The audiobook of 'Where Death Meets the Devil' by LJ Hayward was originally published on Audible in 2019. I was blown away, not only by the writing but the fantastic narration. I waited for the rest of the series to come to audio but it never happened.
In 2022 I began a conversation with LJ Hayward that resulted in Decent Fellows Press signing the rest of the series and buying out the rights for 'Where Death Meets the Devil'.
The final piece of this puzzle was finding the elusive Rowan Scott and seeing if he was available to narrate the rest of the series. I am so grateful that I found him, and fatefully, he was available to do the job. The whole 'Death and the Devil' series is now available as audiobooks on Audible. iTunes and Amazon.
How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
When I graduated from drama school, I found it a real struggle to stay creative and inspired between acting jobs. I came across voiceover and loved that it was creative and I could be in control of it - so much of working as an actor rests in the hands of others. So I trained in the technical and performance aspects of voiceover, and still continue to. I love doing audiobooks, especially the performative nature of them, they’re my roots. So I guess I happily stumbled into it.
A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
Not at all! I do have a background in theatre, but I don’t think there is only one path to a successful narration career. I think the only essential thing you should have is a passion for storytelling.
What type of training have you undergone?
I trained for 3 years as an actor at one of the top UK drama schools, then sought out various voiceover workshops and courses to learn the technical, business and performance aspects of it. Still learning and training now, constantly trying to improve.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I am an audiobook listener. For me, being able to multitask whilst listening is the biggest appeal. Driving, walking the dog, cooking, train journeys, whenever. I love the immersive escapism of audiobooks when doing mundane tasks I guess. I used to read copious amounts of books when I was younger, but as life got busier I found I struggled to find the time to read as much as I wanted. Audiobooks filled that void.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
I love dialogue, particularly well-written dialogue, that really bounces and riffs between the characters. Maybe I just like playing all the parts? … Greedy actor! My foundation is in acting so I genuinely love making the dialogue work. My least favourite part - the editing. It takes a long, long time and I’ve been hoping I’d learn to love it but… not yet… it’s worth it though once it’s done.
How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
I love their input, especially before recording the book, to get their insights, thoughts and ideas. They’ve poured so much into their book I want to make it as close to their vision as they want. But there’s a lot of trust involved. After recording has started and the first chapters have been approved, both the author and narrator have to trust they are on the right track.
Have there been any characters that you really connected with?
From the Death and the Devil series, I would love to say I connect with Ethan because he’s sexy, damaged and brooding…. But I’m definitely more Jack. Bit dramatic (or passionate) and swear a fair bit.
How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?
I find audiobook work one of the toughest compared to all other voiceover work, but it’s the most fulfilling. You’re creating a whole world with your voice. The amount of hours that go into preparing, then recording, then editing, mastering, re-listening - it’s a lot compared to a commercial or corporate job that might take 20 mins to record.
For narration inquiries, Rowan Scott can be contacted via: