*“I understood the entire process,” said Dr. Kerri Moseley-Hobbs about using her experience in the entertainment business, as a former model/actress and current manager of a multi-award winning SAG/AFTRA actor/filmmaker, during the process of producing the audio book version of her printed creative nonfiction book “More Than a Fraction: Based on a True Story” (Imagination Lunchbox). “I did the auditions myself. I listened to the auditions of not only their voices but their ability to act and separate the characters in the book.”
Dr. Moseley-Hobbs’ book is based on the documented evidence she obtained on her ancestors during a search. Her search uncovered a remarkable tale of the human-will to be free and respected as a human being. Her search ended on the campus of Virginia Tech and University where her ancestors were shipped from West Africa to America as an enslaved people to work at the estates of the Preston family (Smithfield and Solitude plantations) located in Blacksburg, Virginia. One of the last surviving Prestons donated their land (Smithfield) to establish a college (Virginia Tech), and then later on his brother donated his land (Solitude) to expand the college (Virginia Tech University). At the same time that she was looking for her ancestors, the Fractions, Virginia Tech was looking for decedents of the Fractions.
The More Than a Fraction book had a very impressive release which had Dr. Kerri presenting it at libraries, museums, colleges, and universities. It inspired many who read it to go seek out their own ancestry and confront their ancestors’ plights in America. She ended up being asked to sit on the Smithfield-Preston Foundation Board of Trustees that oversees the Smithfield Museum and was later asked to sit on the Advisory Board of Virginia Tech which oversees the Solitude Museum. Dr. Moseley-Hobbs was instrumental in getting Virginia Tech to memorialize the cabin on the Solitude estate that is suspected of being the living quarters of the Fraction family, acknowledging all those families enslaved on both the Smithfield and Solitude estates.
“I listened to the quality of their equipment, how good is the mic…do their lips pop in the mic – all of those things. I got that experience working with Anthony (Anthony-Michael.com) as a voice-over actor,” she added.
Dr. Kerri selected voice-over actor Tim Tidball who acted out all the characters – the Prestons, the Fractions, characters from West Africa and Native Americans. He has voiced over 30 books, while having a 32 year career as an English teacher in Nebraska.
“The reader has to anchor to the characters by listening to his voice,” she explained about how important picking the right voice-over actor is for audio books. “He is a white guy…but he was the best one. I was very satisfied. He was paranoid (about imitating black people voices, especially those from West Africa) and so was I. He had to emulate accents…white red-necks…2nd generation Scottish/Irish with an accent that is starting to fade, and West Africans – we even knew the tribe they came from.” www.MoreThanAFraction.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 23rd year. Next events are coming to Baltimore Saturday April 16, 2022 presented by Security Square Mall and The Baltimore Times, and Los Angeles Saturday, November 5, 2022 via Zoom. The ULMII event is a free entertainment conference offering a Professional Industry Panel Q&A Session, a Professional Talent Showcase and National Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $16,000 valued in prizes/product/services. You can log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information, or to RSVP, for Zoom Access. [email protected]