I am pleased to be taking part in the Blog Tour for “Clutch” by Lisa Becker today. I received a free copy of this audiobook in return for my honest review.
Length: 8 hours 11 minutes
Publisher: Lisa Willet Becker 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Purchase the Book on Amazon.co.uk
About the Book:
Clutch is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.
About the Author:
Lisa Becker is a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on books and margaritas. In addition to Clutch: a novel, she is the author of the Click trilogy, a contemporary romance series about online dating and Links, a standalone, second chance romance readers call light, fun, sexy and smart. As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone! You can share your love stories with her at her website by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.
About the Narrator:
Suzanne Barbetta became a voracious reader when she realized the magic of books allowed her to become anyone, anywhere, and in any world. A storyteller and performer since age 5, she later apprenticed at 2 regional theaters and earned her Actor’s Equity card. She’s also a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, the Audio Publishers Association and the League of Professional Theatre Women. Audiobooks are a way to satisfy her pathological addiction to reading. Now based in NYC, she is also the voice of the Fierce, Funny, Fab Fangirls of the series Geek Actually for Serial Bx Publishing. You can find her online on her website, Facebook and Twitter.
A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
It helps when you have a strong theater foundation behind you but there are some very successful narrators who began as radio broadcasters. The important thing, if you don’t have those skills to call on, is to find a way now to access those tools.
What type of training have you undergone?
In addition to my theater training, I’ve taken focused Character/Accent workshops with people as varied as Lisa Biggs, (who does eLearning and commercial work), and PJ Ochlan who can do just about any accent you can imagine. I’ve had private coaching sessions with Carol Monda, Jayme Mattler and Andi Arndt. I’ve also done workshops with Johnny Heller and Paul Ruben. I’ve been so lucky to study with such incredibly talented and giving teachers – really these people are the best our business has to offer.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
YES! I love that I can read while commuting or doing chores. I feel that a narrator enriches the experience of the story in a unique way.
What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
My ability to tap into the subtext, empathize with a broad range of characters and find the humor in even dramatic situations.
What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
Initially Lisa approached me to audition for the book after listening to my samples. I liked the excerpt and looked at her other books to get a sense of her style. My favorite romance sub-genre is rom-coms and this story had a really fun hook. I found the heroine appealing as I usually play bold protagonists so I thought she’d be a great challenge.
What types of things are harmful to your voice?
COLD WATER! It not only makes my throat gurgle but I think it tightens up my whole throat. I always try to have room temperature or warm beverages.
How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voice over work you’ve done?
It’s the closest thing to theater in the voice over world which is exactly why I love it.
Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
Ooooo – maybe somebody super fun like Darynda Jones (her Grim Reaper series – love it). Fantasy AND snark? I. Am. So. There.
If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
Pollyanna. One of my favorite books as a child – it taught me how important it is to see the BEST in people.
What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if you’ve performed in other mediums, be humble enough to accept help, work with a coach, and absorb as much as possible. Also, realize that when you choose to become a narrator what you’re really saying is you want to run your own business, so you need to learn how to do that as well.
I love Audiobooks – they allow me to ‘read’ whilst I’m working and It makes me feel less alone and as a freelancer working at home, this is a nice thing! I don’t often go for romance stories but felt that my threshold for audiobooks is higher than if I was reading the book, and I was not wrong … I really enjoyed this story!
I have to say that I think the end outcome is really predictable but it doesn’t take any from the enjoyment of the story. I really liked that even though the romance and ‘soulmate’ searching was the focus of the story )not something I usually go for) but wasn’t done in a way that made me feel nauseous – as a single 39 year old (who is quite happy being single thank you very much) I do sometimes find the ‘desperate’ search for love sickeningly over the top but not this time. It was a great mix of funny, embarrassing, outrageous and scary stories and I wanted to be part of Caroline’s life, and totally fell in love with Mike too!
I also have to talk about Suzanne, the narrator too – she is a new favourite! Her different voices and accents were great and her storytelling background really shone through – she was gripping and exciting and I will definitely seek out other audiobooks she has done in the future.
The audiobook itself is an easy listen – I actually listened to it in 2 chunks over 2 days and really enjoyed my time with Caroline.