On today’s bonus episode of Behind the Mic, we’re featuring a conversation between host Jo Reed and Dirk Maggs. If you love audio theater, then you know the work of Dirk Maggs. As a producer, director, and writer, his productions immerse listeners in the worlds that he creates. He uses rich sound effects to bring the language and feel of moviemaking to his audio productions, yet he never loses focus on the words at the heart of the story. In a career spanning 30 years, he’s won many national and international awards. Dirk first made a name for himself turning DC comics into audio productions, and when Douglas Adams heard those adaptations, he pulled Dirk in to bring his HITCHHIKERS’ GUIDE TO THE GALAXY series back to audio. Dirk has also had a longtime collaboration with Neil Gaiman, which most recently has resulted in an audio adaptation of THE SANDMAN, Gaiman’s beloved classic comic book series.
Listen in as they discuss his decades of work bringing audio dramas to life.
If you want to hold onto that summer feeling for a little while longer, you’ll want to listen to this love story that unfolds over 28 years. Narrator Erin Bennett shares her thoughts on Elin Hilderbrand’s 28 SUMMERS in the video below.
“I always thought beach reads were comforting and scintillating and poppy and intriguing, but I didn’t know that they could also break your heart for a few hours of your life, and that’s exactly what this book does.”—Narrator Erin Bennett
Actor Jake Abel narrated Stephenie Meyer’s newest audiobook, MIDNIGHT SUN, which tells the tale of TWILIGHT, but from vampire Edward Cullen’s point of view. Jake tells us about his experience narrating an audiobook for the first time and the responsibility of giving voice to Edward and the rest of the characters.
“I wanted to approach each person by their personality and their point of view, kind of how I prepare to do a film or TV show. Whatever comes out is because of what their wants and needs are.”—Narrator Jake Abel
Last week, AudioFile was delighted to host a live (and lively!) conversation with four romance narrators to learn more about their craft and to hear excerpts from new and upcoming romance audiobooks. Tease blogger Caitlin Augusta and AudioFile publisher Michele Cobb hosted a panel discussion as Sean Crisden, Angela Dawe, Amy McFadden, and Karen White each shared their insights into making the magic happen inside the recording booth. Watch the recorded video below and join the fun!
When high schooler Isa joins an intense cooking competition in France, narrator Jennifer Jill Araya shows her skill with accents as she brings the international competitors and supportive family members to life. Jennifer’s video below touches on all the reasons she loved narrating SALTY, BITTER, SWEET, Mayra Cuevas’s young adult audiobook about a young chef.
“SALTY, BITTER, SWEET is about finding love, figuring out what happiness is, determining what family means, and deciding how far we’re willing to go to pursue our dreams.”—Narrator Jennifer Jill Araya
Narrator Frankie Corzo takes listeners behind the scenes of MEXICAN GOTHIC, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s newest horror audiobook. Set in the 1950s, it’s a story that transports listeners into the Mexican countryside, to a manor that quickly goes from unsettling to downright terrifying. Hear more from Frankie in her narrator video below.
“It contains all those classic gothic horror novel elements . . . but is also unapologetically Mexican and Latinx.”—Narrator Frankie Corzo
Actor and narrator Emily Woo Zeller was inducted as an AudioFile Golden Voice this June. She is a marvel of a narrator with the ability to bring listeners into the story and capture the heart of a book. She narrates across many genres, including fantasy, science fiction, nonfiction, and stories of immigrants. She uses language and accents to voice audiobooks authentically, including many moving narrations of audiobooks by Asian and Asian American authors. She was nominated for an Audie Award for THE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang and in 2018 won an Audie Award for FIRE ROAD by Kim Phuc Phan Thi.
In today’s episode, host Jo Reed interviews Emily Woo Zeller, and they discuss her journey into audiobook narration through voicing anime, her skills with using accents, and what it was like narrating Fang Fang’s WUHAN DIARY in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today we are celebrating narrator Arthur Morey, who joined the ranks of AudioFile’s Golden Voice narrators this June. He is known for his exceptional narrations of histories, biographies, and memoirs, and his performances have been recognized on AudioFile’s annual Best Audiobooks lists, most recently E.B. White’s ON DEMOCRACY and REPORTER by Seymour M. Hersh.
Ramón de Ocampo is one of AudioFile’s 2020 Golden Voices. He skillfully narrates a range of titles, including bestselling series for children, powerful works of historical fiction, and meaningful coming-of-age stories. Ramón’s recent accolades include a 2019 Audie Award nomination for Casey McQuiston’s romance RED WHITE & ROYAL BLUE and numerous Earphones Awards and Best of the Year audiobooks.
Listen to Ramón’s conversation with host Jo Reed about getting his start in the world of audiobooks, his emotional connections to the audiobooks he narrates, and the acting skills he uses to deconstruct the text and help listeners engage with the story.
“If you do it right, the joy that you’re getting from it, you should be trying to record.” —Narrator Ramón de Ocampo
JD Jackson is one of AudioFile’s 2020 Golden Voices, and he is a skilled and versatile narrator with a long list of impressive credits to his name. Listen in to JD’s conversation with Jo Reed about his love of storytelling, getting his start in acting and narrating, the joys of falling into the rhythm of reading well-written prose, and the emotional impact of narrating sermons from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
JD narrated two of this year’s Pulitzer Prize-winning audiobooks, Jericho Brown’s poetry collection THE TRADITION and Colson Whitehead’s historical novel THE NICKEL BOYS. His narration of THE NICKEL BOYS also earned JD a 2020 Audie Award nomination for Best Male Narrator. Hear more in the bonus episode of our podcast below.
“Storytelling is about something that needs to be shared, and to be put out into the atmosphere.” —Narrator JD Jackson