Monday, 18 May 2020

#Interview with #Narrator of #Audiobook #CurmudgeonAvenue @LindzMcKinnon
#VoiceOverArtist #VoiceActor #Writer #Actor #Singer
#Author @SamanthaHFinds

Curmudgeon Avenue: The Terraced House Diaries (Book One)

Written by Samantha Henthorn

Narrated by Lindsay McKinnon

Published by Independently published (22 July 2018)
Genre Satire, Fiction, Humour
Pages 184
Format  Audiobook
ISBN-10 1717745555
ISBN-13  978-1717745552
Audiobook ASIN  B088MJKH2F

You will know from my reviews that I have read and enjoyed all the books in the Curmudgeon Avenue series to date. Samantha Henthorn, the author, tells me that Book 5 is being written now, so I'm looking forward to seeing that in print soon.

While I wait for the next instalment of chaos and confusion at Number One, I am thrilled to announce that Curmudgeon Avenue The Terraced House Diaries is now available as an audiobook, narrated by the versatile Lindsay McKinnon. I downloaded my copy earlier, and plan to become reacquainted with all the wonderfully quirky characters, whilst soaking up some sunshine in the garden later today.

And today, apart from bringing the audiobook to your attention, I am delighted to have an interview with the narrator Lindsay McKinnon. 

The blurb:


'Full of unique characters I loved, laughed and grimaced at.' - UK Kindle customer.

You do know that walls have ears, don't you? 

When sisters Edna and Edith move into Curmudgeon Avenue, their presence is not welcomed by the proud, yet grouchy Victorian terrace. This delightful comedy-drama is narrated by the house itself and tells of quarrels, romances and dramas of the intertwined nincompoop residents.

Widowed Edith is looking for love and dates one of Edna's ex-boyfriends, Maurice - wait until you find out what happens there! Edna is heartbroken after her long term partner moved to France. Unhappily cohabiting with her idiot sister, Edna dislikes her nephew, Ricky Ricketts, who permanently hangs around Curmudgeon Avenue with his on/off girlfriend Wantha, her sister Toonan and all the tomfoolery they bring...

The sisters decide to advertise for a lodger - enter the notable Harold - yet another of Edna's exes! Still vulnerable from the Maurice incident, Edith falls for his charms... what will happen at Curmudgeon Avenue? 

This novella is the first in the series of the quirky comedy-drama series, Curmudgeon Avenue. 

'Chortling from beginning to end I remained captive of the book. it was a winner.' - US Kindle customer.

Interview with the Narrator

~ Lindsay McKinnon~

Thank you, Lindsay, for taking the time to join me here today, and for answering a few questions for us. I am personally looking forward to listening to Curmudgeon Avenue The Terraced House Diaries, and can't wait to hear how you've brought my favourite character, Patchouli, to life!

What inspired you to become a voice over artist/writer/singer/actor?

My very earliest memory is from when I was five and I made up a joke, which my sister (eight years my senior) laughed out loud at. I was hooked! From the age of seven my back garden became my stage and every few weeks my poor family and neighbours were treated to the latest, musical, sketch show or dramatic rendition I could throw at them. So, I can’t really say I was inspired to be an entertainer; I’ve never known a time when I wasn’t one.

What do you like most about being a voice over artist?

The thing that appeals most to me about being a VO artist is bringing the author’s characters to life. I get to paint what that character looks like in the mind of the listener, using my voice as the brush. It’s so much more intimate than acting on stage or screen. If I’m doing it right, then the listener and I develop a bond. I whisper funny tales or heart pounding romance or blood chilling drama, to them personally.

What advice would you give to other aspiring voice over artists?

Go to extremes and be as over the top as you can. You may never record any of those extremes, but it’s a good way of loosening up. PLAY! Have fun with voices. I find I physically hold myself as the character would when I’m voicing them. Their mannerisms, the way they hold their face, their persona all seem to take over; it can make you feel a bit schizophrenic when you are doing a scene with half a dozen people in it, but when you inhabit them (or they inhabit you), it makes it easier to jump between characters seamlessly.

I would also suggest not being afraid to be a little different. I once attended a VO course and at the end, we were each given the same audition piece. The audio guy had forgotten to label which VO artist has recorded them. When he played them back, they all sounded so generic that even those who had performed them couldn’t distinguish their own voice. You may as well use a robot if the work is going to be that formulaic.

Who is your favourite character in Curmudgeon Avenue and why?

Ooh, that’s a hard one! I can’t pick just one, but I can narrow it down to the top three. I love Edna, she is so multi-faceted and multi flawed and I can get so much pathos from her voice. Toonan is a favourite too as she’s so endearingly young and thick and has quite a devilish streak. I can’t leave out Mrs Ali, the canny neighbour who knows everything about everyone, but what do we really know about her I wonder…. Hmmmm.

Was he/she difficult to voice?

None of the above were difficult to voice really, once I’d felt the characters telling me what they should sound like. Edith could be a bit of a challenge at times as she is just so nice and sweet and quite na├»ve, which is always harder to portray than a baddy. You want to get that sweetness across without her sounding one-dimensional. It was a challenge at times to find voices that were sufficiently different when there are so many characters who are roughly the same age, same background and brought up in the same area.

Where else would we have heard you?

Mostly live theatre as an actor, singer or comedian. The small amount of voice over work I’ve done on radio plays, jingles and adverts has been lost in the mists of time as I’ve led a very nomadic lifestyle (I am coming up to eight years in my current residence, which is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere in my adult life).

How long did it take you to produce Curmudgeon Avenue?

Approximately eight weeks, but that included a learning curve with a new recording program, new equipment and getting my recording studio set up and sufficiently soundproofed. The next recording should be a lot quicker.

Did you make yourself laugh while recording it?

Yes, quite often! Sam has written such a funny book which really captures the idiosyncrasies of the humour and downbeat Manchester style, it’s hard not to laugh. There were some parts that I listened back to a few times when I really captured the right delivery of a particular line, that kept making me chuckle. You have to play back your recording so many times during the editing process, and then again when you bounce it down to a WAV file and then again to an MP3, but I never tired of listening to the recording; which is a testament to Sam’s talent.

What is your favourite genre for reading?

My first choice would probably always be humour, but then I would really love to sink my teeth into a psychological thriller or nice gothic horror. Nothing with chainsaws or dismembered limbs being flung about left right and centre; more the tension that comes from the unseen monster that lays in wait on the other side of the door.

Have you had any stories published yourself?

I have written short stories and travel articles for magazines and newspapers and I wrote a short film which won Best Short at the Toronto Actors Union. I have a bin bag full of ideas that are waiting to be turned into novels. You never know, now I’m voicing other people’s work, it may be enough of a kick up the bum to get me finishing a few of my own. I started Theatre of the Mind Productions with the idea of creating radio plays and other Voice Over work, as well as the audio books, so there are those exciting avenues to go down too.

Do you have a story planned or in progress? When can we expect to see that?

I’ve recently rediscovered a work I started on many years ago, which is an adult fairy tale; which I realise is an angle that’s been done quite a few times since I put my notes in the “Ideas Bin Bag”, but I think it might be sufficiently different to be worth a revisit.

Who is your favourite author?

Apart from Samantha Henthorn? ;-) Stephen King, P.G Wodehouse, Tom Sharpe, Leslie Thomas, Sue Townsend, Christopher Moore, Douglas Adams, J.K Rowling

Which writers have influenced you?

Stephen King for his brilliance at characterisation and storytelling. P.G Wodehouse, Douglas Adams and Tom Sharpe for how gloriously silly they are (they can still make me cry with laughter).

If your book were to be made into a movie, who would you like to play main character’s name?

To turn the question around a little, if this book were made into a film, Samantha has already said she could see me playing Madam Genevieve Dubois. I think I would have to agree with that.

Are you open to approaches from other authors who would like their novels turned into audiobooks?

Most definitely. Bring them on!

What is the best way for them to contact you?

You can contact me via my Twitter account at @LindzMcKinnon, on Linkedin or through ACX.

You will also be able to contact me through my site,
which is currently under construction.

Purchase from:

Author Bio – Lindsay McKinnon

Lindsay was born in Liverpool, the youngest of five children in a Scots/Irish family. 

A born writer and performer, Lindsay wrote her first book of poetry by the time she was seven and regularly staged plays in the back garden, to which all the neighbours were invited (but alas, shockingly few turned up.) 

While in Drama college, she worked at night in the Merseyside Everyman Theatre; a perfect place to learn from the talented people who wrote and performed there, including Alan Bleasdale, Willy Russell and Victoria Wood, and performed by the amazingly talented John McCardle, Bernard Hill, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent. 

Drama college was followed by a course on Print and Broadcast Journalism at Liverpool University; securing herself internships at Granada TV and on Radio City. Lindsay worked as a writer and performer for a Theatre in Education Co for a year before moving to theatrical digs in London, where she met the man who was to become her future husband and creative collaborator. 

They formed the duo Little Devils and performed on the alternative comedy circuit with fellow newcomers, Julian Clary (aka The Joan Collins Fan Club), Harry Enfield, Helen Lederer etc. Along with writing sketches for the show, Lindsay also wrote short stories for magazines including Jackie

Choosing a slightly more glamorous life, Little Devils became singing duo Cachet, and they spent the next couple of decades dividing their time between (apparently) glamorous overseas tours and (slightly less) glamorous working men’s clubs including regular spots at Bernard Manning’s club The Embassy. Lindsay also spent a year teaching creative writing to ex-offenders, while still touring the clubs at night.

The couple lived in Canada for ten years where, between singing contracts, Lindsay appeared in a few plays, indie films and even an episode of The Outer Limits. Lindsay wrote, Toques Off Stetsons On which won best short film from the Actors Union in Toronto. Lindsay also worked as a dialect coach teaching Canadians, the nuances of American, British and European accents. 

When their marriage ended, the pair returned to the UK where Lindsay continued to work as a singer and compere on the club circuit. Here she met Blackpool comedian and impresario Tony Jo, and began doing the marketing and social media for his agency, HRH Entertainments

With a few voice overs in the UK and Canada under her belt, Lindsay is pursuing her love of voice over acting, leading to her collaboration with Samantha Henthorn, whose book she auditioned for on Amazon Audio. 

Curmudgeon Avenue: The Terraced House Diaries proved to be challenging in the number of characters there are to voice, but a huge amount of fun to perform. The project was made all the more enjoyable as Samantha gave Lindsay free rein on the voice and characterisation and even the accents for the inhabitants of her book. 

Samantha and Lindsay are looking forward to turning the rest of the Curmudgeon Avenue series into audiobooks, which will introduce an even greater range of characters who are standing in the wings, waiting to be given their voice.

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