Hello and welcome!
Today my guest is one who gave life to many books I loved thru his narrations, so far all were in the Highlander Romance genre and his deep voice, full of passion and the Scottish brogue makes my heart melt.
Please welcome Paul Woodson!
Do you have a nickname?
I do, but only between me and my wife! I also have a pseudonym in the narration world, but I won’t spill it here, although it’s easy enough to find with a little searching. And my alter ego is nearly overtaking the REAL me in the narration world!
What is one word best describes you?
Curious. In both senses. 😉
What makes you laugh out loud?
Something really unexpected. I’ve seen so much, hopefully I’m not jaded, but it takes a lot these days to surprise me.
What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
A tin of dark coffee. It makes me think of a brisk morning, ready to tackle the day.
Favourite place to spend time in.
In my free time, I enjoy backpacking. I’ve section-hiked over 700 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and every year I try to put in another 100+ miles, usually in the warm months. I’ve done Northern Virginia all the way up to New Hampshire, with a couple gaps here and there.
Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
I’ve done just about all of them. And I’m not averse to sexual content whatsoever (though sometimes I’ll record it under a pseudonym). The only thing to which I really take exception is anything that a) is too stupid to merit an audiobook, and by that I mean non-intellectual, unenlightening, perhaps even insultingly bad; or b) promotes a violent or malicious agenda in real life.
Audiobooks! What started them?
It was a natural progression, especially as standard acting work had been slow for me and I needed to make some money. I’d been primarily a stage actor in musicals in my 20s and early 30s, doing some great projects both in and outside of New York, but I never cracked that Broadway nut. I toured with Robert Goulet, played opposite Debby Boone & Robert Cuccioli, but only got so far. Then as I needed to make more money, I gravitated more and more toward Union Film & TV work, which pays a decent rate if you can get the work.
But because I’ve never really meshed well with agents, (and I have had several over the years), I never got past doing Background and Stand-In work on most professional Film/TV projects. Some days were good; Standing in for Philip Seymour Hoffman for a couple months, making Jane Krakowski laugh on the set of 30 Rock– you remember those standout great moments. But usually, I’d be standing on set among other extras who had NO acting experience, thinking, “I have a BFA in theater. I’ve done Shakespeare, Opera, performed with Broadway stars. What in the hell am I doing here?”
So, since I’d always been an avid reader, fond of language, with a good command of character voices and dialects, I dipped my toe into audiobooks and immediately started booking paid jobs. I’d say it was sudden, except that really, I’d been training for it my whole life.
Is there a genre that you would not narrate?
That’s the same as Question #6, no? 😉
No! That question was about books you would not READ, but I guess we could joined them. Logically, if you would not read them, you would not narrate them either 😉
If you could choose another career what would it be?
Well, ideally I would be getting paid for both my face AND my voice, traveling to Europe, Asia, around North America and getting paid to sing musical theater. And maybe I will again. I love to travel, and so does my wife. But right now, it’s kind of nice to set my own hours, frequently work in my pajamas, and have direct access to clients.
I would also be happy working as a screenwriter in LA, of TV or films. I feel that was always the road not taken, which may have proven the better choice had I picked it.
Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
I just try to convey the character and mood of the piece as the author envisioned it. That may be romantic, idealistic, fantastical, brooding, etc. My voice must serve the story. In a sense, I hope I can convey ALL emotions at different points in the narrative.
Who is your intended audience and why should they listen to your audiobooks?
I wouldn’t say I have a target audience; I hope my YA novels entertain and educate and get young folks into reading or listening to stories; I hope my Highland Romances deliver a nice ripping yarn with plenty of manly men and sassy lassies; and that my more “Adult” work (wink) can make the ladies a bit weak in the knees.
I’ve actually done a fair bit of erotica under a pseudonym, but although it’s sexual, the titles I’ve picked have always felt very classy – more sensual, always by female authors. I’m on my fifth for the same bestselling author in that genre and it’s great that we connect, that she finds me the ideal voice for her work. I’ve gotten great reviews like “The gentleman that reads it for you will make you melt!” and “Breathtaking! A sexy Scottish accent… Swoon…. “. It’s pretty gratifying knowing my voice may be alluring to some stranger thousands of miles away.
I’ve worked on darkening my timbre a bit since the beginning of my audiobook career, so I’m pretty sure it’s sexier now than when I started. And this comes in handy for the standard Romance novels as well, which get pretty steamy in their own right.
And I’ve gotten some great compliments that I do female characters equally as well as the male ones– I don’t get cartoony, but women and men have different tones to their voices, different words they stress, and different subtexts they play in speech. It’s not necessarily a higher pitch for women’s voices– in fact, in some scenes the woman may be speaking at a technically lower pitch than the man– but the tone quality and the intention create the characters. I truly enjoy playing those subtle differences between the sexes.
However, I also want to emphasize that everything I do vocally is in service of each particular story, so if the book is a light children’s adventure, the throaty, husky Scotsman’s brogue disappears for awhile.
What is next in your narrating work?
Well, a wide variety of things. Under the pseudonym, I have another erotica for my bestselling friend. I’ve just released 2 wonderful adventure stories under my own name. And I’m hoping to book some more Highland and Regency romances, to be honest. They have really become my staple this last year, and I have been told I do them quite well. They also have a humongous fan base, and I would love to reach as many listeners as possible that way, and perhaps entice them to listen to some of my other genres as well.
Also, I’ve just released a Nathaniel Hawthorne short story, THE BIRTHMARK, which was a bit of an in-between project for me, entirely for my own gratification, because it made an impression on me when I read it in school. I feel that too many readings of Hawthorne are a bit dry and crusty, but his language and characters are really very soaring and romantic, so I wanted to deliver that kind of Shakespearean lift to the language. I think I did quite well!
I’ve also just applied to some major publishers, as I’m hoping to do some larger-scale narration work. 2015 will be my first APAC, the big Narrator/Publisher conference in New York City, so I’m hoping to meet a lot of great people and figure out how to take my narration to the next level.
Thank you Paul for taking the time for a chat in my little space of the blogging world. Looking forward to listening to more of your narrations. Wishing you much success in the future. Next I will hunt down your alter ego 😉
Hope you enjoyed today’s chat and you will give a chance to Paul Woodson’s audiobooks. I agree with the reviewers he mentioned… ” The gentleman that reads it for you will make you melt!” and “Breathtaking! A sexy Scottish accent… “.
“This story so wonderfully written. I fell in love with Tadhg in the first book and Mairead is a wonderful choice to be his wife. Their story is a true love story, the way it should be. Despite many obstacles, they stayed true and believed in each other and the end was a welcome surprise, it left me smiling. I highly recommend to buy and read the books by Ceci Giltenan, she is a great storyteller. Congrats on your choice of narrators, Ms. Giltenan!
Listening to Tadhg come alive thru Paul Woodson’s voice made me fall in love with him even more. Thank you Mr. Woodson for another great audio experience. Looking forward to more.”
Here are links to find out more and keep up to date with Mr. Woodson and his work:
Emily Frasier has lived as the ward of Duke Ellings since her father died when she was 15. She also knows that soon it will be time to leave his household and make her way on her own. When she discovers a cottage while visiting her aunt and uncle, she knows this is where she wants to live and become a teacher, as her father once was.
Dillon Chambers must find a wife this season in order to please his mother. If she didn’t have control over something more precious than his freedom and life, he would not have made the promise to marry a lady with high connections at the end of the season. When he comes across Emily at his cottage and learns she is the ward of a duke, he feels his luck has finally changed. He could please his mother and settle with a lady he would actually want to have as his wife.
When the truth becomes known in London that Emily is only a professor’s daughter, Dillon knows his parents will never approve. Will he risk everything to have her? Will Emily do the sensible thing or risk her reputation and heart so that Dillon doesn’t destroy all he holds dear?
Winners will be chosen by Sexy Mr. Random and posted after 3pm EST on Monday, May 25, 2015. GOOD LUCK!
Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!