I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out Zachary Webber recorded the audiobook for Grey. If you don’t know, Zachary was the voice of Ridge in the audiobook for Maybe Someday. And wow! I’ve never had a response to an audiobook like I have to that one. Zachary brings the characters to life like no other, and I’m confident there couldn’t have been a better choice for Grey.
I dug up an old interview my readers and I did with Zachary last year. Not only is he one of the best narrators I’ve come across, he’s also hilarious!
Check out the interview and then enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.
Audiobook Narrator Interview
Q: How did you get into the business of being an audiobook narrator?
A: Oh Colleen you know the answer ya silly!!!
Dear other lovely beings who will read this,
Colleen hired me to produce a trailer for This Girl previous to the book’s release, in which I played Will, in hopes that you guys would be able to have a visual compliment to the book. But alas, we could not release it due to some “contracts” and “copyright laws” and blah blah blah. I went to art school I don’t get it!!!! But she loved it and passed it around to her author friends and they all liked my voiceover work in the trailer and now Jamie McGuire, Colleen, Nicole Williams, and of course my mom, [and now EL James] have all hired me to read their stuff, and I must say it makes me very happy.
Q: Do you have to audition?
A: Not yet!
Q: Do you have to read the entire book before you narrate it?
A: Oh yeah I do. So I end up reading every book I narrate twice because I read it alone and then I read it in a studio.
Q: How long does it usually take to record an entire audiobook?
A: I work relatively quickly (I talk suuuuuper fast! jk.) so I can get through about 100 pages in a day. If I’m narrating a book with one character, it’ll usually take about 3 days. If the book has multiple narrators, then it’s usually about one or two day’s work.
Q: What’s a typical recording session like?
A: For the most part I work with a director who is based in New York, and I’m in LA, so he directs me over skype. I’ve never actually met him. His name is Robert. He’s great. So most of the time I’m communicating with a sentient, albeit kind and smart person, and I’m alone in a room, reading and hearing only myself. Every crackle in my voice is very obvious to me. It would be tedious if the books weren’t fun to read. And we usually order lunch on the house! Perks! For Breakable I flew out to Michigan to read at Brilliance Audio’s headquarters and that was a blast, they’re great people. In that situation the director was in the next room.
Q: Is it difficult to have to rely on your voice to evoke certain emotions, without being able to use gestures or facial expressions to help you?
A: Funny you say that, because I do use a ton of gestures, but they’re only for me. But they ultimately influence my voice, so it’s all connected.
Q: What was the most difficult book you ever had to narrate? Which one was the most fun?
A: The hardest was Red Hill because there were so many reactions outside of a real-world context: it’s the apocalypse, so you have folks screaming and running in fear, and that’s hard when you’re sitting down all day. But it’s also what makes the work fun. I always try to find the challenge in a new book, and that’s what makes it fun. So it’s always fun! Fun, I tell ya!!!
Questions from readers:
Q: How in the world do you breathe while reading out loud? I always find myself gulping air in between paragraphs.
A: Hahaha! If you could only hear the ENTIRE recording of a day, you’d hear a lot of breathing. And not to mention rustling, and stomach rumbles, and me saying “I’m tiiiirrrrrred!” and I will not go into more detail than that. They edit out all the inbetween, or I redo something if a stray noise popped up while I was reading.
Q: Do you read straight out of the book or is it more like a script where the book is broken down into scenes, pre-arranged, and rehearsed?
A: I read the book, straight up. Presumably so when people read along while listening they’re reading the same thing I did.
Q: When you are reading with a co-reader, do you read together or are the recordings done at separate times in separate places?
A: In my experience, totally separate. I’ve never met another narrator 🙁
Q: Do you ever listen to an audiobook you narrated after it releases?
A: Briefly. To add stuff to my reel. Not for fun, I get too creeped out. “By your own voice?” Yeah, sorry. It’s weird to hear me.
Q: Do you ever read your audiobook reviews?
A: No! Should I? Are they nice?? Eek!!
Q: Do people watch you or listen in while you are recording your audiobook?
A: Never an audience, thank the lord. Usually just the sound engineer who is almost always a really sweet, laid back dude.
Q: Do you have any funny/embarrassing narrating stories?
A: I slip up words all the time. I once tripped over a sentence at least a dozen times, from my mom’s book. I almost called her to ask if she could split it into two sentences because I didn’t have enough breath for the whole thing. But then I realized I might get grounded!!!! Jk I’m an adult I can’t get grounded.
Q: Which book do you wish you could have narrated?
A: I want to narrate some older stuff, like James Joyce could be really fun. I’ve always wanted to read Dubliners. I’d kill to do Game of Thrones. I’ve been working on my impression of the actor who plays Littlefinger from on show, among others.
Q: Have you ever done voiceovers for commercials/movie trailers?
A: I just did voiceover for an advertisement for a clothing company called LAEX. I’ll be doing more soon. I’d love to do cartoons or animated movies, but they KEEP HIRING CELEBRITIES TO DO THAT. I’m just as good as Queen Latifah, in my opinion. Twice as sassy.
Q: Have you ever had to read an audiobook with an accent?
A: All the time. Usually southern, which I’m good at due to being Texan and all. But I want to practice all my British, Irish, Scottish. Hence wanting to do Game of Thrones. Pretty sure somebody’s already done the job though. I’ll do my own! Woot!
Thanks for your time, Zachary! We can’t wait to hear the audiobook for GREY.
To enter to win a physical copy of the audiobook of Maybe Someday, narrated by Zachary, leave a comment below! Winners will be chosen Monday, June 15th.