Sunday, February 9, 2014

An Interview with Audiobook Producer/Narrator Gregory Peyton

An Interview with audio-book producer/narrator Gregory Peyton


What in your background moved you to learn audio book creation?  Can you share the point when you finally said to yourself, “hey, I can do this!”?
I've always been disposed towards voice work, ever since I was a
child. Probably the earliest memory I have of wanting to be a voice
artist was when I watched Fern Gully as a child and heard Tim Curry
play a spirit of destruction, and I said, "I want to be him." When did
I decide I could do it? I'm still not entirely sure, but I'm enjoying
giving it a try!

What book in all the world would you love most to narrate?  Why?
That's a very difficult question. Narrating the Dresden Files would
be a dream, but better narrators than I are probably already lined up
for the job. The same goes for R.A. Salvatore's books, or the Iron
Druid saga, or any number of other high quality sci-fi or fantasy

What three tips would you give young narrators (what did you wish you knew before you went into this art-form?)?
First, don't expect to just breeze through a recording in one shot.
Second, don't try to go too fast- you'll get burned out and lose
interest. Third, try to stay in touch with the authors- they know how
all of the characters work; it's just your job to figure out how they sound.
Do you undertake a lot of “pre-recording” work prior to sitting down at the microphone?  What kinds of prep do you do?
I don't really do a lot of prep-work. I make up for it by doing a
lot of takes!
 How do you care for your voice and still do a lot of recording?
Hot tea, resting your voice when you can, and also learning how to
be loud or intense without shouting. Acting classes help there-
project, don't scream.
How does your “real life” help or hinder your work as a narrator?

I'm a theatre major, so I'm not sure what kind of 'real life' I may
have. As to helping or hindering me, the people I meet might show up
as a character, either their tone, or cadence. On the other hand,
classes and other responsibilities take away from time that I can
spend recording.
If you could set yourself up a “perfect” studio, no matter the cost, what 
equipment, software, etc. would you use?

I'm pretty happy with the fairly inexpensive equipment that I'm
using, so I'm not sure that I would know what replacements to get. I
would, however, absolutely love to be in a soundproof room- I've had
far too many takes ruined by people talking next door, or a random
plane flying overhead.

How hard is it to please the authors in this business?  Any tips for the authors who might be reading this or other young narrators who could use the information?
The authors that I've worked with (keeping in mind that I'm fairly
inexperienced) have been very polite, and eager to work with me- Brian
Hutchinson, who wrote Locmire's Quest, called me personally to make
sure that I had the pronunciations of various characters and races
correct. To both the author and the narrator, I would say that
communication is key. If a narrator has a question, or the author has
a specific point in mind, get in contact- it's important to both of
you that the book be the best product possible, so coordinate to make
sure that it is.

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction work?  What are the joys and irritants inherent in each kind of book?

Fiction. Fantasy, even. The joys of fiction- and especially sci-fi and fantasy- is the sheer amount of creativity that can be put into the work. New characters, fresh worlds, original systems of magic or technology- the sky isn't even the limit. The biggest irritant? The fact that a saddening number of authors don't take advantage of that creativity- they rehash the same ideas over and over again. In nonfiction, there's a far greater chance that you'll get a solid work, explaining the real story of a person or event. On the downside, there aren't very many dragons in nonfiction.

What insights have you gained about this industry that you’d like to share? 
I was worried that this business would be terribly hard to break into, but this website (ACX) is a wonderful starting point for any aspiring narrator and, I would guess, for an aspiring author as well. My advice to a fledgling narrator would be to just get started; make a profile,
make samples, send out auditions. The worst that can happen is that the author says no- andthen you just send another audition.

You can read more about Gregory’s background and hear his amazing array of accents and vocal moods at:


  1. Thanks for this! I never knew quite how this entire audio book concept worked, and, as an author of gay sci- fi and fantasy, it's really great information to have!

  2. It's a wonder to hear your own book come alive with a really good narrator. I've been listening to the chapters as they come in for approval, and I just want to hear more. Gregory is incredibly talented, and I'm glad I was able to tag him early in his career. Look for Dreamcatcher Fallacy, Strands of Silk and Fire, as well as my mainstream piece called Folds of the Script to be out in Audio in 2014. I have another young narrator I am working with who will be doing The Children of the Great Reckoning series for me. It's a blast!