A special treat today – join me for an interview with Bora “Max” Koknar, the narrator who made my short story, Jack, come alive in audio! And remember to comment on this post or sign up here for your chance to win a bunch of ebooks and a copy of Jack in audio this Friday…
How long have you been narrating ebooks?
I’m thrilled to say that Jack is actually my first
ebook. While I’ve been doing voice work for a while, I primarily work as
a theatre actor and have been wanting to explore the world of audio
book narration for a couple of years but could never find the time to
actually get started between theatre projects until this summer, when I
was on a hiatus from work for a couple of weeks, and that’s when I had
the opportunity to audition for Jack and I feel very fortunate that it
was my first audiobook project.
How did you get into voice work?
When I was a freshman in college, I worked as a
Telefunds caller for the school. RIT, where I was attending at the time,
is very big on film and animation and one of my supervisors was an MFA
animation student. He approached me one night after work regarding his
Master’s Thesis project and so began my foray into the world of voice
acting with the short animated film “The Travelling Platypus”. I think
you can still find it somewhere around YouTube.
What kind of equipment do you use for recording?
Audio Technica AT2020 USB Condenser Microphone and a
portable sound booth of my own construction are the two major pieces of
equipment I use.
Do you work out of your home, or a studio (or both, depending)?
I work from home where I have set up a small home
studio. Though my studio does tend to move about the house quite often
since I use a laptop to do my recording. I like recording in different
areas of my house depending on my mood and the piece I’m working on to
help get me a jumpstart to a recording session.
What other kinds of voice/recording work do you do (if any)?
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of the voice work I
do/have done is actually outside of the Audiobook narration category,
though it has been a lot of audiobook lately with two new titles in
addition to Jack slated to get on the market before the end of the year.
When I’m not audiobooking, I usually do voice work for theatrical
productions that require pre-recorded off-stage voices and have also
done some voice work for mobile applications.
Do you read for pleasure?
Absolutely. One of the best parts of getting into
audiobook narration has been the opportunity to discover new books and
authors for my own pleasure reading.
If so, What’s your preferred format (print, ebook or audio), and why?
This is a tough one. I switch between the three at the
drop of a hat. Print tends to be my ‘luxury’ reading. Those are usually
books I have been wanting to read for some time and tend to read those
books at home, where I can lounge and relax. Ebooks are starting to
become more of the norm for me now, I have a phone with a very large
screen and have begun carrying a book on my kindle account at any given
time for when I have a few minutes to kill. And I am just obsessive
about my non-fiction audiobooks, Until recently, I spent hours every day
for years driving by myself to rehearsals and performances all around
the Bay Area and audiobooks really became my best friends.
What’s the hardest part of recording an ebook?
Consistency and endurance. Sitting down for hours at a time and speaking
constantly can become really taxing on the vocal chords. It’s not much
different than doing renaissance festivals, performing 4 stage shows
over the course of an 8 to 10 hour day and spending the time outside the
stage shows running around the festival grounds to gather crowds of
bystanders for little street shows. It’s hard to build that kind of
endurance, but I’m finding it a lot of fun to stretch and develop those
muscles through a different medium. Then there’s the consistency part. I
keep finding myself having to go back and dig through previous
recordings to reference a character that made a brief appearance during a
recording session a couple of days ago. Though if nothing else, that
does keep me very organized and on my toes as I read the book and
prepare for my next recording session.
What’s your favorite part of narrating ebooks?
Well… Honestly, it’s kind of a childhood dream come true.
When I was a kid, I just LOVED books, and stories and fables, and my mom
would read to me pretty much every night…and when she couldn’t she’d
have these tapes that she’d recorded for me to listen to. It was one of
my favorite things in the world as a kid to fall asleep to those tapes.
So, I just get such a kick out of going back to that kind of childhood,
storytelling sort of place.
Want to experience more of Max’s work? Visit his web site!