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

DM Cain merchandise A Chronicle of Chaos banner

A Chronicle of Chaos merchandise is now available!

The official line of merchandise for A Chronicle of Chaos has now been released!

Together with merchandise brand LitMatter, my publisher Next Chapter Publishing have created two types of merchandise for my epic fantasy novel, A Chronicle of Chaos.

NOVEL DESIGN

three young people modelling A Chronicle of Chaos t-shirts

GENERAL DESIGN

two young people modelling A Chronicle of Chaos t-shirts

More about A Chronicle of Chaos…

In a world ravaged by war, the paths of two warriors are about to cross with world-shattering consequences.

Chaos is a soldier of The Children of the Light, and fights in the name of destiny, honor and glory. Arrogant and headstrong, he believes he is the strongest warrior in the land, until a fateful coincidence puts him at the mercy of the demon Anathema.

The two strike up an intense rivalry, but their obsession to destroy one another only leads them closer together. When the forces of light and dark collide, where will their loyalties lie?

If you enjoyed A Chronicle of Chaos, why not check out the rest of the Light and Shadow Chronicles?


RELATED LINKS:

A Chronicle of Chaos

The Shield of Soren

Genesis of Light

Origin of Shadow

A unique fantasy series

A Chronicle of Chaos Soundtrack

Worldbuilding – Meraxor

Exciting times for D.M. Cain!

Well, summer 2016 has been a busy one. As a primary school teacher I have six weeks summer vacation in which to catch up with all the writing and editing I can’t do in the school term.

So, what have I been up to in these six weeks?

Aside from looking after my hyperactive, cheeky little 5 year old son, I’ve been away on two holidays – Snowdonia in Wales, and a cruise to the Norwegian fjords. Both had beautiful, mountain scenery – just what I need to get my writer’s inspiration flowing.

These two breaks, as well as a significant amount of time at home have allowed me to achieve the following:

Camp NaNoWriMo

My editor (and awesome friend) Pam Elise Harris asked me this July to take part in Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)  I was terrified of the concept of only having one month to complete a writing project, but I decided to go for it. As it was my first challenge, I set myself a manageable target of 20,000 words and started a brand new novella entitled ‘Origin of Shadow’.

I am delighted to announce that I managed to completed my target! I now have a shiny Camp NaNo winner’s certificate to be proud of!

Camp NaNo certificate.jpg

This story was written to complement Genesis of Light – a similar sized novella. Each of these novellas tells the story of the origin of one of the armies in my Light and Shadow Chronicles series. Origin of Shadow lets readers in on the secrets of how the Brotherhood of Shadow were formed.The two novellas will need to go through editing but I hoping to release them sometime next year (My cover designer, Irina French, is due to start work on the covers shortly!)


Author talk at Newbold Verdon library

On Wednesday 10th August I gave my first ever author talk at my local library. I did this 2.5 hour presentation/interactive Q&A with a fellow author named Stewart Bint (we live 500 yards from each other!). It was so much fun and the engagement from our audience was wonderful! I am pleased to say I even managed to sell a few copies! I can’t wait to do more events like this in the future.


#Writestorm marathon day

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July 31st was our first #writestorm marathon. Facebook group ‘The #Awethors’ (of which I am co-creator) joined in with a 24 hour writing marathon. People were not required to write all day (that would have been crazy!) but they were asked to select certain hour long periods entirely dedicated to adding words to their current Work-In-Progress. The #writestorm methodology is a concept developed by talented author Andy Mengel, which involves short, intense periods of writing which are timed and structured. This method allows authors the chance to blast out a high word count without distractions, and helps to feed motivation in the next writing session.

The event was a huge success! Between us we managed to write 41,000 words! No small feat of accomplishment for 24 hours. We’ll be sure to run more events like this in the future.

For more about the #writestorm process – check out the official handbook:

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GRAB YOUR COPY HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’ve finally finished the first rounds of edits for The Shield of Soren!

The next novel in my Light and Shadow Chronicles series is ‘The Shield of Soren’. The books in this epic fantasy series are not chronological so this new installment could be read before or after the first release ‘A Chronicle of Chaos’ (available to buy here – just saying…) There are some characters who will appear in The Shield of Soren whom you might know from A Chronicle of Chaos: Raven, Deacon, Callista, Vincent, the mysterious tattooed man in black…

Now I’ve finished first round of edits, the book will be heading back to my editor for round 2 and I am hoping to be finished editing by the end of 2016, with a view to release in 2017.


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What writing advancements has this summer brought for you?

Wizarding Protection Program: J.B. Taylor

This week the incredible J.B. Taylor (author of a whole range of exceptional stories and novels) has released two fantasy stories entitled ‘Wizarding Protection Program’.

Take a look and grab a copy!

Wizarding Protection Program 1

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Wizarding Protection Program 1 – Christine is an actress, a breakout star in truth. She never believed in wizards. She never knew of the darkest wizard ever to have existed … Mortem. But Mortem knows of her. Christine is the sole survivor of his assassination of two wizarding journalists that resulted in a destroyed café and many dead civilians. Fearful her rising celebrity will bring his great plan to take over the wizarding world into the consciousness of the public he seeks her out, and Christine is forced on the run.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HYDFE60/

https://www.scribd.com/book/319509695/Wizarding-Protection-Program-1-Wizarding-Protection-Program-Series

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/wizarding-protection-program-1

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1138626342

http://www.inktera.com/store/title/f104070d-8e75-40d5-b0e6-ac8b1d8067f9

 

Wizarding Protection Program 2

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Wizarding Protection Program 2 – A disciple of Mortem is on the hunt, killing those who’ve offended him deeply. Christine has survived one dark wizard and is forced to flee yet another. Help proves to come from the strangest of places. And maybe, just maybe, Christine will prove magical after all.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wizarding-protection-program-2-jb-taylor/1124215726?ean=2940153347035

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1138626228https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/wizarding-protection-program-2

https://www.scribd.com/book/319509691/Wizarding-Protection-Program-2-Wizarding-Protection-Program-Series

http://www.inktera.com/store/title/3662b8e0-305b-4aff-a6e2-11ddf2b0c7ac

The Phoenix Project for just 0.99!

The Phoenix Project is available to buy for just $0.99 / £0.99 from July 11th – July 17th. After that, the price returns to $4.99 – so why not grab a copy of this psychological dystopian thriller now!

BUY IT HERE!

The Phoenix Project Cover

BLURB:

How can you fight to the death, when you’ve given up on life?

A thought provoking and compelling dystopian world that will change the way you view justice.

Britain has descended into chaos, as violence and terrorist attacks seethe across the once-peaceful country. Outraged by the steady stream of lawlessness, citizens demand a harsher penal system, and the Phoenix Project is born.

In prisons across the country, inmates fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.

Raven Kennedy, a prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war rages on within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines.

Fighting for his life and a chance for redemption, can Raven survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him – and find the forgiveness he seeks?

“A superbly written debut, soaked in tension and intrigue.” Jack Croxall, author of the ‘Tethers’ trilogy.

Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DMCainauthor

https://www.facebook.com/dmcain84/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DMCain84

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/XevZH

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Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzt_E8st1pyfkoTiA4E5jNg

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/D.M.-Cain/e/B00LTTX3PA/

Soren by DM Cain

#IndiePrideDay!

Today is #IndiePrideDay – a day when independent artists come together and celebrate their success and creativity. Indies don’t have teams of marketing agents behind them, and if they don’t get their own work out there, nobody else will. Each and every Indie has worked so hard to get themselves to where they are today.

So today I am standing beside my fellow Indies and feeling proud of our achievements!

To celebrate this day, my children’s book ‘Soren’ is FREE on Amazon for the next few days! Grab a copy here:

Amazon US: www.amazon.com/dp/B0198QGMMG/

Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0198QGMMG/

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Soren ebook cover - Copy

 

 

The Phoenix Project is back on sale!

Thanks to my amazing new publisher, Creativia, The Phoenix Project is now back on sale! Grab a copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GKU3T92/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GKU3T92/

The Phoenix Project Cover.jpg

The Light and Shadow Chronicles symbol no. 8 – Valhalla Elite

Chronicle of Chaos 34 final file resized title and shield changed DPI flat

The cover for my newest novel A Chronicle of Chaos features a shield with eight symbols carved upon it. Each of the symbols represents a different army, faction or group of people within the series. Over the next eight days, to complement the release countdown, I will be posting about each of the symbols to give some background on the armies you can expect to learn about in Chaos and the upcoming novels in the series.

The LAST symbol I will be talking about can be seen on the bottom left of the shield:

Repaired shield Valhalla

 

This is the sigil of Valhalla Elite, a small band of elite soldiers within the Brotherhood of Shadow. This battalion of soldiers was set up by one of Vincent Wilder’s sons by the name of Silas.

After suffering greatly at the hands of Raven Lennox and Avalanche, Silas set up a Brotherhood equivalent of the elite faction, naming it Valhalla Elite. Most of the soldiers in this unit are other children of Vincent Wilder and his many concubines.

Characters from this army that you can expect to see in A Chronicle of Chaos include:

Silas Wilder – Silas takes few things in life seriously and instead chooses to indulge in all manner of pleasures. Underneath his complacency, he is intelligent and cunning but his mind is starting to falter, giving way to visions and delusions. After a chance meeting with the Brotherhood’s shadowy adviser, the Bavelize, Silas decides to do everything in his power to exact his revenge upon Raven Lennox, before his waning sanity gives out completely.

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A Chronicle of Chaos is now available from Amazon!

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D4YAD96/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01D4YAD96/

Previous posts:

Cover art and symbols designed by Irina French: facebook.com/irinafrenchdigitalart/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DMCainauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DMCain84

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/XevZH

Website: www.dmcain84.com

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DMCain/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7888430.D_M_Cain

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzt_E8st1pyfkoTiA4E5jNg

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/D.M.-Cain/e/B00LTTX3PA/

The Light and Shadow Chronicles symbol no. 7 – D.U.S.K.

Chronicle of Chaos 34 final file resized title and shield changed DPI flat

The cover for my newest novel A Chronicle of Chaos features a shield with eight symbols carved upon it. Each of the symbols represents a different army, faction or group of people within the series. Over the next eight days, to complement the release countdown, I will be posting about each of the symbols to give some background on the armies you can expect to learn about in Chaos and the upcoming novels in the series.

The SEVENTH symbol I will be talking about can be seen on the left of the shield:

Repaired shield DUSK

 

This is the sigil of D.U.S.K – the Democratic Union of Separatist Knights.

D.U.S.K. is an independent nation set up by a mixture of deserters from both the Children of Light and the Brotherhood of Shadow. Disagreeing strongly with the politics of the eternal war, these people left Alcherys and Meraxor to set up a nation where everybody would be treated equal, regardless of their background, race or family history.

There are no characters from this faction in A Chronicle of Chaos, but stay tuned because they will be featured in an upcoming novel in the series!

DUSK

A Chronicle of Chaos is now available from Amazon!

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D4YAD96/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01D4YAD96/

Previous posts:

Cover art and symbols designed by Irina French: facebook.com/irinafrenchdigitalart/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DMCainauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DMCain84

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/XevZH

Website: www.dmcain84.com

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DMCain/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7888430.D_M_Cain

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzt_E8st1pyfkoTiA4E5jNg

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/D.M.-Cain/e/B00LTTX3PA/

Great success at the Chaos release party!

On Thursday March 24th I held the online release party for A Chronicle of Chaos and it was a roaring success!

I sold lots of copies, mainly to complete strangers (and not just friends trying to humour me!)

HUGE thanks to everybody who took part. You were all awesome!

If you still haven’t picked up a copy, you can get them here:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D4YAD96/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01D4YAD96/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-chronicle-of-chaos-d-m-cain/1120801657?ean=2940157776268

Front cover