Tell Us About Yourself
Name: Ellen Kauffman.
Age: That is not a proper question to ask any woman. Suffice it to say, I’m past 21 yet still some years from decrepit in this year of Our Lord 1897.
Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m the proprietor of a general store in a small river village in Pennsylvania, though often I feel it owns me rather than the other way around. I’m not a native of the village. I came here with my late husband and we operated the business together until his fateful accident. Since then I’ve had neither the money or inclination to leave. Though I won’t disclose it here, there’s a secret in my past which makes me sympathetic to young women taken advantage of by men.
Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Wavy brown hair, blue eyes and a decent complexion. The need of spectacles and a slightly bent nose prevent me from being so vain as to say I’m pretty. Still (blushing), Mr. Roth seems to find me sufficiently attractive.
Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Indeed I do. I care about other people and believe in treating them fairly, not judging them of the basis of gossip and rumor as so many in this village have done in the case of poor Ned Gebhardt. I believe his stepsister Iris and I are the only ones who believe him innocent of the murder of Susie Schaeffer. Why, that sad, gentle boy doesn’t have it in him to harm another person. And especially not Susie. He confided in me he loved that girl. He could not have done those terrible things to her.
Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? Perhaps it’s improper of me to say this, but I am rather attracted to Mr. Roth and I do believe the feeling is mutual. He’s not as handsome as Hank (my late husband), but he has a confidence about him that inspires trust. And, unlike some others I could name, he isn’t willing to condemn Ned on the basis of circumstantial evidence and is doing everything he can to assure the boy is treated fairly. If anyone can save Ned from the noose, I believe it is Detective Simon Roth.
Tell Us About Your World
Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. As I said earlier, ours is a small, bucolic village situated across the Susquehanna River from Shannon, the county seat. Many of our people are engaged in farming or related industries or work in the coal mines which are the source of Shannon’s prosperity. I don’t mean to imply our people are bad, but many are small-minded and vindictive, which is not to Ned’s advantage. Like many in small, rural communities, the villagers are poorly educated, lacking in social graces, nosey and inclined to gossip. Oh, dear, I don’t mean to be so judgmental. Yet, the truth is the truth.
Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. I attend the village church and do my best to lead a Christian life. This church is the religious and social center of our village, yet I feel it, and especially Pastor Weimer, have failed Ned (see my comment about him below).
Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? The fartherest I travel in this novel is across the river to Shannon, once for dinner with Simon and his friend Billy McKinney at the Eagle Hotel and later when I was called to testify at Ned’s trial.
Name and describe a food from your world. I love to cook and it’s wonderful to have someone to talk with over a meal. That’s one of the things I’ve missed with Hank gone. I don’t consider myself an especially good cook, but Simon does seem to enjoy the meals I’ve shared with him. He did rave about my chicken corn soup.
Name three persons of influence/renown within your society and tell why they are influential (Could be someone like Christ/Mandela/Queen Elizabeth or a renowned figure from a non-human/fantasy world.) The one person I would have expected to have more compassion for Ned and understanding of his plight is our pastor, the Rev. C. W. Weimer. Ned is one of those poor souls who never had a fair chance in life–deprived of his mother’s love at a young age, burdened with a stern father and a cold stepmother and being slow-witted besides. Unfortunately, Pastor Weimer has proven to be just as judgmental and bigoted as the rest and I have lost faith in him and his pretensions of Christian charity.
At least Aaron Bohner, our magistrate, attempted to protect Ned from the mob that wanted to lynch him and was willing to consider other suspects in the murder. I still retain some respect for him even if he wasn’t able to prevent the mob from roughing up Ned before Simon interceded and got him to safety across the river.
Book in which this character appears plus links
Something So Divine
- R. Lindermuth
Website/Blog/Author pages etc.
Name: Melanie Fraser
*Tell us a bit about yourself:
I was born in Cape Town, South Africa to where my father had moved during WWII. I made the decision at the age of 3 to become a ballet dancer! Following my training there and after the family moved to England – post-Sharpeville – I continued full time theatre training. As an actress, singer and dancer I later appeared in theatre, film and television. After a long break away from performing, during which time I qualified and taught professional classical ballet in the UK and abroad, I returned to acting and now perform on screen and as a voice over artist.
How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production?
Gary Terzza told me about BeeAudio’s new Studio Certification Course and that they were establishing a UK network. Helen Lloyd, with whom I had worked in a few theatre productions, runs the UK side. The course introduced me to audiobook narration as well as production.
Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these?
These are on audible (UK and USA sites)
‘A Gentleman’s Daughter: Her Love’ (Reina M Williams)
‘The Promise’ (Elizabeth Chappelle)
‘The Final Dawn’ (Alice Catherine Carter)
‘Princess in Peril’ (Janet Whitehead)
‘A Murderer’s Heart’ (Julie Elizabeth Powell)
‘Lady Concealed’ (Jane Bridges)
‘Dirty Business’ (Julie Elizabeth Powell)
One of my favourites is The Final Dawn, a compelling story of treachery and murder set in Stalin’s era/
Do you have a preferred genre? Do you have a genre you do not produce? Why is this?
At the top of my list is espionage, then historical and crime/thrillers non-fiction and fiction as these stimulate my interest and I always buy these books.
I’m not drawn to narrate erotica, science fiction and fantasy (involving elves and pixies) and wouldn’t usually buy books in those genres.
What are you working on at present/Just finished?
Currently I am nearing completion of an historical fiction set during the Anglo-Boer War called, ‘Crossing the Vaal’ by Archie Vincent. It is beautifully descriptive and my top favourite to date.
*Tell us about your process for narrating? (Be as elaborate as you like.)
I start by reading the whole book before auditioning. Production begins by marking up the whole script with any pronunciation, unusual words etc listed or researched. I liaise closely with the author if there are any queries.
The characters are all colour coded on the script and a spreadsheet sets out the ages, types of voice and other information for reference. Accents are sourced via the IDEA, You Tube, film and other archives. I engage a tutor – always a native speaker – in whatever foreign accent is needed.
After recording and proofing, the editing takes considerable time. My studio is in a quiet area. Nevertheless, noises such as cars, planes, lawnmowers, barking dogs occur, picked up by my extremely sensitive microphone and are all removed. Each chapter is paced and proofed again with a final QC done before mastering, saving to the required format and specifications of the publisher after which the whole production is uploaded. An ongoing backup procedure is followed throughout the production so that nothing is lost……
What aspects do you find most enjoyable?
I love the actual narration and really enjoy getting totally immersed in the story.
Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? If not why is this?
Yes, so far I have done mostly these but now give preference to projects with a PFH rate.
Do you listen to audiobooks?
Yes. I’m currently listening to David Rattray’s ‘The Day of the Dead Moon’ a thrilling history of the Zulu Wars in the 19thC.
*With many people owning MP3 players do you think this is the future of storytelling?
Whilst many people like listening to books whilst doing other things such as travelling, there are also people like me who prefer to read a book. For me it is partly because after many hours of working with sound, I like peace and quiet. I think they both have their value.
Please tell us a silly fact about yourself.
I have a dimple on each shoulder!
Where can we learn more about you?
Social Media links:
I am not on Facebook or Twitter
MELANIE HAS ALSO BEEN RECRUITED TO NARRATE OUTSIDE THE WALLS – my latest short story with Diana L Wicker.