Therese Plummer, a.k.a Savannah Richards, makes a living narrating romance novels… If anyone knows romance novels, chances are it’s the woman who has narrated over 200 of them.
Having arrived in New York City at 26 intent on becoming a professional actor, Therese Plummer’s day job for the first three years was an executive assistant in a finance firm on Park Ave. “My employers knew of my aspirations and would let me sneak out to auditions when work was light or slow,” she says.
“I was taking classes to meet agents and casting directors and had one credit left at the studio. I chose an audiobook class because my mom was always telling me I had a good voice for telling stories. Robin Miles was teaching the class and had us all read audition pieces and after my reading, she told me I should be recording audiobooks,” explains Therese. “So I did.”
Therese fell in love with romance novels at the tender age of 10, thanks to her grandmother; “I picked up one of her paperbacks and asked her about it and she told me in her slow Texan drawl, ‘Therese, that’s what we call girl talk. These stories will teach you everything you need to know about boys.’”
Later, when she was a lifeguard and there were lulls in people swimming, she discovered a stack of Harlequin romance novels in the pool office, “And oh my goodness was I addicted. I had to force myself to put the books down to do my job! I fell in love with the fantasy of these stories and how no matter the obstacle love conquered all in the end.”
While Therese records books of all genres under Therese Plummer, she records the extra saucy romances under the pseudonym Savannah Richards. Her first narration ever was Delicious, by Susan Mallery for Audible, Inc. “Mike Charzuk was my engineer and director and he did such a fantastic job teaching me as we went, I still use his guidance for stories I tell today. You don’t always have a director for projects and I always appreciate the way I learned how to narrate at that first session.”
One of the biggest challenges Therese faced in the beginning was reading a male voice in the romanced stories. She was receiving unhappy reviews by listeners who absolutely needed a deep male voice to be able to lose themselves in the story.
“I worked very hard to get a believable male voice that is rough and sexy and raspy and deep so my characters can be transported into the story without distraction,” she says.
“The challenge to narrating audiobooks is that it is very tiring – sleep is my best friend.”
With a voice that has been described as soothing and sensual, Therese is able to deliver a story very naturally with different characterizations – no doubt thanks in part to her acting experience.
“You better believe that first book I was DYING of embarrassment, but I am an actor, so I acted my way through it. But my god narrating my first sex scene with a male engineer who happened to be the executive producer was beyond nerve-wracking!”
Therese is thrilled but not at all surprised about the rising popularity of audio books. To demonstrate the point, she points out she has recorded Robyn Carr’s books for three different series, which have now been picked up by Netflix for a ten-episode series.
“The fans of audio books cannot deal with how excited they are,” she says. “One fan has started a campaign for me to play Mel, the female protagonist, with #ThereseisMel on social media! The publishers casting the narrators and the talent fans are what make this industry as successful as it is – it is a fabulous way to enjoy stories. The fact that I make a living telling hundreds of different stories is incredible.” ♥
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