Narrator Interview: Gabra Zackman #LoveAudiobooks

Posted by on Jun 11, 2018 in Miscellaneous | 20 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 Gabra Zackman

Narrator: Gabra Zackman

Narrator: Gabra Zackman

Gabra Zackman is a New York City based actress, audiobook narrator and writer (the Bod Squad Series, Pocket Books 2015). She has performed off Broadway, in regional theaters, several Shakespeare festivals, and on TV in “Law and Order”, “SVU”, and “AMC”.

Gabra has recorded over 300 books to date in nearly every major New York production house, has a home studio, and records full time. She has recorded books in every genre and has large followings in fantasy as well as romance. She records both fiction and non-fiction, adores recording memoirs, and has won several Audiofile Earphones awards for her work, including a citation for Best Fiction Audiobook of 2017. Gabra’s recording of Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was in Audible’s top ten audiobooks list for several weeks in a row.


Gabra Zackman’s Audible Listings

Gabra Zackman’s Instagram @AudiobookGoddess

Gabra Zackman’s Twitter @GabraZackman

Gabra Zackman’s Website


An Interview with Gabra Zackman


1. How did you get involved in recording audiobooks?

I was so lucky to start recording for Talking Books, a wonderful company that recorded books for the blind through the National Library Service. I adored the work, and being of service to the blind, and still do some of it from time to time.


2. Do you have to prepare differently if it is a new series and/or author that you haven’t worked with, compared to a new book in a series you’ve been reading?

Absolutely!!!! If it’s a new series I like to have a conversation if possible to get an idea of what an author wants (stylistically, tonally, with regard to accents etc). If a series I’m in the midst of then typically we just touch base, or email about various pronunciations/accents etc. For both recurring series and new, I like to know if there’s anything the author hears in their head, anything specific they feel that they want me to convey.


3. Do you narrate every book that comes your way or have you ever turned one down. And if you have what made you decide not to go forward with a project?

I narrate most of what comes my way, but I’m so lucky to be busy most of the time that I often have to turn projects down because I can’t make a deadline! There are two reasons why I have turned work down other than being overscheduled, and why I will continue to:

I won’t do any work that condones violence towards women (this is occasionally a part of romance and erotica, and while I respect everyone’s desires, sometimes it crosses a line. That said I have no problem with anything consensual, including BDSM). I also won’t do any work that endorses a political or religious agenda that makes me feel uncomfortable.


4. Do you have any great blooper stories?

As we read, our stomachs move in and out, so it’s natural to burp a lot while recording. I could make a massively hilarious “burp reel” 🙂


5. I’ve listened to you read the Menagerie series by Rachel Vincent. That is a pretty dark series with some really cringe-worthing scenes. Are those difficult to record? What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to record?

Oh I adore that series!!!!! One of my faves along with the others I’ve listed!!!!

Yes, some of it was difficult to record, because I fell in love with her characters, and many of them are abused. It was painful to read, and to voice. (I just found out I’ll be recording the third book in the series this summer and am so excited to!)

I think the most difficult book I ever read was one that came out recently: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. Being a true crime story of a serial killer’s vicious crimes, it was truly terrifying to read. That said, the fact that the killer was tracked down a couple of months after the release gives a great deal of solace. It has been an amazing experience to be the voice of this remarkable story.


6. What is the element of narration that you find comes easiest (accents, age, emotion, rhythm of the story)?

What a wonderful question!!! I would say that it’s entirely dependent on the book itself… the rhythm of one story might flow through me in one book, and be more difficult to access in others. I treasure the stories where they all flow with ease.


7. Which famous person, living or dead, would you most like to meet and why?

The ones whose words have meant the most to my life… Shakespeare, Isabelle Allende, Joseph Campbell and Pema Chödrön.


Gabra Zackman and Kyra Davis

Gabra Zackman and Kyra Davis

The first book in the Sophie Katz series was one of the first books I recorded commercially, and the second book I ever did for Audible, and I completely fell in love with it! The romantic detective caper genre is my all time fave, and it is done to perfection in this series. As time went on, I became so involved in Kyra’s stories that Sophie and her friends became like friends to me… and so did Kyra! She recently came to New York and we got to catch up, and I am grateful every day for the joy her work has brought me, and for getting to know her as a friend. (Pic of the two of us also attached) PS: her Pure Sin series is as hot as they get!


Gabra Zackman Audiobooks

Sophie Katz series by Kyra Davis
Soulfinders series by Maria V. Snyder
Walker Papers series by CE Murphy
Pyper Rayne series by Deanna Chase
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Menagerie series by Rachel Vincent


See Gabra Zackman’s entire audiobook collection

Gabra Zackman is giving away four audiobooks.

Open to all over 13 years-old. Open to all who can receive audiobook codes from Audible. Four random commenters will win any one of the audiobooks narrated by Gabra Zackman. Winner will be announced July 2, 2018.

MLSimmons Reviewer

Enter our Audiobook Month Giveway!

Open to all over 13 years-old. Winner will be announced July 2, 2018.

Melanie Simmons
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.


  1. Fantastic interview. I have one or two of the books she narrated in my tbr pile 🙂

    • I have some more in my TBR pile. I’m really interested in I’ll be Gone in the Dark. It had been on my radar, then I found out she was the narrator, and I had to have it.

    • He really would have. I love seeing people’s answers to that question. Many people I hadn’t thought of, but would be interested in meeting.

  2. Omg I did not know about burping! That is just hilarious!

    And omg you did Poison study? I loved that book. Listening would be so fun

    • I didn’t know about that either. I learn so much from each interview. 🙂

  3. Oh… the Menagerie series by Rachel Vincent!! I added that to my TBR (audio) list a while back after reading the reviews.

    These interviews are great. I love the interesting things I’m learning! Thanks.

    • I feel like I learn so much from each interview I read. The Menagerie series is great. I hope you’re able to try it.

  4. Great interview! I was happy to hear about how Zackman goes about starting a new series – touching base with the author to check on accents, etc. I’ve always wondered about that. And the burping! Not something I’d considered. lol I’ll have to check out her titles, especially RVincent’s and KDavis’. 🙂

    • She’s narrated two series by Rachel Vincent and I loved both of them (Menagerie and Unbound).

  5. I’m still looking forward to her narration work. Fun interview, Melanie!

    • She does a great job with her narrations. I’m every excited to listen to I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara.

  6. I really enjoyed this interview. I always wondered if narrators discussed the book with the author so it was nice to learn her take on things. I love her work! As soon as I was listened to Menagerie, I knew that I had found an new favorite narrator. I listened to Storm Raiders: Age of Magic largely because she did the narration. I definitely need to check out more of her work very soon.

    • She reads Rachel Vincent’s Unbound Trilogy too. Fun series. She is a favorite narrator for me too.

  7. I see some books here that are on my TBR list. I’ll have to try some of them in audio.

  8. That’s cool that she became friends with an author after narrating her books.

    • I love seeing authors and narrators becoming buddies. I’ve seen a little bit of that on Twitter.

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