June is Audiobook month (JIAM 2013). The audiobook community is giving back by teaming with the Going Public Project by offering a serialized audio story collection. All proceeds will go to Reach Out and Read literacy advocacy organization. Throughout June, 1-2 stories will be released each day on the Going Public blog and on author/book blogs. The story will be free (online only – no downloads) for one week. In collaboration with Blackstone Audio, all the stories will be available for download via Downpour. The full compilation will be ready June 30th.
I’m honored to welcome multi-award winning audio narrator and producer Stefan Rudnicki to A Book and a Latte! For this project, Stefan reads The Prophet’s Paradise by Robert W. Chambers. You can listen below for a limited time, or purchase it or any of the Going Public… In Shorts collection at Downpour.
Summary for The Prophet’s Paradise:
Robert W. Chanbers’ The King in Yellow, a collection of short stories, is considered one of the most important works of American supernatural fiction. Within the collection is “The Prophets’ Paradise,” a dream-like narrative of prose and poetry. Featuring personifications of Love and Truth, the story’s structure has a palindrome-like quality with internal repetition. Romantic in tone and ambiguous in theme, “The Prophets’ Paradise” is one of Chambers’ more experimental pieces. Originally published in 1895.
Proceeds from sale of this title go to Reach Out and Read, an innovative literacy advocacy organization.
I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to interview Stefan. Check out my short Q & A session with him below!
About the Narrator, Stefan Rudnicki:
Welcome Stefan, I’m honored to have you here today. To start, can you tell us how you got started in performing audiobooks?
Oddly enough, I began as an abridger. In the 90s, when I started in this business, the most common audiobook length was 3 hours, to fit on 2 cassettes. From there, I went to producer, then publisher, narrating more as I was attracted to a specific here and there…genre work especially, science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller. It was great to get in touch with my early days as an actor. Then as time went by, I realized that narration was my most fulfilling activity, and went into it pretty much full time.
Do you read the books you perform, or rehearse, prior to recording them?
I have a specific system I’ve developed for prepping a book before I narrate. There’s rarely time to read the book from cover to cover, and indeed I find that when I do read it, something is lost in the performance. A spontaneity, if you will. What I do is examine the book for structure and tone, while noting the key characters (if applicable) and looking for words that might be tricky to pronounce.
Which audiobook narration are you most proud of? Please tell us about the experience, and what makes it stand out.
There are many books I’m proud of. Fairly recent examples that come to mind are Matthew Stover’s HEROES DIE, which was an Audie Finalist this year, GLIMPSES by Lewis Shiner, which I self-published a couple of years ago, and Alex Bledsoe’s WISP OF A THING, which I just recorded last month. All three are fantasy novels, but otherwise entirely unique. The Stover book has dozens of fantastical characters performing violent scenarios in a swords and sorcery alternate universe. GLIMPSES allowed me to interact with real people in imagined settings, including music legends Jimi Hendrix, Brian Wilson, Jim Morrison and the Beatles among others. Bledsoe’s book is characterized by a deep immersion in Appalachian folklore and music. For me every book I narrate (or produce, for that matter) requires a different approach, and I look carefully for the best ways to translate the author’s words into a full audio experience. My favorites are inevitably those that are the most difficult, and hence the most rewarding.
I listened to Ender’s Game and really enjoyed the full cast narration, even though it’s written in the third person. Can you tell us about your experience recording the series? Are you excited for the movie’s release later this year?
Yes, I and my associates have been working with Orson Scott Card as producers and narrators for around 15 years, and in that time we’ve recorded just about everything he’s written. We pioneered the third person multiple reader format with his novels, since he consistently places such a strong emphasis on each character’s internal life. It’s been quite a journey. I’m most pleased about the forthcoming ENDER’S GAME motion picture release because I expect it will bring Card’s work to an even bigger audience, which it very much deserves.
Do you have any projects in the works?
I do. Coming up most immediately is Jeffrey Siger’s MYKONOS AFTER MIDNIGHT, the fourth police procedural featuring Athens police inspector Andreas Kaldis. There are also a couple of very high profile projects I’m not at liberty to discuss yet, but if you watch our website, skyboatmedia.com, you’ll know as soon as they can be made public.
That sounds exciting! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Congratulations on all your well deserved awards, I wish you much more success!
The full schedule of the story release dates and narrators are at Going Public. Engineering and Mastering are provided by Jeffrey Kafer and SpringBrook Audio. Graphic design provided by f power design and published by Blackstone Audio. Project coordination and executive production by Xe Sands.