Living Dead Girl a Young Adult Thriller By: Kelly Gunderman Narrated by: Veronica Orosco ➱ Audio Tour
Author: Kelly Gunderman
Narrator: Veronica Orosco
Length: 6 hours 15 minutes
Publisher: Kelly Gunderman
Released: Dec. 11, 2020
Genre: Young Adult
In this young adult thriller perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars, Thirteen Reasons Why, and Sadie, a teenage girl is about to find out how far would she will go to get revenge on those who have taken everything from her. When 17 year old high school senior Kaitlyn Davis is almost raped and then brutally murdered at a party by three boys she goes to school with, she uses her dying breath to swear that they will pay for what they’ve done. When she wakes up the next morning, she is a bit blurry on the night before and gets a big surprise - she’s alive? How? Soon, things start getting weird - it seems as though no one can see her or hear her, and no matter what she does, she can’t seem to feel anything, such as temperature. She can still move things around and touch others, and the room suddenly drops about 30 degrees wherever she is, but why? That’s when she is forced to accept it - she’s dead. At first, Kaitlyn grieves the loss of her short life - there are so many things that she is going to miss out on, so many things that she will never get to do. But then she gets angry, and she remembers her promise to get revenge on those who had taken her life. Setting out to give them what they deserve, Kaitlyn has no plans to stop until she gets the revenge she desires.
Q&A with Author Kelly Gunderman
- Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
- Honestly, I think that any kind of writing can become an audiobook! There are some kinds, though, like with Living Dead Girl, where there are some pretty emotional parts - in this case, I find it really important to find a narrator who can convey these emotions, or it will end up feeling dull and lifeless.
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- When I was writing Living Dead Girl, I honestly wasn’t sure I wanted to have it available as an audiobook. I thought it could be great, sure, but truth be told, I was just really focused on writing the book. The book took a really long time to complete. I thought a lot about how cool it would be as a movie, but not as an audiobook as much. After I finished it, though, I knew I wanted it to be available in all formats - especially audiobook!
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
- Avoiding burn-out is really difficult, especially if you find yourself doing a lot of the same thing over and over again. For me, this is more true with editing than actual writing. When I’m writing, I can skip around to other parts of the novel, write chapters out of order, and kind of just fit everything together. However, when I’m editing, I try my hardest to stay in order so that I can see the big picture. There are times when I find myself completely tired of redoing the same parts of the book over and over again, so I will come up with new things to throw in there to keep it interesting.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- I do like audiobooks, yes! In fact, I have a pretty huge library of audiobooks, and I find them essential for when I really want to read a book and not disturb anyone else - like at night. I do a lot of camping with my family, and sometimes if I can’t sleep, it’s kind of hard to turn on lights in our RV and not pester them, so I just slip some earbuds in and listen to audiobooks. I also like to listen to them when I’m doing other stuff, like jigsaw puzzles or sudoku puzzles.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- Yes. There are some very, very emotional parts of Living Dead Girl that just work better in audiobook format as opposed to print. One of these is a very, very emotional chapter toward the end of the book. I was really worried about how the emotional elements of this would carry over to the audiobook, and whether or not a narrator would be able to really grasp what I was going for, but when Veronica finished that chapter, I was completely blown away by how amazing of a job she did with it. She did such an awesome job with that chapter that I have to admit - I actually teared up a bit.
- How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
- Finishing this novel felt like raising a child - part of me feels like I’m forever going to be working on it to make it better, and the other part of me is like “Yay! It’s finally done!” every time I fix a new mistake or something that I missed the first thousand times around. So to answer the question - cake. There is always cake.
- What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
- Getting out of a writing slump is always more difficult for me than getting out of a reading slump. Getting out of a reading slump happens when I stumble across a novel that I’m just like “Whoa! I HAVE to read this, and I have to read it right NOW!” This usually results in me reading book after book, then. However, getting out of a writing slump is difficult for me - I can say just keep writing, but sometimes that isn’t an option for me. There are a lot of times when I just have to mull it over in my mind over and over until I can think of where I want to go with it before I even go anywhere near it again. To be honest, this can take weeks for me.
- What's your favorite:
- Food - Oh gosh, definitely pizza! I absolutely love pizza.
- Song - The Afterglow by Silverstein.
- Book - I have so many favorite books. I have read so much throughout my life that I can’t even remember every book that I’ve said is my “favorite” over the years - there are just too many to count! I think my all-time favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, however.
- Television show - Classic Are You Afraid of the Dark? I have my two daughters obsessed with that show, too, and we watch it together all the time. We even have our own “Midnight Society” and tell scary stories around the campfire every weekend. It is so much fun! I’m also a huge Star Trek fan (The Next Generation, Voyager, and Discovery are my favorites).
- Movie - The Truman Show. I have loved that movie since the first time I saw it, and I have probably seen it a thousand times since then.
- Band - Silverstein and New Found Glory. I can’t pick between the two, because I love them both!
- Sports team - I am honestly not into sports. At all. So I don’t have any favorite sports teams!
- City - Ocean City, Maryland will always have a special place in my heart.
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- A lot of the time when you see this question, the first thing people say is “If you want to be a writer, you have to write.” Yes, that’s true, but there are some other bits of advice to hand out, as well. The main thing I think it is important to note is that while yes, you should write, it is also important to spend time with friends and family during the whole process. Shutting everyone and everything out in order to get a chapter written isn’t really the best way to go about it - take breaks if you need to. It’s okay, I promise. Besides, when you do this, you can find more inspiration and think of new things to add to your novel. Another benefit of taking a break every now and then is that when you come back to what you’re writing, you will have more of an ability to be able to spot mistakes or things in your writing that don’t make sense, or things that just aren’t right.
- What’s next for you?
- I’m currently working on a few projects at the moment - one involves edits for my next YA novel, and I’m currently writing another YA novel. Also, I’m working on my very first middle grade novel, which is very meaningful to me. I can see those projects taking some time, but it will be worth every moment I’m putting into them!
Q&A with Narrator Veronica Orosco
- When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
- I started my pursuit of acting in 2011, and had to do some voice over work for a short film I was a part of. When I saw the finished product and heard my voice over the film, I was like ‘wow, this could be something’. As I started my research into voice acting, audiobooks would come up often and I thought how fun it would be to lend the voices I like to just use for my own enjoyment, possibly bring some joy to those who could listen to me bring a story to life! My credits can be found on my IMDB page under Veronica Pierce, my stage name.
- How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
- I started in audio dramas, perfecting my character voices before I landed my first audiobook, a vampire romance! It was something I stumbled upon, since I am an avid reader, loved the Twilight series and Harry Potter series, and thought what fun this would be to voice! I do love voicing in audio dramas so naturally seemed audiobooks were next on the list!
- Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
- It was a bit difficult at first, since I had no prior audiobook experience or examples to showcase. I had to use commercial read excerpts or snippets from audio drama work I had done to show my performance capabilities, the different character voices I could do, etc. Also, learning about the audio quality, what it takes to properly edit an audio file to meet certain quality standards really helped to land me that first narration job.
- What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
- My favorite parts about narrating a book are becoming the characters in the story. I like to get to know each character by using the author’s descriptions of them and really hone in on what the author was trying to convey in their personalities. My least favorite parts are editing the audio files as this can be a very cumbersome yet fulfilling process, but I am a perfectionist so when I hear a small thing I dislike, I wind up re-recording the line all together which creates more work for myself.
- What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
- I was intrigued by the title, so when I was browsing authors who were looking for narrators, I saw this book and clicked to read the synopsis and loved it! I thought this would be a great fit for me asn the title character was a young woman who is trying to solve a mystery of sorts and I was drawn in. So I took a chance and submitted a read for consideration, never dreaming I would actually get the chance to voice this amazing book!
- Who are your “accent inspirations”?
- Ah, so much fun with accents! I do a British accent, Australian accent, Spanish accent, German Accent and Southern Accent fairly well and have used these in many of my projects. Accent inspirations for me are: Olvia Newton John, Kelly Macdonald, Emily Blunt, Sofia Vergara, Penelope Cruz, Reba McEntire, Holly Hunter, Rachel Weisz to name a few
- How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
- I read through this book first entirely first to get a good feel for each character. I took Kaitlyn under my wing and really just gave her my own voice, so I played her as if I truly was her. In Dana, I took inspiration from one of my closest friends to be able to understand how her friendship towards Kaitlyn played in this book, fun loving and her wild side! For the boys, I really thought about every boy I knew in my highschool days and gave them some character from the boys of my past. I was even inspired to open up my High School yearbook to take a dive into my own past.
- How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you've done?
- I think the biggest difference for me is that you have to be able to separate the strictly narration part of the book from the character voices themselves so there is some distinction. In other voiceover work I have done, you play a single character, or read in a singular voice and not have to juggle being distinctive in one sole recording.
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
- To those who say this I would say, this is a new medium of enjoyment much like radio was back in the days before television existed. Really listening to someone bring words to life can open up your visual imagination much more than any movie with the best effects can! You really should give it a try to see how hearing a story being told rather than you reading it to yourself can make you appreciate what the sound of someone voice can do to elevate a book you may have already read, like never before!
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
- Practice, practice, practice! That old adage is very true and I would suggest reading out loud to yourself and to anyone willing to be your audience! You can see how well of a storyteller you really are by seeing how you can successfully captivate your audience or even start to pick up on nuances in your voice that you may never have noticed. Most important, have fun!
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