Author: Aaron Bunce
Narrator: Matthew Berry
Length: 10 hours and 3 minutes
Series: Overthrown: Chronicles of Denoril, Book 1
Publisher: Autumn Arch Publishing
Released: Dec. 24, 2019
It rests deep in the ground, they say, an ancient burial treasure of unimaginable wealth. Riches to humble even the most prosperous men, locked away from time itself. But the Council’s edict was clear - keep the tombs of the ancient dalan closed. Keep the past sealed. But where there is wealth, there is greed, and nothing stays buried forever. Thorben Paulson is an ordinary man, trying to raise his family the honest way. Unfortunately, the Council’s tax collectors demand more and more each thaw, taking in both coin and food. For a branded man like Thorben, his checkered past means the burden is always greater. With hungry mouths to feed and winter on the horizon, Thorben’s desperation grows. A visitor appears unexpectedly in town, a man from his past, carrying a map and a promise - enough coin to feed his family for the foreseeable future, in exchange for a single job. Not just any job, however. Thorben must delve once again, leave the sun behind and enter the underground crypts, the realm of the dead, and find priceless dalan relics. And yet, more lies in wait than things that sparkle and glimmer, and in Denoril, some things never truly die.
Q&A with Narrator Matthew E. Berry
- How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
- I had no idea I wanted to do this until I did. I wrote a novel 15 plus years ago that should really never see the light of day. About 5 years ago I began another novel that I wrote half of and never finished. I have a very hard time working on things as ADD apparently has my mind constantly changing courses. However, the half written book was a touch better than my first and I wondered if I had it published in book format, what the process was for turning it into an audiobook. Investigating that information, I found ACX. When I found out I could audition to narrate a title and be involved in the world I desperately wanted to be a part of, without my fingers sitting on a keyboard and not typing, I knew I had to give it a try.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- Most definitely! I love audiobooks and if I am not performing them, I am likely listening to them. I love the power of words and a good story. As my life began to get busy and my time to read grew less, something had to give. Unfortunately, reading for fun is what was given up. With audiobooks, I get that back as I can listen to the story told by amazing performers while I perform other tasks that typically are boring and/or monotonous.
- What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
- I would say I am strongest whenever performing a character. I really delve deep into the lives of my characters and try to bring them through with my performance. I don’t have the “golden” voice many narrators have and honestly think that’s where I can use the most improvement. However, I love my characters…. Often a little too much as I start speaking in their voice or mannerisms at times… I’m not crazy, just a narrator.
- Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
- At this point in my career, I am not sure how suited I really would be at non-fiction titles. I have been offered several non-fiction projects that I have not taken yet as I prefer titles that allow me to jump into character and create a life through my performance. While that is still possible in non-fiction, I just don’t know if I could bring the same “love and passion” to my performance. Perhaps as my narration career grows, so will my desire to perform non-fiction titles.
- How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
- This business is a bit funny when it comes to working with authors. I prefer to work directly with my authors to ensure a final product that “They” are proud of. However, once you begin to work with major publishers, the narrator may never discuss one thing with the author and authors often have very little say in the direction of the production themselves. I feel as though the consumer is going to get a much better product if I deliver the performance when I have had a chance to discuss with the authors about their ideals and directions to character.
- How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
- The first thing I usually do is discuss character accents or mannerisms with the author. I typically ask for a casting sheet if they were to cast these characters for a movie, who would they pick. That doesn’t always transfer over well, but after I go through the first read of a book, I usually get a good feeling as to who these characters are and how they should be represented. It’s not always perfect, which is when closely working with the author pays off. Aaron was terrific with offering guidance on the characters and when the right voice is found it truly is exciting.
- What types of things are harmful to your voice?
- There is likely a large list of things including caffeinated beverages…However, the main things that seems to stop production for me is allergies and asthma. Both medical issues really change the way your voice is perceived and maintaining the same caliber of production in either case is usually a fruitless endeavor.
- Do you read reviews for your audiobooks? If so, which ones stand out to you most, positive or negative?
- I make it a point to read all reviews of my performances. The negative reviews can be helpful in some cases, but in others I don’t understand what happened in people's lives that they think they have to troll other people to feel good about themselves. I couldn’t ever imagine leaving a 1 star review, as I refuse to be that person. I will always find something I like about other people’s artistic endeavors, even if I don’t like everything as a whole. Regardless though, all the positive feedback and reviews stand out so much more! It makes being involved in the business very rewarding. I love my fans and really appreciate when they reach out to let me know how much they enjoyed my performance.
- Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
- There is this really great author by the name of Aaron Bunce…. Oh wait… just a sec….. Other than Aaron and some of the other fabulous authors I have already gotten a chance to work with, I would really like to work with Brandon Sanderson and/or Stephen King as I am a big fan of both.
- What’s next for you?
- I am currently finishing up the 4th book in the Stephen Moorehouse Mystery Series, “The Monarch Graveyard” by James R Nelson. Once that is complete I will begin production of Jon Athan’s novel “Maneater”.