Rand Doerning

Voice of the Rev Smalley

Narrator, Voice actor, and Stand Up Comedian based in Sacramento, CA.

Interview:

What drew you to take on this particular audiobook?

The Beast of Tsunam captured my attention as it combines two of my primary interests incredibly well.  I've read Sci-Fi my whole life, and it has been a fascination for decades, but The Beast of Tsunam also has a great deal of Film Noir type of detective work that is a genuine pleasure to read.  This combination of genres works so well and results in a fast paced adventure of a book.

As an actor, do you feel audiobook production has enhanced your skills. If so, how?

I started voice acting when I was in the Marine Corps, lending my voice to presentations, briefings and training videos. From there I started to expand into other fields, including commercials, video games, and marketing for universities, but audiobooks allowed me to inhabit a whole world. It has been an amazing experience and has really pushed me to see what I'm capable of. Audiobooks have proved to be a fantastic challenge, pushing the boundaries of my acting abilities and exposing me to skills I didn't even know I had. Beyond acting, it has also helped in audio editing, production, and technical skills as well.

How do you keep track of all the characters and their voices?

I first begin by trying to find someone in my own life that resembles the traits of the character and think about how they would sound. I then create a voice library while recording the book, along with an identifying phrase that allows me to get in the rhythm again quickly.

Now that the audiobook is completed, what part do you like most about your dramatization?

(TBD after the book releases.)

As Beast of Tsunam is the first book in the Rev Smalley series, can we expect more to come?

The universe that Rev inhabits is vast, with many more adventures to come. The next book in the series, Mom Be Lost will be coming out soon and will showcase more of the weird and wonderful things that Rev encounters as a P.I.

What challenges/progress do you see the audiobook industry taking since statistics show more listeners are opting for audiobooks over eBooks and certainly outweigh paperback sales?

Auidobooks used to be more cumbersome when it took 6 CDs or a mountain of tapes to get through a full unabridged novel, but now people can have a massive library with them wherever they go. Now this in itself doesn't account for the huge shift to audiobooks, but when the convenience is combined with the general lack of leisure time that people enjoy, it seems an obvious choice. While it isn't the same thing as holding a book in your hand, are a great way to spend your commute, do chores around the house, or workout while immersing in an adventure you always wanted to read but never had the time. The challenge is that with a large increase in audiobooks being produced, the audience is becoming more and savvier in choosing which books to listen to. This challenges narrators to become better, and helps improve the overall quality of the books as well. Overall, I am very excited at the direction the industry is taking, and I'm happy to be a part of it.

I'm really impressed with the way the author placed what could be just another PI tale into a science fiction setting. It really added depth to the story and opened up the untold possibilities of both genres, many of which the author captured beautifully.

There are some great three-dimensional characters, including Rev, Braz and Cassie, but I think my favourite was the floating AI because watching him develop was quite delightful.

The plot twists and turns which made for some tense, suspenseful reading and the action sequences are very enjoyable. There are a lot of layers to this story, humour, adventure, intriguing tech and some thought-provoking ideas.

All in all, an action-packed, fast-paced read, good character depth and an enthralling overall read. Hope there will be many more in the series!

Mandy Walkden-Brown

The Beast of Tsunam: Rev Smalley: Galactic P.I. Book 1 is a detective story told in the classic pulp fiction style of the thirties. But it just happens to take place in the far future. Reading as much as I do, I have come across a few stories told like this. I usually forget them rather quickly. The only one I can remember clearly right now is the female detective in Hyperion by Dan Simmons. The mother of God is hard to forget. Anyway, I’m familiar with this style of storytelling and I like it. I can also happily report that Scott A. Combs does a great job in this genre. Rev Smalley is hard boiled enough, hard cased enough, and hard headed enough to compete with any of the detectives created in the pulp days. Throw him together with the most interesting sidekick since Doctor Watson, and you have not only a great story, but maybe a great continuing series.

The actual mystery that Rev is sent to investigate has world shattering consequences for an entire planet. But the personal connections are what make the story intense and touching. The love of his life is missing. His former friend/former boss may be involved. On top of that, someone has unleashed a murderous monster on a world where murder is, for all practical purposes, extinct. The whole scenario was enough for a weekend, and that’s exactly what I had wished for. Scott A. Combs should be proud of this one. I hope we see these characters some more.

Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite

Rev Smalley, Galactic P.I., a disgruntled retired EIA—Earth Intelligence Agency—agent is down on his luck without clients, money, or a current lover. Rev’s luck is about to change—just not necessarily for the better.
Rev finds that his former boss, Magnus Blackheart, has sent his ex-lover, Cassie Townes, and her current EIA partner, Braz, to the utopian planet, Tsunam on a diplomatic request to investigate a mauled body. The two agents disappear soon after arriving and Magnus forces Rev back into service to find his missing agents.

Preview Chapter One