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Interview with narrator Chris Brinkley

With Yael Waknin

Questions for narrator Chris Brinkley

1 – How did you come to narrate romantic novels?

My background had been in radio and sports broadcasting. After narrating several nonfiction books, I decided I wanted to try fiction which requires more of an acting background. I auditioned for Penny Reid’s first book in the Winston Brothers series. It was my first romance book and first fiction book.

2 – Have you narrated books from different genres?

I have narrated nonfiction, mystery, thriller, memoirs and romance. For me, it is about the storytelling. I love great stories with interesting characters.

3 – What was the most fun \ easy book you narrated?

I have been lucky enough to record many fun books! Sweet Talk by Cara Bastone was a great experience for me because we recorded the dialogue in real time, meaning the female narrator, Lidia Dornet, and I were recording together. I could feel the chemistry almost immediately. She is a great voice actor.   

4 – What was the most difficult book \ character you narrated and why?

Every book and character can be difficult at first, because I am trying to discover the characters. My goal is to become the character. Once that happens, the narration becomes easy.

5 – What are the preparations you make before each project? Do you read the whole book in advance? Do you rehearse out loud before the recording itself? or maybe something else?

I do read the entire book. Then I read the chapters that I am going to record that day again out loud before I record. Sometimes, I edit the audio and hear it again. Or, someone else will edit. Before I am finished with the audio, I will listen again. As a listener, if anything takes me out of the story, I change it. My goal is for the listener to get lost in the story and the characters.   

6 – How long does it take you to record an entire book?

It usually takes me 4-6 hours for every hour of finished audio. If a finished audiobook is 10 hours, it took me at least 40 hours to produce. 

7 – Are you working on more than one book at a time?

I have worked on multiple books at once, but would prefer to work on one book at a time. This allows for more focus. I am also constantly doing other voice and narration work that is short-form narration. 

8 – What is the genre you like to read in your free time?

If the story is interesting and the characters matter to me, I will read any genre.

9- Is there a writer you particularly like? To read or to work with

I have worked with Penny Reid the most. I have recorded all of her Winston Brothers books. She is a wonderful writer and person and I will work with her anytime she asks. She also helped me to publish my first book, My Story of Us: Zach. I am forever grateful for the impact she has had on my career.    

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Chris Brinkley

About the narrator

Chris is an experienced narrator, voice actor, writer, producer, NCAA Division I broadcaster, radio personality, and emcee.  Brinkley penned the recently released My Story of Us book and audio series.  He is also known as the voice of Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers Series, narrating and voicing all six brothers in the popular audiobook collection. Brinkley narrates Reid’s Handcrafted Mystery Series and the Smartypants Romance Green Valley Chronicles.  Chris portrays Eliot in the critically acclaimed Audible Original Sweet Talk.  He is currently one of the top narrators on Kevin Costner’s HearHere travel app and is heard weekly on the Curio audio journalism app.  As the voice of several documentaries seen on the History Channel (D-Day in HD) and PBS, he brings a trustworthiness and credibility to his delivery that captures the essence of the filmmaker’s vision. He co-produced, wrote, and hosted two nationally syndicated radio shows heard on stations throughout the US.  With a varied communications background and extensive vocal repertoire, Chris possesses unparalleled experience and unique, vocal versatility.