Effeminate heroes or drag queen heroines?

Lady Dearing's Masquerade by Elena GreeneNow that I’m finally close to having a version of the balloonist story (title coming soon, I promise!) to send to my critique partners, I’m looking into yet another project. I’m considering doing an audio book version of Lady Dearing’s Masquerade.

I have a good friend who swears by audio books, since she spends a lot of time on the road. On the other hand, I have never listened to one. I’ve just never had the need. But the popularity of audio books is growing, so I’m working on getting educated.

I’ve listened to a number of samples from romance audio books, just to get an idea of how narration works. Since there’s usually just a single narrator, he or she has to do the dialogue for all the characters: hero, heroine, and everyone else, developing distinct voices for each. It seems quite the challenge.

Some authors choose to narrate their own books, but I know I’m not up to it! I can’t even do a British accent, which is one thing I know I want.

Another choice is whether it’s best in romance to have a female or male narrator.

This issue was discussed pretty thoroughly at the All About Romance blog post Speaking of Audio: Male versus Female Narrators. The question was, if one had to choose, would one “prefer to listen to an effeminate sounding hero or a drag queen heroine”?

As it turns out, with a good narrator, one can avoid either extreme.

Though I’m sure these actor/narrators are out of my reach, here are two examples I really liked:

The first is a sample from Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale, narrated by Nicholas Boulton. Please listen. You will enjoy it!

As an example of a talented female narrator, here’s a sample from Lady Sophia’s Lover by Lisa Kleypas, narrated by Susan Duerden.

Do you listen to audio books? For romance, do you prefer a male or female narrator? Or does it really depend more on how the narrator handles each character?


About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
This entry was posted in Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Effeminate heroes or drag queen heroines?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.