June is Audiobook month (JIAM 2013). The audiobook community is giving back by teaming with the Going Public Project
by offering a serialized audio story collection. All proceeds will go to Reach Out and Read
literacy advocacy organization. Throughout June, 1-2 stories will be released each day on the Going Public blog
and on author/book blogs. The story will be free (online only – no downloads) for one week. In collaboration with Blackstone Audio,
all the stories will be available for download via Downpour. The full compilation will be ready June 30th.
The full schedule of the story release dates and narrators are at Going Public
. Engineering and Mastering are provided by Jeffrey Kafer
and SpringBrook Audio
. Graphic design provided by f power design
and published by Blackstone Audio
. Project coordination and executive production by Xe Sands
I am welcoming Adam Verner to my blog today. Here is a bit about Adam and a short Q&A we did.
Adam is a full time narrator and voice talent with over 100 titles recorded for companies such as
Blackstone, Brilliance, AudioGO, Tantor, Oasis, Audible, HighBridge, eChristian, Dreamscape,
McGraw Hill, and Zondervan. He is the recipient ofAudioFile Earphones awards for Pavilion of
Women, by Pearl S. Buck, and The Big It, by A.B. Guthrie, Jr. He holds his MFA in Acting from
the Chicago College of the Fine Arts at Roosevelt University.
How did you come to narrating audio books?
I grew up reading and loving books. My grandparents and parents both met through theatre, so it runs in the family! When I was very young my parents separated and my father moved out to California, I only got to see him a few times a year. His background was also in radio and voice over – so he would read those little “Golden Books” and other children’s books to me on cassette tapes and send them through the mail. Some of my very first memories are of listening to the voice of my father narrate books to me.
I read so many books growing up that my mom used to worry about me, that I would have trouble telling reality and fantasy apart J When people used to ask what I wanted to do when I grew up, I’d say “read books!” and they’d laugh and pat me on the head…
I started acting in high school, in plays and musicals, and performing with the speech team in the “prose reading” event. For me, plays and acting were a way into storytelling, a way to bring text to life. It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago after undergrad and entered the voice over world that I realized audio books were a possibility. I auditioned for and got my first audio book, and haven’t looked back since!
Do you recall the first book your narrated? Were you nervous? Did you feel being a novice make the process more challenging, say based on your level of comfort now?
Oh my yes – if I had to sit down and pick a harder book for a novice to do I don’t think I could do it. The first book I ever narrated was volume one in a large three volume series retelling the Robin Hood story, but set in ancient Britain, circa 1100. There were British, Welsh, Norman, and Scottish accents just to name a few. And yes, I was very nervous at first but settled in pretty quickly.
Do you have a favorite genre of books to narrate?
Probably fantasy and sci-fi, since that’s what I grew up reading obsessively. I love narrating memoirs. The genre that I would love to perform in but haven’t had a chance is Arctic exploration – I have a whole shelf at home full of tales of Arctic and Antarctic travel. They probably choose older, grittier voices for those sorts of books!
Have you had a favorite piece of work/book/poem you’ve narrated?
Some of my favorite work is the 4 books I got to narrate by Pearl S. Buck – the Nobel winning author of The Good Earth. I was privileged to narrate the sequel to that, Sons and A House Divided. Another book that was very meaningful to me is What Teachers Make, by Taylor Mali – a book about teaching and the importance of teachers.
As an avid audio listener I know the narration can make or break an audio book for me. Do you feel your role in an audio book is receiving enough recognition? If not, how would you like to see this change.
What actor doesn’t want more recognition? J I think the improved visibility of narrators is a good thing, it might allow them to get followers which would help sales; something publishers would love.
Do you have any awkward recording stories you’d like to share? Humorous?
Too many to count! One that happened recently: I was in studio recording a long (20 finished hour) book, and we had just finished the first full day of recording. On exiting the studio, the director said “I have bad news for you, that was the wrong book.” Doh! It turns out we had a previous edition of the book, and the new edition that we should have been recording wouldn’t be coming out for a few months. No worries – they just gave me another 500 page book to start recording the next morning – there goes my evening!
Thanks so much Adam!! And thank you to Xe Sands for reaching out to me and allowing me to participate in this great endeavor!
The full compilation will be available via Downpour at the end of June.
Please check out these blogs
6/18 Romance Magicians
You may also download Adam’s story here.
And now, here is Adam’s Short– Brown Wolf by Jack London