Disney YouTuber Mr. Cheezy Pop One Of Best Audiobook Narrators For YA Books
What do the Hockey Rivals Books, Disney, and the popular time travel show Timeless all have in common? Audiobook narrator, actor, and YouTuber Maxwell Glick, who I truly believe is one of the best audiobook narrators around for YA and kids’ books.
As I recently shared, the Audible audiobook edition of Offsides (Hockey Rivals Book #2) was released this spring. Maxwell narrated Face-Off (Hockey Rivals Book #1) several years ago, and I was thrilled that he returned for the sequel—with a little help from the TV show Timeless. Before we get into that, let me tell you a little bit about Maxwell, whose youthful voice is perfect in audiobooks about young people.
His channel “mrcheezypop” is a family friendly destination where he takes you on magical adventures in happiness. From tips and tricks at Disney Theme Parks, to trying the latest food and drink all over the world, to sharing his own life in Los Angeles, Maxwell brings a much needed dose of positivity to viewers. He’s also an award winning actor and voice actor starring in the Emmy Award winning The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, appearing on numerous TV shows such as The Office, Castle, The Mentalist, and Timeless, has recorded voice work for major companies like Nickelodeon and Hasbro, and has recorded over 100 audiobooks, winning multiple awards for his work. For more Max, check him out on Patreon at patreon.com/mrcheezypop, and of course YouTube at youtube.com/mrcheezypop.
The Timeless Connection
On New Year’s Day, I was thinking of doing an audiobook edition of my latest release Offsides, but I wasn’t sure it was the right time as I had several projects in the works. I hadn’t talked to Maxwell in a few years and wasn’t sure if he would be available. Like I said, he is one of the best audiobook narrators around for YA books, plus he has an extremely popular YouTube channel, so I knew he would have a busy schedule.
That morning, my husband and I were watching Timeless on the DVR. My husband had gotten me into the time travel series, (I wish it was still on!) and we were binge watching. After the latest episode, a name jumped out at me in the credits. Maxwell Glick! We went back and found Maxwell in a guest spot. He was in costume, so I hadn’t recognized him—although how I didn’t pick up on the voice of Brad and T.J. McKendrick from the Face-Off Audible book is beyond me since he had several lines in the show. When I listened to his dialogue again, it was so obvious.
Anyway, I took this concidence as a sign that I should contact him. I dashed off an email to Maxwell, and within a few days, we had decided to pursue the project through ACX. He did a fantastic job as I knew he would. It amazes me how he can make each character sound different. If you’re planning any long car trips this summer and need to keep your teens and tweens entertained, definitely consider the Hockey Rivals audiobook editions. Let’s read on to learn more about Max, but first here is a video about what it was like for him to appear on Timeless.
Another coincidence is that Maxwell and I both love the Disney theme parks. I mean, seriously love them! Let’s start with me. I got engaged at Epcot on a bench near Norway. Before we met, my husband had been to Walt Disney World over 30 times. We went to Paris on our honeymoon, and we of course had to visit Disneyland Paris. Unfortunately, that little excursion didn’t go so well. They put some kind of sauce on my burger, and let’s just say it didn’t agree with me. I wound up sitting on a hill most of the day and threw up on the train ride back to the hotel. Despite that bad day, I continued to love theme parks. In fact, I write the Storybook Valley chick lit series set at a theme park. So far, it includes the romantic comedies Fooling Around With Cinderella and Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty.
As you’ll see on his YouTube Channel, Maxwell visits Disney theme parks all the time. If you’re a Disney fan, you’ll love his videos! Unfortunately, we had one disagreement. He calls the Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom “the single greatest attraction Disney has ever made.” I refer to it as “the ride from hell” since I developed a serious case of motion sickness on that ride, and so did my kids. While I agree that in theory, this 3D flight was impressive, I didn’t see much of it as I was squeezing my eyes shut and praying for it to be over before I vomited. It was like a flashback to the saucy burger in Paris when I was praying, Please don’t let me wind up in a French hospital for food poisoning. Below, you can see a video that Maxwell posted about the ride. He exited in awe from the amazing experience; when I went, I stumbled off in awe that I hadn’t hurled.
Luckily, our strong opinions about Avatar Flight of Passage didn’t get in the way of our audiobook production. I asked Maxwell how he got so interested in Disney, and this was his response:
Interview With Maxwell
Maxwell and I also discovered another coincidence. Before he moved to LA to follow his dream of being an actor, he went to Boston College. Ironically, that’s the school where the fictional McKendrick brothers want to land a scholarship to play Division 1 hockey. BC is mentioned quite a bit in Offsides, and Maxwell says he had fun performing those scenes. Below is the rest of my interview with Maxwell.
Tell us about your TV roles and your Taco John’s commercial campaign.
Being on TV is really wonderful. You get to work with the best people in the business, and I’ve been lucky enough to share the screen with people like Steve Carrel, Nathan Fillion, and Simon Baker. The Office was one of those dream jobs for me since I was such a fan of the show before appearing on it. Taco John’s was a great job for me because it was an ongoing campaign and I got to do over five commercials, and many voiceovers for them. That was one of the best jobs I’ve had. I was fortunate to be cast on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries which is a modern vlog style version of Pride & Prejudice. I played Mr. Collins. The show became somewhat of a sensation and won an Emmy. One of the coolest moments of my career, for sure. You can see the show in its entirety on YouTube.
How did you catch the acting bug?
I’ve always been acting or singing for as long as I can remember. I was in all of the shows in school, and I knew there was nothing else I would want to do.
How does it feel to watch yourself on television?
Seeing myself on TV or hearing myself is actually a thrill for me. Getting to see the work you did with all of the elements put together, is quite exciting. I don’t think that will ever change for me, no matter how many shows I’m on!
You’ve narrated over 100 audiobooks. Do you have any favorites? (Besides the Hockey Rivals books, of course!)
I really enjoyed reading the Joshua Dread series and also recently recorded another wonderful middle grade book called Maxi’s Secret.
When you act in a play, a TV show or a film, you can use nonverbal communication, movement and props to enrich the performance. Do you have any tricks or techniques that you use to help your audiobook performances come alive?
To make audiobooks come alive, I really tend to become that character I’m portraying. I’m often very animated when I’m reading, and very expressive with my hands. I think that really helps and comes through in the performance.
What is your process for approaching an audiobook? Do you read the whole book first so you know what’s coming, or do you like to be surprised and just take it one chapter at a time?
Sometimes I read the whole book, other times I skim it. It really depends on my deadline. Always though, I at least skim it so I know where the story is going and if something happens towards the end of the book that I need to know at the beginning involving a character. This could change the way a character is portrayed.
Does your voice ever get tired? Do you have to do anything special to take care of your voice?
My voice definitely gets very tired after long audiobook sessions. The key is water, water, water! All day I drink water when I’m recording, and even when I’m not! Tea is wonderful too. A nice 30 minute break after an hour and a half can go a long way as well.
Let’s talk hockey. What’s your favorite team and do you have any favorite players?
My favorite team is the Winnipeg Jets. When I was a kid growing up in New York, I was a New York Jets football fan, and thought, hey I can be a fan of two Jets teams, so I became a Winnipeg fan! Of course, it saddened me when they left, but when they moved back to Winnipeg, I was a fan again! I’m really hoping I can go to Winnipeg one day and see them play. My favorite player was always Teemu Selanne.
Get A Free Audiobook!
Below is more information about our Hockey Rivals audiobooks. Here is the blurb for Offsides:
Twin hockey stars T.J. and Brad have finally resolved their differences and forged a friendship on and off the ice. Now high school seniors, they focus on landing a commitment to a D1 school.
What should have been the best year ever takes a nasty hit when the boys’ parents announce their divorce, and Brad makes a mistake that could impact his game eligibility. Meanwhile, T.J. faces off against their father, who opposes his decision to delay college and pursue junior hockey.
Adding to the tension are a rebellious kid brother, girlfriend trouble, and recruiting pressure. The turmoil threatens to drive the twins apart just when they need to work together the most. With a championship title and their futures at stake, T.J. and Brad must fight to keep from going offsides.
If you start a free trial with Audible, you can get an audiobook for free! How’s that for a deal?
Listen To The Audible Samples Below:
Stacy Juba wrote her first young adult novel, Face-Off, when she was 16 years old because she couldn’t find any fiction books to read about ice hockey. It was published during her freshman year in college, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She published the sequel, Offsides, 26 years later and was excited to continue the story of rival twin brothers Brad and T.J. McKendrick. Stacy is also the author of acclaimed mystery novels and the humorous Storybook Valley chick lit novels for adults, as well as The Flag Keeper picture book about the U.S. Flag Code. You can learn about her full catalog of books on www.stacyjuba.com. Subscribe to her YouTube Channel, Writer Tips & Book Chats With Stacy Juba.
Is your teen or tween ice hockey fan desperate for hockey fiction to read? Do you need to encourage a reluctant reader to pick up a book? Score A Goal For Reading With The Hockey Rivals Books.