Interview with Sunny Patel

When my publisher, Next Chapter, contacted me to say a voice actor had been found for the audiobook version of The Phoenix Project, I was apprehensive. After all, how could anybody do justice to the book I had cried and sweated over for 10 years?

The Phoenix Project audiobook

But all of that anxiety drifted away as soon as I heard the voice of Sunny Patel. He could not have been more perfect for the role.

So here is an interview with this talented voice actor. I give you Sunny Patel:

Interview with Sunny Patel – Voice Actor for The Phoenix Project Audiobook

  • What is a day in the life of a voice actor?

It’s still a pretty normal life. The great thing about voice acting is that you are your own boss and I have my own schedule, and I try to be flexible with it. So for example, if I do discipline myself to do voice work between 9-3 everyday, and decide one day I want to meet my friends or play tennis etc that I give it a break and do voice work later in the evening. I don’t take my work too seriously that it takes over my life. Voice acting is meant to be fun and for me it is, so I try to stay relaxed and not ruin my voice by overdoing it. Of course you have to do the things like vocal warm ups and stay hydrated and watch what you eat, but again, I don’t let it suck the fun out of my life and I give myself a bit of a break at times. 

  • What, beyond talent, do you feel one needs to book work and keep working as a voice actor?

Self-belief, persistence and discipline. But I think self belief comes from persistence and discipline, especially for those who aren’t very confident about their abilities. I was sort of like that. It’s important first of all that you find the connections just so you can audition for work. E.g, join ACX, Backstage, Casting Call, voices.com (if you have the money), upwork, or even voice acting facebook groups (where you will occasionally get somebody posting a job).

It’s not getting the jobs that’s important, it’s about getting the chance to audition. Bryan Cranston said in his biography that as an actor the work does not start when you get the part. Your auditions are your job and you should treat it as such. So audition, audition, audition! And don’t worry if you don’t get jobs straightaway. You have to be persistent and keep doing it, and discipline yourself to keep going.  My first paid gig took months of auditioning and it’s only now after 5 years of voice acting that I am getting more regular work. My self-belief grew, and I now know I will get paid work. It may not be every week but I know it will come as long as I persist.

  • What in your life experience was most helpful to you in becoming a voice actor?

Well, I have to be honest, having a deep voice does help a lot. But sometimes having a baritone is not enough. You need skill to be able to voice many characters in an audiobook. To be able to understand what they sound like based on what the author has written about each character is important and it takes skill to execute that. For that you need life experience and to meet people. I have travelled the world, and have had different jobs, and grew up in a multi-cultural place where I heard many languages and people speaking English in different accents.

I was always a people-watcher, so naturally I liked to get to know people. For fun I always mimicked people (I still do), and tried to imitate their body language and their accents. I also used to watch a lot of movies as a kid. When I am voicing characters in audiobook or doing a voice-over commercial, I will just try to sound like a person, whom I know is exactly like the character in the book, or close enough. So travelling and being a people-person has been helpful, but the best part about it was that I wasn’t trying to be a people-person. I just was. Just put your phone down, and go out there and talk to people, or maybe let them talk, and just listen. 

  • Any classes, books or programs you recommend?

In all honesty, I did not read any books about voice acting, but I watched a lot of YouTube videos and I communicate with other voice actors on Facebook. I also have read a lot of articles on it and do listen to other voice actors’ work. So there’s a lot of books that people will recommend, but I choose not to confine myself to the opinions of one or two authors. I like listening to the experiences of a wide variety of seasoned and even amateur voice actors, and it has gotten me far. Social networking has helped but I don’t overdo it. I also try to give my own advice to other struggling voice actors where I can. One thing I would DEFINITELY recommend is taking acting classes. I started doing acting to help with my voice acting, and not only am I better voice actor but I loved my time on the stage, and being an actor is my main goal in life. 

  • How do you handle stress and pressure?

For work stress and pressure, I don’t feel it that much. The voice acting world is a lot friendlier than most professions. Clients can be flexible if you don’t deliver work within a certain amount of time, if you have good reason. So to be honest I have never had much to stress in that department. In terms of dealing with other life stresses, I find sometimes doing my work helps relieve some of the stress and pressure or I just go play tennis, or better yet talk to a friend. 

  • Why did you want a career as a voice over artist?

Voice acting is fun for me, and I was tired of doing work which I found non-creative. So I chose this route. I never thought about being a voice actor. Most people said I had a nice voice, so I thought I would give it a go. I did, and it’s fun. Voice acting for me is creative and storytelling specifically is a tough art. Every voice acting gig you do is you telling a message, and getting people to listen is a tough challenge to master, and I enjoy the challenge.

  • Is it your only job?

I have another side-hustle. I work in a call centre as market research interviewer, where I now have the luxury of working from home due to Covid lockdowns. Saves me the journey to work, and it also means I can do both my jobs at the same time. Which is incredibly convenient. I also am an actor, so if I get an acting gig, that’s a bonus.

  • What type of character/genre do you prefer working with?

I have no genre preference. I have done sci-fi, fantasy, spy thrillers, action, memoirs and I am currently working on a book that is an epic fantasy, reminiscent of Lord of the Rings. I prefer to stay open with my genre preferences because I know I am versatile. I would however like to do some children’s stories. As for favoured characters, alpha characters suit me, but I prefer the challenge of being a beta. Or even being a comic sidekick. 

  • How do you feel about doing accents/genders etc?

I was always pretty good with accents, but I have improved in that department. The fact that I have booked work including audiobooks with US, Caribbean, Indian and Middle Eastern, and Scottish has helped. But there is still room for improvement. Genders has been the challenge for me since I have a deep voice. Doing a child’s voice too. I can’t remove the baritone voice for their parts, but there are some tricks that I have seen from my youtube videos or just listening intently to women (and even mimicking them), that has helped me to alter my voice when doing female characters, and I have improved drastically.  

  • Have you ever been asked to voice a character you have truly despised?

Not yet. But that time will come. 

  • What about one you’ve completely fallen in love with?

I wouldn’t say fallen in love with. But I have felt a deep connection to some. My favourite was Mehran in True Lover’s Knot. A very realistic portrayal of an Iranian man, who fled to America after the revolution in his teens, whose hardships and losses were difficult to fathom. But he still remained a kind and caring person after all that. There are people who I have met like that and have read about who really leave you dumbstruck, considering the vast majority people who face such trials end up embittered and angry. They really remind you of how powerfully complex the human spirit is. The body can die, but the ability to be so forgiving and kind despite the incredible cruelty they face is just beyond impossibility. I don’t get inspired easily, but Mehran’s compassion really left me thinking. Mehran’s character was so well written and his adversities and how he overcame them was utterly believable. And I have used his ethos and principles in my own everyday life. 

  • Where do you see your career heading in the next five years?

I don’t focus on a specific vision on the future of my career. Whether that’s five years, or ten or twenty years. Like I wouldn’t say I see my self doing voice overs in a Hollywood Studio, replacing Morgan Freeman as the voice of “Through the Wormhole”, or playing a Pixar character. All I know is that in five years, I will be in a much better position than I am now. If I end up in Hollywood then awesome, if I don’t, then I won’t be disappointed because considering the trajectory of my career in the last 5 years from where I started, I am doing tremendously well, and I can only see myself getting better in the next five years, and most importantly I will be happy and really enjoying my work. And hopefully other people will be enjoying listening to it. I will only keep getting better and one day, I will get a job that I never even imagined I would get. It’s going to happen, and I can feel it. All I have to do is be persistent. 

  • What would be your ideal booking?

Narrating a wildlife doc for the BBC. 

  • If you could narrate any famous classic, which would it be?

Maybe Lord of the Rings I guess. It’s not just an action-packed fantasy, there’s a lot of things going in there that takes you on a journey through the human emotional spectrum. A story of friendship, love, struggle, sacrifice, determination, betrayal, the power struggle between good and evil. Depending on how you look at it, it’s an allegory of tiny little allegories that maybe we can draw some value from to change modern life for the better. It’s a great story, and I would love to give it a go. Plus it has a lot of incredible diverse characters, so I imagine I would have a lot of fun doing it. 

  • Can you share with us what you are currently working on?

I am currently working on a book called “Legends of Agenor”. Some of the characters in there really remind me of Lord of the Rings, but the storyline is of course different, and it’s brilliant. Every character has depth and enough detail for you to feel them around you. The great thing about it is that, unlike Lord of the Rings, this epic fantasy crosses over to the Eastern world, so there are Indian, Persian / Middle Eastern characters, even Caribbean pirates. A truly diverse novel. Which is refreshing as epic fantasies tend to be western-centric. 


Interested in booking Sunny Patel for voice over or acting work? You can find out more about his work, and contact him on his website HERE.


RELATED LINKS:

The Phoenix Project audiobook

Inspiration for The Phoenix Project

How was The Phoenix Project inspired by D.M. Cain’s love of geek culture?

The Phoenix Project review

The Phoenix Project second edition

Other books by D.M. Cain

About D.M. Cain

The Phoenix Project audiobook

The Phoenix Project audiobook is here!

Psychological dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project is now available in audiobook!

Narrated by the fabulous Sunny Patel and published by Next Chapter Audio Ltd.

And here’s the exciting news: I am giving away FREE review copies to the first 20 people to request a copy! So, if you’re interested in experiencing this award-winning novel, drop a comment below and you could be in for a chance to receive a free copy.

Kindle Book Review – Winner, Best Science Fiction Novel

In a world that has descended into chaos, Raven Kennedy becomes a part of the Phoenix Project. Across the country, prison inmates fight to the death while the nation cheers them on. 

While struggling with his past, Raven faces the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. With the real war raging inside him, Raven fights for redemption.

But can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him – and find the forgiveness he seeks?

Also available in ebook, paperback and large print from Amazon:


Related links:

Inspiration for The Phoenix Project

How was The Phoenix Project inspired by D.M. Cain’s love of geek culture?

The Phoenix Project, reviewed

Other books by D.M. Cain

Epic fantasy novel only 0.99 for 4 days!

Fantasy novel The Shield of Soren by D.M. Cain is only £0.99/$0.99 for four days: 23rd – 27th August 2020.

Young Soren is the apprentice of legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. At the age of sixteen, Soren is expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow – but he seems to be more interested in mischief than battle.

When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he accidentally unleashes a deadly threat. As an age-old prophecy comes to pass, Soren must take a perilous journey deep into enemy territory.

But does he have what it takes to save the realm, or will the Brotherhood destroy everything he loves?

Grab your copy in ebook or paperback here

Now available in audiobook too! Get your copy here

DM Cain audiobooks

Praise:

★★★★★ – “I’m delighted with the depth of young Soren Nitaya. This is a coming of age fantasy young and old alike will not be able to put down until they’ve read the last page. Definitely recommended.”

★★★★★ – “With remarkable characters and a captivating ending, you won’t want the story to end.”

★★★★★ – “A well-written fantasy read. Character development is done very well, the book has good pace and will leave the reader wanting for more. D.M. Cain has given us a real jewel to enjoy.”

★★★★★ – Superb fantasy.”


RELATED LINKS

A unique immersive fantasy

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: Origin of Shadow

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: A Chronicle of Chaos

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: Genesis of Light

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: The Sins of Silas

Epic fantasy novella FREE for 4 days!

Fantasy novella Genesis of Light by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days: 16th – 20th August.

Warring countries, fantastical creatures, beings of terrible power and journeys of epic scale. The legendary Book of Alcherys tells wild and unimaginable stories. But they are not mere fairy tales. They are true, every word.

Callista Nienna is strong and independent, but nothing could have prepared her for civilisation being brought to a violent end. Now, she is forced to stay alive in a desolate wilderness with only her closest friend for support.

She has two choices: give up and die with the wilting world around her or seize her destiny and make it to the only sanctuary left unscathed. At the end of her journey, something awaits Callista, something both terrifying and unbelievable.

The beginning of a fantasy epic. Learn where it all began in this prequel novella from The Light and Shadow Chronicles.

***** WOW! Read the whole book in one sitting. Just couldn’t put it down. Would love to know how you manage to keep coming up with these terrific books. Personally I think this is the best one yet Anne Harris, Avid Reader

Grab your copy in ebook or paperback here

Now available in audiobook too! Get your copy here

DM Cain audiobooks

Praise:

★★★★★ ‘I highly recommend this book and can’t wait for the next’

★★★★★ ‘I couldn’t put it down and read the whole book in one session’

★★★★★ ‘I would love to see these books being made into films’


RELATED LINKS

A unique immersive fantasy

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: Origin of Shadow

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: A Chronicle of Chaos

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: The Shield of Soren

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: The Sins of Silas

Epic fantasy novel FREE for 4 days!

Fantasy novel A Chronicle of Chaos by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days: 26th July – 30th July.

Bound by fate. Severed by blood.

In a realm ravaged by war, The Brotherhood of Shadow and The Children of Light will stop at nothing to destroy each other.

The warrior known as Chaos fights in the name of honor and glory. Arrogant and headstrong, he considers himself the strongest in the land, until fate puts him at the mercy of the demon Anathema.

The two strike up an intense rivalry, but their obsession to defeat one another only leads them closer together.

When the forces of Light and Darkness collide, where will their loyalties lie?

★★★★★ – “Outstanding. Strongly recommended to anyone who likes young adult fantasy.”

★★★★★ – “A unique and different approach to the old themes of angels and demons.”

★★★★★ – “Fantasy world, demons, angels, complex moral dilemmas. I’m sold.”

Grab your copy in ebook or paperback here

Now available in audiobook too! Get your copy here

DM Cain audiobooks

Praise:

★★★★★ – “Amazing and entertaining, this book explores many themes and delves deep into the question of what is right.”

★★★★★ – “I was captivated as the story unfolded. Battles, adventures and feelings of being an outcast intermingled with love and affection. A must-read for fantasy fans.”

★★★★★ – “A heartrending tale of brutality, love, compassion and destiny.”


RELATED LINKS

A unique immersive fantasy

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: Origin of Shadow

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: The Shield of Soren

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: Genesis of Light

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: The Sins of Silas

Epic fantasy novella FREE for 4 days!

Fantasy novella Origin of Shadow by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days: 2nd July – 6th July 2020.

The voice broke into his thoughts, everywhere and nowhere at once, deafening, yet somehow a whisper. “Are you ready to learn the truth?”

Heir to a notorious crime syndicate, sixteen-year-old Vincent Wilder is determined to live up to his father’s intimidating legacy, and expand his violent empire. The Wilders have terrorised the city of Pabell for decades and Vincent knows the business inside and out – and has dirtied his own hands more times than he dares to count.

But no matter how ready he thinks he is, nothing could have prepared him for life at the helm. His father was a man of many things, but secrets wasn’t one of them. Or so Vincent had thought. The deeper Vincent gets into his leadership role, the more terrifying and inexplicable skeletons he uncovers.

With the threat of a revolution, a mysterious and intrusive voice in his head, and a long-lost history he knew nothing about, is he really up to the challenge?

★★★★★ – “I have not seen this type of book writing before, and it looks very promising. I found it very interesting and cannot wait for more.”

★★★★★ – “A gripping and intriguing short story, and a great introduction to this series.”

The beginning of a fantasy epic. Learn where it all began in this prequel novella from The Light and Shadow Chronicles.

Grab your copy in ebook or paperback here

Now available in audiobook too! Get your copy here

DM Cain audiobooks

RELATED LINKS

A unique immersive fantasy

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: Genesis of Light

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: A Chronicle of Chaos

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: The Shield of Soren

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: The Sins of Silas

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: The Ballad of Benedict

Epic fantasy novel FREE for 4 days!

Fantasy novel The Shield of Soren by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days: 21st May – 25th May 2020.

Young Soren is the apprentice of legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. At the age of sixteen, Soren is expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow – but he seems to be more interested in mischief than battle.

When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he accidentally unleashes a deadly threat. As an age-old prophecy comes to pass, Soren must take a perilous journey deep into enemy territory.

But does he have what it takes to save the realm, or will the Brotherhood destroy everything he loves?

Grab your copy in ebook or paperback here

Now available in audiobook too! Get your copy here

DM Cain audiobooks

Praise:

★★★★★ – “I’m delighted with the depth of young Soren Nitaya. This is a coming of age fantasy young and old alike will not be able to put down until they’ve read the last page. Definitely recommended.”

★★★★★ – “With remarkable characters and a captivating ending, you won’t want the story to end.”

★★★★★ – “A well-written fantasy read. Character development is done very well, the book has good pace and will leave the reader wanting for more. D.M. Cain has given us a real jewel to enjoy.”

★★★★★ – Superb fantasy.”


RELATED LINKS

A unique immersive fantasy

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: Origin of Shadow

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: A Chronicle of Chaos

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: Genesis of Light

The Light and Shadow Chronicles: The Sins of Silas

The Shield of Soren on audiobook

DM Cain audiobook - The Shield of Soren

Young Soren is the apprentice of legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. At the age of sixteen, Soren is expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow – but he seems to be more interested in mischief than battle.

When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he accidentally unleashes a deadly threat. As an age-old prophecy comes to pass, Soren must take a perilous journey deep into enemy territory.

But does he have what it takes to save the realm, or will the Brotherhood destroy everything he loves?

★★★★★ – “I’m delighted with the depth of young Soren Nitaya. This is a coming of age fantasy young and old alike will not be able to put down until they’ve read the last page. Definitely recommended.”

★★★★★ – “With remarkable characters and a captivating ending, you won’t want the story to end.”

★★★★★ – “A well-written fantasy read. Character development is done very well, the book has good pace and will leave the reader wanting for more. D.M. Cain has given us a real jewel to enjoy.”

★★★★★ – Superb fantasy.”


Pick up your copy here:

Fantasy audiobook - audible US
Fantasy audiobook - audible UK

Why not check out the other books in the audio series?

DM Cain audiobook series

RELATED LINKS:

The Light and Shadow Chronicles

A Chronicle of Chaos

The Shield of Soren

Genesis of Light

Origin of Shadow

The Phoenix Project

Origin of Shadow on audiobook

DM Cain audiobook - Origin of Shadow

The voice broke into his thoughts, everywhere and nowhere at once, deafening, yet somehow a whisper. “Are you ready to learn the truth?”

Heir to a notorious crime syndicate, sixteen-year-old Vincent Wilder is determined to live up to his father’s intimidating legacy, and expand his violent empire. The Wilders have terrorised the city of Pabell for decades and Vincent knows the business inside and out – and has dirtied his own hands more times than he dares to count.

But no matter how ready he thinks he is, nothing could have prepared him for life at the helm. His father was a man of many things, but secrets wasn’t one of them. Or so Vincent had thought. The deeper Vincent gets into his leadership role, the more terrifying and inexplicable skeletons he uncovers.

With the threat of a revolution, a mysterious and intrusive voice in his head, and a long-lost history he knew nothing about, is he really up to the challenge?

★★★★★ – “I have not seen this type of book writing before, and it looks very promising. I found it very interesting and cannot wait for more.”

★★★★★ – “A gripping and intriguing short story, and a great introduction to this series.”


Pick up your copy here:

Fantasy audiobook - audible US
Fantasy audiobook - audible UK

Why not check out the other books in the audio series?

DM Cain audiobook series

RELATED LINKS:

The Light and Shadow Chronicles

A Chronicle of Chaos

The Shield of Soren

Genesis of Light

Origin of Shadow

The Phoenix Project

A Chronicle of Chaos on audiobook

DM Cain audiobook - A Chronicle of Chaos

Bound by fate. Severed by blood.

In a realm ravaged by war, The Brotherhood of Shadow and The Children of Light will stop at nothing to destroy each other.

The warrior known as Chaos fights in the name of honor and glory. Arrogant and headstrong, he considers himself the strongest in the land, until fate puts him at the mercy of the demon Anathema.

The two strike up an intense rivalry, but their obsession to defeat one another only leads them closer together.

When the forces of Light and Darkness collide, where will their loyalties lie?

★★★★★ – “Outstanding. Strongly recommended to anyone who likes young adult fantasy.”

★★★★★ – “A unique and different approach to the old themes of angels and demons.”

★★★★★ – “Fantasy world, demons, angels, complex moral dilemmas. I’m sold.”

★★★★★ – “Amazing and entertaining, this book explores many themes and delves deep into the question of what is right.”

★★★★★ – “I was captivated as the story unfolded. Battles, adventures and feelings of being an outcast intermingled with love and affection. A must-read for fantasy fans.”

★★★★★ – “A heartrending tale of brutality, love, compassion and destiny.”


Pick up your copy here:

Fantasy audiobook - audible US
Fantasy audiobook - audible UK

Fancy a preview before buying? You can hear a free extract on Soundcloud or Youtube here:

Fantasy audiobook excerpt - Soundcloud

Why not check out the other books in the audio series?

DM Cain audiobook series

RELATED LINKS:

The Light and Shadow Chronicles

A Chronicle of Chaos

The Shield of Soren

Genesis of Light

Origin of Shadow

The Phoenix Project