Friday, November 15, 2019

Never Doubt a Duke, Out Loud

Audio books are an exciting frontier for literature these days. In an industry where flat is the new up when it comes to sales, audio books continue to see double digit increases. I admit I was not much of a connoisseur. The few I listened to never seemed to capture the story for me. And then Jannie Meisberger approached me about producing an audio book of Never Doubt a Duke, and I fell in love.

Jannie was born in England. She attended a British boarding school, where she studied elocution. She has university degrees are in Modern Languages (French and German) and Communication & Theatre Arts. How perfect for a narrator! I was just as delighted to discover that she now lives across Puget Sound from me. I thought you’d enjoy learning more about her and the audio book process.

What made you decide to become a narrator? I had studied music and acting in school in England and worked for an international organization in Europe before moving to America and raising a family. I inherited my mother’s ability to pick up accents and dialects and had great fun ‘performing’ bedtime stories to my children as they were growing up! 

After a career in international education, I decided to get back in acting, this time voice acting. I completed a number of projects, including children’s concert narration and recording public domain poems and short stories for LibriVox, before deciding that my passion was audiobook narration. I recorded my first audiobook in 2014 and have now recorded 36 audiobooks with number 37 in production.

What do you love best about being an audiobook narrator?  I get to travel through time, journey into different worlds, real and imagined, voice a myriad of characters, and bring all these wonderful stories to the world of audiobook listeners. It is also a joy to collaborate with a group of creative authors that I am honored to call friends.

What drew you to Never Doubt a Duke and the Fortune’s Brides series? As a schoolgirl in Bath, England, I fell in love with Regency period novels, notably Georgette Heyer, as well as the classic Regency authors including Jane Austen. I have narrated a number of Pride and Prejudice variations, so you can imagine how delighted I was to come upon Never Doubt a Duke and the Fortune’s Brides series and discover that they had not yet been made into audiobooks. I was even happier to discover that Regina lived not far from me, so I had the opportunity to meet and chat with her about her writing career in general and Never Doubt a Duke in particular.

What’s your secret for creating an audiobook that captures the characters and the story?  Lots of careful preparation! The average time a narrator spends per finished hour of the audiobook is between 4-8 hours preparation, sometimes more. This includes requesting character descriptions and pronunciations of names from the author, as well as reading the manuscript several times through, listing all the characters and voices for each. I make short recordings of each voice for reference and check various online resources for pronunciations of certain words. Being English, this means checking both the English and American pronunciations of many common words, to ensure whichever pronunciation I choose remains consistent throughout the book!

What was the most challenging about recording Never Doubt a Duke? I always keep in mind that the author has spent many months, even years crafting each book, and it takes a leap of faith to trust a narrator to give just the right voice to the story. I truly believe we are a team. The author’s words are the stars, and I hope my voice allows the listeners to be enthralled by the story. When Regina and I met, she shared her concerns about an audiobook version of her book, and I am so happy she trusted me to record this first book in the Fortune’s Brides series. It has been a true pleasure to narrate, and I’m looking forward to narrating the continuing journey of Miss Thorn and dear Fortune through the peerage!

So, stay tuned! Jannie is currently recording Never Borrow a Baronet too!

You can learn more about Jannie at

And you can find her marvelous recording of Never Doubt a Duke at


FOR said...

I am a huge fan of audio books, and a huge fan of Regina Scott, both the person and the author. So I was excited to experience her work in my favorite medium. I ADORE this audio book. I vastly prefer audio books read by the author, and I thought it would bother me that this is not in Regina’s actual voice. But Jannie’s charming British accent nails the tone of the books and brings the characters to life.

Thank you Jannie and Regina for this lovely collaboration. I hope to hear more of the adventures of Fortune the cat and the nonpareil Miss Thorn.

Regina Scott said...

Oh, I'm so glad to hear this, FOR! Thank you so much for your kind words. Here's hoping the book resonates with many others as well.