Thursday, January 10, 2019

Narrator Interview with John Solo

Greetings and happy 2019 to all!  This week, we're talking to FSC founder, narrator, John Solo.  Funny sounds, monsters and hunters, selkies and selfies, and DARK chocolate chips await us.  Enjoy, and join us on Facebook to request a review copy of one of John's newest releases.  Have a great Thursday!

FSC: What is your coffee house beverage of choice? 

John: Black. But maybe with some creamer. Or creamer and sugar. Or milk and sugar. Can a brother

get a cookie ‘round here?

FSC: Can you talk a little about your professional background? What are some of your favorite projects you've worked on?

John: I have been a narrator and audiobook producer for 6 years. I am also one of the founders of Falcon Sound Company. We (FSC) have produced over 400 audiobooks, countless e-learning courses, several cartoons, a few apps, and a lot of funny sounds. It is hard to name a favorite project… typically it is the one I’m currently working on. So… this week I’m finishing up “Shades of Grey - A Bubba the Monster Hunter Novella” by John G. Hartness, “The Selkie Princes Unexpected Omega - The Selkie Princes Book 3” by J.J. Masters, and prepping “Roommates” by Ann-Katrin Byrde. And I love all of them!

FSC; How did you get started as a narrator?

John: A friend referred us to a website called ACX. Several of us submitted auditions to a few books and received offers to produce said books. I acted as more of a producer in the beginning, while learning off of some of the fantastic narrators that we hired to come in and read. Slowly, I made the transition from producer to narrator, although I still often times wear both hats (to cover my bald head).

FSC: One thing that surprises many audiobook listeners is how long it takes to create an audiobook. What's the longest day you have spent recording?

John: Actually recording (he asks to no one in particular)? 10 hours. But that is very much not the norm. A normal day of recording is 3-4 hours of actual recording, which, with breaks, takes approximately 5-6 hours.

FSC: How long did your most recent project take you, and how long is the finished book?

John: I just hit send on “Shades of Grey - A Bubba the Monster Hunter Novella” by John G. Hartness yesterday. It came out to around 3.5 finished hours. Production took around 20 hours, about 7 of which were spent “in the booth”. That 20 hours doesn’t include preproduction time (prereading the book, prepping voices, research, etc…).

FSC: When you record, how do you break it up? Do you, for instance, read multiple chapters in one sitting?

John: I try and record for 30-45 minutes at a time, but I will only stop at a logical break in the story
(scene break, chapter break). So… if I’ve been recording for 45 minutes and I’m not to one of those things, I keep going.

FSC: How do you decide what kind of tone to take with each new book? What is it like reading different characters' dialogue lines?

John: How do you decide what constitutes ONE question? Jeesh! Hahahahahaha. I determine what the point of the story is during my preread. Is it a romance? A comedy? A farce? A drama? A mystery? That is not a hard and fast rule; some romance’s have a lot of comedy, some drama has a lot of mystery, and so on. But that will help me determine the overall tone of the book. As far as reading different characters’ dialogue lines… Being an audiobook narrator is like getting ALL of the acting roles in a play or movie, so for me, I get to make believe that I am ALL of the characters. It helps that I already hear multiple voices in my head.

FSC: What do you enjoy the most about narrating?

John: The travel. The adventure. Crazy days and wild nights!!! No, seriously, there are spans of days when I don’t change out of my pajama pants. I guess what I like most is that I get to tell stories all day long. I have been a fan of storytelling since I was a child. Now I get to do it for a living. What could be better?

FSC: When can we expect to hear from you with a new book?

John: Just calm down. It’ll be alright. I will have a new release next week! Hahahahaha. I had a very, very busy December, so I would imagine January should be filled with new audiobook releases from me. Also, don’t forget to check out some of my friends, Drew Bacca, Seb Yarrick, Nick J. Russo, Kenneth Obi, Colin Darcy… Did I forget anyone?

Check out this new release from author K.C. Wells. John Solo narrates "Truth and Betrayal.". Happy listening!

Find John and Falcon Sound Company on Facebook or on Audible.

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