Interview between N.R. Walker and Joel Leslie about the author/narrator relationship (Spencer Cohen Series and much more) #Interview #LGBT #Audiobook #RGRGiveaway #MMRomance #Contemporary #Fun #Fangirl

Erryn had the opportunity to interview N.R. Walker (author) and Joel Leslie (narrator) about the collaborative process in creating an amazing 13 books together.  Enjoy!

 

*******Check out the giveaway at the bottom of this review for a chance to win an entire autographed set of the Spencer Cohen books courtesy of N.R. Walker.******


 

 

 

 

 

 


Click on the titles to read the reviews for the previous books in the series.

Spencer Cohen Book 1 | Spencer Cohen Book 2 | Spencer Cohen Book 3 | Yanni’s Story (Spencer Cohen Book 4)

(mostly unedited)

Erryn

Can I get you to talk a bit about Spencer Cohen? I get the feeling you had fun with that one. Lots of accents, eh?

Joel

It was kind of funny because I always “cast” my narrations… like figure out who I would have in the movie version. And NR and I had done alllll these books together (we are on 13 now i think), and I FINALLY got to cast Chris Hemsworth as my imaginary lead. So, whenever i was narrating Spencer, that’s who i was imagining in my head.

N.r.

Yay for Chris Hemsworth!

Joel

And I love Andrew… I’m a huge animation geek, and i love that he was quiet, and introverted but could be really witty and dominant at the same time.

Erryn

Wow, I did not see that coming. Does he rock a beard, or is it just the voice?

Joel

He can be however he wants lololol.

N.r.

Though I feel sorry for Joel… when I first started doing audio books, I had no concept of audio/vocals for my characters.

Joel

But – that works out – because sometimes she gives me the most insaneeeeee groupings (like for Cronin), that are so fun to tackle.

Honestly – after 13 books – it’s amazing that i’ve never really worried that two of her characters are going to sound the same. And that’s a huge testament to the specificity of her writing.

N.r.

OMG yes! I have visuals for my characters, like what they look like. And whether they have accents yes, but timbre or tone, I never really had to consider before. Now when I’m writing, I try and think about it

Erryn

Was Cronin your first collaboration? (Congrats on hitting number one on audible, BTW).

Joel

Red Dirt was our first.

N.r.

OMG yes Charlie… It was my first audio book EVER, so it was a steep learning curve for me

Erryn

Ah, I’m a huge Charlie fan.

Joel

And we adjusted Charlie a little as we went for American audiences.

N.r.

Doing a regional Aussie character in particular is tricky because you don’t want him to sound like a Sydney based lawyer, but you don’t want him to sound like Steve Irwin either

But Joel got it right

Erryn

lol

N.r.

Of course LOL

Erryn

He did.

Joel

The surprise for me was Yanni… I was NOT expecting that book to be as hot as it was. I was thinking it was gonna be way more on the sweet NR scale… but… yup.

turned up the AC for that one lol.

N.r.

OMG I love the whole daddy thing

It’s my FAVE trope ever

Joel

SHE OWES ME XANAX

N.r.

LOL!!! You’re welcome

Erryn

No kidding. I was going to ask you both – RDH & SC both have the first three books from one heroes POV and then another character for the 4th. How did that affect the writing and/or narrating?

Joel

OMG – It was a nightmare. My mouth did NOT want to co-operate.

I was so stressed about that one…I don’t know if NR remembers, but I kept messaging her saying “this is so hard… i’m so worried i’m screwing it up”.

N.r.

The writing? Not at all. I write whatever character talks to me, so it was just any other book for me

Joel

Because so much of the rhythm of the books for me was in Charlie’s internal voice… and to lose that was hard.

But it was absolutely the right choice… it was brilliant on her part.

Erryn

Travis is very different from Charlie.

And yet I feel Yanni was one of the best collaborations yet.

N.r.

Yes, Charlie’s “voice” is very specifically him. When I write him, it’s like a real person is speaking in my head. His run-on sentences and his way of saying things like “it’s a heart-breakin’ kinda leavin’.”

Joel

And Yanni was a challenge because I didn’t have any accents or ‘joel tricks’ to play with for the two leads. It was two American guys – and all the more colorful vocal characters were on the sidelines. I loved doing Andrew’s mom.

N.r.

And I haven’t had any other character talk to me like Charlie did

Erryn

Charlie is one special guy.

Joel

NR more than any writer I’ve worked with extensively, writes very specifically in the rhythm of each character. It makes is incredibly easy to identify and keep them unique.

N.r.

And yes, Travis POV gave us a chance to see Charlie from an outside perspective

Joel

I still want a damn book from Nuggets POV.

Erryn

lol

And I thought you did Helen brilliantly. She’s a special woman, that’s for sure.

Joel

She was Glenn Close in my head.

Erryn

I love Nugget.

N.r.

Andrew’s parents were wonderful to write. Loved them lots

HAHAHHA could you imagine a book in Nugget’s POV?? haha

Erryn

I can see the Glenn Close. And yes, Andrew’s parents were special. How they welcomed Spencer was great, but their treatment of Yanni had me in tears.

Well, now you have a mission, NR.

Joel

John Lennon had I am a Walrus… NR will have “I am a wombat”.

and it will sell millions.

think of the merchandising. Disney is already writing the check.

Erryn

OMG, that is so true.

N.r.

LOL I could never write Nugget’s POV. Though his plans to stalk and seek out Travis’ bare feet would be fun! LOL

Erryn

I did a little research and I see that Tantor has Evolved and On Davis Row up next.

N.r.

Yes, they do!! I can’t wait for those!

Joel

On Davis Row is almost totally done… i just got the corrections from them today.

And i can’t WAIT to do Evolved.

N.r.

And I got a cover to proof

Yes, I can’t wait for Evolved either

I loved writing Shaun

Joel

I think NR writes fantasy so welllll.

N.r.

But i’m a sci-fi girl at heart

Erryn

I have to say – little fan girl moment – that although I loved The Weight of it All (hello, laughing on the bus), it was On Davis Row that made me a true fan.

N.r.

Awwwww CJ and Pops were my fave. Loved them

Erryn

I think your fans would love more fantasy and sci-fi. I might have teared up a bit in Evolved as well.

N.r.

And OMG don’t even get me started on Henry hahahha

Joel

[The] Weight of It All is in my top three books I’ve ever done. It is my go-to suggestion for anyone who has never tried m/m romance.

Nugget In Space!!!!!!!!!!

Erryn

The t-rex arms imagery will stay with me forever. I thank Joel for that marvelous interpretation.

Now, Nugget is Space would be cool.

N.r.

I truly do LOVE sci-fi, but there are elements I struggle with as a writer. Especially with other planets and aliens LOL

Nugget in space. Good lord. hahahahhaa

Erryn

Have you thought about just creating your own? Making your own rules? World building, I think it’s called?

Joel

if anyone else got to narrate it there would be some serious pouting.

N.r.

Oh for sure ! And who knows… one day maybe. If they talk to me I would. LOL

LOL Joel, rest assured if Nugget ever goes to space, you’ll be the narrator

Erryn

We’ll start sending subliminal messages, right Joel? That way she’ll have to use you.

N.r.

(spoiler: it won’t ever happen) LOL

Joel

It amazes me how quickly you write… and the quality is extraordinary.

Like – it’s not a cookie-cutter template… your books are so unique to themselves.

N.r.

I’m lucky I get to write every day, and I get to do this full time. It’s seriously the best job ever.

Erryn

I think there are many of us who follow you on FB and watch your word count with awe, because Joel is right, the quality is amazing.

N.r.

Well, my WIP is trying to kill me.

LOL

Erryn

We’re lucky you chose this path.

N.r.

I strictly write around 2-3K per day. Sometimes less (when there’s a bunch of research) and sometimes more (sex scenes are a quick boost for word counts for me LOL)

Erryn

So, I’m going to do one more fan girl – I have the opportunity to read Galaxies and Oceans and it’s in my top 5 of all time. Loved it. Any chance there might be another collaboration in the future?

N.r.

Oh, I would LOVE Galaxies and Oceans in audio. We’ll have to wait and see…

Joel

LOL – when her books come out, the first thing I do is read the blurb to see where the heck it is set.

Erryn

Because Patrick and Aubrey were amazing. Aubrey broke my heart and Patrick put it back together.

Joel

And if it’s Australian I’m like “yesssss,probably mineeeee”

lolol.

N.r.

I like doing audios with Tantor (soooo easy to deal with and there are no upfront costs) but I’m at their mercy for selection

LOL!!! If it’s Aussie, it’s yours, Joel

Erryn

I can understand that, Joel. I’m Canadian, so we have a few accents up here and of course the US has many. How many for the Land Down Under?

Joel

The collaboration with Tantor and NR completely transformed my career. I’m so grateful to her and them.

N.r.

smooooooooches

And my audio books wouldn’t be what they are without you, so it goes both ways

Joel

There is a great animated show called Pacific Heat that actually showcases a great variety of different Aussie accents.

Erryn

Wow, I will have to check that out!

Joel

I also listen to Zumbos Just Desserts cuz they have contestants from all over on that.

N.r.

Yes, the Aussie accent is really hard. Being genuine and not sounding like a caricature

Zumbo’s Just Desserts!! That show is crazy! LOL

Joel

What is kind of hilarious is that in Cronin i think we used every accent on the planet EXCEPT Australian lol.

N.r.

If you get the chance, watch Gogglebox Australia. The accents are great, and it’s funny as hell

LOL YES

Erryn

Any advice for first time collaborators? I know Joel has said having an author describe the voice near the beginning of the book is helpful…

Joel

Well – not so much that they NEED to describe the voice straight away… just if they are going to do it at some point, not on page 354. lolol.

Erryn

Fair enough.

N.r.

I think for me, the most helpful thing about describing characters for Joel, is that he asks what their Patronus would be.

Or if they were an animated Disney character, which animal would they be

And I’m a visual person, so that made it so much easier for me

Erryn

Help me out, NR…Patronus?

Joel

BTW i have a stuffed wombat that NR gave me last year and he sits on my computer monitor and watches me record every day. he is the only knickknack in my booth lol.

You’re not a harry potter fan!?

we found the ONE lolol.

Erryn

A stuffed wombat, eh? I suppose his name is Nugget…

Joel

it’s the JK Rowling equivalent of a spirit animal.

N.r.

In the very beginning, Joel asked me what characters sounded like. And I was like “uuuuum…” I struggled to answer. But seeing them as an animated Disney character helped, or a Patronus

Erryn

Oh, crap, my secret is out of the bag.

N.r.

HAHAHHAA We did! We found the one!!

Erryn

I like the idea of a spirit animal – we use that a lot in Indigenous Canadian literature.

N.r.

Yes, if they had a spirit animal, or if they were an animated animal, what would it be? Like a ferret, or a snake, or a raging bull.

Erryn

Joel, what’s your spirit animal?

Joel

I am definitely a chipmunk on crack.

N.r.

and I did give Joel a little toy Nugget. It was the most appropriate little gift I could think of

Joel

not nearly as sexy as i would like it to be. lol.

N.r.

HAHAHAHAHA

Erryn

lol

N.r.

Like the squirrel from Over The Hedge

Joel

yaaaaaaaz

Erryn

And you, NR? Spirit or cartoon animal?

N.r.

Ugh, tough one… I’ve never thought about MY cartoon character. Um… I’d like to say Tigger, but I really more Winnie the Pooh hahahahha

I literally sit around eating all day, tapping my brain saying “think, think, think”

Erryn

I’ve always seen myself as a Koala – the hugging and all – but that’s not very Canadian.

Joel

awwwww.

Erryn

Well, you DO think! We have the proof in your great books.

N.r.

Koalas are gorgeous though!!

Erryn

I want to thank you both for doing this, it’s been such great fun. I’m looking forward to all of your future collaborations.

N.r.

Awww thank you!

Yes, hopefully there are a LOT more to come!

I can’t say much about my current WIP, only that it is not set in Australia, and it’s not contemporary. I’m sure Joel would love the challenge

Joel

I will NEVER not jump to narrate one of her titles.

Oh lawd

N.r.

But yes, I’m dying to hear his take on Evolved

Joel

thank you this has been so fun!

Erryn

OMG, NR, that is like the meanest tease EVER!

I can’t wait for Evolved either.

Have a great night Joel, and a good day, N.R.!

N.r.

HAHAHAHA I’ve not told anyone about this story. it’s all rather very different and I’m not even sure it will see the light of day yet. But who knows….

Yes, thank you SO much!!!

Erryn

Uh, I will NAG you until it does see the light of day. Your fans loved Evolved, they will LOVE this project as well.

N.r.

Fingers crossed!!

Thanks again for the chat. It’s been fun!

Joel

Ok – i have to run. I’m so happy to talk with you both xoxoxoxoxo love youuuuuuuu NR.

N.r.

{heart emoticon}


Website | Facebook | Twitter: @NR_Walker | Goodreads

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

Website | Twitter: @joellesliefro

JOEL LESLIE is a four-time Earphones Award winning audiobook narrator. He has voiced over 160 titles, including over 90 in the LGBT romance genre and has over 9,000 five star Audible reviews. His alter-ego, Joel Froomkin also records a bunch too. When not in the booth he is wrangling two loquacious wiener dogs!

Comment on this post for the chance to win the entire Spencer Cohen set (4 books) provided and autographed by N.R. Walker

You must be 18 years or older to participate in this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Etc.

This giveaway ends on July 15, 2018 at 11:59 PM CST. GOOD LUCK!

 

16 thoughts on “Interview between N.R. Walker and Joel Leslie about the author/narrator relationship (Spencer Cohen Series and much more) #Interview #LGBT #Audiobook #RGRGiveaway #MMRomance #Contemporary #Fun #Fangirl

  1. Thank you for such a highly entertaining interview! NR is one of my few autobuy authors so getting a peek into her head was lovely, as was seeing how her collaboration with Joel works. Also – Nugget in Space! Heeeeee.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, what a wonderful interview! Not only do we get intriguing glimpses of the books but the personalities of these two really shines. Great job, Erryn and thanks to NR and Joel for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow, N.r. is by far my favourite author and Joel is the best narrator I’ve ever heard. Together they are unstoppable. I could hear Joel’s voice just now as I read “it’s a heart-breakin’ kinda leavin’” and I got all teary again. 🙂 Thank you both for making it all so real.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved the interview – thanks for sharing.
    I’m a big Joel fan and am starting to think I’ve listened to too many of his narrations because I can hear the “chipmunk on crack” coming though in some of the more colorful characters (lol!) – it’s impossible to not smile 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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