Name: Andrew J Pond
*Tell us a bit about yourself: I’m a professional actor and drama teacher with over 20 years experience. I also have an eclectic set of skills, such as accents, Muppet voices, magic, juggling, balloon artistry, and Elvis impersonation. I also have a degree in philosophy so I can sound smart at parties.
How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production? I’ve always loved reading, and the sound of my own voice, so…
Is this your day job? It’s one of several. As an actor, you cobble together multiple jobs to avoid the 9-5. I am hoping it becomes lucrative enough to take the sole position.
Do you have a preferred genre? Do you have a genre you do not produce? Why is this? Authors of Science Fiction/Fantasy seem most responsive to me. This is a genre I personally enjoy reading, so that’s helpful. I think it’s because of the fact I have a facility for character voices and, as an actor, storytelling is something that’s second nature to me.
What are you working on at present/Just finished? I’ve just finished a wonderful book for young people called Jinx and the Faerie Dragons by Victoria Zigler. It’s a great adventure for young readers. Lots of fun characters. I’m presently recording The Waters of Nyra by Kelly Michelle Baker, which is also about dragons. I’m sensing a theme…
*Tell us about your process for narrating? (Be as elaborate as you like.) I’ve built what is essentially a blanket fort in my office to help with acoustics, because I am a giant child. I like to read through the chapter I’m going to record to make sure I’m aware of any difficult to pronounce words or names, as well as figuring out voices for characters I’ve not recorded yet. So I do spend a good amount of time talking to myself. Then, once I’ve gotten a rough idea, I sit down to record. If I make a mistake, I don’t stop, I snap my fingers and then repeat what I messed up. This makes editing later one much quicker.
What aspects do you find most enjoyable? The performance, honestly. Especially if I have a bunch of dialogue with multiple characters, which allows me to switch back and forth between voices quickly.
What do you find least enjoyable? Editing. Not because it isn’t interesting (I love learning new skills) but mostly because it’s tedious.
Have you ever found an author you couldn’t continue to work with? How was this resolved? Luckily, no.
Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? If not why is this? I do consider it. It’s great if you feel confident the book will sell well, and of course, that means passive income. The only times I don’t consider it is if the book is exceedingly long or technical, because it means the amount of work is significantly higher. For that kind of job, I like to get payment at the end of the job.
Do you listen to audiobooks? I used to listen to them all the time, on cassette, which shows just how old I am. I used to have a job that required a lot of driving, and they were awesome for that. I am a bit old-fashioned and like having books in my hands, but I have started listening to audiobooks again, and it really is a lovely way to experience books.
*With many people owning MP3 players do you think this is the future of storytelling? At this point, I wouldn’t bet against anything online or digital. I have an embarrassing history of not understanding technological trends…
Why do you think audiobooks are becoming so popular? I think it’s a combination of ease of use, since everyone’s so on the go, and free time nowadays is limited (not to mention everyone lives on their phones), and the performance aspect. People enjoy hearing a book performed.
Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?) It’s definitely fulfilled my expectations as far as amount of work. I’m amazed by the selection.
Have you ever had a negative experience producing a book? Thankfully, no.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve had? The technology isn’t that hard. You can do this. Anything that deals with the tech side of it was always intimidating, but the entire recording/editing process turned out to be surprisingly simple.
If you could narrate any book you wanted which would it be and why? Watership Down, by Richard Adams. It was my favorite book as a kid, and I read it multiple times. It’s an incredible adventure story, and has a plethora of opportunities for voices. That or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Love that title.
Please tell us a silly fact about yourself. I watched Sesame Street daily until I graduated from college.
Where can we learn more about you? http://www.andrewjpond.weebly.com
Social Media links: www.facebook.com/andrew.j.pond
If you would like to learn more about Jinx and the Faerie Dragons look here:
Barnes & Noble:
Amazon UK: Amazon UK
Amazon US: Amazon US
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Jinx-Faerie-Dragons-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1512360074/
The Book Depository:
4 thoughts on “Narrator Interview – Andrew J Pond”
Great interview, Andrew!
Thanks for doing this, Alex!
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You are very welcome
Your dream-job is narrating Watership Down. Ah, it all makes sense now (not that I own three copies or anything….)
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I love Watership Down. It’s a wonderful, beautiful story which is so much more than it seems.