Weekend Murder by Lynn McPherson
The Girls Whispered Murder by Lynn McPherson
The Girls Dressed for Murder by Lynn McPherson
Unleashed: A Teen Spy Thriller by Susan Cady Allred
Seeking Tranquility by Amy Schisler.
What is your favorite genre to read? Narrate?
I love to read psychological thrillers and I think Cozy mysteries are becoming my favorite to narrate.
As a reader, what’s your favorite medium?
I use my kindle a lot for reading, as I love the convenience of having a book right at my fingertips.
What are your favorite accents to perform?
I love a good southern accent! But having lived on the West coast for a long time, the west coast accent is the easiest for me.
What do you love most about narrating audiobooks?
I love the creative process, finding out who the characters are and giving them a voice.
If you could narrate for any famous author or book, what would it be?
Do you have a ritual or routine before sitting down to record?
I make sure I have been talking a bit before I start, even if that means I must spend the morning talking to my dogs J Then I usually brew a cup of hot tea and get to work!
Are there any fun bloopers you can recall?
I have many, it’s usually me laughing at myself after I can’t get a sentence out correctly or yelling at an overhead airplane while I’m trying to record!
Is there one particular word/phrase that gives you trouble? (I can’t say aluminum without concentrating.)
There was a phrase in a book recently that is seldom used today (I have never used it) but my mom used to use it a lot when I was a little girl. So, when I came across it, I said it as my mom used to say it, which was apparently wrong! Lol! The author asked me to fix it and I had to laugh, because my whole life I thought it was said one way but it was not correct!
What do your family and friends think of your job?
They love it and are super supportive! As a matter of fact, my mother-in-law downloaded the last book I narrated because she has a hard time flying and she said listening to me read it calmed her nerves!
Do you have a desire to write a book? If so what genre?
I would love to write a book; I think it would be a memoire.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?
I LOVE true crime documentaries!
Have you ever been told you sound like someone famous? If so, who?
Not someone famous, but almost every author I have read says that I sound exactly like how they imagined their main character to sound. Which is weird to think there are people walking around with my voice in their head! Lol!
Do you read a book all the way through before you record or a chapter at a time?
I love to read the book one chapter at a time.
How do you select a book to narrate? Do you prefer a specific genre or types of characters?
I love fun female characters who are spunky and a bit sarcastic.
What was your favorite part of Red Herring’s & Pink Flamingos to narrate?
I loved picturing Agent Cornwallis and bringing him to life.
The most challenging part?
Did you figure out whodunit?
Well, in the narrator notes I had inside information, but I can say if I didn’t have that intel I might not have guessed it early.
How do you decide on the specific voice and tone for each character?
I try out several voices for each character as I go, recording the different voices, and choose which one I think fits their personality.
How do you keep track of how each character speaks?
I keep a sample of each voice on my phone so I can reference it if I need to while I am recording.
What qualities make a great narrator? What tips do you have for aspiring voice actors?
You really need to love reading out loud.
You need to be a little bit of a ham and willing to get into the book you are reading.
Have an amazing spouse who knows how to pick out a great mic and pad a soundproof room for you (or know how to do it yourself).
Must be good at listening for details and quick to learn audio tools.