Daryl Devore's Blog

Daryl Devore's Blog

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Meet the narrator - Joseph Collins. Newly Released Audio Book - The Last Dragon. #narrator #audiobook #medieval #fantasy #romance

I decided to give the audio book route a try. I signed up to ACX. I put up some audition pieces. Several people auditioned, but when I heard Joseph Collins read I instantly knew I have found the narrator. His voice for Prince Hawkyns is perfect!

So let's find out a little about Joseph Collins - narrator.

How did you get in to the business of narrating? 

Since my teenage years, I have played and ran tabletop roleplay games, which have a very large improv element. I would have to create a character quickly, and make them distinguishable, and amusing. Eventually my friends and I moved apart, and we stayed in touch by playing regularly. This meant that I had to make all the characters different but without any hand gestures or facial features. Without meaning to, I ended up learning a number of different voices.

A friend of mine suggested that I could consider narrating audiobooks after hearing me read a book to their children. We had a good laugh at the idea, but I carried on thinking about it. I practiced some excerpts from some classic books and some old favourites, and applied for a few books that I liked the look of on ACX. There were a lot of rejections, but a few who gave me a chance to read their work.

 How long have you been a narrator? 

On Audible, a very short time. I enjoy reading out loud and reading in general, but the biggest jump was learning the audio editing tools.

 What do you enjoy about being a narrator? 

I used to read a lot when I was younger, but over the years, with work and commitments, I don't read as much as I used to. I like the variety and the chance to read different books to ones than I would normally pick.

What do you do to prepare to read a story? 

When preparing, I like to get a list of the major characters and a few notes about each and their role in the story. I've also found it handy to note down if any minor characters with the same voice are in the same sections to make sure they are distinguishable.

What is your favourite genre to narrate? 

Fantasy. Sci-Fi is pretty close, but fantasy is top of the list.

Is there a genre you don’t like? 

Not really, but skilled non-fiction (such as textbooks) are harder to read when you don't fully understand what you're reading. 

How do you choose how to narrate a character? 

I think about their role in the story (male/female lead, mentor, villain etc.), their personality (Courageous, kind, arrogant etc.) and their age. Then I try to make a voice that fits them.

Is it instinctive or do you have a method/process? 

At this point, it's instinctive, but that's because I often pull from a pool of previous character voices that I used in the past.

Is there a certain character you like to narrate? 

This is years of running tabletop games in action, but narrating the villain is always particularly satisfying. And just as satisfying to voice the hero defeating them!

Or one you refuse to narrate? 

I'm always cautious about selecting voices of a different nationality. My concern would be that it would come off offensive to native speakers.

What are your favorite and least favourite parts of narrating an audiobook? 

My favourite parts are the character dialogues. Having the characters laughing between each other is hard, but satisfying. The least favourite part would be the audio editing afterwards.

What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators? 

My advice would be to have somewhere quiet to record, with no background noise. Also, try to maintain the same sound level, even when characters are angry or upset. This is hard to do, but it's important for editing later, as the audio has to fit within a sound range.

My last advice is that recording a book takes time, and it can't be all done in a day. It's better to do a bit each day, as the book will take longer to record than the finished amount of hours. It's also important to let your voice have breaks, and drink plenty of water.

What’s next for you? What other books have you narrated?

At the moment, I'm recording Mirror Man,a young adult book set in the 1980's in Yorkshire, England about a young man and his uncovering a mystery. I also narrated Escape from Arcadia, where our protagonist escapes from his isolated home and becomes embroiled in a prophecy to save the world.


Blurb and Buy Link

What do dragons, knights and romance have in common? Grab a copy of multi-published author Daryl Devore’s medieval fantasy romance – The Last Dragon and discover the answer.

A sorcerer craving dominance merged with a dragon, the power overwhelmed him causing him to split into three dragons. Demora ruled thought, but was lost in time. Yidithe offered protection, shining like the light of the sun. Ayrradex craved chaos, revelling in destroying souls.

Many knights died, attempting to slay the devil beast. One knight, Prince Hawkyns, did not fear death. He’d lost everything. Away on a mission when Ayrradex attacked his fathers kingdom, Penrythe, Hawkyns returned to find his noble father – feeble and defeated. His wise mother – crazed. His beautiful wife and unborn child - dead. Only a pile of ashes remained for him to bury. He knelt before his King and vowed to slay the devil-beast or be slain.

Derry was born with powers that terrified her parents. They delivered her to a nunnery to be raised in secret. Jathe, a wise sorceress, discovered the young girl and trained her to one day use the secret hidden in her soul.

Legends spoken around campfires hinted the sole way to destroy Ayrradex was when the hearts of a knight and a golden dragon became one. But after a vicious battle with Ayrradex, the golden dragon was thought to be dead.

Can Prince Hawkyns’s bravery and Derry’s powers end the reign of the devil-beast’s terror?

Audible Audio - https://www.audible.ca/pd/The-Last-Dragon-Audiobook/B094YRKT76


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  1. Nice to have you here, Joseph. The copy of my book should arrive at my place on Wednesday and then I will sign it and mail it on to you :-)

  2. Hi all,
    I loved this book, and hearing from Joseph's voice was such a trill.
    Well done, both Daryl and Joseph.
    PS: Joseph, would you mind giving my love to Scotland?
    I miss its violent beauty and great people!

  3. I am adding this for a friend because for some reason it is not letting her comment.

    Loved this interview! It was so interesting to learn more about the narrator of your audiobook. You couldn’t have chosen a better narrator! He was perfect and your audiobook is amazing!

  4. What a great interview!! A great narrator for a great book!

  5. Thanks everyone for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed listening to the book as much as I enjoyed reading it! Scotland has finally decided it's summer, so the weather is beautiful at the moment. Looking forward to the next one!