#JIAM Narrator Interview: Nick J. Russo #LoveAudiobooks

Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 in Miscellaneous, News | 13 comments

June is Audiobook Month. We will have several narrator interviews, along with other audiobook posts and of course audiobook reviews. Lastly, don’t forget to check out our giveaway.

Meet Nick J. Russo

Nick J. Russo

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Nick J. Russo Audible Listings

Nick J. Russo’s Twitter @nickjrussovoice

Nick J. Russo’s Facebook Page

Darknightsound Facebook Page

Nick J. Russo’s Riptide Publishing Page

Howdy Again, Hot Listeners!

What would a June Is Audiobook Month blog event be without a chance to meet some of the fabulous voices behind the books! I was tickled to death to discover one of my favorite audiobook narrators was willing to be grilled interviewed for our event. When I do the familiar Top Five Fav Narrators lists, Nick J. Russo’s name is always on it. From the first audiobook I heard, Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane when I ahhhed and laughed to the most recent (oh, what do you know, another Amy Lane) The Depth of the Sound when I got all choked up and also laughed and ahhed, I have been impressed by his talented storytelling. I also have to give a shout out for his narration of JA Rock and Lisa Henry’s Playing the Fool series. And… well I could go on and on. Let’s not keep Nick waiting, right?


An Interview with Nick J. Russo


1. Were you a natural at voices and storytelling or did this talent come as a surprise for you?
It came as a bit of a surprise to me. I was definitely interested in doing it when I had the opportunity to, but I had no idea whether I would be good or not. Although my background is less theater based and more music oriented, it was certainly something I wanted to try. But it turns out I have a knack for it, and the reviews I’ve gotten have meant so much, and given me the confidence to stretch my performances further with every read.


2. What was the first audiobook you narrated?
The first audio book I narrated was Andrew Grey’s Organic Chemistry. It was such a new experience for me and I had no basis for if I was doing it justice.  It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, but I’ve done nearly a hundred projects since!


3. Do you have a ritual you do to get psyched up to work?
Not so much a ritual, but more of a process – I familiarize myself with the book I’m about to do with a pre-read and getting to know each of the characters a little. Then, to help give a voice to each one, I imagine the book as a movie production and I’m the casting director. I’ll be jotting down a few notes about a character and think “Ryan Gosling would fit this particular role pretty well”, then spend the next hour YouTubing random interviews with him to duplicate his speech patterns and voice.


4. What is the element of narration that you find comes easiest (accents, age, emotion, rhythm of the story)?
I absolutely love dramatic scenes – the more emotional the better. It’s really fun to have a weighty argument back and forth with myself. Comedy is also a joy to voice, especially when you hit all the right beats in the line to really emphasize the author’s joke.


5. Is there a particular word that is your nemesis and you have to consciously work to get it right (you know, like chrysanthemum)?
I wouldn’t say there is single troublemaker for me. Pretty much whenever an author drops a particular landmark or unique geographic location that to me, doesn’t even look like a word at first glance. Google has saved me on several occasions.


6. How many hours a day do you work when you are in production?
I usually like being in the booth around four hours most days. It’s as much time as I can without over doing my vocal cords too much. But there have been books in the past that have required me to do strenuous voices that shorten my booth time for the day. I do a sci-fi series called Exodus that requires a large number of rough husky alien voices. By the end of two hours making throaty guttural sounds, my voice is shot for the day.


7. What is a book or genre that you would love to tackle, but haven’t yet?
So far I’ve done romance, sci-fi, horror, thrillers, and paranormal, with an emphasis on romance obviously. 🙂 Often times, it’s a mix of romance and any of the others. I’m a huge sci-fi fanboy though, so any opportunity to voice something that deals with space commanders or aliens, I jump at the chance. It’d also be fun to voice something in the vein of a John Grisham tale, a legal thriller of some kind.


8. Is there something you like to ask an author if you have contact with them before or during production?
I contact the author or publisher if there is a strange word or name of a character that I can’t find the pronunciation for online, (two Amy Lane titles particularly come to mind; Nascha (The Deep of the Sound) and Under the Rushes :P), or if a particular line or passage needs clarification for whatever reason.


9. Has a book you are narrating ever elicited such a strong emotional response from you that you had trouble getting through that scene (humor, sadness, or just Wow!)?
Oh yeah, all the time, particularly with emotional scenes. When the author builds the tension up and it hits it’s breaking point with the two main characters, I try to equally build it up in the way they speak to each other. How would I feel if I were in their shoes in that exact moment? Admittedly, there have been a few times I’ve teared up and had to take a moment before switching from character voice to narrator again.


10. What is your next audiobook release we can watch for?
Several! Right now I’m working on Friendly Fire by Cari Z, finishing up Unbreak My Heart by K-Lee Klein, along with the next book in a vampire series I’m doing called Vampires in America. Sorting Will by Nya Rawlyns just came out a few days ago available on Audible.

Appreciate you stepping out of the soundbooth to join us today, Nick.

Thanks for having me!


And just a reminder, there is a Giveaway Opportunity:

Riptide Publishing has generously offered up five (5) Audible gift codes for any of their published audio books to five (5) separate winners.  To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment on Nick’s interview or either of the Riptide Authors panel interview posts.  Triple your chances by leaving a comment on all of them.  Entries for the giveaway will close one week after the last Riptide interview post.  Winning comments will be chosen randomly and emails with instructions sent out to the winners.

Sophia Rose Signature

Thanks to Riptide Publishing we are happy to invite you to enter their giveaway!

Enter our Audiobook Month Giveway!

Open to all over 13 years-old. Winner will be announced July 1, 2017

Sophia Rose
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.