If I said that a much lauded, respected, and beloved narrator was once put to work cleaning toilets in an Athens youth hostel, would you guess it was Lorelei King, John Lee, Davina Porter, or Scott Brick?
On the eve of the Audie Awards, I thought I’d share some unexpected facts about four of this year’s nominees. Particulars that their normal bio might not reveal. So, back to the youth hostel’s toilets. What if I add that the aforementioned narrator also likes to “contemplate a historic marker in my hometown that memorializes the place where plastic was invented”? Before you do an Internet search, I’ll hint that this person previously won an Audie Award for THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, which required over forty hours of narration, and is the voice of Philip Kerr’s iconic Bernie Gunther suspense series, of which the latest is GREEKS BEARING GIFTS.
Yes, it’s true. Golden voiced John Lee, nominated this year for SPELLMONGER, Book 1 of Terry Mancour’s fantasy series, knows the backside of a Greek youth hostel. Let’s just hope he also got to see the Parthenon. Lee also once worked the night shift at a razor-blade factory, which he says makes him feel lucky for every moment in the recording booth.
So which of our four narrators says that the secret to keeping your white sheets white is hanging them outside on the line in the middle of a frozen winter? This person was also a childhood champion swimmer, which is what provides the stamina to narrate long books such as Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series. Now you know, don’t you? Davina Porter, nominated for the children’s audiobook PRINCESS CORA AND THE CROCODILE, which she describes as “an absolutely lovely little book,” emigrated from England to America in 1964 with her husband on the old S.S. Queen Mary. Yes, they did have a swimming competition onboard, and yes, she was crowned Ladies Swimming Champion. She still has the prize, an ashtray.
Let’s see. Which narrator can do a surprisingly realistic chicken imitation, can read ancient Greek, and recently earned a first-class honors degree in classics? This person also once led a posse of friends to the city morgue in hopes of seeing some cool, gross stuff. (They did receive a tour, but disappointingly saw no dismembered bodies). Okay, this may be a give-away, but what if I mention Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series? The most recent is HARDCORE TWENTY-FOUR. Yup, I’m talking about Lorelei King, a native of Pittsburgh who lives in England. She’s nominated for ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT, part of the Charley Davidson paranormal series by Darynda Jones, all narrated by our favorite classics major. Here she is at graduation.
Something else that’s important to know about Lorelei King is that she is an ambassador for Dementia UK, which offers support for individuals and families dealing with the many challenges of this disease. She became involved with the organization after her husband’s diagnosis of early onset dementia.
If you’ve been keeping track, you know that we’re down to Scott Brick. But can you guess one of his favorite possessions? Telling you that Brick is nominated for Greg Iles’s suspense novel MISSISSIPPI BLOOD and that he previously won an Audie Award for PATRIOT THREAT by Steve Berry won’t help you guess. Hint: it belonged his grandmother, who was given it by her grandmother. A rolling pin! When he’s not in the recording booth or teaching Acting for the Microphone at UCLA, Brick is in the kitchen baking cookies, cakes, pies, cupcakes, and for Christmas dinner 2017, a trifle. As a diabetic, he bakes but doesn’t eat his creations. Not even this Pac Man cake, featuring blueberries in maple syrup on top and decorations all hand-made out of chocolate? We’re hungry.
So, what other narrator tidbits might you wish to know about? And while I’m asking, how about your secret life? Me? Well, I’ve stayed at the same youth hostel in Athens as John Lee. The toilets were pristine.