Author: Joe Mahoney
Narrator: Joe Mahoney
Length: 10 hours and 33 minutes
Publisher: Five Rivers Publishing
Released: Sep. 21, 2018
Genre: Science Fiction; Time Travel
Barnabus’ nephew is behaving oddly.
Calling upon Doctor Humphrey for assistance has not been particularly helpful because the good doctor’s diagnosis of demonic possession is clearly preposterous. Even the demon currently ensconced on the front-room couch agrees it’s preposterous. But then, how else to explain the portal to another world through which his nephew and Humphrey have just now disappeared?
Barnabus knows their only chance of rescue is for Barnabus J. Wildebear himself to step up and go through that portal.
Thus begins an existential romp across space and time, trampling on Barnabus’ assumptions about causality, free will, identity, good, and evil. Can Barnabus save his nephew - and incidentally, all of humanity?
Joe Mahoney is a writer/broadcaster currently working full-time for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. His first novel, A Time and a Place, was published in October 2017 by Five Rivers Press. His short fiction has been published in Canada, Australia and Greece, and he’s been nominated twice for an Aurora Award, one of Canada’s top awards for science fiction and fantasy, for his work on CBC Radio. He lives in Whitby, Ontario with his wife and two daughters, and their golden retriever and Siberian forest cat.
Narrator Interview Q's:
Choose Any 10
2. How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
With me, it was just that I’d written a book that I wanted to turn into an audiobook. Because I have a background in broadcasting, having worked several years as an announcer in private radio, and then as a recording engineer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, I thought I ought to have the skills required to produce an audiobook myself.
3. A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
I have done some community theatre work, which definitely helped. I wish I’d done a lot more. I wish I had some professional theatre work. It would have helped a lot. Although I think I got there in the end, the performance part of recording my audio book took a lot longer to get right than I initially thought it would because I didn’t have quite as strong a background in that type of work as I thought I did. I was a little overconfident.
5. What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
I really like this particular author. :-)
12. Who are your “accent inspirations”?
That’s an interesting question. I was determined to do character voices for at least some of the characters. I was the lead in a murder mystery play a few years back. The director was British, and she wanted me to do the lead character with a British accent, so she taught me the basics of that accent. Afterward, somebody told me I’d sounded a bit like Cary Grant. So I guess I’d achieved a psuedo-mid-Atlantic type accent. I used that for the character of Rainer, though I leaned a bit more on James Mason for that particular accent than Cary Grant. It was by far the hardest accent of the book to keep consistent. I did many takes of each line. I was trying hard to give characters like Rainer character without making them too cartoony. For Jacques I was channeling a bit of Orson Welles. I’m not saying he sounded anything like Orson Welles, just that was who I was thinking of as I was voicing him. Jack was Jacques dialed down a bit. Doctor Ramsingh (a relatively minor character) was based on a woman from Trinidad that I know. And so on.
14. How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
Because I wrote the book, I already had a pretty good idea what each character would sound like, because I often read their dialogue out loud as I was writing the book to be sure that it worked. The only character whose voice I really changed for the actual audiobook recording was the scientist Giorgio. I had originally envisioned him as having an Italian accent, but when it came to it, I found I just couldn’t do a convincing Italian accent that didn’t sound cartoony.
15. What types of things are harmful to your voice?
From my days as a disc jockey I’ve learned not to eat chips or peanuts before trying to do voice work. I once ate a bag of chips immediately before going to air and immediately began choking while I was live on air. I had to stop and get a drink of water. Embarrassing! At least with audiobook recording no one’s around to see you choke during your lines.
16. How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you've done?
This is the first audiobook that I’ve narrated, but comparing it to my early work as a disc jockey, it’s quite a slog. It’s really intense and demanding. Much harder than people probably imagine. I suppose you get better and quicker at it the more you do, but I imagine it’s always still a bit of a slog.
20. Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
I don’t know if I’ll have the opportunity to do any books other than my own, but if I did, it would be a great honour to narrate a book by either Stephen R Donaldson or Tim Powers. Or a short story. Or a Facebook post, or a tweet. I’d narrate anything by either of those guys.
24. If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
A Wrinkle in Time, one of my favourite books as a kid. Either that or Half Magic by Edward Eager. Just really fun books. I imagine someone’s already done A Wrinkle in Time, but maybe Half Magic is still up for grabs.
25. What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
Get theatre training. Stay away from chips and peanuts when you’re recording.
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