Finding Your Voice #Writertips #amwriting


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When I first began my writing career I took a LOT of online classes on craft, editing, revision, grammar, technique, and the one thing that kept coming up was the need to discover your voice. The unique something that distinguishes your work and keeps your readers coming back for more.

But how?

What do the experts mean by voice anyway?

Do you have a favorite author? One whose pages you could read without seeing the cover and you’d STILL be able to say without a doubt, yes, that is definitely their book?

I thought so 🙂

That’s voice!

 

It’s a distinctive style that sets the writer’s work apart from anyone else. Some use setting, such as bestselling and award-winning author Louise Penny. Her books are set in and around the scenic mountain town of Three Pines, Quebec. If a fan were to read a brief passage from any of her books they would know who wrote the novel.

Other writers have a certain way with characterization that’s a dead giveaway, such as Jill Shalvis. Her writing style is part sass, part angst, and a whole lot of heat!

 

 

One of the best styles of voice comes with deep POV (point of view).

Military romantic suspense author Suzanne Brockmann does this better than most. Deep point of view is when the character acts, thinks, or talks and there is no need to add a name tag because we know this character. He/she is as real as if we were watching them on our favorite television series. Suzanne does this by creating distinct mannerisms that we immediately associate with that person. She does this so well, she can write entire passages without a name/ and frequently does, and yet it’s easy to know who is talking at any given moment.

Voice is something a writer gains with time. It can’t be forced, but for readers it’s that magic thing that will make them your fans. If you have a backlist take another look, you might be pleasantly surprised 🙂

I’m currently working on a summer romance set on an island in the Pacific Northwest. A theme that runs through my stories is the value of family, and this one is no different.

Here’s the blurb for Sweetheart Cove:

Josie Sparks is looking for escape after a disastrous relationship. A summer job on a small Pacific Northwest island seems perfect. That is, until she meets her irascible new boss. She thinks she can help his sweet little girl–he’s another story.

Jacob Samuels needs someone reliable to care for his special needs daughter, but is sorry he trusted his sister with the task when help arrives in the shape of a too-young, too-tempting therapist with pain-filled eyes he can’t ignore.

Sand, surf, and soft island breezes bring two lonely hearts together in this heartwarming tale of second chance romance and a love that lasts forever.

 

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Exclusive excerpt

Josie wasn’t sure how she got through the next few days. She must have acted reasonably normal because no one questioned her absentmindedness, even when she set the puppy’s food in the refrigerator instead of the pantry where it belonged. Jacob’s kiss lived front and center in her thoughts, and his hard, masculine body encompassed her dreams. A moody, short-tempered grump who made her pulse skyrocket.

How could she feel this way about him when she’d been hours from marrying another man a month ago? She added fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies to the picnic basket she’d prepared and glanced down at the pup sitting quietly at her feet. “If you’re looking for handouts, you’ll just have to wait. No offence, but I don’t trust your stomach in the car.”

“Is it time yet?” Jane wheeled into the kitchen, her face expectant. The dog, thinking it was playtime, crouched, nose on his front paws, butt in the air and tail wagging a mile a minute. He let out a couple of excited yips, then raced around the room and jumped against Jane’s short-clad legs. “Ow, Mischief, that hurts,” she cried, then stopped in shock and stared at the red marks already fading from her skin. “It hurt,” she whispered.

Josie pushed the dog out of the way and crouched at the little girl’s side. “Honey, this is great. I’m so happy for you. We better tell your father, so he can get you into the specialist for a checkup.”

Jane shook her head and gripped Josie’s wrist. “No. Can we keep it a secret? Please, Josie? Just for a while. I want to get better and surprise Daddy by walking. Please?”

Her pleading eyes undid Josie. How was she supposed to say no to that? She nodded. “Okay, but if you have any pains at all, you tell me, understand?” She patted Mischief’s silky head. “Guess your dad knew what he was doing, getting you a dog. Maybe we should name him Miracle instead of Mischief.”

Jane giggled. “It’s not Mischief, Josie. It’s you. You’re the miracle.”

 

 

I’d like to think I’m gaining a voice, but you the reader are the only ones who can tell me whether I’m right. What do you think? 🙂

they must stay one step ahead of a cunning killer who’s bent on not being exposed… The Protector by @HelenKayDimon #NewRelease #Romance @InkSlingerPR


Today we have the excerpt blitz for The Protector by HelenKay Dimon! Check it out and preorder your copy today!

 

Title: The Protector:

Author: HelenKay Dimon

Genre Romantic Suspense

Release Date: July 31st!

About The Protector:

Salvation, Pennsylvania. The commune located in the small town was advertised as a modern Utopia: a place to live, share, and learn with other like-minded young people. Cate Pendleton’s sister was one of them. Now she’s dead—and Cate won’t rest until she finds out who killed her. Stonewalled at every turn, she approaches a DC Fixer for help and ends up with Damon Knox, a mysterious man with a secretive past. But Cate soon discovers that she not only needs Damon, she wants him, which isn’t good—for the attraction brewing between them will only lead to complications that can turn into danger . . .

 

Damon has tried to erase the hellish memories and the evil that happened in Salvation ever since he left a long time ago. Still, he can’t turn his back on Cate. As Damon works with Cate to uncover her sister’s killer, he finds himself drawn to her more and more. But how will she feel about him when she learns about his connection to the place?

 

Joining forces to uncover the truth, they must stay one step ahead of a cunning killer who’s bent on not being exposed.

 

 

Preorder Your Copy Now:

The Protector:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Avon Digital

Exclusive Excerpt:

 

He appreciated every inch of her, including that big brain that she didn’t hesitate to use to best him whenever possible. That was some pretty sexy shit right there.

“Are you not a meat eater? Because that’s something I should know up front.” The kind of thing Wren should put in her file. Damon didn’t think that was too much to ask.

As predicted she frowned at him. Shot him one of those you’re-wasting-time looks that she’d been using on him nonstop since they met. “Are you serious right now?”

“Because I eat a lot of burgers and if that’s going to offend you, I can eat something else. I won’t like it, but I will.” Her fidgeting must be rubbing off on him because he picked up his fork then set it down again.

She leaned across the table. “How many burgers?”

Now this was a topic he could handle. Especially since she asked the question in a soft voice, as if they were sharing a secret. “Every day.”

She sat back hard in her seat again. “You do not eat a hamburger every day.”

He ignored the horror in her voice. “True. Some days I mix it up and order a cheeseburger. If I’m feeling particularly frisky I’ll have a steak sandwich.”

“That seems like an invitation to heart disease.” And she was back to shifting around. She crossed and uncrossed her arms before she grabbed for her napkin again.

He could not stop watching her. Energy buzzed off her. He found the mix of tough talk and nervous fidgeting unexpectedly hot. “You’d think, but no.”

“I’m going to pretend you’re kidding.”

“I’m not.”

She cleared her throat. “Shauna.”

They could circle back to food because she had his attention now. He refused to joke about this topic. “Your sister.”

“She’s three years older.”

He noticed she didn’t use the past tense. Shauna died ten years ago and Cate still saw her as an “is.” For Damon, that meant treading carefully. “And you are . . . ?”

“Twenty-nine.”

He knew that answer before she said but thought keeping her to facts might help her emotionally wade through the next part. He’d helped Wren with other cases and this piece—dealing with the grief—never got easier. Damon had a load of grief and guilt of his own piled on top of hers, so he got it.

He nodded to her. “Go ahead.”

“The questions you ask don’t seem that pertinent.”

“I’m going to be honest with you.” He started to lean forward when the waiter came by and dropped off their food. The smell of grilled hamburger filled his senses as he reached for his folded napkin and threw it across his lap.

She didn’t move. “That would be a good way to start.”

“Wren already gave me a file he had on you. The man is an expert at collecting information and then making Garrett put it together in a nice big, easy-to-understand breakdown of what happened and when.”

For a few seconds she sat there, quiet, as her gaze moved over his face, studying him. “Then why are we here doing the get-to-know-you thing?”

He popped a french fry in his mouth. “I’m hungry. That happens a lot. The need-to-eat thing. So, you’ll need to get used to it.”

 

Catch Up On the Series!

The Fixer:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Avon Digital

The Enforcer:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Avon Digital

The Negotiator:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Avon Digital

The Pretender:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Avon Digital

 

 

 

 

About HelenKay Dimon:

HelenKay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a…divorce attorney. Not the usual transition, she knows. Good news is she now writes full time and is much happier. She has sold over forty novels and novellas to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Kensington, Harlequin, Penguin Random House, Riptide and Carina Press. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. She is on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America and teaches fiction writing at UC San Diego and MiraCosta College. You can learn more at her website: http://www.HelenKaydimon.com

 

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