Tantor Media Audiobooks, Pocket Star Books and Blizzard Entertainment partnered to launch three Warcraft novels in audiobook format: Warcraft: Day of the Dragon will be available on December 29, 2008, boasting 11 hours of audio—available as Audio CD or MP3. The Lord of the Clans is slated for February 2009, while the Last Guardian is expected on April 2009. For this special project, many World of Warcraft fans will no doubt check out, Tantor Media Audiobooks hired Dick Hil, winner of three coveted Audie Awards and many times nominee of various awards.
Thanks to Richard A. Knaak, we were able to reach Richard Dick Hill for an interview to find out more details of the Warcraft Audiobook series.
Hi, Richard. I read you have performed in over 400 audiobooks. How long have you been voicing and acting audio books?
Dick Hill: In truth, it’s probably over 500 by now. I’ve probably been doing audiobooks for 15 years.
When and How did your passion for your career reading for audiobooks started?
Dick Hill: I was working in regional theater, and a friend who was doing an occasional audiobook hooked me up with a publisher. He’s a brit, so we don’t generally compete, and I’m forever thankful to him. This is a perfect fit for me for a number of reasons, I’ve got iron pipes, so I can go all day if need be without my voice tiring, I’ve always been pretty good at cold reads (I seldom pre-read, I like the spontaneity), and best of all I get to play all the parts, which was always my desire when I acted onstage, much to my fellow actors’ annoyance.
There are many podcast and voice acting aficionados out there. What would you recommend them to do to follow on your steps and to be as successful as you?
Dick Hill: It certainly helps to be a prodigious reader. I’ve read all manner of things throughout my life, and that helped in this work. I’ve recorded classics, the Bible, lots of mystery and thriller fiction, scifi, fantasy, non-fiction…. even some romance.. Talk back to the TV or radio or moviescreen. It’ll annoy those around you, so it’s best to have an understanding mate, and when you do go to the movies, hit matinees and hope nobody else is there. It’s a great way to pick up different voices, simply parroting what you hear. YouTube interviews, CNN, all valuable. Acting skills, an understanding of character development and interpretation….all those sorts of things can be fostered and improved through study. A lot of it though, I think is just a predisposition to be a convincing liar. Seems to me that’s what much of acting is. It’s a terribly competitive field these days, audio publishers have stacks of demo cd’s from aspiring talents. You need to put together a demo that shows some of your range, various genres, voices, etc., then start sending it out. As I said, it’s probably harder to find this sort of work than it is to find work acting, and most actors don’t manage to make a living solely from their craft. Susie and I count ourselves blessed to be able to do so.
How was the idea of publishing a Warcraft audiobook born?
Dick Hill: I’m a hired gun in a sense, and I have no voice in what gets recorded. Other than my voice. Hmm…..there