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"It was a good way to jump in the pool, but it was a tough project," says Lorna Raver of her first full-length audiobook, the historical novel PASADENA , which she recorded in 2002. "The author must have mentioned every species of plant life in Southern California, and there were ethnic names unfamiliar to me." But she persevered, working through the research and preparation. Now, after the completion of more than 30 audiobooks, Lorna says that the information she picks up from audiobooks, especially when she does nonfiction, is part of the draw. Narrator and listener both seem to win: Our review of THE PLANETS by science writer Dava Sobel says Lorna "brings alive the love of learning." She has won AUDIOFILE Earphones Awards for I AM MADAME X and BOBBED HAIR AND BATHTUB GIN and Audies nominations for Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant (a dual narration with her partner, Yuri Rasovsky) and for her performance of UP FROM ORCHARD STREET in the coveted Best Female Narrator category.
Still thriving in her theater and television career, Lorna is a versatile actress who handles a wide variety of character roles in TV serials "CSI," "Nip/Tuck," and "The Young and the Restless." Recent roles include a cranky nun, a crusading Holocaust survivor, a judge, and a lesbian porn director. Lorna notes that transmitting an author's narrative, an essential task of audiobooks, is very different from work in theater or television, where dialogue is written to be spoken. She's learned "to handle the structure of sentences with more facility. I always prepare so that when I'm in a session, I can feel what's coming and can handle it more fluidly."
Lorna recently completed three audiobooks in succession--ONE IS THE SUN, REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM, and AGE OF INNOCENCE--and she says that "doing them in close proximity allowed me to try different things. Getting the essentials to convey a character in an audiobook is quite different from how you prepare a character for a play." One time-consuming aspect of audiobook narration can be checking word pronunciations, she says. For an upcoming nonfiction title on Egyptology, TEMPLES, TOMBS, AND HIEROGLYPHS, Lorna says she ended up with 400 words and terms she wished to check. A phone call to the source--author Barbara Mertz--brought satisfaction. Lorna enjoys the variety of audiobooks she narrates and recently added a new genre--fantasy--to her audiography with the recording of RAVENS OF AVALON. For Katherine Patterson's children's novel, BREAD AND ROSES, TOO , she wasn't sure whether her rich, throaty voice would be right, but in fact, the casting was spot-on. A witty delight for listeners is Lorna's performance of Dorothy Parker stories, which our review called "luminous." "Books have always been so important to me," says Lorna, "and by doing audiobooks I can combine both my appreciation of literature and my acting."--[2007 Narrator Yearbook]
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