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The VO Boss podcast blends business advice with inspiration & motivation for today's voice talent. Each week, host Anne Ganguzza shares guest interviews + voice over industry insights to help you grow your business and stay focused on what matters...

Nov 24, 2022

In this extended episode, Anne chats with Landon Beach, the author of Narrator, and Scott Brick, the narrator of the novel, to find out what makes a great narrator-author relationship. If you're a writer, you know your characters, you understand their motivations and their goals. Creating a standout audiobook means trusting an actor to take the story to new heights. That's why we love audiobook narrators! They bring our characters to life with their voices, and they do it so well that we feel like we're coming along for the ride. Landon spent months learning everything he could about Sean Frost, the protagonist in "Narrator" He researched Sean's hobbies, his interests, his personality—even his favorite color! Many details of Sean that didn't make it into the novel became essential for developing his character in Scott's voice. We discuss how Landon's deep research into the character of Sean Frost led him to fully embody the role, and how Scott's experience as a voice actor informed his understanding of the subtleties that make this story great. We also talk about how you might be able to use your skills, interests, and background to add new textures & experience to your work as a voice actor.


>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS Podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza. And today I am so excited to have two very special guests on the show. Welcome Landon Beach, author of the psychological thriller Narrator, which is available now wherever fine books are sold. Landon previously served as a naval officer and was an educator for 15 years before becoming a full-time writer with six titles, the latest being Narrator. Welcome Landon.

Landon: Hey, Anne, thanks for having me on.

Anne: We also have the actual narrator of the book Narrator and award-winning narrator who has more than 800 books to his name -- maybe there's more by now -- 600 Earphone Awards, a Voice Arts Legacy Award, a Grammy nomination. Welcome Scott Brick to the show.

Scott: Hey, hey. It's so good to see you all.

Anne: I know! You guys, thank you so much for joining me. I'm so excited to talk to you today about this book, which is amazing, BOSSes. So if you don't mind, I'd like to start with just a little bit of a preview, if you don't mind. I'm gonna play this and hopefully you guys will be able to hear it. Here we go.

>> Why do authors have to kill off characters we love? I, Sean Frost, sit in my darkened recording booth and stare at the final paragraph of the novel I am narrating. Almost there. Finish it. Finish it right, finish it with a flourish. But I can't, not right now for I am crying. The main character, Nehemiah Stone, died two pages ago in a self-sacrifice that I had not seen coming. The book, The Paris Sanction, is author M. Scott Sal's fourth Nehemiah Stone thriller, which I have waited patiently for two years for the chance to narrate. Five years ago, Simon and Schuster thought I was the perfect narrator for the job when they contacted my agent, David Killian, whom I affectionately refer to as Killy.

Anne: <Laugh>. I would love to play all of that, but I'm gonna leave the BOSSes in suspense <laugh>. Wow. So you guys, for me, I mean, having read the book and listened to the audio book as well, it's amazing. And so I'd love to talk to you about the process. So let's start with you, Landon, after being an educator -- thank you very much for your service, thank you -- what was your thought process in becoming a writer?

Landon: Well, I've always written ever since I was young, and I had a wonderful English teacher in high school who really encouraged me. And then it kind of went away for a while. As you said, I went off and served, but I don't think I ever lost the passion for reading or the itch. And so fast forward many years later, and Scott and I started working together and developed a friendship. And I had an idea that I had been tossing around in my mind for 20 years because I've always loved the entertainment industry. I love to watch movies and study film. And finally it came to me one day after Scott and I had finished I think three books together. I thought, I think I have a way to tell an entertainment comeback story that has never been done before with an audiobook narrator as the main character set within the framework of a psychological thriller.

So that's where the idea came together. It wasn't until I started working with Scott and got to know a little bit about the audiobook world before I saw the opportunity that was in front of me. And then I shoved all other books to the side and just immersed myself in that world. And here we are today, <laugh>.

Anne: So I guess I should ask you then, how did you find Scott? So then Scott kind of contributed to the idea of the book for Narrator after you'd worked with him?

Landon: He did not contribute to the idea at all. I shocked the heck out of him when I presented it to him.

Anne: Oh, awesome!

Landon: Yes. Now after that, yes, he was very helpful <laugh> and had so much, you know, generous feedback. And the book, whatever success it may have, is in large part, of course, not only to his narration, but just his extreme kindness and professionalism, talking about the industry and seeing what worked and what wouldn't work in the book. And if we were gonna break some rules, to knowingly break them, so that it would be authentic and that the research would be impeccable. So that not only the common fan for 99% of them would not know where we're bending the rules or not. But it was important to us for maybe the 1%, the people that are in the industry that Scott and I both love, would appreciate the nods and winks and the Easter eggs.

Anne: Oh, yeah.

Landon: And just the fun of it that it hadn't been done before. So in terms of how I found Scott, I had placed in a few writing competitions for my first two novels, and I had written a third novel, and I was discussing with my wife how we might expand the business. And audiobooks were exploding back then and continue to explode now. But this is around 2019. And to make a long story short, I had been a fan of Scott's for years. Didn't know him at all. But I thought, well, if there's one person that I would love to narrate all of my books from now until eternity, it would be Scott.

And I saw that he was an entrepreneur, and his ahead of the game, was already working with some indie authors at that point. And so I contacted his amazing production manager, Gina Smith, and reached out and asked if, you know, he'd be interested. And through a process that we went through, we ended up doing a three-book deal. And then it led to later books. So that's sort of how we got together on this.

Anne: Well, I love the fact that you've continued to have Scott in your books. And so Scott, I imagine you had some collaboration after the surprise of finding out that he wrote a book about an audio book narrator. Talk about the process of collaboration with Landon.

Scott: I will. I'll be happy to. But Landon, I just want you to know, thank you for the kind words, but you've only got 45, 50 minutes. I'll give you 50 more minutes to say good things about me.

<Laugh>. It's very kind. Thank you.

This was a marvelous surprise. Landon I got to know one another through letters, through emails, cards that we would exchange, and found out that we're both huge fans of Old Hollywood. I probably can't tell that I love old Hollywood, 'cause the books behind me. And at one point, I guess when he had this idea, he asked if he could maybe get some feedback. You know, essentially it was like an interview. He wanted to interview me about how audiobooks are made. And I remember him saying that he had this idea and very broad terms.

Now, I wasn't really privy to what was going on in the story. I just told him about the process. And about six months later, he goes, oh, by the way, here you go. And I went, holy shit. Okay. Well, I guess he did. People say they're gonna do things all the time; it doesn't always happen. And then he asked me to read it ahead of time and just give him feedback. I mean, he was talking about like the rules that we break.

You know, there's one thing about the audio book industry. It's very gender and ethnicity centric, right? If a black man writes a book, they're gonna hire a black man to narrate it. Same thing. People ask me why I work so much. I'm like, well, there's a lot of old white guys writing books. Right? And in the book at the very beginning is the Audie Awards. And Billy D. Williams has his memoir come out, and there's a woman who is nominated for best narrator of the year for having done that book. And I was like, hey, Landon, I'm sorry to tell you. But you know, they would hire a guy to do that. And <laugh>, I just love the fact that the way that he addressed it was just talking about the elephant in the room.

He said, you know, at one point Billy D. Williams says, you tell me that woman can't read my book? Are you kidding me? You know, and again, it just, address the issue and then move on. The collaboration, for lack of a better word, I was just primarily giving feedback like that as well. It's just that first interview. I remember days before the book was coming out, he emailed real quick and said, is it appropriate to say, I hit the record button? Is there an actual button that you hit in the studio? And I said, Well, no, not really. I mean, I'm not using hardware, I'm using software. So I have a shortcut. I hit the number 3 button <laugh> on my keyboard. And he goes, But do you use that terminology? "I hit the record button." I said, No, I typically say I hit record. Okay, great. And that's what came about.

And you know, they're small things, but Dan Musselman, who's one of my favorite people of all time, he gave me my career, basically. And he always said, you know, most books are a 100,000 words long. You could get 99,999 of them right. But if you pronounce one of them wrong, it will ruin the experience for the listener. And this is a similar thing, if you get the terminology wrong, it would take some of us right out of the experience.

Anne: Absolutely. Well, absolutely. And I was just mentioning before when I was speaking in to Landon, how at home I felt with everything, everything was like, it was familiar to me. It was at home. Like, you grabbed a cup of tea for your throat, and you're at the award ceremony, and all of it just was so comfortable and just so wonderful and amazing. And I can't say enough good words about it, but I imagine that this was a little more collaborative than most audio books. Like Scott, talk a little bit about the process when you're hired to narrate an audio book, and how much interaction are you having with the author, or what does that look like?

Scott: You know, it all depends on whether you're working directly with the author or through a publisher. Um, publishers really like to curate the relationship, for lack of a better word. They like to limit the amount that you really get to interact with the author. Then again, I have authors I've worked with for 20 years, and it's like, there's no way we're not gonna talk about it. You know, I'm like, okay, he's coming over to my house for a dinner. Am I not supposed to talk to him about his book? And if it's a Dune book, I've done all of those, I think 25 of them now. I call the author , and we go over all the pronunciations for the made up names, phrases, and whatnot. That's typically what will happen.

I'll reach out to, you know, Nelson Demille. He puts in real people's names in the books that he writes. Because they've made charitable donations. Well, I wanna make sure that I'm, is it Carns or is it Kerns? They deserve to have their name said right. That's typically the way it works with an author. But when you work directly with an author like I've been blessed to do with Landon, he'll tell me, this thriller was inspired by this movie. He even sent me a copy of it on DVD. I'm blanking on it now. The Gene Hackman film. Why am I blanking?

Landon: Night Moves.

Scott: That's it. Exactly. So I watched that the night before, and it just helps get you into the mood. If anything else, the relationship that I've had, this working relationship with Landon, which is thankfully for me, become a true friendship, has informed my work on his books. It's nice to know when he sends me an email saying, you know, I got this character. I was inspired by this film, by this actress, by this actor -- it's really nice to know that kind of thing. Nobody listening will realize, oh yeah, that was Gene Hackman who inspired that character.

Anne: Sure, sure.

Scott: And yet, I know, and it makes it different for me and hopefully more layered and textured for the listener.

Anne: So I guess my question would be is when you take on a character, right, you fully envelop that character. How do you prepare for that? And also, I'd like like to ask Landon, was it a surprise when Scott interpreted the character in the way that he did?

Landon: So for this one, Anne, you read it ahead of time, Anne, which was wonderful of you to do that, because I wrote this in first person present tense. I felt that I had to know Sean Frost better than any character that I've ever written before. And I am not exaggerating here. I spent months working on Sean. I have 60 or so handwritten, two-sided loose leaf pieces of paper with notes about Sean Frost, his backstory, where he was raised, the toys that he played with when he was young. You know, millions of things that will never get into the book.

And a lot of that was inspired by a book that had come out just recently, Character by Robert McKee. And it can be really intimidating to go through his books, but they're so worth it because the journey he takes you through in the -- he asks the hard questions. And so I told Scott this beforehand, I said, my biggest fear when the book was to come out was that someone would get to a place -- like you said, you know, if you get one word wrong, like he's talking about with Dan, is that someone would say, Sean Frost would never say that. Or Sean Frost would never do that. And that's scary and intimidating because you don't want something to take the reader or listener out of the experience.

And so I felt comfortable after putting all that work in that I knew who he was, at least to start writing about him. And to add into the research before I say about, you know, Scott's interpretation of Sean, one thing that our relationship has developed far enough along where we're comfortable sending each other things and suggestions. And so this has a lot of pop cultural references, but it also has, I always have a soundtrack for all of my books, and it's, you know, songs that inspired me while I was writing. And if someone listened to all of those that say, how in the heck did you get Narrator out of all of those <laugh> or the nonfiction books that I read?

But there's something about it that I know as Scott, as a performer, as an actor, they're hungry for information. And let me see what I can do with this. And it's always on, you know, I always kinda say a volunteer basis -- he could use nothing that I give him, and we'd be completely fine. But because we're friends and we've had exchange of ideas, and in a lot of points in Narrator that made it better, it was the, let's let the best idea win here, no matter who came up with it. And so I was happy to, to go along with that. But I sent him an email for Narrator that was just massive, but it had every single pop cultural reference in Narrator.

And there are points where, as you know, Sean acts them out in his mind and he's thinking about them. And so I thought, well, what if I sent those to Scott ahead of time? And so when he got to that part of the book, he could, he could look at that and work into the scene. And like, like he said, no one else would know that he watched Michael Douglas yelling to Sean Penn in The Game <laugh> before he actually acted that out. But it keeps things fresh and, you know, energetic. And so that's what I would say about his performance is that, oh my gosh. I mean, just delighted. And I don't know a ton about the industry, but the respect that I gained in the year to year and a half of research before I approached him, I'm surprised I kept it a secret that long, but I was so intimidated before going because I wanted to make sure that I had done my job.

But what I did realize is that there are interpretations and decisions -- he's making creative choices of taking that character on sometimes in every line or every word with what you're gonna stress and whatnot that I never noticed before. I always say that Scott and other wonderful performers, they make it seem easy where, oh, I'm just listening to this great audio book. I'm completely in there. But the decisions that you have to make to have that come alive. So yeah, absolutely. To see that hard work pay off, and to see the directions that Scott took it as an artist and creator in his own right, I couldn't be happier. <Laugh>.

Anne: That's awesome. So Scott, tell us a little bit about the process, about how you got yourself into character.

Scott: So funny, because in acting circles, you're either method or you're not, right? Maybe you're more of a technique actor. God, what's that grape line by Spencer Tracy? He's, you know, his approach to acting was memorize his lines. Don't bump into the furniture. I'm not a method actor, and yet I really like to prepare my mood. We have to prepare the text, make sure everything is pronounced correctly. I have a researcher who handles that for me, but I want to make sure that my head is in the right space. So, yeah. I will watch Night Moves, the Gene Hackman film.

Before Narrator, I watched Misery because they're similarities, you know? Somebody who's being held against their will and forced to create basically. What I find really interesting is, I'm going through all the pop culture references that Landon sends me, is sometimes I find some that really work elsewhere. For instance, he was talking about this, and as you heard in the preview, this character, Nehemiah Stone. Well, that's a character who was very much, I think in the same vein as Jack Reacher. And I'm all also blessed to work on that series. I got 'em all right up there, just right behind me.

And Landon emailed me and said, you know, while writing this part of the book, I was listening to the theme from The Incredible Hulk in the 1970s, The Lonely Man that marvelous piano music at the end. It's heartbreaking. That actually used to be my ring tone on my phone, but it was so silent that I couldn't hear my phone ring. So I had <laugh>. But now a month or two after I did Narrator, I did the most recent Jack Reacher novel, which was called No Plan B. And I watched that video. I listened to that music every day before getting started. And nobody who's listening to either Narrator or a Jack Reacher novel is gonna go, wow. Sounds like he was listening to this, to the Incredible Hulk theme. But audiobooks is a type of storytelling where subtlety plays, and if it affects my performance just in a little way, then wonderful.

Anne: Yeah. And I felt that absolutely while listening <laugh> to it, so many subtle, tiny things. I felt close from the beginning, really to the character, which I thought was just phenomenal. So I imagine that because you guys had so much correspondence back and forth, Scott, this is different for you in other books, sometimes. You don't have as much collaboration with the author, right? And so then what other things do you have to do to prepare? As you mentioned, some of your publishers don't necessarily want you to collaborate so much. So what do you do to prepare for those characters and for those books?

Scott: I have a real keen sense for genre. Look, I love certain genres that I work in simply because I'm a book fan. That's the reason I got into this industry. I'll give you an example. We just, I was working with Penguin Random House and the estate of Raymond Chandler, and his family wanted the whole Philip Marlow Omnibus rerecorded. And they wanted to add music. And so they were looking for a new voice for Philip Marlow. And they hired me. Now, sadly, Chandler passed away, and I want to say it was the late 50s, early 60s. There was no way I was gonna be able to have any interaction with him other than reading books that he wrote about writing.

So what I did is, every single night -- there were eight books, seven novels, and one book of short stories. We recorded them over the course of a year, and every single night, the night before I would record, I would watch, maybe it was The Big Sleep, an actual Philip Marlow story. Maybe it was Double Indemnity. But I was watching film noir constantly, just to put myself in that mood, in that mindset, that hard boiled detective meeting the, you know, the femme fatale. Sometimes that's all you got. I've done that while doing the horror novels. I've watched Shining the night before, or The Ring. Yeah. I've done the same thing when I was recording Somewhere in Time. I watched time travel romances just to put myself in the right mood.

Landon: Anne, if I could add something about the character and what Scott was able to bring to the table, I was asked in a recent interview, how did you pick Scott to do this? And, and I said that even if I would've had five different narrators before writing Narrator, I said, of course I would've gone after Scott because I knew it was first person present tense. But also it's so much in the mind of Sean Frost. And when I listened to Scott's work where he does first person -- one, if you identify with that character, at some point you're listening and you think, I'm that character. I'm going through this. Which is a wonder of fiction. But also two, you become immediately immersed in the narrative and the novel.

Anne: Oh yeah.

Landon: And Scott is great at that. It's kind of what they said about Tom Hanks when they picked him for Robert Langdon, is that they thought that without speaking, he is a fantastic actor of someone who's thinking, and less is more. And I like to think of Scott in those terms of when someone is speaking inside of their head and that internal monologue was a natural choice. And the caveat that we joke about is that, you know, Scott is not Sean Frost <laugh>, but I thought he was perfectly suited to play that role. Like, and some people have asked me, they're like, they're like, Scott is Sean. I'm like, no, he's not.

Anne: I was gonna say, can you identify --

Landon: But he was perfect for it because he's a conglomeration of all the narrators that I researched. All their methods and stuff are kind of melded into this one character. So yes, there is some of Scott that is in there, definitely. But some of the routines that Sean have are completely different than what Scott does. <Laugh>.

Anne: Well, that's kind of good in a way. <laugh>.

Scott: All of my colleagues, all the narrators who've gotten back to me and said, I love this book. They don't ask about like abuse issues. They don't -- but anything like that, what they wanna know is, do you really make as much money as Sean Frost does? <laugh> And I of course say, yes, I do, even though I don't <laugh>.

Anne: <laugh> Landon, I wanted to say like the first person writing a novel in the first person I thought was really for this novel, I just thought it was really wonderful. Again, like you said, you picked Scott because you thought for him to do it in the character in first person was just, I think a phenomenal choice.

Landon: Oh, thank you, Anne. That means a lot.

Anne: But is that a choice as an author? Like, okay, when you sit down, you've got an idea to start writing. Like what makes you decide whether it's first person or how you're going to present that?

Landon: Well, for this particular case, this is the first time that I've ever written first person. Scott knows from my other books, they've been the third person closed, third person omniscient. But coming up in getting ready to write this book, it really, a lot of it had to do with the fact that I'm trying to dramatize and make a psychological thriller about someone who stays in a really confined space, in a booth. And I empathize with that in terms of an author. I mean, I'm in my office right now, <laugh> Anne, for 12 hours a day. It's really, really boring and lonely and hard work.

And that's why I look forward to these calls, one, to see my buddy here because, you know, we need this as, as creators to touch base with each other every once in a while. And I always leave energized and enthused. But I thought it's gotta be a psychological thriller that's the route to go with making this so that there, I can bring in suspense and reliable narration, unreliable narration. And it opens up a different menu of things to play with the audience's mind and wonder what's real and get as many reversals, authentic reversals, not just cursory ones as we can throughout the entire book to keep people on, on the edge of their seats.

So I thought for this one, I had to go all in on this one character. And I say this a bit tongue in cheek, but not, I miss him. I, I, I'm miss writing Sean. I really do. For that one intense period, and I think Scott would agree that when we got to the actual recording, I mean, it was like we were living in the same house next door to each other, and then it breaks away, and you go months without talking to someone. But that was so intense and we had to collaborate and work on a few issues that it was, I don't know, it's, it's like nothing I've never experienced before.

Scott: Also, just from my perspective, what it allowed me to do was -- I don't wanna use the word improvisation, because this is a book. It's written, it is scripted. And yet there are those moments where you can improvise in terms of your performance. Not change the words, but like, he asked me about my own particular method of recording it. And for many years I've used a tally clicker. And I can demonstrate to you, you know, it's one of those things that click when you're going in and out of a venue, you see the guy who's counting heads. You know, how many people do we have inside now? Okay. It's technically called it tally clicker. But when I just use the words tally clicker, people always say to me, what? And I'm like, well, so I have to explain.

Anne: Got one right here.

Scott: Anything that makes the noise.

Landon: There it is. There it is.

Scott: Anything that will spike the wave form the waveform. Okay, well it's one thing to hear about it and then it's another thing to actually hear it. So I reached out to Landon, and I was like, how about -- 'cause this happens at the very beginning as I'm talking about the tally clicker -- how about I leave one of them in? And I had to call my, my edit my post house to say, I want all of them taken out except that one because it's the one that illustrates. As I'm talking about the tally clicker, I just went up to the microphone and just hit it four or five times. Oh, okay. Great. It'll help the listener. There was four or five things like that that, and I would always email Landon and say, is it okay if I put this in? At one point, I'm literally dabbing my lip balm on. He talks, you know, Sean, he's swishing his mouth with water. I left it in <laugh>, you -- why not?

Anne: I was at home, I'm telling you.

Landon: It was so perfect. It was like special effects for a few parts. But it was those kinda layers that I think made this special in my opinion. Especially the time that he goes through Sean's routine, 'cause he goes through it a few times. But Scott picked the perfect moment because it's right at the climax, and here he is, you know, triumphant from let's just say some obstacles that he's had to climb over. And he's like, I dab this and you can hear it. And then I take a swig of water, and you can hear it. And I'm like, that is so perfect. I never even would've thought of that.

Anne: I am in the booth. I am in the booth.

Landon: I was there. Right there.

Scott: The shape of your lips, it changes the sound coming out of it. And I was like, darn right. You know, and people were asking, my buddies were asking me, were you just like dabbing it with your finger? Hell no, I'm using --

Anne: <laughs> Oh my gosh.

Landon: Michelle Cobb was texting Scott back and forth and who is emailing me. And she was talking about it on the podcast, and she's just, you know, having a blast with the whole concept of Sean Frost. She's like, Scott, he's in a tuxedo. <laugh> But I said, you know, the character that he was narrating in this book listened to me was -- and so I said, well, let's let Sean as a professional get into a little bit of method and do that. And so, yeah, I'm glad that some people like those moments and found them --

Anne: Loved them.

Landon: -- entertaining and humorous.

Anne: Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Landon: It was fun.

Anne: Absolutely. So is there a movie in the future? I don't know, I just <Laugh>

Landon: I tell you what, I, I would absolutely love to see this made, and I was a screen writer before I was a novelist, and that's where my degree is in, my master's is in screenwriting. And so a lot of this, when I got to the end of it, I said, gosh, I can just, I can see it. So fingers crossed. Hey, anybody listening to this podcast, please reach out to Scott and myself <laugh>.

Anne: Yeah. Fantastic. So I asked that, but what's in the future for you next, Landon? Another book? What's happening?

Landon: Yep. So I'm in the final editing stages of a murder mystery, and that's going to come out a month from now, right around Christmas. And I just found this out the other day that the first book in the series, Huron Breeze for won mystery of the year for 2022.

Anne: Congrats.

Landon: So I'm just excited, humbled, surprised, but it's gonna be neat to release a sequel when all of that gets shared. And so what Scott and I have talked about is that at some point, we'll do our pre-recording conference for Huron Nights, because we're gonna take the main character into a complicated place, because it's part of a trilogy. So usually this is kind of the Empire Strikes Back episode of a trilogy where everything goes to hell, and then they've gotta come back in the third one. So I look forward to that, and I have some, some interesting ideas of some things that might inspire him as he gets ready for his performance.

And then I'm collaborating too with Susanne Elise Freeman on a novella, which is gonna take place in between books two and three, and it's going to be an assassination, spy, espionage short. And so we've already talked over Zoom, and I'm thrilled to be working with her. She's gonna of course play the main character in this one. And then we'll wrap up this trilogy with Huron Sunrise. And then finally I'm gonna get to the end of the Great Lake Saga, which is book five in that saga. I have a book on every Great Lake, and so I have four of them, but the last one has taken a backseat just because once Narrator got into my mind, I mean, the seas parted and it was all I had to get that out. And then of course the mystery, that's kind of taken on its own life. It was only planned as a standalone, but so many fans liked it and wanted more, I was like, well, I, I'll have to think about it. I did not plan to write anymore about that.

Anne: Yeah. Well count me as one of those.

Landon: Busy year coming up.

Anne: Yeah. Well, it sounds like so much fun, all your projects coming up.

Scott: You know what I, what I love about it is that when we were doing the first book in that series Huron Breeze, and there's this moment where there's a book within a book, right? There's a, a woman writer at the center of it, and she has written this wildly successful book, and they talk about how the audio book was narrated by Susanne Elise Freeman, my girlfriend. And I, and there was like a line or two in it that she actually says, and I said to Landon, you want me to have her come down to the booth and just have her say that?

And so we had her do the, the opening credits too, so you -- her voice wouldn't come as a surprise. And then Landon gets this idea that like, oh, maybe I'll write the book within the book. And so he's having Suzanne narrate it; I just love it. It's become a cliche to, to talk about thinking outside the box, but that's where growth comes from. That's where industry norms become, you know, stretched and we expand and grow. And I just love the fact that he is open to, great, let's do something a little different.

Anne: Well, I have to tell you, I'm not an audiobook narrator. I've, I've narrated one a long time ago, but I'll tell you what, you guys just make it sound so wonderful and delightful that, BOSSes out there, I'll tell ya, you guys are inspirational. And I really, really appreciate you talking to us today. And I had all these questions, but the whole conversation, I just love the direction it took and I appreciate.

Scott: No, I was, and I was gonna have to cut you off from saying nice things. Anyway, that <laugh> another 15 minutes. That's it.

Anne: Well Scott, tell us, outside of working with Landon, is there anything else going on in your future that you'd like to let the BOSSes know about? Any other exciting projects?

Scott: Yeah, I've got some wonderful books I've been working on recently. Just finished a historical thriller. It's non-fiction, but it was about the plot to kill Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin at the conference in Tehran, the first of the two times that the three of them met during World War II. The Nazi, it's called The Nazi Conspiracy. And that was really just a brilliant book. I'm also working on a couple of podcasting projects, scripted podcasts about the history of LA, the history of the entertainment industry. You can tell from books behind me, I love the silent film era, and I have an idea that I would love to just share with anybody who's like-minded and fascinated.

Anne: Yeah. I'm already intrigued by that. I think that sounds like a fabulous idea.

Scott: Awesome.

Anne: Absolutely. So tell the BOSSes how they can get Narrator and any other book. Landon, where is it available, at Amazon, on your website? Where can they go to find out more?

Landon: So there's links to all of my books on my website, But the Kindle version is exclusively on Amazon, but the paperback, you can get at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, anywhere pretty much. And the audio books are wide, so anywhere that audiobooks are sold, you can get a copy of Narrator in 30 seconds.

Anne: Fantastic. Yes. So any last, I'm gonna say tips for the BOSSes out there for them to be BOSSes and be successful in their voiceover endeavors or their writing endeavors?

Scott: I would say, from my perspective, don't be afraid to reach out to the author because you never know what can happen because of it. Be willing to do something that you might not ordinarily do in the booth. Years ago, there was a book I was doing where one character had an entire package of chewing gum we wanted in his cheek, and it actually spoke about how it changed the sound of his voice. And I knew it wouldn't sound right if I was just doing this. So I reached out and I said, would it be okay if I record all those lines separate and they get edited in later? I checked with the editor, with the publisher and I recorded the whole freaking thing with a, a wad of chewing gum in my mouth. And never in my life before or since have I brought chewing gum into a booth <laugh>. But that was the time it seemed appropriate. So dare to think differently.

Anne: Yeah. That makes the difference. Landon?

Landon: Yeah, so I would say an idea that you might want to consider, I know that a lot of audiobook narrators, they will put some of their background and their history of what they did before they became an audiobook narrator. But I would encourage them to list as many things as they were involved in before because you never know if an author is writing about a specific subject -- we can use Narrator as an example. But of course I was looking for someone who had not only audiobook narrating experience, but performing arts experience, which was another reason it worked out perfectly to go with Scott on this. But maybe there is an opportunity of, I don't know, if you were a trucker or something else before you became a narrator, that you might be able to lend a unique experience and voice to that project in a realm that you're already really well versed in with audio books.

So I would say, you know, not to run away from your previous background. It might lead to an interesting book that you're a part of. And the other part is just that, yes, there are some authors, and I can say this, they don't really wanna have a relationship. You know, they're like, I did this, you know. The narrator doesn't exist without me because I wrote the book. And you know, obviously those are not gonna be the kind of relationships that would work out like Scott. But with us, there might be an opportunity to really have a unique kind of collaborative environment, not like a total collaboration, which we've said, which is, you know, I have my turf and he has his. But yeah, there could be something that you did not know or expect. I never saw this coming until we became friends, and I, I really can't see Narrator without it now, if that makes sense. So. Yeah.

Anne: Absolutely does. Well, gentlemen, it has been such a joy talking to both of you. Thank you so, so much for your words of wisdom and inspiration. And BOSSes, go get Narrator. I'm telling you, <laugh> go out and get it now. In less than 10 seconds you can click and have this experience for yourselves. Gentlemen, thank you so much. I'm gonna give a great big shout-out to our sponsor, ipDTL. You too can connect and work like BOSSes. Find out more at You guys, have an amazing week and I'll see you next week. Bye.

>> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.