In Conversation with Golden Voice Narrator Julia Whelan
In Conversation with Michele Cobb on the Behind the Mic Podcast
Every Monday through Friday, AudioFile’s editors recommend the best in audiobook listening. We keep our daily episodes short and sweet, with audiobook clips to give you a sample of our featured listens.
Host Michele Cobb speaks with narrator Julia Whelan, one of AudioFile’s 2020 Golden Voices, as we celebrate her excellent performances across a wide range of genres. Julia Whelan won the 2019 Audie Award for Best Female Narrator for Tara Westover’s Educated and has narrated numerous Earphones Award-winning audiobooks. Today Michele and Julia discuss her narration of You Can’t Catch Me, Catherine McKenzie’s twisty audiobook about stolen identity, cults, and revenge. Hear Julia’s thoughts on the challenges and thrills of narrating this new psychological suspense audiobook.
From the Interview:
Michele Cobb: Did you do any special preparation, like reading up on cults? Because that was a big plot point here. And I noticed that some of the details of the fictional cult matched the group NXIVM that was in the news a lot few years ago.
Julia Whelan: I thought the cult was actually really well built. I think she created a very plausible cult. I didn’t do any specific research particularly, but coincidentally, I record a lot of articles for Autumn, which puts longform journalism on audio,and I had happened to be recording different articles at that time about different cults, including NXIVM. So I felt that I was kind of doing passive research for it as a result.
Michele Cobb: Well, that’s a happy coincidence right there. So was there anything that made this particular book memorable for you when recording it?
Julia Whelan: One thing that I love about this and I also love generally about Catherine [McKenzie]’s writing is you have two completely distinct stories that somehow work beautifully together. I would have read an entire novel, just about a woman who came out of a cold dealing with the past demons from that experience. Then for it to be this kind of whodunit-suspense novel about tracking down this serial identity theft offender … it’s like two great stories for me.
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