An Audiobook Narrator Comes Out of His Studio by Joe Cosentino – Q&A

An Audiobook Narrator Comes Out of His Studio

I was incredibly fortunate to have actor Derick Snow perform the audiobook of my Porcelain Doll, the second Jana Lane mystery novel, published by The Wild Rose Press. To celebrate the audiobook release, I interviewed Derick, and here’s what I found out. Enjoy!
Joe Cosentino

Derick, you are a versatile actor with an impressive resume. What was your last acting role, and what’s coming up next for you?

I’m currently preparing for a few roles for stage, and a musical commercial that is shooting next week. One great thing about acting is there’s always something fun if not strange right around the corner. Probably my best, recent role in front of a camera was as disgraced Reverend Jim Bakker on the television series Scandal Made Me Famous.

I saw that. You were fantastically slimey. No offense.

None taken.

As an actor, what got you started in the audiobook field?

I love challenging myself as a voice actor. Even though I’ve gotten the chance to do some great animated television and video game voices, it’s a great skill to perform in a long-form format like an audiobook to tell a single story while keeping the energy of less lengthy projects.

Where do you record your audiobooks?

I traveled a bit during the production of this book, so I had a portable studio I set up while at my home studio in a very, very large closet and used it early on to keep acoustics as consistent as possible. I basically recorded it in a home studio; in a studio, and in a specially designed recording box. On the road, I used the self-contained acoustic box in my spacious hotel room while on tour.

So after recording, you came out of the closet. (smile)

Good one.

In doing the audiobook for Porcelain Doll, the second Jana Lane mystery novel of five, how did you key into the mindset of people in our country in 1982?

Fortunately for me, a lot of currently produced media looks back fondly on the 1980s, so I had lots of source material to work with. Some of my favorite films were made in 1982: Blade Runner, Annie, Grease 2 (I have an affinity for the Betamax version I watched way too many times living in Barrow, Alaska in the early 1980s), The Dark Crystal…It was a golden age for beautiful film quality and practical effects and interesting lighting and film chemical colorization techniques.

Not many people claim Grease 2 as a favorite film, but whatever floats your grease. Recording Porcelain Doll, how did you connect with the world of movie making, the humor, the plot twists and turns, and the shocking ending?

I’ve always loved cinema and being able to create a fictional world for a big screen pushed me into art design and acting. This book’s understanding of the particular machine that is the film industry was compelling. Some of the characters in Porcelain Doll were definitely filled with character and comedy, but all was balanced by the heart of the AIDS crisis framing several of the characters in the book, which kept the world as a place I really enjoyed inhabiting. As for the ending, who doesn’t love a good surprise twist?

I know. When I heard the audiobook, the ending shocked me, and I wrote it! How did you come up with the diverse and entertaining voices for the approximately twenty distinct characters voices, some quite eccentric?

Like many of my favorite character voices, they come pretty close to my own experiences with my friends, loved ones, and strangers I’ve had real interactions with. Everyone knows a soap-opera-loving, no-nonsense Theresa; or if one works on enough sets, you’ll find a real-life cocky, self-entrenched Ryan O’Halloran telling you why he could direct a project better, if only “they” let him.

Which was your favorite character to perform in this audiobook?

My favorite role was probably the talent agent Simon Huckby. I could chew on his character-y dialogue all day. I’ve been doing a version of his voice for years when I want to make my lovely wife laugh.

I agree! I want to play Simon in a television version of the Jana Lane mysteries. Perhaps you can play Reverend Charlton.

Another fun character to play. I also really enjoyed the arc of Tom Strong. He’s complex and you want to root for him as a classic Hollywood icon in the midst of some big changes. Jana Lane of course was wonderful, and I really loved inhabiting her as well.

Which character was the most difficult to perform in this audiobook?

Creating a varied, realistic character in Jana’s husband was surprisingly tricky, because I wanted to use particular voices for the other leading men. How to make a loving husband who’s easy to relate to, but maybe also causing Jana to consider leaving him and having a fling with her hunky leading man in the movie? I wanted to create further complexity with some inherently unbalanced characters, like Reverend Charlton and his wife. Everyone likes themselves, and even villains need to feel real if they are supposed to live in the real world. I found Mrs. Charlton’s character mannerisms in one of my friend’s grandmothers who I shall not name, bless her heart.

Have you now joined the many fans of the Jana Lane mysteries?

Absolutely. I also want to see some sweet, sweet Jason Apollo fiction.

I can see Matt Bomer play Jason Apollo in a television version of Porcelain Doll. At this point, I don’t see a big future for Jason in my novels. However, since you like Jason, you might enjoy my popular Nicky and Noah mystery novel series. Check it out: What’s next for you in the audiobook world?

The next book is a secret I can’t divulge; but as a voice actor I’ve got a lead role on a television anime cartoon releasing weekly on called Kino’s Journey (based on a manga of the same name), where I play a sentient, wise-cracking motorcycle named Hermes. It’s getting great reviews. I appreciate all the hard work and talent everyone put into the project, and I invite folks to check it out. More to come!

That’s the word from the gifted and talented Derick Snow. So, grab your popcorn and take your front row seat. Listen to the Jana Lane mystery, PORCELAIN DOLL, performed by the wonderful Derick Snow. Lights up! Action on mystery, humor, romance, and lots of surprises!

Is art imitating life in 1982? Jana Lane, ex-child star, is doing a comeback film about murder. When a crew member is killed on the set, it looks like Jana could be next. Thickening the plot is Jana’s breathtakingly handsome and muscular leading man, Jason Apollo, whose boyish, southern charms have aroused Jana’s interest on screen and off. Will Jana and Jason stop the murderer before the final reel, or end up on the cutting room floor in this fast-paced whodunit with a shocking ending?

Praise for PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery:

“Porcelain Doll is Joe Cosentino at his finest. We are drawn back to the fashions and attitudes of the 1980’s in a character-driven story full of intrigue and passion.” Kirsty Vizard, Divine Magazine

“Beautifully written and intensely detailed, Porcelain Doll is one not to be missed. Flirtatiously decadent with a strong moral undertone, set in a decade of extraordinary social change this is a story of its period that is as poignant today as it was then. Joe Cosentino controlled the emotions that the book encouraged with a deft but delicate touch. Suspenseful and mysterious, Porcelain Doll is a masterful creation, one that was impossible not to be affected by.” Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews

“Murder, mystery, and suspense are high inside of this brilliant masterpiece by Joe Cosentino.” “Every page fills the readers with intrigue.” “Edge of your seat mystery that lures readers instantly.” “Once you read it, you can’t put it down.” Urban Book Reviews

“great climax” “80s film thriller” “really did tick all the boxes for me” “he’s (Joe Cosentino’s) definitely someone to look at” “great mystery thriller!” BewitchedBooks

“If you like a fun cozy mystery, suspense, humor, and all-around clean and sexy fun, this is for you.” Cathy Brockman Romance

“Porcelain Doll hooks from the start with characters behaving badly, all of whom have life-changing secrets.” “The story includes a nice arc, well-developed characters, and a few unexpected surprises.” InD’tale Magazine

About the Author: Bestselling author Joe Cosentino won Divine Magazine’s awards for best mystery novel, best humorous novel, and best contemporary novel of 2015. He is the author of the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll and Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise (Lethe Press), Drama Luau, Drama Detective; the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); and the romance novellas: In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays and The Perfect Gift, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press). As an actor, he has appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married.

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Buy PORCELAIN DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery by Joe Cosentino published by The Wild Rose Press at the publisher, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

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