1 – How did you come to narrate romantic novels?
I studied acting for years, and I wanted to try and find other ways to get work. And I messaged a friend of a friend who was an audiobook narrator, and I went to the studio that she recommended, and they mentioned that a lot of the work they get are romance novels and at that point, I was like hey I’ll audition for whatever. I hadn’t read many romance novels myself so this is a first for me, but it just clicked once I started auditioning I started getting roles, and I’m really happy with where I am.
2 – Have you narrated books from different genres?
Yeah, most of the books I narrate are still within the romance world but deviate slightly into other genres, whether that’s mystery or comedy or sci-fi or fantasy. But there are a couple here and there that I’ve narrated that are just pure fantasy, pure science fiction, there’s no romance element, there’s no steamy scenes in those books.
3 – What was the most fun \ easy book you narrated?
It’s hard to say, I’ve done a lot and they’ve all felt relatively close to the same level of difficulty. I suppose there have been some recent Lauren Blakely books I’ve read, Two a Day comes to mind which will be coming out soon that it was just so in my comfort zone and the characters are so kind to one another and so good and it’s a very light hearted, fun, funny book and that kind of stuff comes very naturally to me just being able to speak naturally instead of needing to like heighten and everything. That comes a little bit easier to me.
4 – What was the most difficult book \ character you narrated and why?
I have done a few characters who are growlie low wolfman or half Centaur men or dragon men, and those are the hard ones, I’d say. But hard in a really fun way ’cause it can be fulfilling to sort of explore that new area of my voice and I’ve learned a lot by doing that. I’m trying to think of the book titles off the top of my head and I can’t, but those books have been a blast. Oh, Big Bad Wolf that’s the title of the book that I read recently where I was a wolf man.
5 – What are the preparations you make before each project? Do you read the whole book in advance? Do you rehearse out loud before the recording itself? or maybe something else?
I do prep the book, usually it’s provided for us several weeks before we begin recording so we have the opportunity to read through. Learn who the characters are, learn about any twists or turns the plot takes so we can keep that in mind going forward. Learn about their background. Usually in these books they reveal background information about themselves later on in the story. Background information that may be challenging to the relationship so it’s good to understand that going in so that the character can have the proper gravity to them if they maybe have a hard past. And then other than that when I record I don’t rehearse the book I don’t rehearse the lines that I say, usually I’ll rehearse an accent I’ll make sure I try to get into the accent first, listen to some clips and speak aloud before I begin recording.
6 – Is there a genre \ book \ character that you won’t agree to narrate? If so – why?
There are some, yeah, more extreme genres and I think some cakes that folks totally get into and that’s totally fine I’m not gonna shame that at all. But in terms of what I’m comfortable doing I’m at a point in my career where I’m able to select the projects that I get to work on and I get to be a little more discerning and so because of that I just, you know, I wanna spend my time doing work that if it’s going to be challenging I want it to be challenging in a way that is pleasing to me ultimately in a way that I’m learning something. And yeah any kinks or things that require a lot of violence or a lot of lack of consent or something is not something that I try to find myself doing professionally much anymore.
7 – Did you ever “take” something from a character you narrated? it could be some advice, a trait, a habit…?
That’s a really good question. I think with every book I read I’m reminded of how important it is to communicate when I have problems and most importantly while it can be a habit of mind to try and keep struggles or issues in relationships to myself, or even if I’m struggling with work or struggling with maybe something happening with a family member or something with my health or anything like that, I keep it to myself. My habit is to keep that to myself so that I don’t upset my girlfriend. But one thing I’m persistently reminded of through reading these books is that not only is it important to communicate in a relationship maybe issues you have with your partner but also issues that you’re having in your own life because your partner wants to be there for you and to function as like your teammate, you know, in that relationship. So it’s it’s important to confide feelings in people. And I think it’s something I’ve definitely been reminded of through reading these books that I may not have been if I hadn’t read them.8 – Are you working on more than one book at a time?
8 – Do you work on more than one book at the same time?
Yes, I am. At any given time, I’m usually recording about three books within like a week to 10 day range. I’m pretty back-to-back with my recording schedule. Which is interesting because folks will ask me questions about books that I recorded two months ago but at that point I’m already 8,9,10 books into my recording schedule and I’ve already, you know, met and introduced, learned about and said goodbye to several characters at that point so it’s a whirlwind. But it’s a lot of fun it’s a way to always change up what I do with my daily work schedule.
9 – What is the genre you like to read in your free time?
I love reading short stories. I love contemporary fiction there’s some avantgarde fiction I’ve been trying to get into lately I’ve been into Thomas Pynchon. I also love sci-fi and horror. Specifically, I love horror writing I think it’s an extremely creative genre for the written word, to make word scary is a challenging thing to do and when an author succeeds in doing that it is such a create such a unique experience so I really love horror writing too. 10 – Is there an author you particularly like? To read or to work with.
10 – Is there a writer you particularly like? To read or to work with
I work with so many of the authors I work with I definitely don’t want to pick favorites I won’t keep name names but there are, I would say 4 whose work I love to work to read. There are four authors that say, and then there’s more than that, but for off the top of my head right now that I think, you know, when I see their name pop up and they’re interested in having me narrate something they’ve written I’m like “yes that’s gonna be a good one”, you know. And often, you know, I’ll get new authors that are interested in having me narrate their work and at that point I obviously I’ve not worked with them so I don’t know their work and then I discovered, you know, things I like about their work maybe some things that don’t hit as hard but yeah I’d say there’s about four who I’ve consistently worked with where I’m like yes I’m excited to work on that one
Jason Clarke is an actor and musician living in New York City. He’s had the privilege of working in audiobooks for eight years. In his spare time he likes to exercise, practice guitar