Interview with narrator Teddy Hamilton

With Yael Waknin

* The voice in the recording is not the narrator's

Questions for narrator Teddy Hamilton

1 – How did you come to narrate romantic novels?

It was a pretty natural progression. I started narrating audiobooks in general back in 2012. Next Year will be ten years in the business! They would hire me a lot to read books where the main character was a kind of heartthrob. A star athlete here, a soldier there, and a lot of the reviews would comment on how swoon worthy this characters would be. But it wasn’t until Him by Sarina Bowen that I started to become a favored voice in the Romance Audio community. After that things really started to take off! Teddy Hamilton was born!

2 – Have you narrated books from different genres?

  I still do!  Teddy Hamilton is just a pseudonym.  I narrate all sorts of titles under my real name Andrew Eiden.  Check out some of those books Ive don too! But again they often hire me as a romantic leading male type. It’s a funny thing to have to hide behind a pseudonym, but it’s a common practice because I think anyone who listens to or reads romance or erotica knows the eye roll looks people give to this genre, at least in America, though I suspect its common elsewhere too!  So it has the potential to scare off potential clients if they see too many titles of the genre in my portfolio. So Teddy Hamilton gets all the romance and Andrew gets the rest. I’m not ashamed to say that Teddy Hamilton is much more popular than Andrew is…

3 – What was the most fun \ easy book you narrated?

There’s a new book out I recently did called Funny Business by Kaylee Loring that was particularly fun to work on. It was a big cast and I’m friends with everyone who worked on it so it was a blast to perform. I talk to Emma Wilder on the phone weekly practically just to goof around so we really had fun working on that one together!

4 – What was the most difficult book \ character you narrated and why?

Well that’s a hard one to answer. I don’t find too many books/characters difficult to narrate because the more complicated they are the more interesting to narrate they are, so it’s a joy in my craft.  But sometimes I have trouble with the book, sometimes the content is too dark for my delicate sensibilities 🙂 or I just don’t want to open up that dark part of myself in order to properly perform the parts. So it’s hard, but I have to.  Also Rebecca Yarros, an author who I’ve narrated a couple of her books, is a master at making me cry when I’m trying to narrate! Hers are always hard to get through!

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 skim the book, or sometimes even hire someone to read it in advance, because I want to know any secrets the book has, and I want to know descriptions of characters (particularly vocal descriptions, growly, deep, gravel, melodic) or if there are any accents.  I don’t want to come to chapter 25 and suddenly find out the main character should have a thick Scottish accent! Once I have a good idea of the general plot and character arcs for the mains then I feel ready to jump in and bring it to life!

6 – Is there a genre \ book \ character that you won’t agree to narrate? If so – why?

Not really. I said earlier that there are dark themes that can be hard to narrate. But I think we all have the potential for all of the various expressions of humanity there are in this world. There are uncomfortable themes that I sometimes narrate, but I never refuse to do it. I always come to the conclusion that someone wrote this book for a reason, and someone is going to listen to it for a reason, and if I can narrate it, then I will.

 I think the only thing I try to avoid is narrating books where the main character is a person of color, but that has to do with not taking jobs away from my fellow narrators. Its often the case that my black friends or latin friends will only be thought of for jobs when it calls for a black or latin person, whereas when the main character’s ethnicity isn’t specified then it just defaults to white white me. So if the main character’s ethnicity IS specified as black or latin or other, then it may be one of only so many jobs that my friends are even considered for sometimes, so I might as well get out of the way, and not take the opportunity from them. The industry is changing now so that the publishers or production houses know not to hire against race, but a lot of times the independent studios or authors want to hire their favorite narrators or ones who they think will help sell the book having their name attached.

7 – How long does it take you to record an entire book?

The standard practice is for every two hours spent in the studio recording, we should complete around one hour of “finished audio” so a ten hour book should take about twenty hours to record. They call it the 2:1 ratio. Now I don’t wanna brag or anything…. Ok yes I do want to brag, but I have closer to a 1.5:1 ratio when I record. So a ten hour book for me would likely take closer to fifteen hours….right? I think the math is right on that! 🙂

8 – Are you working on more than one book at a time?

I have in the past had to work on multiple books at one time before.  Thats usually due to something terrible happening to my schedule. And suddenly I have too many deadlines backed up with too many clients and I need to turn in audio little by little to multiple people in the same time.  It’s sort of terrible, but it’s basically like having two part time jobs, you work at one in the morning time and the other one in the evening. As long as you give yourself good breaks throughout the day it’s not so bad!

9 – What is the genre you like to read in your free time?

I’m a big fan of philosophy and sociology. My favorite I think though is comparative mythology.  I’ve always been a fan of Joseph Campbell who compares the various mythologies of the world from ancient times to today, and drawing drawing parallels throughout various cultures and religions throughout time, mixed with the studies of historians, anthropologists, archeologists and psycho-analysts, paints a beautiful picture of the human species and all of it’s various peculiarities and beliefs. I don’t know what genre he or other like him fall into, but thats the type of stuff I enjoy in my own time. Though I really should have started this answer with “free time? What is this concept, free time, that you speak of?” 

10 – Is there a writer you particularly like? To read or to work with

I like working with a writer named Lauren Blakely. She is a driven and fun author, who also takes her Audio very seriously. So working with her, she has a very Hollywood producer feel. But I’ve started to build real friendships with the authors I’ve worked with, Lauren being one of them. I asked Kaylee Loring for advice on a project completely unrelated to audiobooks. I’ve gone out to group dinners with authors like Sarina Bowen, just to hang out and catch up before some event, so I have a good group of authors I particularly like, but I think choosing one would be like having to choose who your best friend is! I refuse! 🙂

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Yael Waknin
Yael Waknin
As a professional book editor, I know what it takes to make a romance novel great. Contact me today for my services that are both professional and affordable and your book will be on the path to success.
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About the narrator

Teddy Hamilton is best known for his warm, smooth readings of romantic and steamy fiction. His deep, casual tone eases listeners into every story, bringing the author’s words to life. Perhaps best known for his work in the crackling hot Him series by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, his more recent work has been to led his talent in the upcoming “Men of Summer” series by Lauren Blakely. Hamilton’s sometimes sweet, sometimes salty voice adds passion and heart to every book he reads.

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