Author: Andrew Cunningham
Narrator: Greg Hernandez
Length: 5 hours 57 minutes
Series: Lies, Book 2
Released: Nov. 5, 2018
Publisher: Andrew Cunningham
Genre: Mystery, Modern Detective
Daisy Leduc was forgotten and alone. That was just how she wanted it. But when she is discovered stabbed to death in a dusty little Texas town, it plunges Del Honeycutt and best-selling mystery author Sabrina Spencer into a 30-year-old mystery involving murder, hidden identities, dangerous family secrets, political intrigue, and a long-forgotten serial killer.
Daisy’s estranged daughter, who hasn’t seen her mother in years, receives a package sent shortly before her mother’s death. A note instructs her to immediately contact Sabrina and give her the package if Daisy is killed. But why Sabrina? The temptation to uncover the answer leads Del and Sabrina on a dangerous quest to find Daisy’s killer. When they discover Daisy, under a different name, supposedly died 30 years earlier, they find themselves squarely in the cross hairs of killers whose deadly secrets lie in Daisy’s mysterious past.
I’m the author of novels in several genres, including, mystery, thriller, and post-apocalyptic science fiction. Under the name A.R. Cunningham, I’ve also written the Arthur MacArthur series of mysteries for children.
I was born in England, but have spent most of my life living in the U.S.—including 25 years on Cape Cod before moving to Florida. A former interpreter for the deaf and long-time independent bookseller, I’ve been a full-time freelance writer and copy editor for many years. A 4th-degree Master Black belt in Tang Soo Do, I finally retired from active training when my body said, “Enough already! Why are you doing this to yourself?” I’m married, with two grown children and two awesome grandsons. My wife and I spend as much time traveling as we can, and are especially fond of cruising the Caribbean.
I have been gratified by the response to my books. When I published Eden Rising back in the spring of 2013, I had no idea what to expect. When I sold my first few copies, I was excited beyond belief that someone was willing to take a chance on it. Numerous books and thousands of copies later, I am still humbled by the emails I get from readers telling me that my books kept them up late into the night.
In October of 2014, Wisdom Spring made me an official Amazon Bestselling author, a thrill I never thought would happen. But it still comes down to being able to bring a few hours of escape to a reader. That’s what it’s all about for me.
I hope you will try my books. Please feel free to email me with your comments.
Author-preferred Narrator of Mysteries & Thrillers
Narrating audiobooks is highly gratifying. I immerse myself into an author’s story in order to bring it to life for the listener. I’ve enjoyed working with Andrew Cunningham for several years. His books are filled with rich characters, and the stories keep me turning the pages.
I also work as a background actor in movies and TV shows.
For more than 20 years, I worked as a radio news reporter and news writer. I spent half of my broadcasting career at ABC News Radio in the Washington, D.C., bureau. I covered all the federal agencies as well as Congress and the White House. I reported on a wide range of stories during my career, including financial and entertainment industry news.
For nearly 24 years, I worked as a federal government spokesman at three separate agencies—National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Mint and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
- When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
- In 2014 I was looking down the road toward retirement from my federal government job. I knew I wanted to do something with voice over, but I didn’t want to go to an office. I read the book, “More Than Just A Voice: The REAL Secret to Voiceover Success” by Dave Courvoisier. The chapter on audiobooks was very intriguing. I did some research and auditioned in late 2014. I was ecstatic that I was selected quickly. It’s been a great adventure and learning experience ever since that fateful day.
- Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
- I was a radio news reporter in my first career. Being in front of a microphone was my comfort zone. I was very glad that I got my first audiobook a few days after my audition. It helped a lot that I worked with digital audio in 1987 when it was first introduced at ABC Radio News. Those skills have worked in my favor as an independent narrator not working with a publisher. Plus, I was an audio engineer when I was a student at Syracuse University working with analog audio.
- A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
- I believe it’s necessary to know a little about acting because that’s what narrating mysteries and thrillers is all about. Through my first reviews, I learned that listeners want distinct character voices so that they know who’s speaking. They don’t want to keep rewinding to keep up with character dialogue. I’ve studied acting and taken acting classes in order to make the dialogue sound like a movie soundtrack.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
- Audiobook narration is like running a marathon. You have to keep your voice in shape, and you have to maintain your energy level high throughout the whole book. In my early narrations I’d sometimes have to re-record sections because the energy was flagging. Now, I make it a point to maintain a constant energy just like a runner trying to keep up a steady pace.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- I listen to hundreds of hours of audiobooks each year. My favorites are biographies narrated by the author. There’s nothing like hearing someone’s story as told by them. I also love mysteries and thrillers. I also am very picky about narrators.
- What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
- I enjoy the whole process from narrating, editing and processing the audio for final production. Since I edit my own narrations, it’s my goal to make certain the audio is the best quality to give the listener a terrific experience. The only frustrating part of narrating is when I get a cold. That shuts down the whole process behind the microphone. That’s when I go into editing mode.
- What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
- Over the past five years, I’ve made it a point to come up with distinct character voices. I don’t want them to sound over the top. I want them to sound like every day people and believable. Some voices come naturally from the author’s words, and others take a little time to get the right cadence and inflection.
- What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
- I have narrated six books by Andrew Cunningham. I haven’t auditioned for a book since 2015. Andrew and I have a great collaboration. I call him my director because he’ll let me know if I’ve gotten a character’s voice the way he envisioned it when he wrote the story. There are about four more books that Andrew wants me to narrate. This latest series allows me continue voicing the two main characters, Del and Sabrina, that I now consider my alter egos.
- How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
- I enjoy authors that listen closely to my narration and provide feedback. I’ve been fortunate to work with Andrew Cunningham on several books because he provides valuable input that makes my narration all the more real sounding. I get great satisfaction when an author says I’ve brought their book to life.
- What types of things are harmful to your voice?
- I try to narrate for no more than four hours at a stretch. Doing character voices can put a strain on the voice, too. Warm-up exercises are key to making sure my voice is ready for the session.
- Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
- I enjoy reading reviews. The input people provide is vital to helping me get better with each audiobook. Even critical reviews are educational, too. Of course, I’m thoroughly delighted when I read very positive reviews and get a five-star rating. That’s cause for celebration!
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
- I advise aspiring audiobook narrators to do their research. Narrating an audiobook is time consuming. When starting out, it takes about three hours to narrate and produce a finished hour of an audiobook. With time and experience, you can cut that down but not by much. You have to be prepared mentally and vocally for the long haul. It takes even longer if you edit and produce your own narrations.
- Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
- There are some words and long sentences that sometimes pose a challenge. I’ll get half way through a long sentence and then blow the next part or run out of breath. It’s amazing how some words come out that are not on the page. When I hear the playback, I’ll have a laugh. Take two, please!
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