Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I trained for four years at East 15 Acting School, London— so long ago now that I’ve since been back there to teach. I’ve acted on stage and in audio dramas and comedies. I’m also a writer and director… and an illustrator and painter… a professional hobbyist, you might say.
What inspired you to become an audiobook narrator?
Simply put; loving audiobooks! I come from a generation of children that went to sleep to ‘Books on Tape’, and when I was young I loved reading aloud (often to myself) and doing character voices. I think storytelling is the basis of all acting, and audiobooks are that in their purest form. It’s just me telling you this story, bringing it to life for the listener.
How many audiobooks have you narrated?
I’ve narrated eight audiobooks (not all out for sale at the moment.) I’m still very much at the beginning of my narrating journey (I hope).
Was there anything difficult or challenging about narrating “A Gentleman Tutor" By Harper Fox?”
I’m glad to say that there wasn’t really! I’m a big fan of literature from the period that Harper Fox’s book is set, particularly Sherlock Holmes (of whom the main character is a big fan) so I felt I really understood the world. I was born in the wrong century in many ways…
Out of all of the audiobooks you’ve produced, who has been your character?
That’s a tough one… In terms of favourite to play; I enjoy the characters that don’t necessarily play a large role in the plot, I get to have a bit of fun with their voices… but I did enjoy playing The Earl of Gracewater in ‘A Gentleman Tutor’. I knew instantly that he had the voice of George Sanders, so it was great fun to roll and rumble that sound around.
How do you deal with reading sex scenes aloud?
My rule is to treat it just like any other bit of writing in the books; Let the words do the work. But it can be a little embarrassing if there’s a knock at the door when I’m in the middle of describing nipples standing to attention…
Are you an audiobook listener?If so, what is your favourite genre and who do you admire for their narration?
Big time, yes! I like comic fantasy and I’m quite partial to a murder mystery. I am a great admirer of Sir Tony Robinson, he’s very good at clear story-telling, but I think the King of audiobooks, for me, has to be Martin Jarvis, his unabridged Great Expectations is really very special, and the Queen? Gotta be Miriam Margoyles! Both are excellent at narrating and characterization; with immense control over their voices.
Please share the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Trust yourself. I’m not always terribly good at following it, alas.
What’s the most satisfying or rewarding part of narrating/producing an audiobook?
When an author says I’ve got it right. Every reader will have their own ideas of how characters should sound etc, but the author’s lived with that world and those characters intimately for such a long time; it’s very satisfying to know I’ve matched their vision as best I can.
What’s coming up for you next?
In terms of audiobooks? I’m very lucky to have a couple of projects lined up, first on the list is the next book in A.L Lester’s ‘Border Magic’ series; murder, magic, MM romance… it’s got it all going on!
In the broader sense, who knows? I hope to be doing some live performing again soon. It would be nice to act with some other people, just for a bit; then I’ll happily come back to doing it by myself in front of the microphone.
A Gentleman Tutor by Harper Fox, narrated by Callum Hale is available here: