By Stephanie Ciccarelli
January 8, 2013
Have you ever faced a turning point in your life when everything changed?
One of life's undeniable truths is that you never know what tomorrow will bring. For Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, a car ride to visit family for the holidays literally turned their plans upside down and altered the course of their lives in a tragic yet beautiful way. You may recognize these names because of a Hollywood movie called "The Vow."
I recently listened to the audiobook featuring the voice talent of John McLain. John was kind to answer a number of questions for me about his experience that I am eager to share with you.
Read more about the story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter and John McLain's experience narrating their book The Vow in today's VOX Daily.
I recently listened to "The Vow," a book by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. The Vow tells the story of the Carpenters' journey through a horrific car accident that changed their lives forever. Their story has touched millions of people and recently served as the inspiration for a feature film starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.
Kim Carpenter was a college baseball coach in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Krisxan "Krickitt" Pappas was a sales representative at a sportswear company in Anaheim, California. When Coach Carpenter placed an order for jackets over the phone with Krickitt Pappas in September 1992, he was smitten. Without giving away too much about their courtship, the couple traded in their long distance relationship for wedded bliss, exchanging vows a year after they first met, tying the knot in September 1993. The couple decided to make their home in New Mexico.
Photo of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, present day.
After being married just ten weeks, Kim and Krickitt got into a car accident while driving to visit Krickitt's family for Thanksgiving. After hanging upside down for 70 minutes in the wreck of their car before rescuers could free her, Krickitt was airlifted to a hospital. Once Krickitt regained consciousness, she awoke to the realities of a traumatic brain injury and sadly without any memory of her husband or their time together.
When faced with the impossible, the couple drew upon their Christian faith and fell in love with each other for the second time, started a family and brought hope to others both near and far. While the Carpenters did not know what each tomorrow would bring, they did know whose hands held their tomorrows.
Narrated beautifully by John McLain, the Carpenters' journey speaks of love, tragedy, faith, hope and the rebuilding of a marriage out of the ashes of amnesia. An interview with the Carpenters is featured on the last track of the audiobook, conducted by interviewer Wayne Shepherd. The Vow audiobook was published by Oasis Audio.
During the summer of 2012, I spoke with John McLain about his narrating The Vow. As it would happen, Wayne Shepherd was also present and told me about the interview he did with the Carpenters. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I promised them that I would listen to the book. Am I ever glad I did!
Here's a recent interview I did with John about his role as narrator for The Vow.
VOX: How were you chosen to narrate this book?
JOHN MCLAIN: Oasis Audio contacted me one day about the prospect of reading it for them; I had worked with them on audiobook projects before. I was familiar with the feature film inspired by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter that had been released sometime earlier in the year, but I hadn't seen it yet. I had never narrated a "movie book" before, and was excited about the idea. Since the book is written mostly from the husband, Kim's, perspective, Oasis thought I would be a good choice to tell their remarkable story. As it turns out, the book was more than just a love story - it was one of the most inspiring stories I've ever encountered.
VOX: Did narrating The Vow affect you? If so, in what ways?
JM: Definitely. As I mentioned before, it is told from a male perspective, and though I thankfully never faced the same situation that the Carpenters did, many of Kim's thoughts and feelings hit pretty close to home. Many times, almost by accident, I found myself examining my own life and marriage. It is written with a frankness and vulnerability that was very compelling and more than a little humbling. Without spoiling anything for those who have not listened to it, I will say that there is more to this story than was presented in the film. Much more.
VOX: As a narrator, what did you find most interesting, challenging, and rewarding about narrating The Vow?
JM: This project was quite unique from an acting standpoint. Ordinarily my approach in the booth would have been very different for a non-fiction title. The author's voice typically dominates a non-fiction read, where I am presenting information in the text on the author's behalf. There is normally very little characterization in a typical non-fiction performance. The Vow was an exception to the rule. Even though it is a non-fiction title, I found myself working through it like I would a novel - with more character development, vocal work, and emotion. The story demanded it. So I made the choice of trying to not only climb inside of Kim's head, but also his heart, asking myself, "what if you were Kim, and this was your story? How would you tell it?" Kim and Krickitt definitely wanted to allow us to enter the true realm of what they experienced, and I wanted to honor that in my performance. The result was a read that sounds like a magical tale of love, romance, heartbreak, faith, hope, and redemption. This one just happens to be true.
Can you point to a book or story that has changed the way you live?
Comment now and let me know. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!