Ping! That’s the first word of Ghost Sniper, describing the sound of a German bullet hitting the landing craft as the first Allied troops come ashore on D Day.
It’s also the first word I heard spoken by the narrator for the audiobook version. Like the troops in the boat, it got my attention.
In so many ways, hearing the first few pages of the audiobook version of Ghost Sniper was very exciting. Hearing narrator J. Scott Bennett give voice to Cole, Vaccaro, Von Stenger, and even Jolie Molyneaux makes them come alive in whole new ways.
I guess that it’s been exciting for me because this is the first of my books to be offered as an audio version. I can only imagine what it must be like to have your book turned into a movie. Although there’s been some interest in the past in Sharpshooter, the deal never went through. (Here’s looking at you, Lionsgate!)
Following the process of the audiobook come to life has been just as exciting and far more rewarding, because it is now available. I’ve listened to the performance, and it is quite entertaining.
In case you haven’t kept up, the audiobook experience has come a long way. I used to listen to cassette tapes of Ed McBain mysteries back when I first bought our old house and was busy painting and steaming old wallpaper off the walls. Yep, listened to them on a boom box with a tape deck. Inevitably, the tape ended when I was up on a ladder somewhere, wallpaper steamer burbling angrily in my hand.
Now, it’s so easy to pop an audiobook onto your computer or phone to listen in the car, on a walk, or during your next old house project. My brother the tree farmer listens to books on his tractor, or while pruning in the fields.
The talented narrator of Ghost Sniper is J. Scott Bennett, a teacher by day and a professional voice actor by evenings, weekends, and summers. Scott graciously agreed to answer a few questions about his audiobook work:
How many audiobooks have you narrated?
I have narrated 124 audiobooks (counting the one I just finished and submitted to the author for approval today).
What’s the best part of the job?
I enjoy it because I love to read and tell stories. It’s a great escape. I get to meet some cool people (authors, other narrators). Plus, I get to read out loud without being interrupted. (It’s a teacher thing. Ha, ha.)
Have you had any formal training in voice acting?
Other than some theater classes in high school and a few online seminars, I’ve not had any formal training to narrate audiobooks. But I’ve taught for many years, and I have read LOTS of books to my students.
Are there any special challenges to giving voice to female characters or characters with foreign accents, such as the ones in Ghost Sniper?
When it comes to voicing women and people with various accents, the biggest challenge I would say is not overdoing it. Audiobook listeners are smart, they understand that you’re just one person portraying others, so just giving the “hint” of the other gender is better.
You don’t just have to take my word for it that the audiobook is good. Listen to Scott’s performance for yourself. I’ve been given several codes for free author copies, just like authors get with print books. If you would like an audiobook of Ghost Sniper, please post a comment and I will send you a code for a free book while they last. You can also listen to a free preview at amazon.com, iTunes, or Audible.