Erin Evans-Walker, A girl with many voices
We are happy to introduce you all to Erin Evans-Walker. She is a voice actor, narrator and writer and she kindly took some time out to answer some questions. Her latest work is the audio version of the book "Snowball" by M.Y.Zeman who we have also portrayed before. Here is an interview with a very interesting girl with many voices.
Could you tell us a bit about your background?
I was born in the midwestern United States, but I currently live in Scotland, where I've been for the past ten years, more or less. I came to the UK for a Masters degree, stayed for a PhD, and fell in love with the place (and my Scottish husband)--the rest is history! My background is a bit of a mishmash; my undergraduate degree was in East Asian Languages and Cultures with a focus on Japanese language, but I switched to researching Gnosticism for the MSc and PhD. I did a stint in the government, and now I work part time doing admin for a small company, and part-time doing freelance voice and writing work.
You are a voice actor, how did you become that?
I always loved reading aloud and putting on voices. I was the annoying kid in English class where if we were ever reading a play aloud, I had my hand up to read something every time. I briefly looked into the voice acting career path as a student, but at the time it seemed unrealistic to get a job, so I focused on my degrees (academic study of languages and religion being much more lucrative career paths, I know). A little over a year ago, I was helping a friend study Japanese through comics, and after going through all the vocabulary and grammar, I would read each page aloud, giving each character their own voice. My friend casually said I should look at voice acting in indie games, and I was reminded of that excitement and passion as a youth. When I Googled it, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many platforms for people with home studios to connect with all kinds of audio projects had developed since I last looked!
You have done the voice for the Characters in "Snowball" by Michelle Zeman, how did the two of you collaborate?
I met Michelle through ACX, Audible's platform for connecting authors with audiobook narrators. At the time I was actually looking to narrate some historical fiction, but Snowball caught my eye and I was so drawn in by the description that I felt I had to audition! I'm really glad that I did, because it's been a lot of fun bringing Snow and her friends to life. Michelle has been wonderful to work with - she's extremely positive and supportive, and always gives clear feedback when things could be improved, which is really helpful!
In "Snowball" you do all the voices. How difficult is it for a girl to do the voices of the male characters?
I think that in a book being narrated by one person, the listener accepts that the voice has certain constraints and goes with the flow. Plus, women do male voices in media more than you might expect - Bart Simpson is voiced by a woman, and so was Ash Ketchum in Pokemon. The issue for me is less male or female voices, but rather trying to make all the character voices distinct - it's just as hard to make five or ten distinct female character voices as it is to make male ones! The first book I narrated had about 40 different characters, and it was a real challenge to keep track of who sounded like what. I had to keep files with a sample line from each character, so when they appeared after a while in a chapter I was about to read, I could check what they sounded like without trying to find them in hours of previous audio...
Which of the characters in "Snowball" was the hardest to do?
That's a difficult question! I think the answer is probably Snow herself, because she changes in age over the course of the book. She goes through a lot and grows up a lot. Sometimes it was tricky to make sure her voice had the right level of confidence and maturity for the point she was at in her life's adventure.
Edgar is definitely the most fun to do, though! I love his cheerful style and how he interacts with John's drier, more serious personality.
What work have you done previously?
My first audiobook was Holding the Heavens: Tales of Erets Volume 3 by Nicholas S. Casale, an epic fantasy novel, and I recently completed The Meryton Murders: A Mystery Set in the Town of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice by Victoria Grossack. I've also had roles in a number of game and audio drama projects, including Lilly the Just in Season 3 of Caalo Xan, and Faedora the Enchantress and Elia the Druid in The Forbidden Arts by Stingbot Games.
Do you master other creative talents?
Does punning count as a creative talent? I'm afraid I master none, but I enjoy writing and drawing occasionally.
What's been the best experience you have gained from your work?
Getting to voice such a wide variety of characters over the course of many projects has really helped me to grow as a voice actor and expand my range. Audiobooks especially push that, since you're covering every character the author has dreamed up! With the experience I've gained thus far, I've been encouraged to audition for characters I never would have tried for as a result - different accents, young children, older characters, etc. Just recently I got a part promoting a new anime cafe in Qatarin Japanese, which was amazing! The internet really does bring a world of possibilities.
What are you currently working on?
I'm in the middle of narrating "Snow Bunny, The Chronicles of a Wererabbit Volume 2" by Michelle Zeman. This time Snow gets into some even more intense adventures, so I hope listeners will enjoy the ride!
Thanks to Erin for the interview. If you want to know more about Erin and her work you can visit or contact her here:
(Interview done by BJ for Culture and creativity. Photo is borrowed from Erin Evans-Walker)