AudioFile Best of 2018 Young Adult
Nancy Wu narrated in studios around the world while living three years in Thailand, Switzerland, and Italy and earning a Master’s Degree in Human Rights. We asked her how she got involved in recording audiobooks. “I’ve been an actor for a long time. I was recommended to Claudia Howard in 2004, and she started casting me. She was great.” Howard, executive producer at Recorded Books at the time, cast her in what would become a New York Times bestselling vampire series by MaryJanice Davidson, boasting 19 sequels. “The protagonist is a tall, blonde, ditzy vampire queen who has vampire sex. UNDEAD & UNWED began my narrator career abroad.”
Because she’s a native West Virginian with relatives from China and Indonesia, and because she has a good ear for accents, Wu is able to offer voices for characters of many ethnicities. “As I am Asian, I get cast in a lot of Asian stories.” This requires occasional contact with the author to discuss characters. “It’s very helpful to hear from the author.” After an AudioFile Earphones Award and a Parents’ Choice Award for her recording of PEASPROUT CHEN: FUTURE LEGEND OF SKATE AND SWORD, Wu got to meet author Henry Lien, and later this winter they are going to work together on the sequel, PEASPROUT CHEN: BATTLE OF CHAMPIONS. Wu says, “This year has been amazing. This summer I was working more than I ever have.” She is currently finishing recording Emily Hahn’s memoir CHINA TO ME. She also recorded Hahn's history about the Chinese Revolution, THE SOONG SISTERS.
Wu’s Earphones Award-winning performance of Ling Ma’s novel SEVERANCE, a bloody zombie apocalypse novel, is not Wu’s usual material. She laughs, “It was a stretch for me. It’s totally not my usual genre, so I’m thrilled people love it!” While she does have a home studio, she prefers recording in a studio with directors and engineers because she doesn’t like to be alone. “I enjoy being with people. I love sharing the experience with the people on the other side of the glass. They’re with you, sharing the ride, and they give you feedback.” With seven Earphones Awards to her credit to date, Wu is especially proud of her work on MAGRUDER’S CURIOSITY CABINET by H.P. Wood (2016) and THE NEXT FACTORY OF THE WORLD by Irene Yuan Sun (2018).
When she’s not recording, the busy and talented Wu is an avid rock climber and yoga practitioner. She lives in Boulder, Colorado, and is the lead instructor for Timeless|Meditation, a meditation app. Wu says that she uses yoga quite a bit when she’s in the booth. “When you’re sitting for so long, you need to have an awareness of your body and your posture. You need to keep your breath full. Yoga is the perfect tool to center yourself and to breathe.”--S.J. Henschel
[DECEMBER 2018/ JANUARY 2019]
©AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine
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