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Interview with Narrator, Ian McEuen

 

Ian McEuen narrates The Zee Brothers, The Curse of the Zombie Omelet, Zombie School Lockdown, and The Zee Brothers short story, The Revenge of the Zombie Yeti.

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.

Influences:

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! =)

Did you have any narrator mentors?
The friends I mentioned above. Check out Michael David Axtell, Tim Campbell, and Carin Gilfry if you want some amazing narration!

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.

On Narrating:

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 else on the internet can you be found?
I can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and my website.

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.

If you are unfamiliar with or have never tried an audiobook, grab one for free! Find The Zee Brothers: Curse of the Zombie Omelet or The Zee Brothers: Zombie School Lockdown all on Audible.

Sign-up for the Grivante Press Audiobook Newsletter and get The Zee Brothers: Revenge of the Zombie Yeti audiobook short story for free!

Be sure to check out Ian’s author profile here.

November Audiobook Review: Rise of the Horde

November Audiobook Review: Rise of the Horde

Runtime: 8hrs and 3min Narrated by Luke Daniels
In Devan Sagliani’s Rise of the Horde we are introduced to a trio of young adults, Xander, Benji and later Felcity as they navigate a world that is deep into a zombie epidemic turned apocalypse. The story starts with the two boys on a military complex where Xander was left by his older brother and told to stay put, no matter what, only on the first page that same military complex is being overrun by a massive horde and Xander has no choice, but to run.

 

What did I like about this story?
At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of this story. It was interesting, but I kept waiting for the “adults” to get involved. After I caught on that this is basically a young adult zombie apocalypse novel, I was able to enjoy it on a different level.

The story explores the zombie apocalypse from the viewpoint of the 3 young characters and offers us a different perspective than the normal hard and gritty zompoc story that is so common. Bad things are happening, but we’re seeing it from the eyes of teenagers that don’t have the same life experience as adults. Their adventures or misadventures as the case often was, were fun to follow along with, especially as they encountered different scenarios that forced them to grow up. Including everything from a town under the control of a group of white supremacists, a drug-addicted rocker, and a crazed cult.

In the end, these young heroes are faced with decisions that even adults don’t want to have to make.

What didn’t I like about this story?
It’s a young adult story, which I wasn’t expecting. That said, the story is good, but it has a juvenile quality to it and if you aren’t prepared for that it can take awhile to wrap your head around it. By the end of the book I was enjoying it quite a bit, but I spent the first portion trying to understand what was going on.

Narration:
The narration by Luke Daniels was well done. Giving unique characteristics to each character with his vocal talents. The narration can make or break an audiobook and Mr. Daniels added to the overall experience of the story.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Yes. Once I got into the fact that it was a young adult zompoc I enjoyed it and found myself wanting to know what would happen to these characters next.

All in all I give this a 7 out of 10.

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October Audiobook Review: Rise of the Dead

Run time: 7hrs and 57 minutes, narrated by John R. Crosthwaite
In Jeremy Dyson’s Rise of the Dead, we find ourselves at the start of the zombie apocalypse. The story is in first person and we follow the plight of Blake, a man who finds himself separated from his family by the rapidly deteriorating world around him. He bands together with other survivors in an attempt to keep one step ahead of the dead, but their escape is leading them away from his wife and daughter.

What did I like about this story?
I enjoyed the fast-paced fall of civilization, how it fell apart so quickly and our main character who had led a life of controlled decisions found himself thrust into a world of unpredictable chaos.

It was tough(in a good way) listening along as his attempts at survival took him further and further away from his family. I could feel his frustration and fear, knowing that he had to do what he was doing to survive, but knowing that it could mean he’d never see his wife and daughter again.

There are some other interesting characters, Quentin, Danielle and Stitch who band together with Blake and help him in his travels. They added some interesting twists, especially the temporary salvation that Quentin’s father brings the group. This part of the story also helps to reveal just how bad things are becoming.

What didn’t I like about this story?
This has nothing to do with anybody but me, but I had a real problem with the narration and it severely affected my enjoyment of the story. I’ll cover this more in Narration below.

Narration:
Ok, so I’ll repeat, this has nothing to do with the story or even the narrator really, but I had a hard time listening to this book. The narrator did this thing with his voice where he would be reading normally and then would switch into a very husky demanding tone and that is the same voice I use to make my wife laugh. I call it my Batman voice. It’s a silly thing I do with her, but hearing it quite frequently in the story as I listened kept throwing me out of the story. I couldn’t stand it. It’s one thing when I do it being silly, its another thing when a good portion of the story sounded like it was being read in that voice.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Unfortunately, due to my struggle with the narrator’s use of “Batman” voice, I would not. This doesn’t mean that others won’t enjoy it just fine, in fact, they likely will, it’s just that it didn’t work for me.

I had a tough time deciding how to rate this. I’d give the story a 7-8, but as discussed, the narration was a real challenge for me and I’d give it a 4-5, so I’m going to average the two out and give it an overall 6 out of 10.

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Product links on this page will most likely take you to an Amazon webpage.

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Undead Worlds is Here!

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Announcing the winner of the Grivante Press Kindle Fire Giveaway!

 

 

Today is the day we draw and announce the winner for the 8GB Kindle Fire HD loaded with the Grivante Press Library!

Watch the video to find out who won! Thanks to all that participated!

If you didn’t win but are still interested in checking out some of our books, you can do so below!

September Audiobook Review: Speakeasy Dead

September Audiobook Review: Speakeasy Dead

Run time: 7hrs and 35 minutes, narrated by Nick Podehl & Emily Beresford
In Vicky Loebel’s Speakeasy Dead we find ourselves in a most unexpected version of the 1920’s. Zombies, witches, warlocks, gangsters, ritzy movie stars and a dance competition? Yep, a dance competition. Oh and I forgot to mention ghosts, a djinn, a demon and probably more that I cannot remember. It was a crazy mix of characters in the familiar setting of prohibition era America. I didn’t know what I would think of this story, but I was actually quite delighted by it.

The two main characters, Clara & Bernie, who we follow in alternating narratives, reminded me a lot of characters from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Bernie, reminded me of Xander and Clara a cross between Willow and maybe a little bit of Buffy herself.

The book is billed as a roaring twenties paranormal romantic comedy and it definitely fits that description. There’s love brewing as well as potions, booze and trouble!

What did I like about this story?
I loved the way the story flowed back and forth between Clara’s point of view and Bernie’s, each with its own opening quote from either the “Girl’s Guide to Demons” or the “Boy’s Guide to Boggarts”. The characters are constantly in worsening peril right from the beginning and the heat just keeps getting turned up as the story goes on.

At times the differing points of view tell you parts of the same scene from their unique perspectives and at others, they are jumping off into a new direction for the story. This kept each chapter fresh, interesting and unexpected.

The world the author created around the prohibition era, filled with witches, warlocks and demons is also filled with possibilities for future stories, while I doubt they will be filled with more zombies, I hope more books are written because these characters were a lot of fun to listen to.

What didn’t I like about this story?
Ultimately, it’s very sparse on zombies, which is ok, but if you are reading this because you really like zombie books, especially apocalypse level books, you might not care for it. If you like fun stories with action and drama, with characters you can laugh at and root for, then you’ll enjoy this book.

Narration:
The narration on this book was done quite well, with each of the two main characters having their own narrator. It made it fun to listen to and also really helped with what can be one of the challenges of an audiobook, knowing which character is doing something.

Conclusion: (Aka: Would I listen to more by this author?)
Yes, I would. I really enjoyed this story. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that when I set out to listen to it, I wasn’t too sure I’d like it at all because it was so vastly different to everything else I’ve been listening to. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much, it was fresh and interesting.

I give this 10 out of 10 stars, which is the second month in a row I have given that rating and on two vastly different books!

Get a copy for yourself on Audible!

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Product links on this page will most likely take you to an Amazon webpage.

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