Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

Colleen's blog

  • Giveaway winners announced! Plus, an interview with the narrator, Annika Boris

    January 5, 2015

    In celebration of the Tiger’s Promise audio release, Colleen is giving away 10 FREE audio book downloads of TIGER’S PROMISE!


    For those of you who participated in the rafflecopter this past month, the results are in. And, the 10 LUCKY WINNERS ARE….

     Sabrina, Katie T., Sharon B., Amanda Y., Lisa, Maddie M., Betty L., Aricka, Leah R., and Kim H.!

    Congratulations! You will be receiving an email with your download code!


    Earlier this month we featured the narrator of Tiger’s Promise as well as the other Tiger’s Curse series, the lovely Annika Boris. We were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with the actress and are excited to share it with you. So, without further delay, may I reintroduce,

    Annika Boris



    annika boras

    How is voice acting different than the stage?
      To voice all of the characters within a story and to narrate as opposed to the singular vantage point of one character within a play, is an exciting journey.  An audiobook allows me to vocally embody characters that are very far from my own type, that I would very rarely if ever, be given the opportunity to explore within a visual medium or stage production.
    What is the biggest challenge in narrating an audiobook?
       Matching the voices throughout the span of a series and creating subtle vocal differences within a variety of similar character voices is the biggest challenge I find.
    What is your dream role to play as an actress?
       Recently, I have been thinking about Medea and Hamlet …
    What other projects have you been involved in this year?
       This year I did some television work on The Blacklist, Unforgettable and Chicago Fire. During the summer, I performed in John Patrick Shanley’s new play ‘The Danish Widow’ with Kyra Sedgewick at NYS&F.
    Yesubai is very different from Kelsey. How did you approach her character?
        Yesubai seemed to have more of a classical feminine ingenu quality.  Despite her dark childhood and evil father, she was motivated by her love for others and the desire to protect them. Yesubai maintained hope, a positive outlook and a sense of innocence.  I tried to honor these character attributes by using an innocence within her vocal quality and to deliver her lines with unsentimental earnestness.
    How does recording an audiobook with different voices/characters work? Do you just run through it straight through or splice it together?
      After I have read through the book in its entirety, I then scan through the novel and make notes about the characters to help in creating an idea of what they might sound like.  I then try on different voices at home and come up with ideas for each character.  While recording we run straight through.  As the series continued, I recorded sample clips of characters from the previous books onto my phone as a reference.  If I needed a reminder, I would listen to the sample clip in the recording booth to match the nuances of the individual characters.

    How does an actor voice the opposite gender well?

    With each audio book I do, I’m attempting to understand just that. I generally lower my voice, slightly, if appropriate for the male characters’ size, while adding the specific qualities to his voice that match the authors’ description of him and his speech patterns.  I would like all of the characters regardless of their sex to be three dimensional beings.  To be voiced in such a way, as to sustain a grounded and honest quality, no matter how ludicrously altered from my own voice.

    Do you practice reading before recording or do you record it the first time you read it?

    The first time I read it through – it’s in silence to just experience it.   So although I have read the book before, I am experiencing the story aloud for the first time, as we record it.

    How did you get the job narrating the Tiger’s Curse series?
       I had always been interested in recording audio books.  While rehearsing Macbeth in NYC, a couple years ago, I heard one of the cast members mention that he was leaving rehearsal early to finish recording a book.  He explained that he’d been doing audio books for a couple years now in LA and NYC.  I mentioned how much I’ve always wanted to do that, and he generously set up an introduction for me.  The following week, I auditioned for Audible audio books in general, on a day where they happened to be auditioning for this particular series.  After the general audio book audition, I was asked to read through a few pages of the Tigers Curse – the Prolouge and a few pages of the first chapter.  A few days later, I received an email inviting me to read Tiger’s Curse.   I was ecstatic to be invited to explore such a fun story with fantastical characters.  We set the dates to record the first of the series, once rehearsal was completed and ‘Macbeth’ had opened.  A few weeks later I was performing the role of Lady Macbeth, in the evenings, and recording the Tiger’s curse, during the day.  That was a very fun time.
    Did you always want to be an actress?
    How easy/difficult is it to narrate a novel?

    I find narrating a novel to be a great deal of concentrated work, but it can be extremely fun and rewarding.


    If you couldn’t do the career you are doing now, which career would you choose instead?

      I’m so grateful to have the career that I do.  I have a lot of interests, but as of today, there’s nothing I would rather be doing.

    There you have it, the lovely and talented Annika Boris.

    ~Till next time,
    Linda Louise Lotti

    This entry was posted in Articles, Contest Winners, Tiger's Promise.

    One Response to Giveaway winners announced! Plus, an interview with the narrator, Annika Boris

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Author Bio

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.