Interview with narrator Troy Duran

With Yael Waknin

Questions for narrator Troy Duran

1 – How did you come to narrate romantic novels?

When I was 8 years old I realized I wanted to be on the radio. At 17 I began my radio career and soon realized I enjoyed working behind the scenes, producing concert commercials and doing funny skits using weird voices. Also, management didn’t appreciate my occasional and ACCIDENTAL use of the 7 words not allowed on the radio. Graduating from doing commercials on the radio to doing them for advertising agencies professionally was a natural transition, and when I realized I could make a living reading love stories instead of reading ads selling dog food- well, I HAD to get in on that action!

2 – Have you narrated books from different genres?

I have! As a kid I read all of Stephen King’s work and love horror stories – I’ve narrated a dozen or so really creepy audio books, a couple of political thrillers, military thrillers, and even a couple of VERY interesting religious fictions- one is an autobiography of Jesus’s life as told from His POV, based on scripture- and the other is an imagined correspondence between Luke (Gospel of Luke, Book of Acts) and Antipas- the wealthy Roman who was martyred during the reign of Nero. Generally speaking, if it’s interesting I’ll dive in, no matter the genre 😊

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

It would be difficult to narrow it down to one book, but if a book is very well -written – the character dialogue is natural and believable, the scenes are described well and the grammar is good – THAT kind of book is so much easier to read, rather than reading through a sentence where the tenses don’t match and you have to correct it or write a note to the author or producer.

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

There are a couple: I auditioned for two books that both turned out to be series. In each one, there was a character with a REALLY deep voice – think Smaug, from Lord Of The Rings Return Of The King. So, these were minor characters in the first book, but grew in importance during the series- so here I am, doing these super-deep-growly voices for hours on end! I was drinking a lot of tea with honey and lemon…

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’ll skim through the book to get a feel for the characters’ personalities and physical dimensions/mannerisms. Then I’ll lay down some characters’ voices and save them for my files, and send them along to my co-narrator so we can align ourselves on the flavor. Other than that I kind of like to read the book for the first time, so that hopefully when you come to a part in the story that makes you say ‘WTF??!!’ – well, you’re hearing that in my voice too, because I’m thinking the same thing 😊

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

I would not narrate any book that promotes an idea with which I fundamentally disagree: Holocaust denial, Promotion of Marxism, child exploitation or literature seeking to justify human rights abuses.

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

The actual recording of the book takes me between 1.5 and 2 hours to perform what will become one finished hour of audio, so a 7 hour book will take two or three days to record. Of course there’s editing required, for which I hire audio pros to perform – then the assembling, mastering, etc… all in all, you’re probably looking at a couple of weeks to produce a book, but there are a lot of extra steps that can turn the ENTIRE process into a couple of months – Coordinating narrator scheduling, distribution, etc.

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

Yes, usually while I’m working on one book I’m skimming another, and recording the initial audio for a third, which goes out for author/producer approval so it will be ready to tackle when I finish the first.

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

I’m a huge nerd about American history, Ancient history, philosophy and biographies. I’m usually reading 3 or four books at a time. Right now it’s ‘George Mason, Father of the Bill Of Rights’, ‘The Art of The Impossible’, and Pillars of The Earth. And Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. While this sounds very impressive, my ability to retain information can rival that of a goldfish.

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

If you saw the paragraph I just wrote, you’d laugh at loud- I spent about half hour listing all the authors I admire for their comedic talent, the best of the gritty writers, the adventure writers, the heartstring pullers, etc. etc. Then, when I realized there some I forgot to mention who deserved to be in the pantheon, I realized I can’t easily or fairly answer this question; I have too many favorites!

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About the narrator

My name is Troy Duran, I Live in St. Louis area, Missouri. I’m 50-ish 😊. Narrator full time since 2012.
I like to Drinking whisky and knowing things, chess, golf, hiking, and I own a really pretty guitar that I swear I’ll learn to play some day.
Married to a beautiful woman, father of three beautiful children and two beautiful grandchildren, servant to two dogs and one cat.

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