Hello and welcome!
My guest today is somebody I came across recently in my adventures in the audiobook world. I am so glad I did take a chance, I really enjoyed his voice and now on my fave list.
Please welcome Brian Callanan!
Do you have a nickname?
I’ve been through a few. “BC” with a number of friends and bandmates. “B-Cal” with a few people I’ve played sports with, though I always thought that sounded more like a vitamin than a nickname. Call me “Bri-Guy” if you’d like to be pummeled.
I’ll make sure not to call you that LOL
What is one word best describes you?
“Versatile” is probably it. I really enjoy challenging myself—with different narration roles/voices, and with most other things in life, too.
What makes you laugh out loud?
Absurdity, of which the world has an abundant and growing supply. I’m a big fan of ridiculous/ridiculously talented bands like Tenacious D and Flight of the Conchords, as well as the written works of John Hodgman. Do yourself a favor and read “The Areas of My Expertise.” I laugh even writing down the title.
I listened to the snippet on Audible, I will have to get that one .. too funny! Thanks for the recommendation.
I also laugh at anything Steve Martin does, even if he’s just walking into a room and sitting down on a chair.
What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
The smell of the ground after a rain in the early fall. It’s a relatively common scent where I live in the Pacific Northwest, but it makes me feel at home and very connected to the beautiful, if sometimes soggy, environment that surrounds us.
Favourite place to spend time in.
Hawaii, with my family. We’ve only been there once, but I’m dying to go back. Mainly because one of my daughters thought it was better than Disneyland, which is a sentiment I definitely want to encourage.
Oh Hawaii! It is on my bucket list since I was young. I had planned to go this year for my birthday, but life got in the way, maybe next year.
Audiobooks! What started them?
I’d been considering working in the audio field for some time—I’ve been a TV news reporter for the past 20+ years, and still work in that field today. After a recommendation from a friend, I took a course in 2015 with David H. Lawrence XVII and Dan O’Day, the ACX Master Class, and I’ve never looked back. Audiobooks have proven to be a fascinating side project for me, and something that’s been very gratifying. I love this type of performance. It’s not an easy career to launch, and the work to edit/produce audio can be challenging and time consuming. But I really enjoy it. Connecting with the authors I’ve been able to narrate for has been one of the best parts of the process.
Is there a genre that you would not narrate?
I haven’t flat-out refused any book I’ve been approached with, but I generally stay away from erotica. I’ve found that many of the books I’ve read are plenty steamy, even without that label!
If you could choose another career what would it be?
Professional baseball player. But I’m pretty sure I missed the tryouts a few years back on that one. I’ve also been fooling myself for decades that I’m a long-distance runner, but after three marathons and an Achilles tear, I’ve had to pump the brakes a bit on that career goal, too.
Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
My work covers a wide range of emotions, depending on the project. But if there is a message that runs through all of my narration, it’s honesty. I’m trying to give an honest, accurate look inside the mind of the author I’m reading for. I take a lot of time with the authors I work with, before I start narrating, to determine the motivation and intent of the characters I’m reading. It’s a critical part of acting, on stage or behind a microphone, and I think it comes across in a performance. Having a good understanding of the motivation of a character helps me develop a voice for that character. Starting with that understanding, rather than, “this guy should sound kind of gravelly” or “this woman’s voice should be more high-pitched” is how I approach my narration work.
Who is your intended audience and why should they listen to your audiobooks?
As I mentioned before, I make it a point to narrate books from all types of genres that can connect with all types of audiences. My intended audience is one that likes a good story. Some of the books I’ve read are more well-crafted than others, but my goal of trying to express an author’s intentions and develop some depth to a character’s emotional backstory never changes. I hope listeners check out work from several genres in my catalog—from romance to nonfiction to poetry to cozy mysteries to science fiction—to understand that great stories can come from any genre. I’m passionate about trying to improve my narration with every book I read, and I hope that comes across to the listener.
What is next in your narrating work?
I’m in the middle of narrating a role-playing game (LitRPG) book that’s turned into quite the fun challenge! I grew up loving this type of Dungeons & Dragons fantasy adventure (nerd alert!) and it’s been very interesting seeing it play out in a literary form. Look for a release from me later in the fall of 2017!
You are in good company here, NERDS are welcome 😉
Also, I’m soon going to be teaching a class for authors who might be interested in the world of audiobooks. Audiobooks now outsell their print and e-book cousins, and I think audio is not only changing the way we consume literature, but also the way authors write. It’s a big concept to wrap your head around, but as the audio industry continues to grow, we need to change with it. I’m never going to lose my love of picking up a book and diving into it. But I think audiobooks add a new dimension to the world of literature and I’m excited to be one of the people, in my own way, who’s helping shape the future. Thanks for listening!
Thank you Brian for taking the time to join me for a chat and I am looking forward to discover more of your books.
I hope you enjoyed the chat and thanks for joining us.
I discovered Mr. Callanan’s voice while listening to The Rampart Guards, book 1 in the The Adventures of Jason Lex series, by Wendy Terrien and I enjoyed it, so I listened to the other 2 in the series. See my reviews: book 1, book 2 and book 3 .
As you will see, he does a variety of genres. Love his various voices, male and female, young or old, the colourful nuances, the emotions behind the words. I am looking forward to many more listens from him. I just added “La Vie en Rose” and “Simple Man” to my wish list.
To start you on your listening journey, Mr. Callanan is giving away one audiobook to a lucky reader, winer’s choice from his backlist. Winner will be chosen by Sexy Mr. Random from the comments on this post after 3pm EST on Monday, October 30, 2017. GOOD LUCK!
Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!