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Talking with Donna Postel and a GIVEAWAY!

Donna PostelAs we continue celebrating June Is Audiobook Month (JIAM), we’re introducing the first of three new Narrator Friends we have scheduled for June. We presently have twenty-two Narrator Friends, each with an AudioGals page complete with a bio, contact information, and their romance titles.

I met Donna Postel last year at the Audio Publishers Association’s Conference (APAC) and so enjoyed visiting her. Within a month, I was listening to one of her narrations and was quite impressed with what I heard. I’ve been following her work closely since and I’m excited to introduce Donna as our newest Narrator Friend. You can learn more about Donna on her Narrator Page. We also have two reviews of her work for you to check out – Wendy Hornsby’s Telling Lies and Midnight Baby. We just published Midnight Baby today and you will find it immediately below our talk with Donna.

The Giveaway

As part of our talk with Donna, we are running a giveaway. Two entrants will win their choice of a Donna Postel audiobook through Audible courtesy of AudioGals. It’s simple – just enter by midnight (CST) Monday, June 16th. You’ll find the entry form at the bottom of the page. No comments are necessary for entry although we’d love to hear your thoughts in the discussion area. You may only enter once. We’ll contact you the morning of the 17th so watch your emails as we must have acknowledgement of your win within 24 hours. If we don’t hear from you, we’ll select another winner. Bloggers and reviewers, we welcome your entry. The giveaway is limited to availability of your chosen Audible title in your geographical area.

Talking with Donna

Lea: Welcome to AudioGals Donna! We’ve been planning this a long time.

Looking at your recordings, I see your first audiobook performance was in 2011 with a total of 42 to date. It looks as though you are narrating more books with each month. How did you get started narrating audiobooks? Is it now a full time career for you?

Donna: Audiobook narration is my full-time focus now, and I couldn’t be happier! I’ve been a full-time voice actor with my own studio for a <cough> really long time, and always felt a strong attraction toward audiobook narration, but I was raising my family and rehabbing my falling-down old farmhouse (which took 10 years!) so didn’t actively pursue it. But audiobooks were always in the back of my mind, as well as in my earbuds as I was painting or plastering, but never plumbing – that takes too much concentration! When ACX came along in 2011, I finally found a way to prove that I could tell the story, and had the technical skills to produce a professional sounding product. Producers and publishers took notice, and I’ve been performing steadily ever since. I feel like I’ve finally found my home as an actor – this is what I was born to do. I mean – how cool is it to play the damsel AND the dragon? The cop AND the killer? I love preparing a script to record – finding the arc of the entire story as well as each character’s unique rhythm and point of view – allowing all those people to find their voice somewhere in my head – I don’t know how else to explain it. With a really well-written book it can feel like all I have to do is get out of the way and let the story unfold.

Telling LiesLea: Although only one of your titles is officially categorized as Romance at Audible, I’ve come to think of you as a narrator who narrates a good number of general fiction/mystery stories that deliver a satisfying romance. How do you choose your projects? Do you audition? Does a publisher contact you?

Donna: It’s a mix – sometimes I audition, but more often a publisher’s casting director contacts me with a project and a schedule. I love seeing their names in my inbox!

Lea: Can you give us a look into your background? Have you acted in the past or do you have formal training in the performance arts?

Donna: I’m just doing what comes naturally. I come from an extended family of natural storytellers. When we all sat together around the table at holidays or someone’s birthday or just because it was the weekend, meals would last for hours because there was always one more good one to be told and nobody wanted to miss anything.

As a teenager I was always involved in one stage production or another.

In college I majored in theatre, then worked for a time as a radio personality (as Donna Michaels, if anybody remembers!) while getting my theatre fix only sporadically.

There is always so much more to discover about the craft, and I’m always joining workshops, reading, practicing.

Lea: A radio personality – that’s fascinating!

I know you are working on Donna Ball’s Raine Stockton series right now and that you have narrated a number of entries in Wendy Hornsby’s Maggie MacGowan series. Please tell our listeners more about these series.

Donna: First off, I am totally smitten with each of these strong, outspoken characters. Maggie MacGowan is a documentary filmmaker who always gets a little too close to her subjects. She meets detective Mike Flint in Book One, Telling Lies, and let’s just say that there’s plenty of chemistry and tension in their developing relationship. I can’t say more than that without being a spoiler! Author Wendy Hornsby has a gift for creating gripping stories with multidimensional characters that I find thoroughly fascinating.

Smoky Mountain TracksThis is from author Donna Ball’s website: “Raine Stockton does the best she can to balance her full-time boarding kennel and dog-training business, her part time forest-service job, and her volunteer therapy dog and wilderness search-and-rescue work while trying to keep her canine crew under control. It would be a lot easier if she didn’t keep getting distracted by murder… “

There are so many great characters in this collection, I want to move in with them! Raine has a sort-of-ex husband who is charming, handsome, strong, and unable to be faithful, but still…

Again, these are mysteries and I can’t say much, but let’s just say that each book has a romantic plot line in addition to the mystery, and the way Donna Ball weaves it all together is just so natural you’ll wind up thinking they’re real people too. Donna is also a dog person in real life, so every interaction with the pups is spot-on.

Lea: I’d love to see you narrating some straight romance titles.

Donna: Me too!

Lea: Do you see any on the horizon?

Donna: Not on the immediate horizon, but who knows? The perfect title may be on someone’s desk as we speak!

Lea: What are some of your other current or upcoming projects? 

Donna: I’ll be doing a live reading in Kansas City June 20 as part of the 2nd annual Hear Now Festival. It’s like a film festival for the spoken word, with live and recorded performances of everything from full-cast productions with music and sound effects to audiobook narration. There’s a lot going on during the festival, and some superstar narrators, too – I get all fangirl about it! I’ll be stalking, uh, hanging out with, Scott Brick, Simon Vance, Robin Miles, Barbara Rosenblat, Robin Eller, Mark Turetsky, Phil Proctor and others – so much to hear and see and do at the festival, it’s hard to describe in a couple of sentences.

There are four more books in the Raine Stockton series which I am having a blast with. And I do narrate nonfiction as well – there’s a really interesting title from Tantor Audio called The Village Effect – about the importance of face-to-face communication in a digital world. Can’t wait to get the script

Lea: Well, fangirl, enjoy the Hear Now Festival! That is quite an impressive agenda. Wish I could be there. Hey, wait a minute. Kansas City isn’t all that far from me. Maybe you will see me there…

I have so enjoyed visiting with you Donna. Our many thanks for joining us today!

Time to Enter

Contest ended.

 

Lea Hensley

 

 

2 comments

  1. Donna

    Who won?

  2. Lea

    Our winners are Rakisha and Jody. They chose Black’s The Shop and Handeland’s Second Chance.

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