Today, we get to have a chat with Daniel Wisniewski, narrator of quite a few audiobooks.
What brought you to working on this project?
Honestly, I just found it on ACX. I know they say to never “judge a book by its cover”, but that was literally what I did. The cover caught my eye immediately. It reminded me of the types of fantasy stories I read growing up, the kind that made me fall in love with the fantasy genre. When I read for the audition, it had that same magic (for lack of a better word) that those other books had. I knew that if I did end up being picked for it, I was going to have an amazing time. Which I did.
Me: It is a pretty cover.
What was the hardest part of bringing this story to life?
I would say the hardest part was mapping out the evolution of Scraps, the main character. He goes from this street rat to a Sorcerer Supreme over the course of the novel and I found it challenging to chart his shifts in confidence and tone. The story is told in real time, not with the mindset of a character looking back on his past. It had to be a slow, controlled burn of a character shift. Add a Northern English accent on top of all of that and you’ve got yourself quite the challenge.
Do you have a favorite character voice from the project? Why/ why not?
Honestly, for as difficult as the accent was sometimes, Scraps was still such an enjoyable character to voice. He is humble, just, and aims to prove that absolute power doesn’t corrupt absolutely. He aims to not only protect the innocent and less fortunate, but train and better them. He might not be afraid to get his hands dirty, but never unnecessarily.
Do you have a favorite chapter from the project? Why/ why not?
I’d say Chapter 26, mainly because it switches its POV from Scraps to another important character you meet halfway through the book. It’s the first time any sort of POV switch happens in the story, so it immediately grabs your attention. It’s also an important chapter story-wise, but that is all I will say on that!
Is there anything you’d like listeners to know about this work before they hear your performance?
It’s a fantasy adventure more in line with The Hobbit than Lord of the Rings. It’s an interesting story with a likable lead who, even though he’s gifted with innate power, still has to work at it in order to become truly great.
How many other works have you narrated?
Currently, I have 43 for purchase on Audible with more on the way.
Me: Awesome. I just hit approve on my 43rd title as I was prepping this. But you’re going to quickly outpace me on that score.
What was the most challenging other work you’ve voiced? Easiest? Most fun? What made it hard, easy, fun??
Definitely Soul Weaver and Battleborne. Two other excellent fantasy novels I did earlier this year. Lots of battles, lots of accents, lots of yelling and emotion. Fun and challenging all at the same time.
Can you recommend any of your other titles for us? What about the work is appealing?
Any of the LITRPG work I’ve done: Soul Weaver, Fallen Ambitions, Battleborne, and Fragment of Divinity. I highly recommend those because I personally love RPGs, so to be able to narrate them strikes the gamer chord in me and you can tell I’m having a blast in the booth. They’re just fun, plain and simple.
Me: I’ve been meaning to get into that genre. Maybe I will someday.
Which work are you most proud to have been a part of? Why?
I don’t have any one project that I am the most proud of, but my top three are Fallen Ambitions, Battleborne, and Fragment of Divinity. FA is currently the longest project I’ve ever done (clocking in at over 20 hours), so that was a marathon of audio work with so many different voices to keep track of and so many different plot lines intersecting. Battleborne contains some of my best narration and character work that I’ve ever done and also included one of my favorite scenes that I’ve ever had the pleasure of voicing. Fragment of Divinity I loved because I read through, recorded, edited, and mastered the entire project in about two weeks. And it’s not short, it’s 12 and a half hours long! But the work just came so easily on that project and really made me feel like an experienced professional.
Thanks for sharing about the book. Tell us more about you and your career.
What drew you to voice acting?
So, I’ve wanted to be a voice actor ever since I was five years old. Everything from cartoons to commercials to anime to video games to audiobooks has always fascinated me because all you have is your voice. Sometimes you have animators designing your character, but not always. You have to be able to convey whatever you’re reading in such a way that you are able to elicit an emotional response from the listener with only the power of your voice. Whether it’s to make them laugh or cry or even buy, all you’ve got is how you sound and how you interpret the text. It’s the ultimate acting challenge. How can I as the actor show the audience what I am feeling, including all the subtleties and nuances that only the face can show, without them seeing my face?
Is this the only acting you do? If you do other forms of acting, which is your favorite and why?
It’s not! I actually graduated with a degree in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College. I’ve performed in plays and musicals across the country and internationally and was set to start on a new Off-Broadway musical before the pandemic put those plans to a halt. I’ve also done some background work here and there for TV and a couple films. Honestly, I know it’s cliched, but I like them all for different reasons. TV and film is fun to me because of how intricate it is in regards to its process, musical theatre is amazing because there’s nothing quite as electrifying as a live audience, and VO is a blast because you could literally be anything as long as you can believably sound like it. I don’t think I could ever play a 7-foot surfer orc on a stage, but in the booth? Absolutely.
Do you have a process when you approach a work? Please describe it for us.
I like to read through the work before I start working on it. If I can’t do that because of schedule restraints, then I talk to the author about the characters and their mindsets. I start my work day by steaming and warming up my voice, then it’s just straight through the book for about 4-5 hours, then editing. Fairly standard stuff, I’m afraid.
Me: Sounds like a good system. What is “steaming” your voice?
What’s one random thing people don’t really know about you?
I broke my thumb playing touch football because I wanted to make new friends in my neighborhood. Sadly did not work out in my favor.
If you could only leave 1 lasting impression on the world, what would it be?
I would want to leave the impression of: “Take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.”
Me: That’s an awesome way to look at things.
Do you get to read for fun? Do you have a favorite genre to read for fun?
Yes, but not nearly as much as I once did. I still love reading fantasy for fun, but I also enjoy reading autobiographies and books on history. I finished Bryan Cranston’s book “A Life in Parts” (which I highly recommend) and am currently working through Mel Blanc’s autobiography.
Me: Neat. I don’t do much nonfic of any sort. Most of my entertainment reading has been audios for review purposes.
Do you have other hobbies? What do you do to relax?
What does “relax” mean? I kid. Kinda. I’ve been working a lot lately during the pandemic, but I’ve started to get back into finding some R&R time. Video games, cooking shows, movies, and Dungeons & Dragons.
Me: Do you officially game D&D? I like all the books and such, but never found the right group. One time I tried it, we took like 3 hours making characters got like a half-hour into our journey and had to quit.
What kind of movies do you enjoy?
The kind where the actors clearly had fun making it. Sometimes they’re great and other times they’re cheesy and ridiculous, but it’s always entertaining. I don’t like watching performers, writers, or directors phone it in with a project. If the creators are invested, then I’m invested.
If you could meet one person from history or present time, who would it be and why?
Tim Curry. The man defined my childhood and made a career out of committing to every single project he ever did with an equal amount of care and weight. He did stage, TV, film, and so much voiceover! I’d just want to thank him for being one of my acting role models.
Me: He did have a very cool voice.
If we wanted to know more about you or your work, where would we go?
Social Media Links: @danthevoiceman (Instagram), @DanTheVoiceMan1 (Twitter)
Audiobook Promotions …
Many of my 42 audible titles are listed on Audiobooks Unleashed.
Whether you’re looking for mystery or suspense or fantasy, I’ve got a title for you. Free codes are probably on audiobooks unleashed.
Normal links go to audible. *The Amazon labeled links are affiliate links. That means I get a very small payment from Amazon if you go through with a purchase.*
Note: Filter by US if you’re looking for those codes as many titles are out.
Ones I think may still have US codes: Innova, The Golden City Captives, The Dark Side of Science
There are plenty of UK codes, but not many US ones left.
Redeemer Chronicles (Fantasy)
Awakening – Redeemer Chronicles Book 1, MG fantasy (Amazon) (free codes)
The Holy War – Redeemer Chronicles Book 2, MG fantasy (Amazon) (free codes)
Reclaim the Darklands – Redeemer Chronicles Book 3, MG fantasy (Amazon) (free codes)
River’s Edge Ransom – Prequel to Redeemer Chronicles (Amazon) (email devyaschildren @ gmail.com for free codes)
Devya’s Children Series Links:
Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – short stories featuring Jillian. (Amazon) (free codes)
The Dark Side of Science – official prequel to Devya’s Children; Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live. (Amazon) (Please email devyaschildren @ gmail.com for free codes)
Ashlynn’s Dreams – Genetically altered Dream Shaper learns her gift. (Amazon) (free codes)
Nadia’s Tears – Jillian tries to awaken her sister, Nadia, from a coma. (Amazon) (free codes)
Malia’s Miracles – Jillian and her siblings try to save a friend’s mother. (Amazon) (free codes)
Varick’s Quest – Jillian and Danielle get kidnapped. Nadia’s also in trouble. (Amazon) (free codes)
Reshner’s Royal Ranger (epic sci-fi) just made it there. (Amazon) (free codes)
Guardian Angel Files:
Spirit’s Bane – Allister and Mina are training to be Guardians. Satan’s out to get them. (Amazon) (free codes)
Kindred Spirits – Mina’s exiled to Earth. Allister’s stuck in the Heavens. (Amazon) (free codes)