Not only is June the official start of summer, it’s also the kickstart of audiobook month! And who better to celebrate with than audiobook narrator Thérèse Plummer. The award-winning storyteller has recorded over 400 audiobooks including Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center, The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward and all 20 books in the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr (she even made a cameo in the Neflix show based on the popular book series!). Here, Plummer chats about how she finds inspiration, favorite characters to narrate in Virgin River and seeing Jack’s Bar come to life.
How did you get into audiobook narrating?
I was discovered by Robin Miles at an Actors Connection class on Audiobook narration. After taking her class and learning the skills needed for audiobook narration, I was able to audition for Mike Charzuk at Audible and the rest is history.
What’s a book you’d love to work on?
I would love to record Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
How do you take care of your voice?
Sleep is my number one voice-care. Other ways are vocal/diaphragm warm ups before my session, stretching my tongue, jaw, throat and face, and also, I drink lots of water, espresso (not sure that’s a good one but is my vice) and tea. I also love soups. And [I take] Airborne at the beginning and end of a session.
You’ve narrated all 20 books in the Virgin River series and voiced all the characters. How was that experience?
It was amazing because through each story I built the town of Virgin River for the listeners. One of my engineers made a map after each book, adding in the new houses and characters. I think every engineer at Recorded Books worked on this series with me over the years. Everyone knew Virgin River. We loved it!
Was it ever difficult finding inspiration for so many characters?
Living in New York City while recording this series, I found that riding the subway was my best inspiration. Every car I traveled in was like the United Nations and there were so many different voices. My best way to research voices is to simply listen.
Who was your favorite to narrate in the Virgin River-verse?
My favorites were the female protagonists and Jack.
Any Virgin River characters that were particularly difficult to voice?
When all the men are in Jack’s bar talking and yucking it up. I would do my best to differentiate them and give them each their own voice, but sometimes I would start laughing in my studio and yell out, “There are too many men!” We always made it work though.
How was it playing Caroline in the Virgin River series adaptation on Netflix?
It was amazing!! When I was on set and in Jack’s Bar after visualizing it in my head all these years through the books I had an emotional moment. Storytelling through books, audio and film is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and to each other. What a gift Robyn Carr gave me when she chose me to tell her stories!