Dear Author Friday is a question and answer (Q & A) series where I respond to readers and friends about my life as a contemporary romance writer.
Since the start of my literary career, many readers have posed this very question to me. The best answer I can offer is that every author has a distinct voice. It’s no different than an individual’s fingerprint. Although everyone has one, it’s distinctly unique to them and them alone.
From a literary perspective, let’s define the term writer’s voice. Simply put, it’s an author’s writing style. It includes their peerless combination of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development and dialogue, and topics they care about, resulting in a story. Stop and think about some of your favorite authors for a moment. All of them ultimately reach the goal, which is to tell a story, right? What distinguishes them from each other is the way they do it and what topics they write about—their writer’s voice. And oftentimes, a reader can get a sneak peek into an author’s personality via their writing voice.
But how does a writer’s voice develop?
When I threw my hat in the literary ring, it didn’t take long for me to discover that my writer’s voice developed in large part from my experience as a community public health educator. In this profession, I work in the inner-city, teaching individuals who are struggling with chronic diseases, injustices within a fractured healthcare system and social deterrents. However, many have overcome these challenges because someone dared to love them, despite their circumstances. Well, you guessed it. The love for my day job and the encounters I’ve experienced easily became a part of my writing voice. For example, in my second novel, When a Man Loves a Woman, I tackle the issue of homosexuality. Now for some, this can be a ‘touchy’ subject. And you’re probably wondering how in the world did I spin a romance from this. It was easy — I have a deep passion for the topics I write about. Plain and simple.
Writing is a craft and placed in the hands of a writer who’s mastered their craft, an ordinary story transforms into an extraordinary work of art, allowing the writer’s voice to come through loud and clear.
Until next time – stay well and be blessed!