Winner Take All - Audiobook on CDWinner Take All - Audiobook on CD
T. Davis Bunn
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Marcus Glenwood's stunning legal victory over New Horizons Corporation came with a severe pearsonal price. Now Glenwood is slowly getting back on his feet, back into his legal practice, and back into a deeper relationship with Kirsten Stansted. But the CEO of New Horizons comes to Marcus seeking representation in a heart-wrenching personal matter. Dale Stedman's one-year-old daughter has been abducted, he claims, by the world-renowned opera diva Erin Brandt. The case swiftly becomes the center of an international discpute and a media sensation. Before long, someone is after Marcus and Kirsten both, using deadly scare tactics. What dark secrets lie behind Erin's magnetic yet maniuplative personality? They learn too late that the woman will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Read by Buck Schirner. Abridged. 3 CDs. 3 hours.

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 Interview with the Narrator:
Buck Schirner

Tell me about yourself? Do narrate audiobooks full time?
Primarily, I am a stage actor in the Philadelphia area for the last three and a half years. Most of the time, I am doing stage work. Iíve also did an episode of Hack, which is filmed in Philadelphia. I do some commercial and radio work when I can get it.

How did you get involved in narrating audiobooks?

Well, I lived in Lancing, Michigan for a number of years and Brilliance Audio is in Michigan about two hours from where I live. Some other actors I had worked with, had done some projects there and I found out about it. I auditioned for Max Bloomquist at Brilliance and started working there a while back. Even though I have moved to Philadelphia, I still go back and occasionally do a book for him.

How did you become interested in narrating audiobooks?

Itís a nice little gig that takes three to five days to do a project and pays pretty well. Iíve always enjoyed reading anyway and being an actor, itís always an interest in playing all the parts. If you narrate a book, you get to be all the parts.

How many audiobooks have you narrated?

I would about twenty to thirty.

Do you have a particular favorite or least favorite that you narrated?

One of my more enjoyable ones is Dickensí A Tale of Two Cities because he writes. Just the way he writes, the sentences are quite long and convoluted but they tend to just naturally lend themselves to being read allowed. That was a fun project.
Iíve done a lot of suspense and detective thrillers. Those are always fun because the engineer who works on the book with you hasnít read these books, but the director and I know how it ends but he doesnít. Itís always fun to watch the engineer go, ďI think this person did it.Ē
I donít know if there is a least favorite. Some books arenít written as well as others, but I canít think of one that appauled me.

What are some of the different challenges you found for each style and genre of book? 1st person vs third person? Fiction vs. nonfiction?

The nonfictional books are pretty easy to do because they arenít a lot of characters. Of course, they not as interesting because you donít have colorful characters that you have to voice. I think itís more challenging to do a book with more characters in it but I also think itís more rewarding to because you get a chance to make them different. You have to come up with different ways to do the different women. Itís easy if youíre a guy to differentiate men but with women, itís talking very high. You just have to find different ways to come up with those female characters.

What are some of the behind-the-scenes parts of the production that you enjoy or donít enjoy?
I enjoy the research. For a while there, I was doing a series of books, the detective had a Jewish wife and was first generation Hungarian. All of her family spoke with a Hungarian accent. I happened to work with a lyric opera company in Michigan, and the owner of the company was from Hungary. It was fun to go and talk to him and listen to him and have him read some of the lines, just to get a flavor of it.
Originally I did a book about Tiger Woods. Tiger was named after a friend of his father, who was Vietnamese. I had to find the name for all the Vietnamese words. Actually, there was a doctor who was Vietnamese at the place where I get my glasses and contact lenses in Philadelphia. So I went in and taped her.
I like the research with dialects and foreign languages. There was another Faye Kellerman book where many of the lines were Israeli. I had to find the pronunciation for those.

Whatís the craziest range of characters youíve had to do?

I did a couple of books by Terry Goodkind and thatís a fantasy book. You not only have human characters but you have trolls, goblins, and fairies. So itís fun to come up with those. The character speaks in English, but heís a goblin and what does a goblin sound like?

What are the different challenges between acting and narrating?

When you are doing a stage production, you have anywhere from two to five weeks of rehearsal. When youíre recording an audiobook, you do your research at home and then you come in and record it. You and your director have a brief conversation to make sure youíre on the same page about the characters and the story but itís not as rehearsed. And if itís a book with a lot of characters, I donít always make a decision about what some of minor characters, who you see in just one seen will sound like. Itís always fun to come upon those and see what comes out of your mouth. So itís more improvisational when youíre recording a book than a play.

Typically how long does it take you to do a narration in the studio?

A normal eight-hour day in the studio, Iíll do about 100-120 pages of narrative and you figure 3-4 minutes a page. Iíd say about 300 minutes worth. It takes longer to record it than if you are just listening to it. Plus in post production they condense some of it. They shortened some of the pauses. It can take anywhere from 3-5 days to record a book.

Do you ever find yourself coming into the studio and being unprepared to narrate for that day?
I have a pretty good idea of what Iím going to be doing in the studio. Iím normally pretty ready to get going and do the days work. Sometimes in the morning, my voice isnít as rested, especially towards the end of the week, because youíre sitting and talking for eight hours a day. By the end of the week, your voice is a little more tired. But you just keep going, unless it isnít working at all for the director. I donít think Iíve ever had an occasion where we had to stop and decide it was working. We just keep plugging away.

What do you think of audiobooks as a medium?

Well, I think theyíre great. I have an aunt in Iowa and she doesnít get around much now but through my cousin, sheís discovered my audiobooks. It gives her hours of enjoyment. When I first started, I wasnít familiar with the medium and I thought it was for the blind. And now, you go in the bookstore and thereís a huge section of audiobooks.

Do you listen to audiobooks or audio products?

No. I listen to a little bit of stuff Iíve done but I would rather sit down with the book. More fun because you can use your own imagination to create the characters.

How do you feel when you hear some of the books that youíve narrated?

Well, I felt like some of them worked and some of them didnít. One that I can think of is ďThe House of Seven Gables,Ē which is a classic but it just didnít sound as good being read aloud. I donít think a well written book doesnít necessarily lend itself to being read out loud. And there are times when I listen to myself and think I could have done that better. But like I said, there is no rehearsal, so you make decisions about how you think it should be done, either before you begin recording or as you go along. Iím happy with some of it and not so happy with other parts, but generally I pleased with what I do.

Have you met any of the authors that youíve narrated books for?

I did have some correspondence from one for a while and that was fun. When Brilliance Audio did a huge project a couple years ago to record this strange book called ďThe Book of Larancha.Ē There was a man from the organization of people who were involved in making this book and though he wasnít the soul author, it was great having someone deeply involved in the making of the book.

Any new projects on the horizon?

Not at the moment. Because I do theater, my availability is not as great if I was just doing audiobooks alone. Whenever I have some time to record and Iíll call them to say that Iím free. No definite projects at this moment.

Buck Schirner's Narrations include:
Winner Take All - Audiobook on CD
Winner Take All - Audiobook on CD

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