Check out this guest post from audiobook narrator and multi-Earphones Award winner Karissa Vacker. She reads the psychological suspense thriller BONFIRE (on sale Nov. 7th) by Jessica Jones actress-turned-fiction-writer, Krysten Ritter. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly praises this “triumphant fiction debut” as a “pulse-pounding thriller.” Hear what it’s like to bring fall’s hottest book to life on audio…
By Karissa Vacker It was such a thrill to narrate BONFIRE! The world that Krysten Ritter has created is one where no one can be trusted. It’s set in a small town called Barrens, where the main character grew up and though she has to return there for work, in truth, she is there to release herself from her past. She tells us, “Barrens has its roots in me. If I want it gone forever, I’ll have to cut them out myself.”
I began preparation for this book as I do all my books: reading it through and making a list of each character and their descriptions. There are a lot of characters in this book, and they are each so vibrantly described. I often cast characters in books I narrate either from people in my own life or from characters in television or film. This helps me create an essence and a vocal-feel when I’m narrating. I hope that if I can “see” a character clearly, the listener can as well. While I did this work to some extent with BONFIRE, many of the characters jumped off the page with such clarity that I could see and hear them right away. This was especially true with Abby, the protagonist. She has so much grit. It was a treat to voice her.The novel is a first-person narrative and Krysten wanted it to have the energy of her own voice. I have been a fan of hers for some time, so it was a pleasure to include binge-watching Jessica Jones, in which she stars on Netflix, as part of my prep! I focused on capturing her vocal tone and energy while ensuring that the narrative felt consistent with my image of her. I did my best to do what I do with every book I am entrusted with—to honor the world and the tone the author has created as fully as I am able.
Psychological suspense is such a fun genre to perform! The key to this genre is being as present as possible in each part of the story. You have to be authentic in the moment while still knowing in the back of your mind the twists that are coming up without giving anything away!
I hope listeners enjoy this thrilling ride of a story as much as I did!
“Actress Ritter (Marvel’s Jessica Jones) makes a triumphant fiction debut with this pulse-pounding thriller.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“this strong, gritty debut is good enough to create its own fan following.”—Booklist
“A fast-paced thriller…introduces a tough female lead who’s easy to root for.”—Kirkus ReviewsPraise for Karissa Vacker:
“Vacker’s versatile inflection and expression will be appreciated by listeners.”—Booklist (Chasing Secrets)
“Voice actor Vacker’s first-person narration empathetically conveys all the complexities and nuances…”—Publishers Weekly (Still Life with Tornado)