When not narrating, what do you enjoy doing?
When I’m not narrating, I can usually be found telling stores in a very different way: singing on the stage of whatever Opera company will hire me!
What did you enjoy most about narrating The Zee Brothers?
I have always been a huge fan of horror-comedy hybrids. I grew up on Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. Zombieland, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, and Drag Me to Hell are all recent favorites.
Which story scared you the most?
Definitely Zombie Yeti. Something about the combination of cultists, rabid yetis, and the whiteout blizzard atmosphere really got to me!
Which story made you the hungriest?
Curse of the Zombie Omelet, of course! I think I ate omelets for a month after I finished narrating that one.
Which story turned you on the most?
I’m not going to lie, when JJ showed up in Zombie Omelet…. yeah, that was cool.
When did you first discover that you wanted to be a narrator?
As long as I can remember, I have had two dreams. One was to preform onstage, the other was to do voice acting. I had no idea about the audio-book scene/business until some friends of mine from the opera world started doing it. Once I saw that it was possible to do both, I started devouring as much information about the process of narrating and producing audio-books as I could. I took classes to supplement what I already knew, bough a crappy USB mic, and started auditioning. The Zee Brothers was my first EVER project! =)
Who are your favorite authors? What are your favorite books?
Oh gosh. That is a tough one! Ironically, I didn’t actually become an avid reader until a few years ago (just before I started narrating). Since it is going to be WAY to hard to pick a favorite, I will just list a handful of authors that I adore. Neil Gaiman, Dave Eggers, Kurt Vonnegut, JK Rowling (huge HP fan here), Andy Weir, Ernest Cline, JRR Tolkein, Nicholas Olivo and Luke Kondor are all favorites.
What other narrators have influenced your narrating style the most?
Besides my mentors? I love the work of Jim Dale. He was the first narrator I really connected with. Everything I have heard him narrate is pure gold.
Outside of Horror, what other genre’s do you narrate in?
A whole lot of Sci-Fi/fantasy. My voice and personality is a great fit for a quirky/snarky/comic sci-fi, and I love narrating that kind of stuff!
Is there anything else that has influenced you as a narrator?
Every documentary narrated by David Attenborough. That man is a legend!
What is the first book that made you cry?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
How do you describe your narrating style?
In it to win it! As an actor and a singer, I always go 100% all in. Often that means I have to pull things back, because they become over the top. That is especially true of narration. Sometimes I go a bit to far, which could potentially pull listeners out of the story, so I try to find a good middle ground. I strive to be as authentic as possible with every voice, accent, and character that I portray, whether it be on stage or in front of microphone. It is all about telling the story in an effective and engaging manner.
What advice would you give to new narrators just getting started?
Read. Read, read, read. Read about narrating, read about the business, read about audio production, read about acting. Also, read out loud whenever you can. Invest in good equipment. Treat your space as best as you can to prevent echo (I started out in a closet stuffed with pillows). That, and learn to manage your time. Audio-books are the marathons of the voice acting business (every hour of FINISHED audio usually has 3-6 hours of behind it), and over the course of that marathon, many things can go wrong. There have been times when I have to delay production because of equipment failure, construction noise, and health problems. When you have a full schedule of books to narrate, and life happens… let me tell you, it sucks. So make sure you budget MORE than enough time to get it all done, just in case someone or something throws a wrench in the works.
What part of narrating do you find the most difficult?
The narration part is easy – I get to do silly voices, accents, and sometimes even impressions, into a microphone. It’s the editing and post-production stuff that really turns it into a grind. Before I figured out how to streamline my process, the editing process was slowly eating my soul. Like I said, time management is important!
What book (outside of The Zee Brothers of course) are you most proud of narrating?
I think the one I am most proud of is The Hipster From Outer Space by Luke Kondor. Luke quickly became one of my favorite authors, and working on this book was an absolute blast. I can’t wait to continue the trilogy. It was my first title set in the UK and I had to work on a bunch of accents with which I was unfamiliar. That, and The Caulborn Series by Nicholas Olivo. I just finished the 6th book in the series, and looking back at all the many characters I have voiced within that series… yeah, I am pretty darn proud of that!
What is your next big project fans should be on the lookout for?
Why, the follow up to Zombie Omelet, of course! It’s out now and you can get it here. If you’ve never tried Audible before, you can get a free copy of the book, just for signing up! That, and the final Caulborn book, which should be released after we ring in 2018.
Is there anything else you’d like your fans to know?
If you listen to an audiobook, pretty, pretty please leave a review on Audible. Thoughtful, positive reviews really help us indie narrators and authors. More than you know!
Where can readers find more of your stories?
The Calbourn Series (Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6), The Hipster From Outer Space, Reaper’s Deliverance: The Grim Alliance, Book 1, and The Shaman’s Curse: Dual Magics, Book 1.
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Be sure to check out Ian’s author profile here.