Author: Jo Elliott
Narrator: Luke Castle
Length: 4 hours 21 minutes
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing
Released: Oct. 21, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Ally, Josh and Brendan are half-siblings living in Melbourne, Australia, whose family life is anything but ideal. During a chance family outing, the children discover a sacred scroll which offers them a solution to their problems…. Without forewarning, the children mysteriously find themselves in first century Palestine where they are compelled to live in a strange fishing village. In their desperate quest to get back home, the children learn about family relationships and God’s amazing love for them. Thrilling adventures will ensue as the children embark on the ride of their lives! This time-travelling tale allows Jesus to boldly speak to today’s youth on contemporary problems, encouraging the listener to “get into” the Bible and look to Jesus for help in times of trouble.
Jo Elliott was born in Melbourne, Australia to Greek parents and has resided in the world’s greatest city all her life. She turned her back on her industrial relations career to pursue her greatest love which is introducing children to God. Jo is married to Phillip Elliott, a devoted writer of fiction, and together they have travelled the world, opening their minds and their hearts to new peoples and languages. They also make time to sit and savour a cup of the best brewed coffee in the world, an experience in itself…
History Village: The Cross Over is Jo Elliott’s first published novel. Jo loved the writing experience so much that she published a sequel, called History Village: Break It Up and is currently working on the third installment in the series.
I’m just your average nerd living out in the heart of Texas. (Actually, more to the side, but heart sounds way cooler) As the only 17yr old narrator I know of I hope to be part of putting God’s messages in people’s everyday lives, and also to show other youth that we are capable of taking on things that might be deemed as ”only for adults”. If I finish my homework on time you can normally find me reading, writing a new debate case, cooking up a new recipe that I just have to try, or taking a nice long walk.
Q&A with Narrator Luke Castle
How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
I’ve always loved reading, and not just to myself so audiobook narration seemed like a good fit. I “broke into it” as a 15 year old so everything seemed a bit daunting but I soon got a hold of it and off I went!
A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
While it is very helpful I don’t think it’s absolute. What is absolute is that you have the desire for acting. While I had never (and to date haven’t) acted in a real play, I’ve always had that sort of dramatic flair and love for performance that has really helped me out.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
My favorite part is hands down the recording process, there is something so fun about going into my little homemade iso booth and telling a story. (Even if it’s only to my mic at the time). My least favorite is revisions, doing all those tiny little patch overs and miniscule edits is flat out tedious.
What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
Childrens: I love telling stories to Kids because there is SO much fun you can have there. They don’t want a slightly shrill voice for the evil stepmother, they want flat out evil.
Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
Yes. I have actually turned down 30-40% of the offers I ever received. Many people think that I am good for teens books, however as a christian I have a strong objection to any type of inappropriate language, as well as dirty bedroom/bathroom scenes. I don’t want to share that kind of vulgarity with the world so, regardless of how well written, and how many sales, I am never comfortable with putting those messages in peoples heads and turning them all down.
What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
It’s perfect for me! A message that I am THRILLED to have get out to the world, that is well written, and fun to perform. When I first got the audition script to look over I knew I wanted this book. I’m just glad that Jo felt the same way.
How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
Very personal. Audiobook creation is an art, not a cut and dried constitution. I work very closely with the author the whole time getting input, feedback, and little changes whenever possible. The more collaborative the creation process, the better the finished result.
If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
Appropriate question, what with the subject matter of the book. I think I would go to either 14th century Rome, the time of Jesus crucifiction, or 18th century Britain. Thankfully History Village let me check one of those off my list.
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
I try really hard not to laugh in their face. And then I take them calmly by the hand and remind them that reading is the act of taking in another view point through words. Audiobooks don’t differ in the slightest.
What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
Just do it. Buy a mic, build a studio, and dive in. Start off with Librivox to get a feel for it, and if you enjoy it the sky’s the limit. If a 15yr old, with a 150$ budget can land a contract, you can too. It only goes up from there.
Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
So where I live there is not a lot of motor traffic, beyond that I like to record REALLY early in the morning (6AM or so) to be nice and chipper. HOWEVER, at the end of History Village I needed to get it done and I had to record in the evening, during that session someone started doing laps in a REALLY LOUD lawn mower. So every five minutes or so I would be really into it, and then he would come around and RUIN the entire line. I’d have to cut it out, get back in the moment, and start again. I finally gave up and did an extra early session the next day. It was really annoying then, but pretty amusing now…
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