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Simon Vance

Simon VanceSimon has been narrating audiobooks for more than 32 years beginning while he was a BBC Radio 4 newsreader and presenter based in London, spending one afternoon a week at the RNIB Talking Book Service. In 1992, he moved to the US and set up base near San Francisco. Shortly thereafter, he was introduced to Craig Black of Blackstone Audiobooks who became his first commercial audiobook employer.

In the years since then, he has grown to become one of the most prolific and successful audiobook narrators in the country working for just about every major audiobook publisher. He has lost count of the number of books he has narrated but a good guess would be in the area of 800 plus. He has been rewarded with more than 50 Earphone Awards from AudioFile magazine (who have included him many times in their end of year lists for best narrators and best books of the year). He has received numerous starred reviews over the years from Library Journal. This year he has been nominated in four categories for the 2015 Audies, which brings his total of nominations to 38 of which he has won 12 (batting .315 – not bad!).

Among the most notable recordings of the past few years: The Millennium Trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, etc.) by Steig Larsson, Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel, The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The King’s Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi and the multi voice recordings of Dune by Frank Herbert, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (with a cast including Tim Curry and Alan Cumming).

Some years back when audiobooks (and family) didn’t take up every hour of his day (!), Simon also appeared quite often on the SF Bay Area stage, including Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, the comedy Noises Off! (in which he has played most of the male roles in various productions), and the one man show Via Dolorosa by David Hare. He also appeared on TV in several episodes of the locally shot Nash Bridges (starring Don Johnson) for CBS.

Now that both his sons are old enough to look after themselves, he has chosen to make a partial return to performing on the screen with a move to the southlands (Los Angeles, that is) helped by the fact that his wife has been teaching on the drama faculty at UC Irvine for the past ten years  – thereby not requiring her to fly back and forth from Northern California every week of the academic year.

So far, just one appearance on Criminal Minds, but there are plans for more projects in the near future. But, do not fear, audiobooks will never be neglected.

AudioGals Narrators Forum, March 13, 2015

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