Or, an audiobook narrator gets to revisit the glory of voicing Tom Clancy
I love Tom Clancy. Always have, always will. When I began my audiobook career, I created a mental list of my favorite authors, those whose work I would love to record, and were I blessed enough to do so, would make me feel I had achieved something of a career milestone. Tom Clancy was at the top of that list, so imagine my surprise when, only three short years into my career as a narrator, I was tapped to record RED RABBIT, the eleventh installment in Clancy’s extraordinary Jack Ryan…Keep Reading
I love Tom Clancy. Always have, always will.
When I began my audiobook career, I created a mental list of my favorite authors, those whose work I would love to record, and were I blessed enough to do so, would make me feel I had achieved something of a career milestone. Tom Clancy was at the top of that list, so imagine my surprise when, only three short years into my career as a narrator, I was tapped to record RED RABBIT, the eleventh installment in Clancy’s extraordinary Jack Ryan cycle.
I loved it! Having watched every film adaptation of Clancy’s books, I was in absolute Heaven. My hope, of course, was that I would be able to record all the forthcoming books in the series as well, but sadly that was not to be; when Clancy’s next book came out the following year I was too busy finishing the Legends of Dune trilogy by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson to record it. Nevertheless, working on Clancy had been a dream come true, and I namedropped shamelessly to let people know I’d been so fortunate. Still, a small part of me couldn’t help but wish I’d begun my narration career a decade or so earlier, simply so I could’ve worked on the early novels in the series.
Amazingly, almost ten years later, it happened…! I was sent back in time.
In 2011, Random House wanted to make their Clancy series available for digital download for the first time, but when they reviewed the old recordings, a few of them had significant sound problems. As a result, they decided to re-record those early Clancy titles, and I’ll never forget the day they asked me to do them. PATRIOT GAMES and SUM OF ALL FEARS, Books 2 and 5 in the Jack Ryan cycle, were an absolute dream to record, though in a way, bittersweet. See, Jack Ryan had gone on without me, and the narrator appeared set for the new adventures. For the second time in my career I was left feeling as though there was no way I’d be rejoining the franchise anytime soon.
But then a funny thing happened: this last June, I suddenly found myself back in the fold.
Sadly, Tom Clancy had passed away in the intervening years, but fortunately for his readers/listeners, he’d begun working with an amazing co-author many years previously, Mark Greaney. And because Jack Ryan had become such an iconic character, firmly embedded in popular culture, upon Clancy’s passing Greaney was entrusted with the franchise, and a far-flung franchise it is—the Jack Ryan universe includes not only his own adventures, but those of his son, Jack Ryan Jr., and his nephew, Dominic Caruso, these last books being part of The Campus novels. SUPPORT AND DEFEND: A Campus Novel was the title I found myself working on in June of this year, and every time a character mentioned Caruso’s Uncle Jack, or President Ryan, I again found myself in Heaven.
Quite unexpectedly, my euphoria was extended! Just a few months ago I began to hear rumblings of a new Jack Ryan novel, and lo and behold, I was again asked to narrate it. FULL FORCE AND EFFECT is the 15th Jack Ryan novel, but also features Jack Ryan Jr. as a major character, as well as Jack’s Campus compatriot, cousin Dominic. In it, A North Korean ICBM crashes into the Sea of Japan. A veteran CIA officer is murdered in Ho Chi Minh City, and a package of forged documents goes missing. The pieces are there, but assembling the puzzle will cost Jack Ryan, Jr. and his fellow Campus agents precious time, time they don’t have.
The challenge facing President Jack Ryan is an old one with a terrifying new twist. The international stalemate with North Korea continues into its seventh decade. A young, untested dictator is determined to prove his strength by breaking the deadlock. Like his father before him, he hangs his plans on the country’s nuclear ambitions. Until now, that program was impeded by a lack of resources. However, there has been a dramatic change in the nation’s economic fortune: a rich deposit of valuable minerals has been found in the Hermit Kingdom. Coupled with their nuclear capabilities, the money from this find will make North Korea a dangerous force on the world stage.
There’s just one more step needed to complete this perfect plan… the elimination of the president of the United States. It’s a classic Tom Clancy adventure, and I couldn’t be more proud to have worked on it.
FULL FORCE AND EFFECT makes its debut on December 2nd, so order yours now!
Having now recorded five Clancy tales, I can’t help wondering about the future. While I have no idea whether I’ll be onboard for Jack, Jack Jr. and Dominic’s further adventures, I have at least learned my lesson: I will never say never again.
Thanks for listening,