Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Inside Scoop on Narrator Pete Larkin

I am thrilled to be able to share a more in depth interview today with Pete Larkin. He was so kind as to participate in Five on Friday AND answer some additional questions for me. As you know from my previous reviews of the Duane Swierczynski's Charlie Hardie trilogy (Fun and Games, Hell and Gone, Point and Shoot) I'm a big fan of Pete's work.

Pete even provided something a little different for us. He answered my questions on a sound file, so not only will you get to know the answers to my questions, but you'll get to hear them straight from Pete himself! I hope you enjoy this inside look into the man behind Charlie Hardie's voice! And away we go....

1. You started your career in radio, but now your resume includes announcing for the NY Mets, theater, and of course audiobook narration. How did your career evolve in those directions?

2. I’ve had several narrators who started out as stage actors tell me how challenging audiobooks are because they no longer have their body language and movement to help in expression. But you started in radio where you also lacked those visual cues. Do you find that narrating is more in tune with radio or is it still a challenge in that way?

3. As a narrator, you have done a lot of non-fiction, including political books. Do you ever find challenges in the content of the books or is it just another day at the office, and you don’t really need to necessarily feel a connection with the material?

4. You mentioned in another interview that fiction is harder to narrate than non-fiction because you’re maintaining the characters throughout the life of the book. So how do you prepare for those books?

5. Do you communicate at all with the authors?

6. Is there anything in narrating a book that you absolutely dread? Like you see it in the text and just think, “oh no!”

7. Is there something you always wished you could narrate but haven’t had the chance to do so?

8. Tell us a little about the book that’s been your biggest challenge to date.

9. And what’s been the most rewarding to date? 

10. Do you listen to audiobooks yourself or do you want to go home and the end of the day and be completely away from “work”?

11. What’s the last book you recommended to someone else?

12. Is there anything you wish more people knew about audiobook narrators and what they do?

13. I’m a big crime fiction fan and we’ve discussed your narration of Duane Swiercynski’s Charlie Hardie trilogy. How was your experience narrating those books?

14. You’ve also done work on some recordings that included multiple narrators. When you’re doing a book with multiple narrators do you record with the other narrators or is some tech guru splicing everything together after people have individually recorded?

15. Last question, promise…there is quite a bit of musical experience in your background as well: singing, playing the guitar or bongos, performing in musicals. Where did that interest come from and have you ever had an opportunity to use it in narration?

Many, many thanks to Pete Larkin for his time, his candid responses and this fun format. I hope you enjoyed learning more about a great audiobook narrator today! Another audio Pete narrated that you may be interested in checking out is The Manual of Detection (for which he won an Earphone Award!). Happy listening everyone!


Beth F July 18, 2013 at 6:29 AM  

Ha! I remember radio (am I dinosaur??). I liked the description of the challenge of characterizations when the author doesn't give clues. As an editor, I'm well aware of those copyright issues -- in fact, someone paid for the rights just to print the lyrics and more as paid just to read them in the audio. Fun audio interview.

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