S.R.Claridge writes Mystery and Romantic Suspense novels. Her work has been said to have the energy of Dan Brown, the mystery of Mary Higgins Clark and the humor of Janet Evanovich. Claridge novels will take you to the edge of your seat, keep you guessing until the very end and ultimately warm your heart. It is on the pages of every S.R.Claridge novel that Mystery and Sensual Suspense collide.

For more information on bookings, interviews and upcoming releases, please visit the author website and Facebook fan page.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dishin' Tetterbaum's Truth, Stokes Style

I have had the privilege of working with a very talented actress on the making of the audiobook version of my first book in the Just Call Me Angel suspense series, Tetterbaum's TruthKelsey Lynn Stokes is a working actress, poet, published author, and audiobook narrator; and she is currently working towards the inception of her production company, 'House of Dolls' with partner in crime, Teo Cristea.

I am excited to have had the opportunity to meet her, interview her and to share a tidbit of her life's story with you.  One might say I am "Stoked" to be working with her on my books.  (ba-dum-bum)  Okay, enough with the punny humor.  With no further rambling, it is my pleasure to introduce Kelsey Lynn Stokes:

            In looking at your resume’, you are an established actress, a member of SAG, staring in many films.  Thus far, what has been your favorite role and why?

            My first starring role in the feature length film, “April Grace” continues to be one of the most life-changing and wonderful experiences of my life.  Members of the cast and crew remain some of my closest friends to this day, and inspire me to do great things with the gifts and privileges that I’ve been given.   I got the chance to be the goofy sixteen year old that I never let anyone see when I was actually that age, because I was too busy trying to grow up and have everyone take me seriously.  It was the most creatively stimulated I have felt.  Everything, trials and successes on set and off set made me a better person, and I will never ever forget the trust and love exchanged.  I often speculate that had I not been involved in this project, I would not still be pursuing acting.  It left me with a taste of artistry that I constantly search for in everything that I do.


If you could pick any role (television, film or stage) to play, what would be your first choice?

            Film is by far my favorite medium I have worked in, though I would love to
get more television work under my belt.  In that department, I’ve only done an episode of Discovery I.D. which seemed more like an Indie film set that say, an L.A. based television studio.  The taped shows I’ve been grateful to see appealed to me because you not only get to see playback, but you get the instant feedback of a live audience, which is usually exclusive to theater.  Part of me wishes that studio audience sitcoms like Frasier and Friends remained prevalent rather than being replaced with reality shows.  

            I would probably spontaneous combust if I were to be cast in any ‘Superman’ movie – I would love to play Lana Lang or Lois Lane in a future reboot of the legend.   Mostly, I want to keep my eyes open to new works; if I care a great deal about the script and the story, I’ll play the character.  Limiting myself to one idea of what a good role would be feels disillusioned.  When Hedda Gabler is revived on Broadway twenty years from now, I can see myself in her shoes.  I would be ecstatic.

Side note:  I TOTALLY agree with you on the whole reality tv show thing.  Blah.  I'd like to see more comedic sitcoms return as well.  Now, back to the interview:
Did you always want to be an actress…ever since you were a little girl?

I was Claire in the Nutcracker in 2nd grade and always a pro storyteller.  I would write all day long and spend the majority of my play dates in dress up boxes, so even if the conscious goal was not present until somewhere around 6th grade, I have always been infatuated with a good story.


How did you parlay film and stage work into Audiobook Narration?  Or did the narrating come first?

            I had knowledge of acx.com’s existence, but it did not fully enter my life until I returned to university in the Fall of 2012 and felt hopelessly under stimulated.  My creative juices had evaporated and when offers for audiobooks began flying about, my confidence and creativity washed back over me like tsunami.  It was rejuvenating and snapped me out of the dry spell I was experiencing.  Narrating comes incredibly naturally to me.

            In high school, we often read textbook passages aloud and my English teacher, Doug Waldoch, recruited me for the Debate & Forensics team.  His guidance, and that of Michael McAdam’s led me to win 2nd place in Serious Oral Interpretation in Cairo, Egypt as a lowly sophomore, and then swept gold the following year as a junior.

            The tiles had all been placed, and I simply had to take the first step forward to solidify the foundation laid out before me by people who saw that there was something I had to give. 


What person or people have most inspired you?

I know it may be cliché, but the true answer is my family.  My Dad, Mom & brother. My uncle Bob. My high school theater teacher, Mr. Ridley. My acting mentor, Pete Mattaliano.  My best friends Grace, and Teo.  The director of April Grace, Andrew Hutcheson. I feel like there have been so many incredible people in my life…

My Oscar speech will be unbearably long.


Where would you like to see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

In ten years, I would like to have been a series regular on a tv program, and have worked on film projects, both independent and studio features that I feel like I poured my soul into.  Those instances where everything falls into place and a collaborative effort results in true film artistry.  Among a multitude of other mind-blowing talents, I hope to have worked with directors Tarsem, and Jordan Vogt-Roberts, as well as actors Lee Pace, and Jennifer Lawrence. I want  to have birthed at least one script of my own, preferable a film adaptation of my novel, produced by House of Dolls, the company incepted last year with my close friend and creative partner, Teo Cristea.

…And of course, making a pretty penny doing voiceover work. Can’t beat that.


            You lived in Dubai for a while… can you share your experiences there?  What prompted you to move there?  How long were you there?  What was it like?  How was it different from where you now live in New York?

            I can 100% say that living in Dubai shaped who I am as a person.  I was eleven, it was midway through sixth grade, and my core was rocked with culture shock. 

            My father, who lived in Germany in his youth, had always wanted to move the family somewhere overseas, familiar with the mind-expanding experiences that accompany being a third-culture kid.  The opportunity arose in 2002, and we were on a plane to Dubai in March of 2003. I lived there six years, until I graduated the American School of Dubai in 2009, and moved to New York.  Living in Dubai is entirely surreal.  Like Vegas on crack.  You feel very removed from the rest of the world, in positive and negative ways.  They are always trying to do everything bigger and better, yet some aspects of everyday life feels primitive.  Getting errands done can take weeks.  The architecture is beautiful, the weather is unbeatable from October to April, and the vast diversity of people, cultures, backgrounds and industry is unfathomable.  The school was the center of my life, and my high school teachers remain close friends, stilling inspiring me and influencing me because they went the extra mile.  I am still trying to discover how to thank them.

 I’ve never been anywhere else like it, and though my heart and home are in New York, a part of me misses eating cheese manikish while lounging on the beach, catching snippets of Arabic on the wind and watching camels pad along the surf.

Where are you originally from?
My whole family is Canadian.  I was born in Belleville, Ontario (same as Avril Lavigne) and live in Barrie until I was eleven.  Then we moved to Dubai, U.A.E. where my parents still currently live.  I moved to NYC when I was seventeen and truly feel at home here.

If you could have any super-human powers, what would they be and why?
Flying. Duh. And Healing Powers. Can I pick two? We’re talking a Superman/Wolverine hybrid here. SuperWomaRine. Why not?

What did you think of Tetterbaum’s Truth when you first read it? 
I was surprised at how many twists and turns there were! Mystery isn’t my usual genre, but I often found myself with no idea as to what would happen next.  I had some long recording days because I could not stop myself from reading on!

Where do you record your Audiobook narrations?  Do you own your own studio?  Work from a home studio?  Work in conjunction with a production company?
My very first audiobook was recorded while sitting on the floor in my closet.  Tetterabaum’s Truth was recorded while I was trying to juggle a production assignment running the lightboard for a show at my university, so I recorded it in the recital hall.  It had a magnificent absence of sound, so there is absolutely no background noise. It’s wonderful silent. 

I decided to invest in a fantastic microphone and cleared out a different closet in my apartment in order to convert it into a home studio, acoustic padding, pop filter; the works!  I’ve got all the bells and whistles in my own place, so it is much easier to wake up and record than crouching on the ground.  My job right now is spend time talking to myself in a closet… J

You are a published author… what have you written?  Where can people find your work?
I published my first novel, ‘Clouded Visions’ when I was seventeen.  It’s available from any online supplier i.e. Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. You can order it locally from any bookstore.

At the moment, I’m working on a collaboration of poems juxtaposed with photography that I feel captures the essence of the poetry.  It has been a blast throwing ideas around with so many talented photographers. 

What other books have your narrated?
The Russian van Gogh by Robert Child.

Currently in the works are…
“Becoming Jolie” by Monique O’Connor James

“Finding Love’s Wings” by Zoey Derrick
“Reconnected” by Bethany Daniel

And of course…. The sequel to Tetterbaum’s Truth, ‘Traitors Among Us”!

If you could tell the world only three things about yourself, what would they be?

I will stop at nothing to accomplish what I set out to do.

If you enter my living space, it means you want to be assaulted with the color purple and inspirational quotes.

I do not tolerate unnecessary negativity or complacency.

Do you have siblings, children and/or pets?
My cat, Artemis, lives with my parents in Dubai.  I have an older brother, Matthew, who is 25 and currently training as a fighter pilot in the Canadian Air Force. He’s the coolest person I know.

What is your favorite way to spend an evening?
Yoga in the afternoon, a Broadway show, followed by dinner at the Cafeteria, and a stroll around the city. Perfection.  

What does a typical work day look like for an Audiobook narrator/Actress ?

It certainly depends on what else this particular actress may be dealing with in her life, and how many books she had to record…  I would like to say that one wakes up at 5 A.M. meditates for half an hour, rollerblades off to yoga and then returns to spend the day in her closet, reading and drinking tea, followed by the editing of said reading.  That only happens every so often, however.  Usually, I try and record everyday for at least forty-five minutes, and edit that material, or alternate days of recording and editing.  I’m involved with a whole world of activities, so I keep it consistent, not burdensome.

And last question...If you could have one last meal, what would it be?

Viewer discretion is advised…

I would walk to the Cafeteria, munching on Lays Ketchup chips (only from Canada) – I have no idea why they taste different here, but they do…

We would start with the black kale salad, angel hair pasta Carbonara with some pesto on the side, followed by Lemon/blueberry/ricotta pancakes. I would perhaps have room for pumpkin pie with butter pecan ice cream, and the white chocolate raspberry bread pudding.  Walking home, I’d definitely stop and get a cupcake from Crumbs.  Don’t judge me, it’s my last meal.

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If you would like to learn more about Kelsey Lynn Stokes, please visit her website at:
www.KelseyLynnStokes.com  or you can find her on Twitter @KLynnStokes 

Give all of her audiobooks a listen... you might find yourself "Stoked" too.  :)

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For a chance to win a FREE audiobook of Tetterbaum's Truth, leave a comment in the comment section below.  OR, you may send me your comment at:  AuthorSRClaridge@gmail.com     A winner will be drawn and announced on Monday, July 29th.  Good luck!

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