Nina Steel Adventures

Ethnic Weapon Audio Drama

The basic difference between an Audio Book and an Audio Drama is an Audio book is read by a single individual who may or may not attempt to modify their voice in order to distinguish one character from another. However, unless the publisher has hired a master impressionist to read the manuscript the soul reader, with some exceptions, will do little more than increase or decrease the tonality of their voice in order to suggest different genders or ethnic groups. This in no way understates the readers skill set, it is simply extraordinarily difficult to keep track of the voices for the ten to fifty characters that may appear in a story. Even master Hollywood actors rarely take on more than two or three characters when doing voice over work for animated movies. On the other hand an audio drama is performed by a troop of actors to create all the voices in the story. Also, the book being read must be rewritten to eliminate the “he said” “she asked” that normally appears before or after the character speaks. This requires a unique voice for every character in order for the listener to distinguish between them. Furthermore, the author must make notations before each speaking part as to the emotional state of the character at that moment and their particular accent.

In the case of Ethnic Weapon the troop was four professional stage actors from Chicago, Mark Ulrich, Mary Peterson, Cathy Nash and Matt Penn. These for actors rendered the forty plus characters in the story with amazing ability. Of the characters, four had strong Russian accents, two British, seven Israeli, four Arab and a host of American accents. It was truly amazing to see these actors work, shifting from one accent to another without missing a beat.

For those of you who are a regular audio book listener this audio drama format may be a little disconcerting at first, but just imagine yourself at a stage play, with your eyes closed, and watch the story play like a movie in your mind’s eye.


Ethnic Weapon can be purchased at, or simply navigate itunes with your favorite device and search for Ethnic Weapon by Ray Hansen.