Q&A with Emma Chase and her TIED audiobook narrator Sebastian York

by Maryse on October 9, 2014 · 4 comments

in Behind The Books

<— Tied is out!! More DREW!!! *squeeeeee!!!* More foul-mouthed, dirty-minded, total “guy” yet super-sexy Drew for us!!! I loved book #1 in this series (and laughed out loud a TON!!). Here’s my review for “Tangled“. I’m usually more of a “her POV” reader, but in this case, with a delightfully obnoxious character like Drew, it totally worked for me. I couldn’t help but love it. Love him.

And to celebrate this brand spanking new release in the Tangled series, Emma Chase interviewed her audiobook narrator Sebastian York!! Very cool interview. I’ve always wondered about the man behind the “voice”. ;)

But first… do you guys wanna… listen to him? Here’s the prologue from Tied (the latest release).

Now… ready for that interview?

Emma: Hi Sebastian! Thank you for joining us today. I, and my readers/listeners, love your performance on The Tangled Series audiobooks, and we’re very excited to chat with you again!

The last time we talked audiobook #1 in the series, Tangled, had just come out and now audiobook #4, Tied, is being released! Drew and Kate have definitely come a long way.

1) You’ve narrated each of Tangled Series audiobooks –TangledTwisted (epilogue), Holy Frigging Matrimony, and now Tied. How has your narration changed from book #1 to book #4? Did knowing what the characters said, did and experienced in the previous books have an impact on your interpretation of them in Tied?

Sebastian – Hi Emma. Nice to be back, and thanks for having me.

I don’t think I’ve changed my approach in any significant way. I just think that I’ve become more familiar with the characters– namely Drew– over the course of the series. Because of that familiarity, now I can just step in and go, without really having to think so much. You begin to anticipate their moves, so to speak, and this makes for a more cogent narration.

2) Emma: What scene from Tied did you most enjoy performing?

Sebastian – I liked the scene between Drew and his sister, Alexandra, on the patio of the hotel suite. I think you’re at your best when those two come into play.

3) Emma: You do an amazing job of making very subtle changes in your tone and inflection, so listeners can immediately identify who is speaking. I feel that Tied is much more of an ensemble piece, with the characters having more page time as a group. Did that make Tied more challenging to narrate than the previous books in the series? How do you keep track of the characters’ voices? Do you take notes to keep them consistent or does it happen naturally?

Sebastian: — Thanks very much. I appreciate that coming from the author herself.

All of the books present their own challenges, really. But I like the ensemble aspect; it keeps you involved in a deeper way, which increases the chance that a performance will pay off. And because you feel staked to the characters’ actions, words, and intentions (on top of the narration itself), you can sort of trick yourself into their reality, into their environment, almost like you’re telling a friend a story as it’s happening in real time. Make sense? If you can achieve that level of focus, you don’t need notes because your memory kind of takes over from that point on. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I have to go back and listen to some characters’ voices to reacquaint myself, for sure. And if you’re working with an engineer, he or she can “flag” any of the characters in the recording in order to hear how you were doing them at an earlier stage of the book. I don’t know enough about recording to do that on my own, though– thus the “trick” I try to pull on myself. Otherwise I have to go digging back into the sound files.

4) Emma: Who is your favorite Tangled Series character and why?

Sebastian: — It’s hard to say, but I enjoyed James in Tied. Funny kid. Great humor attached to Drew and his son.

5) Emma: Were there any scenes in the series that shocked or surprised you?

Sebastian – Not with these people, no. Though I remember a scene in which someone’s folks (I think Kate’s folks) get caught in a steamy pickle. Pretty funny.**Emma please confirm this happened, I’m trying to remember the scene he is referencing from one of the books in the series and can’t so I want to be 100% sure it is from the TANGLED series before we put this in the Q&A.

6) Emma: Would you be friends with Drew Evans in real life? And, if you have a sister, would you let her date him?

Sebastian: There are many Drews walking the earth, especially the earth of NYC, and I know a few of them, so after some thought I decided that Drew and I could be “friendly.” But hanging out– no. One beer and then I’d have to go. As for the sister, I’d like to think that she’d be able to see through the gambit and leave well enough alone. Then again, if she was after a good time and looking to scratch an itch as much as he is (or was, if it’s the “old” Drew you’re talking about), so be it. Of course if she was his Kate…

7) Emma: Listeners have described your voice as “sexy,” “seductive,” “hypnotic,” and “overwhelmingly sensual.” Almost all of them have said they’d happily listen to you read the phone book. Do you get compliments on your voice in everyday life? Does the check-out person at the supermarket ever say, “My, what a hypnotic voice you have, Mr. York.”?

Sebastian – It happens on occasion, yeah. But in the check-out line, thankfully not. Jesus, that’d be embarrassing. However: Pissed off and making a phone call to the insurance company, the utility company, the bank etc– it helps having a deep voice. I’ll admit to that.

8) Emma: Have you been recognized as an audiobook narrator? Any fan encounters? If yes, we’d like details.

Sebastian – Once. I was at a car rental agency at the airport in New Orleans and was talking with the guy at the counter, sorting out insurance options etc etc. I was the only person in there. It was late. There was one other attendant, a woman wearing headphones– big, colorful ones– and clicking away on her computer a few feet over. I thought, wow, it must be closing time. Even so, I liked her style.

At one point I had to lean over the counter to check something on my attendant’s computer screen. As I was leaning back over to my side, I saw a copy of one of the books I’d recorded sitting there on a lower counter on their side. The other attendant picked it up just as I noticed it. I tried to play it cool, but I couldn’t resist taking a peek over at her. She was smiling, nodding at me, like she’d been waiting for me to look. “Don’t deny it, baby,” she said, waving the package at me. “I know it’s you.”

I said, “Wait a minute,” but she cut me off.

“Just because I’m wearing these things doesn’t mean I’m listening to something! I knew it was you the second you opened your mouth.”

Then my attendant, the guy, says, “Yeah, I thought you sounded familiar, too.”

Now I was completely baffled.

He said, “No, man, she’s my wife. I hear you a lot.” I couldn’t tell if he was disgruntled or if he’s just resigned himself to her listening habits.

“You love it too!” she said to the guy. She turned back to me and said, “You’ve helped us a lot.”

“Even in here?” I said, and they both started to look at each other in a conspiratorial way and laughed harder. I don’t know if I planted a seed or found them out, but who cares. It’s New Orleans.

9) Emma: If you could narrate any book ever written, what would it be and why?

Sebastian – The phone book. Nice challenge.

10) Emma: What projects are you currently working on? Do you have any upcoming releases listeners can lookout for?

Sebastian – Right now I’m finishing up on Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren. There’s also an anthology called Baby, It’s Cold Outside that I’ll be doing with a lot of great narrators; it’s set for a Christmas release.

This was a lot of fun – thank you for your time, Sebastian! And thank you, so much, for doing such a tremendous job of bringing my characters’ voices to life.

– Thank you, Emma.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan @ Reading Books Like a Boss October 9, 2014 at 12:29 PM

OMG! This interview made me the happiest person on this Earth! I love Sebastian’s story about the rental place! So funny!!! Thank you Maryse, Emma, and Sebastian!

Stephanie Moles Krayeski October 9, 2014 at 12:48 PM

It’s the first time that I’ve heard his voice. And, what a voice! This makes me want to buy the Audio books too!

Maryse October 9, 2014 at 8:24 PM

So many on our Facebook page are commenting about how much they love Sebastian. LOL!!! :D

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