“Fortunes, forecasts, lucky charms! Step right up, step right up!!! Get your dream job here!”
OK, I’d love to have my dream job! “Voice acting careers!
Step right up!!!”
Mom always told me I have a great voice… I could do that!room
“Come one, come all! Work from home, be your own boss!”
Stay at home all day? Don’t have that jerk of a supervisor? Tell me more...
“All you have to do is read!”
I can read!!!
“How do you feel about men getting pregnant?”
Ummm… say that again?
Let’s take a step back. Allow me introduce myself. I’m John Solo and I narrate Mpreg books (we should probably have meetings that we all go to so we can talk about this sort of thing...). Well, I also narrate other genres as well, but lately I’ve been seeing a lot of this particular genre come across my desk. Mpreg books, for those of you that don’t know, are male male romance novels that present an alternate reality that includes male pregnancy. In the last 5 years these have hopscotched straight over “fad” to a permanent staple of many romance readers diets. On any given day, one, if not several, are present in Amazon's top twenty gay romance charts.
I get asked frequently, “Why do you narrate mpreg?” Well, I never actually went to a job fair that had a carnival barker selling careers in audiobook production. No, in fact, even becoming a voice actor in the first place was a complete accident for me. But (only one “t” there ladies and gents… and gents) narrating mpreg came along in the natural progression of my career.
It all started when I was a young man… (insert Scooby Doo flashback music and blurry lines to indicate the fade out). When I was a child I wanted to be a musician. Music led me to audio engineering, audio engineering and a love of books led me to audio books, audio books led me to narration, narration led to romance, romance led to mm romance, and mm romance led to mpreg. (that whole paragraph felt a bit too much like Deuteronomy to me, so I removed several “begats”).
I have found that the genre as a whole has a very familiar feel to me. After all, I’ve narrated close to 100 mm romance novels. Love is love, right? The challenging aspect, and by far the one that keeps me coming back for more (aside from the money, ‘cause I like money) is the addition of children. Lots and lots of children. Don’t get me wrong, voicing a bunch of childrens’ voices is not the easiest thing for a man my age to do, but it comes with the territory. More importantly, there is a core family element with this type of book that is not always present in a typical romance book.
By their very nature, most of these stories center around two men (maybe more than two… it’s the 21st century, roll with it) that fall in love and have a child together. The emotions that are involved in acting out a family scene are a new kind of challenge for me. I mean, I was raised as the youngest of four siblings, so I didn’t have to dig too deeply to come up with inspiration! But the inner workings of a family, with all of the intricacies and complexities of multiple personalities bouncing and clashing off of one another… well, it’s a nearly infinite treasure trove of emotional material for an actor to play with!
I often find new readers to the genre a bit skeptical at first. I assure you, I know exactly how you feel! The concept of men having babies is, well… it ain’t natural, is it? But, from one romance reader to another, let me give you a tip (just the tip). If you like mm romance, and you like the backdrop of family, this genre may very well be your new guilty pleasure.
Stick your toe in and test it first. I can assure you, the water is fine!
John Solo has been a professional performer for 20 years, although this whole acting thing is a relatively new development. Prior to all of this he made his living as a salesman, engineer, security guard, mechanic, construction worker, purveyor of polyester dress suits… The list goes on ad nauseam, but he prefers to think of himself as an Itinerant Adventurer and lovable scoundrel! When not acting like someone else in front of a microphone, John prefers to indulge in the simpler things in life; games of chance, sword-fighting and traveling the world… all from the comforts of his own overstuffed couch.