How does Cody the Cockatrice have a voice when in fact, Cody communicates telepathically?
Cody vicariously transmits information to his guardian children and to everyone else who believes in him, sees him, including all critters on Earth large and small. Cody’s job is to protect children, like a fairy-godparent, but he calls himself a CGP; Cockatrice-GodParent. But really, what does Cody sound like? The process began the moment Cody started begging me for a voice of his own. I mean yes, he has a voice written on pages, but not in the audible sense.
My computer pinged, sounding an alert to every audition that arrived in my message box. Being new to ACX and this audiobook process, I simply didn’t know what to expect or if I was going to get any auditions or not. The pings rang in forty-one times, and after a couple weeks of going through the audition sound files, it was time to choose a narrator. I thought listening to the same lines over and over would be a bit torturous, but it wasn’t, and in fact, the top five readings brought a smile to my face. I loved them so much, I listened to them over and over again. I could hear “Cody” in the top six audition voices, but only one gave me goosebumps. I couldn’t wait for my team to hear these auditions. Without telling them who my favorite narrator was, we picked unanimously.
I am thrilled to announced: Once Upon the Rhine will be read by
John York from the United Kingdom.
John York is an audiobook narrator, voiceover actor, and consulting producer. He has over 160 audiobook titles completed as of October 2020 and is partnered with Earthwalker Studios located in England.
Getting to know the man behind Cody’s voice is half the fun, so I asked him a few questions to share with all of you. Sorry, but you’ll have to imagine his wonderful English accent when you read his replies.
I asked: What did you think when you saw the title of the book as an audition and what drove you to audition?
John replied: When reading the description of the book, I knew within the first sentence that I would love to be a part of such a wonderful project. It felt good for the soul, and I just had such a warm feeling while recording the audition. I really am so grateful to be working with RuthAnne and her team on this project. It’s been just the most joyous experience so far and narrating this title has been a blast!
How do you connect to the characters you narrate?
Connecting to the characters while narrating the audiobook is always my favourite part of the process! It starts very early on by reading the character descriptions, which of course develops on the first pre-read of the book, and finding a voice that does them justice. Once voices are chosen and throughout the narration is where the connections become much deeper. Getting into the characters’ headspace while in the booth is vital for the performance and just a glorious practise to experience. It truly allows for a break from my own self, which is thoroughly enjoyable!
What character do you connect with the most?
It’s hard to pick one character as I find myself connecting to both Cody and Brody. Both characters have traits that I see in myself. For example, Brody’s zest for exploration and discovery is so infectious and joyous to read, I like to think that I share that whenever I’m travelling or experiencing something new. And Cody’s passion for his purpose, his drive to help and protect those around him as well as his wonderful sense of humour, I really enjoy and so would love to say that I have those qualities also. At least I’d like to say I’m working toward accomplishing that outlook!
What can listeners look forward to with your performance of this audiobook?
I hope listeners will be able to experience a deeper enjoyment of the characters with the added audio element, and I think they’re in for such a treat with the story. If they enjoy the audiobook half as much as I enjoyed producing it, then we’re in for a real winner.
Have you been to any of the places in the book?
I have actually! I had the pleasure of visiting Switzerland a few years ago. Much like Brody, my father also travelled for work, so he would return with many recommendations of European towns and cities that he enjoyed exploring, which we would then visit and love equally as much!
Another Sample of John’s work … here is Once Upon the Rhine‘s official book trailer.