Thursday, February 20, 2014

Narrating #Romance, An interview with Johnny Peppers

I have developed fifteen romances into audiobooks and worked with many different narrators. Johnny Peppers was my first audiobook narrator and he's still one of my favorites.

My first interview with Johnny was about his background and the technical side of narrating.  I enjoyed working with him and his style of narrating so much on TOYS AND BABY WISHES that he recorded a second romance for me WHEN MOM MEETS DAD as well as a third APRIL'S PROMISE. THe first two are romantic comedies and the third is more of an emotional family drama.  They are all a slice of real life so I decided to explore with Johnny more details about a narrator's everyday life--from recording love scenes to favorite books.

So about those love scenes....   Here we go with my interview with Johnny Peppers.

The topic of love scenes surfaced when I asked Johnny--What is the funniest thing that happened to you while you were recording?

The funniest thing that has happened to me is when I recorded my first "love scene" for my first romantic novel, TOYS AND BABY WISHES.  My wife was listening at the door, and I had to stop recording because of the noise she was making on the other side.  It's not what you think--she was laughing at me.  I suppose she has never heard those words come out of my mouth in that order, and she was a little embarrassed and blushing outside the door.

If you could have lunch with one famous person, who would that be?

If I could have lunch with one famous person, it would be Henry Clay.  He ran for President four times and lost.  He is the Buffalo Bill of Presidential Elections.  He was a statesman and a smart man, but just didn't have the political clout to win.

What is your favorite all time book?

I don't really have a favorite book, but I love reading Johnathan Kellerman, Dean Koontz, J.D. Robb and similar authors who write thrillers.

How about a favorite theater production?

My favorite theater production has to be Father of the Bride.  I played Stanley Banks (the father) in the play.
It was my first leading role on the stage, and I could perform that play 100 times without getting bored.  My favorite play I have directed is Mrs. John Marsh--The World Knew Her as Margaret Mitchell.  This was a one-woman play that ran in Atlanta, Georgia during the summer of 2012, discussing the life of the author of GONE WITH THE WIND.  My wife, Kandace, played the role of Mitchell, and I was the technical director on the project to start.  A month before we left for the run, the playwright fired the director and asked me to step in and finish it up.  I did, and my wife and I had a marvelous time working on this project together.  And, Kandace received high praise from the local community of theater goers and critics for the work.  By the way, she is a former Miss Mississippi and has a new jazz album out now on ITunes and Amazon and Spotify as Kandi Peppers (ON MY MIND). We are a performing family!!!

Do you read through a manuscript before you narrate it?

I do read through the chapter before recording.  I don't read the whole book, though, because I don't want to give anything away thorough my vocalizations.  I want to know what happens chapter by chapter like the readers do.

How do you create different voices?

As an actor and generally silly human being, I have been creating voices since I was a kid.  I simply change pitch, placement of the voice, accent or whatever else to make it different.  I usually channel a family member or character voice that I love.  My favorite voice is "Toby", a character I created that is sweet, innocent, has a slight lisp, talks in the back of his throat, and love life.  I have yet to find a place for Toby in my narrations, but I hope to soon!!!

How do you keep the characters straight?

I use Markers on the audio tracks the first time a character appears.  That way, I can go back and listen if I need to.  Also, if there are a lot of characters, I create a separate character file and keep lines form each character on one line (using markers to keep them separated).

If you had to name TV shows that hold your interest, what would they be?

My favorite TV show of all time? Has to be Quantum Leap.  Of course, favorites change.  I love Friends, Seinfeld, King of Queens, Big Bang Theory, Dexter, 24, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Survivor!

Do you have a snack that you prefer above all others?

My favorite snack is Banana Chips. I am a muncher, and those are healthier than potato chips and oh, so good.

Do you have any pets?

I have two dogs that I love!  Ella is a 6 year old white Toy Poodle and Gilly is a 2 year old red Teacup Poodle.  Ella and Gilly weigh 8 pounds total. (Ella 6 lbs. and Gilly 2 lbs.)

I just want to repeat again what a joy Johnny is to work with--a talented narrator, professional and a great technician. His contact info is

Copyright by Karen Rose Smith 2014

Karen Rose Smith's romance website 
Karen Rose Smith's mystery website

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