Interview with Marc Vietor, Narrator of Kings of the Dead – Audio
As you may know by now, my first novel, Kings of the Dead was picked up a few months back by audible.com for distribution as an audio-book. Some of the questions I was asked included, will you be doing the narration, and do you get to choose who does the narration? Well, the answer to both of those was no, I had no say in the process and it all fell into Audible’s more than capable hands. After a time, the audiobook was ready for release, and I got my hands on it, and to say the least, I was very pleased with the narration.
Narrated by a gentleman by the name of Marc Vietor, I was able to see Kings of the Dead come to life in a way I had personally not been able to experience. To have someone not just read the book to you, but to do so by bringing emotion and further depth to the characters I created was an emotional experience for me. I quickly located Marc Vietor and inquired as to whether he would be willing to submit to a brief interview about his job and processes. Not only did he reply, but he was happy to comply with my interview request.
And with that, here is my interview with Marc Vietor, narrator of Kings of the Dead:
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me Marc, I am sure my most dedicated fans would love to learn a little more about you. So, I would like to start by asking you to take a moment and introduce yourself to my readers, basically tell them who you are and maybe a little about your background?
I’m an actor and director living in New York on the Upper West side. I came to New York from California to attend drama school at Juilliard and have remained here. I grew up in San Francisco and then came back east to go to college at Yale and grad school at Juilliard. I work mostly on stage. I’ve appeared on and off Broadway and in a few TV shows, including “Law And Order”. I’ve also appeared on the Onion News Network online.
What was it that got you into providing narrations for audio books?
I auditioned for an audiobook company – Audible.com – about five years ago and have been recording fairly steadily ever since. When I was growing up in California, my parents only allowed me to watch TV on the weekends, so I spent a lot of time listening to the radio. I developed a love of radio plays and narrated stories that I’m sure helped me with my narrating now.
Is there any one particular book out there that you would consider to be highlight of your career if given the opportunity to narrate?
I would love to narrate a comic novel, something by David Sedaris or David Foster Wallace. I recently narrated a fantastic book called 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.
With Kings of the Dead being part of the zombie genre, I have to ask, are you a zombie fan, or was reading Kings just another job? (And no offense taken if it was just a job)
I am a huge fan of the zombie genre, which I know has been on the rise for a few years. In general I am a big fan of horror and fantasy – generally leaning more toward horror. I loved reading Kings Of The Dead not only because it was well written and full of classic zombie adventure – including a cool back story for the rise of the zombies – but also because the characters were more three-dimensional than most zombie books and emotions run high.
What is your favorite book genre?
I love sci-fi, fantasy and horror to read aloud. I usually read nonfiction when I’m reading for myself.
How do you prepare yourself for narrating a book?
I read the book through once, then I go through it a second time with colored pens, marking up and distinguishing the characters. Each character has a different color and is recorded in a book – a “bible” that I use to keep track of the voices of each character. This is helpful if I’m doing a series and have to re-create a character from an earlier book.
How long does it take you to narrate an audio book on average? I know the final running time on Kings was close to 7 hours, but having done some audio work myself, I know the actual recording time was much greater than 7 hours.
My narrating speed is slightly above average. It usually takes me an hour to record forty minutes of a book. This is slightly higher than the desired standard for narrators which is 2:1. Of course certain books are more challenging than others and can sometimes take longer.
With Kings of the Dead, it seemed to me like you really captured the emotions I was trying to express with my writing. Is there anything you look to, or use for motivation when trying to capture the moment as presented by the writers?
I generally try to lose myself in the characters as much as possible, which is why I don’t start working on “acting” the book until after I’ve read it through twice and have an idea of how the characters express themselves. I don’t use any particular acting techniques, and I don’t use my own experiences as much as I try to imagine someone else’s.
Do you have anything scheduled for the future that you would like to share with us? (Stage, film, TV, notable books?)
My next project is going to ba a play here in New York, but I will probably also be narrating a new book as well. Unfortunately I don’t have any say in which books I get to narrate. Sometimes I audition for them and other times they are assigned to me. I tend to get books that have many characters and which require a variety of dialects, like detective novels, fantasy adventures, sci-fi and horror.
Again, thank you for the great narration. It was truly interesting to have someone read my work to me. I originally wrote Kings of the Dead in 2009 and pushed it out as a self-published author. After a year of sales, Permuted Press came to me and asked me if I would like to sign a contract, all I would need to do is extend the book. So after adding an additional 30% to the original story, and all of the edits and rewrites, I have been through my own book multiple times. So to be able to sit back and have someone read it to me? Well, I have to tell you, it was a little more than emotional in a couple of spots.
Thanks again for the kind words, Tony. I loved reading your book and I’m delighted that you felt that I did it justice. Have a great Christmas!
Thanks again for the narration and the interview Marc. If you would like to find more of Marc work, you can find a list of his narrations on Audible.com
And of course, Kings of the Dead can be found here.