One day soon, I will ask you to guess how many Iambik audiobooks Charles Bice has produced, and it will be not unlike those jellybeans-in-the-jar guessing games. Today, that tally rests at 8 audiobooks, or over 52 hours of audio.
Now, I could issue one of those tired tropes about Charles Bice Clones, or Charles Bice Robot Factories producing all these books. But the truth is, no robot could come anywhere near Charles’ suave delivery and pitch-perfect narration. As you’ll read below, creating innumerable volumes of great audiobooks is seemingly all done before breakfast, if you’re Charles Bice:
Miette Elm: First off, what are you up to? What titles have you recently wrapped, what are you in the middle of, and how’s it going?
Charles Bice: Iambik has kept me busy for much of the first half of the year. With next month’s release of Richmond Noir, I’ll have nine Iambik titles out since January. I’ve just completed a performance of The Art of War for a company that has developed a cool app allowing you to listen to the audio while the ebook automatically scrolls along with the text.
When I’m not recording audiobooks or other narration, I’m usually writing. With three novels in print and a fourth fully drafted, I decided to do a little side project with digital publishing where I combine my writing and my narration. To that end I just finished a short children’s book, Storytime Adventure in the Land of the Walking Trees, and am distributing it as a bundle using the Amazon Kindle store.
Another audio-related endeavor I have is a daily ‘poemcast’ on charlesbice.com, called The Pause for Poetry. It’s great fun.
ME: Anything stand out as the most notable sentence or paragraph you’ve narrated?
CB: Sometimes for me the voice of a character rings off the page just as clearly as if the flesh-and-blood version has walked into the room me. This was the case with the voice of Andrew Whitaker in Sam Savage’s The Cry of the Sloth. I was smiling and even laughing aloud from the opening sentences. The brilliant thing is that the humor doesn’t stem from overtly funny sentences and phrases but instead from having them emanate from this subtly revealed, imperious, deluded character. We all know people who for whatever reason can make us laugh just by talking—saying the most matter-of-fact things. Creating such a character on paper is a terrific feat of writing, and I had a great time working on that project.
ME: Care to share a memorable comment you’ve received about your voice or narration talents?
CB: I’ve had a few compliments on my character voices and accents. Sometimes I think I overdo them to tell you the truth, but it’s fun to let loose that inner cartoon character every once in a while.
ME: What are the world’s top 5 sounds? What are the worst?
CB: The main character in John Barth’s The End of the Road suffered from a debilitating affliction known (in the novel at least) as cosmopsis. He experienced a state of near paralysis when faced with making choices. As I may be coming down with a touch of it myself, I’d better just give you my favorite and least favorite. Otherwise I might be stuck for days.
Favorite: The silence that befalls a symphony orchestra as the conductor steps onto the podium and raises the baton.
Least favorite: Heavy diesel trucks rumbling past my studio during recording.
ME: Of any book ever published, what’s your dream title to narrate (even if your voice wouldn’t be a good match)?
CB: Oh, dear—more cosmopsis. One of my all-time favorite reads from my youth is Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe. I think it would be a joy to work on that— and to relocate my North Carolina accent.
Have your pick of Charles’ projects for Iambik, or keep an eye on his website to know what he’s up to. These and all our titles can be yours at a 50% discount through the end of June 2011 (that’s only a couple of days!) by entering #jiam2011 when prompted at checkout.
Stay tuned as Charles and author Daniel A. Hoyt discuss crafting a short story collection and the voices in an authors head, coming tomorrow.