In celebration of the release of Platinum Magic, by Bruce Davis on audio book this last month, Brick Cave Media has taken a moment to interview the book’s voice talent, Nick Selker. This interview is part two of two, and you can read part I of the interview here.
And we continue . . .
Platinum Magic, being a Fantasy novel, has a number of “non standard” words. Share a little about how you prepare for those linguistic gymnastics?
Generally with some of the more fantastic words I’ll stop and just try saying them a few different ways. After trying out a few different pronunciations, I’ll start to get a feel for what feels natural and then just sort of follow my instinct from there. I’ll also consider some cultural factors, if there are any. I’ll try to make sure that an elven word sounds different than a dwarven word, for instance.
Who was your favorite character not named Simon to narrate in the Platinum Magic?
It’s tough to choose just one, so I’ve got two: Haldron Stonebender and Galen Flandyrs. I really enjoyed Haldron’s character. He’s a loyal friend and mentor who can be stubborn and foolhardy sometimes, but is still a good guy who has Simon’s best interests at heart. He’s the kind of character that I’d like to get a beer with. Flandyrs was great to narrate for the opposite reasons. He’s a schemer who is very calculating and manipulative with everyone he interacts with. It was fun to get into his shoes for a bit, especially since I don’t play characters like him that often.
There are a lot of character races that required different vocal shifts, how do you give them “unique voices” within the context of the narrative?
I try to pick up clues from the text to decide what voice to go with for a certain character. Personality is a big factor but there are other context clues from the story to help inform my choice. For instance, when a character is said to have an accent from a different region, I’ll try to make their voice a bit distinctive from others and make sure other characters from that region share a similar accent. All of the clues are in the text, and it’s a fun challenge to piece together the puzzle.
If there was a culturally popular book that you could narrate- what would you choose and why?
I would absolutely love to narrate Lord of the Rings. I grew up with the Peter Jackson movies and mostly forgot about them until a few years ago. I decided to read the books after rewatching the series and really fell in love with them. Tolkien has a beautifully antiquated style of writing that it took me a little bit to warm up to, but that I’ve come to appreciate. It sometimes feels like you’re reading some long forgotten epic, something akin to The Odyssey or Beowulf, instead of a dusty old novel you found in a discount book store. The book lends itself well to being told out loud and I’d jump at the opportunity to do it.
If there was a book you’ve narrated that is not titled Platinum Magic that you think everyone should give a listen to, pitch one.
I recently narrated Cables by Ronald Malfi. It’s a horror novel about a writer, Wilson Paventeau, who comes into possession of a book, the titular Mr. Cables, which bears his name on the cover and bio near the back. But Paventeau is certain he didn’t write this book, and his pursuit of uncovering the truth leads him to some unsettling places. It hasn’t been released yet, but will be coming out soon on Audible!
Thank you to Nick for taking the time to answer our questions! You’ll hear Nick again soon in the audio book adaptation of Gold Magic, also from Bruce Davis.