Interview with narrator Mackenzie Cartwright

With Yael Waknin

Questions for narrator Mackenzie Cartwright

1 – How did you come to narrate romantic novels?

I was just offered one, out of the blue, from Audible Studios. I was so curious about romance – I didn’t have much experience with them at all. But the fundamentals are the same as any other audiobook- a great story, characters, and intense feelings.

2 – Have you narrated books from different genres?

Yes. I’m fortunate to have narrated fantasy, nonfiction,

Mystery, horror, romance, literary fiction, even cozy mysteries! I love memoirs especially.

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

I love narrating Kayley Loring’s books – she writes characters and dialogue like no one else. When I’m narrating a Kayley Loring book I sometimes have to stop the recording because I’m laughing so hard!

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

 I once did a fantasy series that required me to narrate major battles between regiments  of dragons and wizards and witches and orcs. Those are fun but they take a lot out of you vocally. Having to do legions of different men, accents, all fighting each other and hurling their battle cries in the air- it’s a lot. I love it, but it’s a little tiring.

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 always read the book. Always. The challenge is to strike a balance between yourself as the narrator who knows where the scene is going, and then forgetting it when you’re in the moment, as the character. The narrator might know what’s going to happen next but the characters don’t…. So the element of discovery, surprise, revelation, is a big part of performance.

If I’m trying out some voices or dialects yes I will talk around the house as the characters- sometimes I even answer the phone in dialect! If I need to call a customer service line and talk to someone who doesn’t know me, that’s a fantastic way to practice.

6 – Is there a genre \ book \ character that you won’t agree to narrate? If so – why?

I narrated some dark romance once that messed with my head a little. Sometimes consent wasn’t given and I’m not narrating that genre anymore. Consent is very important to me when narrating romance.

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

 As long as it takes! As long as it takes from page one to “The End.” I might have to stop sometimes more than others. Some books I can finish in one day, others – I think I had one that was two weeks long. That’s a real ride!

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

 Sometimes, yes! Once I was juggling five at a time. The good news is, the writing for each was so excellent I never got confused.

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

 Right now I’m reading some Children’s books from my childhood. Madeline, Curious George, etc. to my little girl! She loves it when I do funny voices. She’s in that stage where she’s copying a lot, so she’s already great at doing voices herself! Maybe she has a future career as a narrator. Hmmmmmm……

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About the narrator

Nominated for an Audie Award in Erotica for her narration of Vi Keeland’s The Baller (with Sean Crisden), Mackenzie Cartwright can’t get enough of narrating romance. She’s voiced novels by some of the most talented authors in the business, among them Kristen Ashley, Lily Archer, Kayley Loring, Olivia Cunning, Evangeline Anderson, Tijan, Tessa Bailey and  Alessandra Torre. She loves getting swept away in a great story when she narrates.

Mackenzie Cartwright was born in New York City to two artist parents and traveled the world at a young age. While in Italy, she ate a million types of pasta (I mean, come on, it’s Itay!) and discovered wine and has never been the same again. Mackenzie lives in New York City.

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