Meet Ian McEuen, Audiobook Narrator for Rule of Fire!
Work on the audiobook for Rule of Fire wrapped up recently. AND if that wasn’t cool enough, it was just released! 😀
If that announcement isn’t cool enough, I was lucky to sit down with Ian McEuen, the very awesome narrator of Rule of Fire to ask his take on favorite parts, characters, and more. Plus it gives me lots of opportunities to share clips!
So turn up your volume and enjoy the favorite parts of epic fantasy Rule of Fire straight from the book’s narrator!
Welcome, Ian! It was awesome working with you over the last few months. Besides myself and my editor, you are now one of the select people who are most intimately familiar with the story and the characters. So I have to ask, who was your favorite character to narrate and why?
This is always a tough question to answer, but particularly for this book, with its rich cast of characters. However, I must say, my favorite character to narrate was definitely Sinika. I am not quite sure why, but I always love narrating villains. Maybe it goes back to my childhood love of Darth Vader, Shredder, and the Decepticons. Maybe its because I strive to be a kind and open person in my everyday life, and so it is great fun to perform a direct counterpoint to that. Maybe I just like doing a slimy British accent. Who knows! Whatever the reason, Sinika was a wonderfully complex antagonist – a cunning mind driven by fear and prejudice, willing to play the long game to achieve his goals.
Hah! We have something in common then. Back in my days working as a government conservationist, I thought it was the perfect alibi to be a supervillain. Alas, my superpowers never manifested and I had to stick to writing about incredibly powerful heroes and villains! lol. What was your favorite scene to narrate? Why?
Now this one I can’t decide on, so I have to give two scenes. Going off of my favorite of Sinika’s lines, the confrontation that follows in the back alley of Rah Hahsessah is just so thrilling to read. The image of fire serpents chasing after Zhao and Ria will forever be burned in my mind (heh, heh, get it?).
The other scene is something completely different. Late in the book, Ria and Zhao are traveling as Dragons. Zhao’s humanity begins to slip away as his mind becomes increasingly dragon-like. What follows is a beautiful scene of genuine friendship: Ria showing Zhao images and memories through their mental connection to keep him tethered to his humanity.
Hah, this is definitely something I am still working on perfecting. I have a few different strategies. The one I use most often may seem like a cop-out, but bear with me..Way back in my acting training, when I was having difficulties embodying a certain character, my professor told me to decide what film actor I would cast in the role, and then try to emulate that actor in my performance. The goal was definitely not to do an impression of the actor, but to explore speech patterns and physicalities that are inherently not my own. So when I am preparing my voices for a book, I often think about how I would cast the movie adaptation of the book. The resulting “cast list” makes it very easy to switch between characters that are both very different from myself, as well as different from each other..For epic fantasy books like Rule of Fire, I try to go a bit further. There are many distinct regions in this fantasy world, and some of them are quite isolated, so I try to make clear distinctions between them. As long as I can keep straight in my mind where someone is from, I can access that region’s accent. That is where a pad and paper are a narrator’s best friend!
Not at all! It made it a great deal of fun! I particularly enjoyed narrating Zhao when he was a dragon, as it allowed me to put in some new colors that weren’t there previously.
Spirit…No joke, ever since I was a kid, I would make believe that I could turn myself and my friends into dragons!