The DMS was lucky enough to interview Jimm Singer, narrator of the audio book The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel by Gregory Slomba. We are excited to find out just what it takes to narrate a book. So, without further ado... take it away, Jimm!
What did you do to prepare creating the audio version of The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel?
Before I answer that, I’d like to say thank you to you and your readers as well as the loyal fans of The Deliverers and Gregory Slomba for the opportunity to talk about the audiobook! I’m so proud of this project and hope that everyone enjoys listening to the book as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing these beloved characters and story to life.
So to prepare for recording, I first studied the characters and their backstories. Gregory provided me with a list of all the characters with insights on their personalities, history and physical characteristics. After that, I read the book and paid close attention to the language each character used and how they interacted with the other characters.
Then it was play time, I put on the characters imaginary hats and just listened for the sounds that came out. My 9 year old son really loved this part; finding the characters voice can be a really fun, and funny, process!
How long did it take you to record The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel?
The book took a little over 3 months to record including all the editing. I had other projects going at the same time so when I did have time to work on the book, I devoted many hours at a time. There were some weeks when I didn’t have any free time during the week to devote to the audiobook and only had weekends available. I had several marathon weekends where all my time was devoted to recording. It was both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time…I loved it! Another contributing factor to the length of time had to do with editing; when I would get into character I would sometimes make up my own lines or misread the words…some were really funny…audio bloopers, if-you-will.
Which character’s voice was the easiest to do? The hardest?
The easiest character to voice was probably Eric but I really love Stig, Sharky and Mr. Marrow...not that Sharky and Mr. Marrow are at all lovable…lol, but they were really easy and fun to voice. Mr. Marrow came quite easy to me and I noticed that the more I voiced Mr. Marrow, the more his voice evolved, quite a bit more than any of the other characters. Towards the end of the book, I really liked the evolution of Mr. Marrow so much, I went back and re-recorded his lines. He’s unlike any other character in the story and, I think, really interesting to hear. Bad guys are so much fun to play!
I would say the hardest character to voice was probably Hallo and some of the other Dwarfs; sometimes the Scottish slang used was difficult for me to get out.
What are some of your favorite books from childhood?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one; there are so many. I’m a child of the 60’s and the classics have always been near-and-dear to my heart. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was probably my favorite. The Wizard of OZ was a close second followed by Dr. Doolittle. Like I said…I’m a sucker for the classics.
How long have you been creating audio books and how did you become involved in narrating books?
I’ve been a voice talent for about 16 years now doing many different types of projects but this is actually my first full length audiobook! I’ve done e-books for children but they were very short and I wasn’t involved in the production process like I was in The Deliverers.
A fellow voice talent and I were talking about audiobooks one day and he suggested that I look into ACX, a division of Amazon, to look for titles to record. I registered and submitted my demos and began looking for titles. A few months later I received an invitation from Gregory Slomba to submit an audition for The Deliverers. Gregory had listened to my demo tape that displayed many of my characters and he thought I would be a good match. The rest is, as-they-say, history.
Where do you narrate the books and record them?
I have a studio in my home where I do much of my recording. There are some projects that still require me to be in a recording studio, but that’s only necessary a fraction of the time these days.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
Either Aptos, California or Maui. I’ve been to Maui two times and fell in love with the water, weather and lifestyle. I lived in Aptos California, which is near Monterey and Carmel, for nearly 25 years and I will move back there eventually to retire because I still have a house there. The ocean replenishes my spirit.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
Yes that Gregory Slomba is writing a sequel to The Deliverers that I will be voicing as well. Gregory is an amazingly talented writer, and I can’t wait to be reunited with my old friends and meet new ones on this next journey!
I would like also like to say that while I love audiobooks and think they are fantastic, I want to encourage grownups everywhere to read to children, any child…whether it’s your own children, your nieces and nephews, grandchildren or just volunteering to read at your local library! Children absolutely love it and it encourages them to read!
★ After you’ve listened to the book, please let everyone know your thoughts about the audiobook in the customer review area. Thank you!
Giveaway ends Sunday, April 7th