Friday, October 5, 2018

My 1st SOVAS nomination!


BIG news!!! I have my 1st major #audiobook award nomination!

I've been nominated in the category of "Audiobook Narration - Short Story Anthology - Best Voiceover" by the Society Of Voice Arts And Sciences (aka #SOVAS)! The title is THE HORROR ON THE LINKS: The Complete Tales of Jules De Grandin, Volume 1, by Seabury Quinn, which I think at least a few of you have listened to. And if not, feel free to maybe pick it up on Audible. You can even listen to a sample of it just above, right on this page. 

There are a lot of fellow nominees, colleagues of mine, to congratulate as well! Probably too many to list here, but I'm in good company! I feel honored to be listed within your ranks.

Thask you, SOVAS, for the nomination! Thanks to HighBridge Audio and Tantor Audio for the opportunity to narrate such a great collection of classic horror/mystery tales, which will hopefully get rediscovered in audio.  At the time, it was my longest title, roughly 20 stories spread over about 26+ hours, so it was a marathon and a workout, but a joy to narrate!

Thanks again! Cheers, and honored to be on the list!

http://sovas.org/2018-nominees/

 SOVAS Jules de Grandin

Monday, September 24, 2018

The day has come! My big interview with Romance Narrators​ is online! Thanks, Erin Mallon and Sarah Mollo-Christensen​, for the interview!

You'll hear about my time onstage getting my throat slit nightly in my 1st AEA gig 🗡, the compelling history of my various rounds of facial hair 🐻, and how being a narrator is a fever that requires more cowbell 🔔, but without invoking #ChristopherWalken.

Enjoy!

https://www.romancenarrators.com/blog/between-the-sheets-with-paul-woodson


Monday, May 28, 2018

It's been a busy and crazy May! This month, I:

• completed my longest single audio title to date, THE NIGHTFALL DUOLOGY by Mickey Zucker Reichert (Official) , for HighBridge Audio​, a great fantasy adventure which clocked in at 37.1 FH! 😮💦

(In addition, it was entirely in UK accents at the publisher's request, including the base narration, which is like a second skin to me, but still requires concentration so as not to get schizophrenic.)

• attended the final Romantic Times Convention (RT Booklovers Convention) in Reno with a group of fabulous narrators from the Romance Narrators group! Several authors I've narrated for were also in attendance. I spoke on 2 panels, including what I think was our best-attended, "Men in Audiobooks", although perhaps that was due more to anticipation of bare-chested cover models, who were not in attendance.


• turned the RT Reno into an opportunity for a much-needed outdoor vacation! Flew into Phoenix, then hit Sedona, Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater, the Grand Canyon (2.5 days), Las Vegas (where my brother Ben Stickel now works as a sound technician for one of the hotels), Death Valley, Lake Tahoe, and of course the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, where RT was happening. It was glorious.

• saw the release of my 1st narration of a Pulitzer Prize Finalist, RAILROADED by Richard White, for Tantor Audio!

• had my first in-person audition for Audible! It was several years in the making, but I finally got there! :) I think it went swimmingly, but still—fingers crossed.

• get to finish out the month with #APAC2018 and many wonderful narrators! Can't wait to reconnect with you all.

Friday, May 4, 2018

My #Narrator interview on the Talking Audiobooks​ #podcast is LIVE! Many thanks to Casey Trowbridge for having me. Have a listen! 😀 👂🏻

 Talking Audiobooks logo


We discuss backpacking, accents, and of course, a lot about audiobooks.

(FWIW, I never considered myself a true opera singer. I dabbled in all genres. My 1st union show was a Beatles-style rock musical.) 😎🚬

You can listen via iTunes, Podbean, etc. or directly via the website (https://talkingaudiobooks.com).

Audio sample within podcast:
WE EAT OUR OWN by Kea Wilson (Satire, Thriller):

Other #Audiobooks referenced in this podcast:
ROCHAMBEAU: WASHINGTON'S IDEAL LIEUTENANT
THE HORROR ON THE LINKS: The Complete Tales of Jules De Grandin, Volume One
WE WILL NOT GO TO TUAPSE
• CHURCHILL, ROOSEVELT, & CO. (releasing May/June)
MAXIMUM VOLUME: THE LIFE OF BEATLES PRODUCER GEORGE MARTIN
LIVE FROM NEW YORK: THE COMPLETE, UNCENSORED HISTORY OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
BANANA: THE FATE OF THE FRUIT THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
• THE NIGHTFALL DUOLOGY (releasing Summer 2018)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Audiobook Narration Reviews:


Maximum Volume


"This listening experience is a treat! Kenneth Womack's examination of George Martin's life will entertain those who fondly remember, and those who enjoy, the "British invasion" of popular music in the 1960s. Paul Woodson provides a beautifully professional narration with British inflections throughout. His timing, pacing, and flair are simply perfect. The record producer who initially spurned and later embraced the four lads from Liverpool is profiled in grand style. Martin's production work with Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey, Cilla Black, and many others, is examined with meaningful behind-the-scenes narratives. The audiobook's greatest strength is a perfect level of detail to maintain the listener's interest. This is the first of two intended volumes--this one ends in 1966. It sounds like more great listening lies ahead." —AudioFile Magazine


Banana


"Koeppel’s popular book about banana science, culture, cultivation, and consumption poses a challenge for audiobook narrator Paul Woodson, which he fully meets. Koeppel shifts back and forth from a lighthearted study of the role bananas play in our lives in the U.S. to the tragic blood-soaked history of banana cultivation in the tropics around the world, particularly in Central America. Woodson must find a tone suitably somber to discuss the machine-gun massacre of workers in Colombia and suitably lighthearted to discuss the Chiquita banana song at length. With his smooth baritone, he does an excellent job. His pronunciation is clear, and his pacing as always good. He conveys his interest in his subject—whether it’s banana genetics, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, or Wall Street corporate takeovers." —AudioFile Magazine


The Efficiency Expert


"Here Paul Woodson's spirited delivery enhances one of Burroughs's few realistic stories, which also parallels his own life. It's 1921 when Jimmy Torrance, who barely finished college, moves to Chicago in search of a good job. Woodson's Torrance is enthusiastic and meets every obstacle with confidence and optimism." —AudioFile Magazine 

Sunday, February 4, 2018



AudioFile Magazine review of my narration of Beatles expert Kenneth Womack's great bio MAXIMUM VOLUME, about George Martin, record producer of the Fab 4!

 Audio sample



"This listening experience is a treat! Kenneth Womack's examination of George Martin's life will entertain those who fondly remember, and those who enjoy, the "British invasion" of popular music in the 1960s. Paul Woodson provides a beautifully professional narration with British inflections throughout. His timing, pacing, and flair are simply perfect. The record producer who initially spurned and later embraced the four lads from Liverpool is profiled in grand style. Martin's production work with Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey, Cilla Black, and many others, is examined with meaningful behind-the-scenes narratives. The audiobook's greatest strength is a perfect level of detail to maintain the listener's interest. This is the first of two intended volumes--this one ends in 1966. It sounds like more great listening lies ahead."— AudioFile Magazine



Have a listen:

Buy the audiobook:



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

To celebrate, I'm giving away some free audiobooks!

 Matter of Time image

That's right, Book 4 in Jennae Vale's THISTLE & HIVE series, A MATTER OF TIME, was chosen by fans as the winner of the #HistoricalRomance category. (There's some time-travel in there for good measure.)

Thanks and congratulations as well to the talented author Jennae Vale for engaging me in the narration of her wonderful books, and to The Geeky Blogger for the contest!

Congrats to all the other winners, as well! I feel I'm in good company.


For a very limited time, I am giving away free audio copies of either Book 1 or Book 2 in the THISTLE & HIVE Series. Visit my Facebook Page for the full details on how you too can obtain a copy! Perhaps it will even whet your appetite to get all the way to the Award-Winning Book #4!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

I've moved my analysis of Aronofsy's film "mother!" to a separate blog page, so it's not taking up so much room on my main page.

 

 You can view my analysis HERE,

 

OR even better, listen to my narrated analysis on YouTube HERE.

Youtube Mother Link

Saturday, June 3, 2017



#APAC2017 was a whirlwind couple of days once again, but this time I felt more prepared, more relaxed, less overwhelmed. I just stuck to the schedule this time and let Fate guide me the rest of the way.

It was the first year, I think, that as many people approached me (“Hey, you’re Paul Woodson!) as I did them (“Hey, you’re Narrator McFamous!”), which allowed for more casual interaction and less pressure to be that sort of creepy-assertive-proactive-convention-stalker type. (Which I’m bad at anyway.)

It was still humbling of course to hear such stalwarts give excellent readings at the Listening Lounge, and watch the #Audies winners stroll in to the #Naudies in their tuxes and gowns and medals, but it felt like a room I was welcome in; the atmosphere was warm and embracing. I drank far less this year too, so I actually can remember the Naudies from beginning to end, and I don't think I told any bad jokes to drive Jeffrey Kafer away this time. Mission accomplished!

Thanks to everybody who has helped usher me along on this adventure bit by bit; you are too numerous to name, but it has been a great ride so far and I have no intentions of getting off the coaster! I will try always to keep narrating quality work, and routinely to have a fresh FB selfie of me with a pint in the foreground or a mountain in the background (or ideally both simultaneously). 🍺🏔






Sorry my lovely wife Christine (and Kellgren doppelgänger, which was the source of mistaken-identity humor last year in Chicago) was not around at the festivities; but she has been informed of your interest, and I will make sure she meets you all again next time round!
And after enough brutally honest conversation with you all, I will finally concede that yes, I did indeed marry up. She’s way out of my league and far too hot for me. I do get the message loud and clear.

I didn’t get enough pictures of the events myself, but it’s been a pleasure seeing all of yours! I feel so honored to be a part of such an intelligent, talented, attractive, and generous group. Hoping to continue to get to know you all better as each year comes round! Cheers! 🍻





Friday, May 13, 2016

The Universal Coffee Vortex

Setting: Land of Checagou
A Panera, a Starbucks, and a Peet’s directly alongside one another.

I’ve found the Coffee Vortex of the Universe, my comrades. They say no mere mortal ever returns.

It beckons, and I must follow. There is good chance you may never see my face again.
I do not advise coming to my rescue, but if you must pursue, bring a sawbuck to tip the ferryman to guide you across the River Styxigan Avenue (make sure to use the passphrase “Come Sail Away”), and I will find you when Hades and Persephone open at 5 am.

Fortitudo!
More on my APAC adventures to follow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

RUM SWIZZLES – What Are They, and Which Is Best?

 

–A Guest Post by Christine Woodson–

 

On a recent trip to Bermuda, and my very first time, I made it my personal mission, during my limited time on the island, to see which establishment made the best rum swizzle.  I visited three.
 
The Rum Swizzle, while many establishments have their own way of making it and their own secret ingredient, mostly consists of Black Rum, Gold Rum, Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, Grenadine, and various other items depending on how you make or where you get it.

 
 
SWIZZLE INN – near Grotto Bay Resort

 
 
During my husband Paul’s research, we knew we were going to be going to the Swizzle Inn a few times as it's located just down the road from where we were staying.
 
The Swizzle Inn’s site says that Bermuda’s national drink originated here.  Their motto is “Swizzle Inn - Stagger Out!”.  Our first night in Bermuda, I tested out this theory of theirs.  Instead of a single glass of swizzle, Paul and I decided to go all in and ordered a pitcher of it.  Granted, he probably slugged back more than I, but I did my fair share.  It had not only the extra ingredients but a good amount of rum.  And I was “almost” staggering by the time I left the establishment.  Definitely had the tipsy going on.  
 
 
 
 
HOG PENNY PUB - Hamilton

 
On our second day in Bermuda, we ventured all over the place.  At the end of the day, we wound up in Hamilton.  We stopped by the Hog Penny Pub, another place Paul had researched.

Hog Penny’s website says that they had one of the best swizzles around.  Happy’s Famous Rum Swizzle (“Happy Jack” Godfrey’s original and highly secret recipe).  I was game.  While Paul ordered a beer, I asked the bartender for the Rum Swizzle.  In his very apparent British accent, he told me it was a good choice but also warned me that the mixologist did not make the best ones that day.  Another bartender, laughingly agreed with him and even went further to say that it had the essence of a cherry Hi-C.

I am not, by any means, a cherry person.  But I was still willing to give it a go.  The drink was poured, the straw put in place, and the drinking commenced.

The second bartender hit the nail on the head.  It DEFINITELY tasted like a cherry Hi-C.  It had been a long while since I have even HAD a cherry Hi-C, but that memory will always stay with you, no matter the experience.

While, cherry was not my favorite, I finished it nevertheless.  But with much less enthusiasm.  There was way, way more cherry flavor and hardly any rum.  In no way was I staggering.  Granted, I only had one drink but it was a pretty good sized glass.  Not even any vocal slurring.

To be fair, I was warned about the batch made for that day.  Would I give it another try?  Sure!


 

WHITE HORSE PUB & RESTAURANT – St. George



 

On our third day in Bermuda, we explored St. George and the surrounding area.  For dinner that evening, we went to the White Horse Pub & Restaurant.  The website says that their rum swizzle is Gosling’s secret recipe that will have you coming back for more…they promise.  Well, perhaps they shouldn’t make promises they cannot keep.  Okay, I’m not saying it was bad.  I did drink it, but it had more pineapple in it than rum.  You could barely taste the rum.

 

ASTORIA, QUEENS – PAUL’S RUM SWIZZLE JOURNEY
 

 
We had such a great time in Bermuda!  We enjoyed all of our adventures.  At the airport, we even went shopping at the Duty Free shop and picked up Black Rum and Swizzle Inn’s own “secret ingredients” package.  As an afterthought, we also bought their Rum Swizzle which comes already made for consumption.
 
After we arrived home, and since we were still on vacation, Paul made us homemade Rum Swizzles with the rum and packet of “secret ingredients”.  WOW!  In no way can I complain that it wasn’t strong.  He had picked up the 140 proof black rum!  That’s my husband! J  Over the week, he did perfect it with the additional fruit juices, which we switched to after we finished off the packet.  My honey does make a good Rum Swizzle!
   
 

WHICH WAS THE BEST ONE?

While each place had their own versions of Rum Swizzles, the Swizzle Inn was hands down the best!  While you could argue that we had ordered a pitcher, their glasses were small.  Two of their glasses equaled one glass from the other establishments.  Not only could you taste the rum in the drink, but there was a perfect blending of the ingredients within the cocktail.
 
This personal journey of tasting/testing one of Bermuda’s most famous cocktails was worth the headache that “may” have accompanied the first night ;)
 
Congratulations, Swizzle Inn!
 
- Christine Woodson 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Interviewed by Author D.P. Prior about my Audiobook Career, as well as the recording process of his new Fantasy novel, CARNIFEX: LEGENDS OF THE NAMELESS DWARF!

 

http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Carnifex-Audiobook/B01C6CUIXS/



I had a great time recording the audiobook of CARNIFEX; hopefully you'll have an equally great time listening to my narration of it! Learn about the ins & outs of producing an audiobook, my history with accents, both acting and personal, and what it's like to voice a Scottish dwarf.

Read the interview HERE on D.P. Prior's Website

 

LISTEN to the Audio Sample from CARNIFEX here  

 

 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

"SPRING" merges Linklater-style verbal romance with Lovecraftian weirdness


On the recommendation of a podcast, I just caught SPRING, a quirky, suspenseful romance with just a dash of horror.

I can't reveal too much without spoilers, but this indie, beautifully shot in Italy, is an understated gem. Don't let the "Horror" moniker fool you; although there are some grotesque moments, this is a Romantic Drama through and through. (And the "horror" parts are actually kind of sweet.)


 This scene, and SPRING itself, evokes BEFORE SUNRISE. Literally.


After the death of his mother, our downtrodden 20-something hero Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) journeys to Italy seeking to find something to give his aimless life meaning again. After a series of twists and turns, he finds himself in a picturesque coastal Italian town, and falling under the charms of Louise (played by the utterly captivating Nadia Hilker). As they walk and talk and fall in love under the European twilight, Evan seems to have found his perfect mate. There's just one snag…

Basically, imagine a variation on BEFORE SUNRISE, except that Julie Delpy has a pretty important secret. (And it's probably not what you're thinking.)

I hope to see more of Ms. Hilker, who's German, in more English-language films very soon! She's in the next 2 Divergent films, so I guess there's that.

B+. Seek it out on DVD or various streaming services!

Also Read Rolling Stone's capsule review, which is in their "10 Best Horror of 2015". (Though again I admonish, "horror"? Is it, though? Welllll, a little bit, sorta…)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

John Lennon Remembered, and CHAPTER 27 (film)

My 2nd residence in Manhattan was the same block as the Dakota. (I'm still not sure how I got such a great deal on W. 72nd St. to be able to afford it.) Every time I walked up the street to Central Park I thought about him, and all the history there. And every 8 December, there were always many acolytes both at the Dakota Apartments, and the "Imagine" Memorial just east, inside Central Park.

My parents were massive Beatles fans and I know that my birth name was at least partly influenced by Paul McCartney. John Lennon, though, was the strongest id of the group. He had such an amazing life journey, not just the fame and fortune of it all, but his transformation from a frustrated, pent-up, almost criminal youth to a peace-and-love, universalist embracing philosophy. What a cultural touchstone he was. And what a tragic waste.

Mark Chapman was an addled excuse for a human being, but he was portrayed with intriguing commitment (seriously, with the weight gain he is unrecognisable) by Jared Leto in the sleeper CHAPTER 27 (2007), which follows Chapman's time in NYC leading up to his assassination of John Lennon. He's not glamourized or sympathised at all, and it's sad because you know how it's all going to end, but it does put you into an interesting time and place, and the supporting cast (generally all playing Lennon fans – Lindsay Lohan, reminding us that she CAN be a really good actress– or paparazzi– Judah Friedlander of 30 ROCK fame– that Chapman interacted with) are all phenomenal.

Friday, October 30, 2015

3 Fun Low-Budget Thriller/Horrors for Halloween!

SUBMITTED FOR YOUR HALLOWEEN ENTERTAINMENT

3 Fun Low-Budget Thriller/Horrors…

Currently on Netflix

All released within the Last 3 Years!


Image result for creep movieImage result for zombeavers movie



Did a Triple Netflix thriller feature today, in the spirit of Halloween!

All 3 made on a shoestring budget, all worth catching in their own way (but your mileage may vary):

1. CREEP. Videographer gets hired to film creepy Mark Duplass for a day. Starts normal, then #ThingsGoWrong.

2. ZOMBEAVERS. The title really says it all, doesn't it? Surprisingly far better than it has a right to be, probably because it was far worse than I was expecting. But worse in a good way. Characters are all unpleasant assholes, but the cast playing them is surprisingly engaging, which makes them watchable. Obnoxious oversexed college girls visit a Cabin In the Woods, Toxic Beavers rise from the dead, and #ThingsGoWrong.


3. WOULD YOU RATHER. Agatha Christie meets SAW? A dinner party is hosted by ghoulish billionaire Jeffrey Combs (veteran of Re-Animator), who promises a lucrative prize to the 1 of his 8 guests who "wins the game". Which means that #ThingsGoWrong.

Happy Halloween viewing!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fargo Season 2 So Far


Well, I am still waiting for Season 2 of FARGO to wow me in the same fashion as Season 1. Last season kicked off with a thrilling opener and never eased up.

2 Episodes in on S2, though, and despite some nice touches, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Problems:
1) No Lorne Malvo, or any character resembling him.
2) No Lorne Malvo. (Yes, a second time. It's that important.)
3) S1 showed our sleepy, smiley Midwest folk being shaken up by evil influences (again, it all comes back to –mostly– Malvo.) In S2, it seems the Evil is already alive and thriving, and nobody's surprised or shocked. It's all jaded cynicism from Day One.
4) The motivations of our young couple make no sense. Unlike S1 Lester (the delightfully weasel-y Martin Freeman) who was pulled into the Vortex by Malvo (see? again!), our S2 antiheroes begin their misdeeds and cover-ups for no understandable reason whatever. As a result, they are unrelatable.
5) I don't want to spend this much time with the quirky gangsters. There are far too many of them, and besides, they're not really amusingly quirky at all. They're mostly just very unpleasant.
6) Aliens? Really?


One plus: if this gets any new generations to listen to Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, well, that's a minor win.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Having finally seen Waitress, I'm reminded of how much I liked Adrienne Shelly: her acting, directing, writing were all utterly charming. In interviews she always had a guileless, quirky sweetness about her, and always looked like a radiant ingenue even in her late 30s, which belied her fierce intellect below the surface. Plus she'd attended my alma mater, Boston University, only a couple years before me. I'd always wished to see her make it bigger than she did, but this allowed her to create a lot of her own opportunities in film.

It still stuns me to remember that she was murdered in 2006, at age 40, by a 19 year-old Ecuadorian construction worker, in her own Manhattan apartment. She had a happy marriage, a 2 year-old daughter, and WAITRESS had just been submitted to Sundance. It would be her final acting and directing project. She never had the chance to flower into the fully-fledged writer/director she certainly would have become on the heels of that film's plaudits.



It seems such a senseless waste of life of a woman who clearly embraced the bittersweet humor of everyday life. That some violent kid could just take it away from her, and from those that loved her, blows my mind. Remembering Ms. Shelly gives me pause and reminds me that every day is precious, that your life can turn on a dime. Perhaps I'm driven to write this because of the recent murders of journalist Alison Parker and her cameraman Adam Ward, whose deaths were equally shocking and sudden.

On this, my wedding anniversary, I am grateful for my life, the love of my life Christine, and the great family and friends that surround me. I guess my tribute to the late Ms. Shelly is also partially meant to inspire all of us to seize our opportunities to live every single day as fully as possible. Even when things are presumably on track and stable, tragedy can strike– yet the world must continue on. This seemed to be Adrienne's own outlook. May your legacy live on, Ms. Shelly. I admired your work greatly.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Interviewed for AudiobookReviewer Website!


Thanks to www.audiobookreviewer.com and Paul Stokes for interviewing me for their website! I didn't think to sexy-up my booth before getting a picture, but despite the milk carton and the wall cracks, I really do get great sound in here.


http://audiobookreviewer.com/interview/narrator-paul-woodson/

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Paul's Backpacking Tips




  • Keep it lightweight, but be able to carry lots of water if necessary.
  • Bring music; it makes me hike faster and takes my mind out of the doldrums that creep in on long stretches. I use an iPod Shuffle separate from my phone, but most thrus I saw this year simply used their phones.
  • Keep your phone/camera in a light, flat, easily accessible waterproof transparent pouch (I use an eCase). Unless it's a torrential downpour, or you're climbing rocky stretches where falling is a danger, you can keep it sealed in your pocket safely but pull it out at a moment's notice for a quick picture or get information.
  • My standbys for quick energy (these have contributed to some of my high-mileage days): Trader Joe's coffee packets (milk & sugar already pre-mixed; $1.99 for 10 and they taste just as good cold as hot); Nuun Electrolyte tablets which come in a cool tube the size of a quarters roll and a multitude of flavors (and they make other tablets for Vitamins and Energy; I'm talking the ELECTROLYTE ones); and also Clif Shot Blocks. Combined with decent food, they will serve you well.
  •  Also, carry a secondary battery pack. I have one from Monoprice that cost me $30, charges 2 devices simultaneously, weighs about 5 oz., and gives an iPhone about 3 full charges. I've never run out of juice, even without power for 3-4 days.
  • To get the longest life from your phone/device, put it in Airplane Mode and turn off Location services unless you really need them for a specific reason. You can leave your device on in these modes for days without a significant loss of power (unless you are reading/listening to music, etc.). Just enable those features when you need them.


You can also peruse Paul's Appalachian Trail Journals and Pics from the past 12 years at www.trailjournals.com/mooseboy.