Lorelei King is one of the most successful American actresses working in the UK, appearing in Hollywood blockbusters including Notting Hill and The Saint, and independent films, such as House of Mirth and 24 Hours in London. She is a prolific audio actress and co-founder of Creative Content, an audio publishing company. If that wasn’t enough she also writes for television and radio, working frequently for the BBC.
As someone with at least two main jobs, what shared traits would you say are crucial to both an actor and a writer?
Discipline, attention to detail, understanding character….
How do you approach narrating an audiobook? Do you consider the various characters separately, as you would do were you playing a single character in a play, or is the main narrative voice essentially the ‘role’ that you’re playing?
If it is a book with first person narration, then yes – that voice is the main character and the other characters come out of her voice. There are a couple of schools of thought on this: some people think that with first person narration there should be very little characterization of other voices, as the narrator is essentially simply relating what they said – but I’m a ham, so I like to give it a bit of welly. But it’s also about clarity: I think it’s important to give each character a distinctive voice so that the listener can tell who’s speaking. Third person narration is different – the narrator’s voice is perhaps more neutral, and the characters can have more colour.
Can you remember the first book that you read as a child that had a big impact on you?
I learned to read when I was very young, but the first book that had a significant impact on me was ‘The Razor’s Edge’ by Somerset Maugham, which I read when I was nine. Much of the subject matter was way too old for me, but I was completely captivated by Larry and his spiritual journey. Inspired, I asked my parents for books on yoga meditation that Christmas – heaven knows what they thought! For me, it was an exciting and important book because it showed me that while the world was wide, there were also inner worlds to be explored. I was a deep thinker as a kid; I’m far shallower now!
What was the last book you read?
I am co-owner of a small digital publishing company, Creative Content, and one of the nicest parts of the job is proofreading the eBook versions of our crime fiction list. The last one I read was “The Broken Token” by Chris Nickson – a story set in 18th century Leeds. I really enjoyed it – the period detail was fascinating!
Which book would you recommend to a younger version of you that hadn’t yet read it?
The Iliad – such a page turning, action adventure! I wish I’d come to it sooner….