Annie Seaton lives on the edge of the south Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Australia. Recently retired from the world of full time work, she is fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing, and had instant success! Her first two books were both published on the same day and Holiday Affair has been on the Amazon bestsellers list for six months!! She writes across genres steampunk, historical, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense but her favorite genre is contemporary romance. She lives with her own hero of many years. Their two children are now grown up and married, and two beautiful grandchildren have arrived. They share their home with “Bob” the dog and two white cats.

Annie’s working life was spent in education from early childhood through to teaching trainee teachers at university. She has worked as librarian, teacher, technology consultant and university tutor. She has now retired and spends her days writing down all the stories in her head. When she is not writing she can be found in her garden or walking on the beach… or most likely on her deck overlooking the ocean, a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc in hand as the sun sets.

AUTHOR VOICE

by Annie Seaton

Hi… Thanks for having me come by and visit. I would like to talk about author voice today…

Recent comments from my editor led to some deep self reflection recently.

Comments like ‘old fashioned word-replace’ made me think about the difference between author voice and the way we write our characters’ dialogue.

On a fresh read through of my current work in progress, it quickly became obvious that one of my characters was speaking with my voice, rather than using the words gained through her own life experiences and I had a bad case of author intrusion!

Where does our author voice come from? How often do we hear that publishers, agents and editors are seeking that new voice? What is voice? How is it defined? Indeed here is even a competition called New Voices competition!

Hmm… many questions…

For me, voice in reading, writing and editing is the perspective from which an author writes. It is an outlook on life and the world combined with a stylistic delivery that makes that voice unique.

One definition I read, defined author voice as the author’s attitude, personality, and character.

I find myself disagreeing with this. If that was the case wouldn’t all of our characters be too similar?

Where do our characters personalities and attributes come from? We know that characters use words that the writer is familiar with. A character cannot use a word without it coming first through the writer! So how does a writer give a character the words to suit their personality without using their own voice? The writer must actively choose the words that best fit their character, their sex and age, the genre, the type of action, the scene, the tone of the story, and the impact the writer is aiming for.

I really enjoyed creating the character of Indigo in Winter of the Passion Flower.

Her sassiness, and her unshakable confidence in her beliefs and her ability to achieve them inspired me! I have no idea where her voice came from. I can thank the muse for that one.

What do you think? What do you think makes for a good voice? Why do you enjoy some writers more than others? Leave me a comment to win a copy of Winter of the Passion Flower.

ANNIE SEATON ONLINE
Website | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

Sexy heroine seeks captain for time-traveling submarine. Indigo de Vargas is determined to exhibit her products at the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace. The evil Duke Lorca and his shape-shifting servants, however, have thwarted her preparation at every turn. Indigo’s only hope is the brooding captain who appears on her doorstep in the midst of a fierce snowstorm offering to navigate her submarine to the Amazon so she can collect passion flowers for her potions and hallucinogenics.

Steam powers more than the submarine on this voyage. Sparks flying between Indigo and her captain may ignite a passion neither can avoid. Ably assisted by quirky servants, brass goggles and inappropriate accoutrements, they must fight those out to foil her mission. WARNING: Steam and immodest clothing.

GIVEAWAY!

Annie is kindly giving away an e-copy of Winter of the Passion Flower. For entry into the giveaway please answer the following question then fill out the form below: What do you think makes for a good voice? Why do you enjoy some writers more than others?

This giveaway is open to all  and ends 26th September 2012

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Carolyn

Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!

21 Comments


Lia Oxanne September 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I think that experience, knowing people and socializing in real life makes for a good voice in a book. And I like some others better than the others because of the way some create characters and describe actions. Some books are just too good to be real :)

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erinf1 September 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Thanks for a great post and congrats on the new release!

I’d say passion and experience.

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Natalia J September 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I think that if you can speak it clearly then you have the ability to write it clearly. That is how you know that the person knows that they them selves have a good voice.

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Victoria Zumbrum September 19, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I like some authors better than other because they have a way of drawing you into their story. They make you feel part of the story. Like you are really there.

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glee September 20, 2012 at 12:32 am

no preaching, no pretentiousness and spare us the self pity. Enthusiasm is a must and just a little bit of mysteriousness, we don’t want to be able to figure out where it’s going too soon!!

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bn100 September 20, 2012 at 7:22 am

Well-written characters that show emotion and feelings

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Warrior of Dream September 20, 2012 at 9:54 am

Some authors can write paranormal, fiction, fantasy and still story speaks like it could really exist in our world, you don’t feel like it’s artifical created world. I lvoe authors like this, you read, you live in story and even after reading you still imagine that fairies exist or some food can bring ghost to you.

Good voice for book? If I understand correectly xF
In my opinion if author has knowledge of world around and people, book will turn great. Honestly how someone who is closed at home write amazing books?? he/she at least has some experiences in real life or very good imagination

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Annie Seaton September 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Thanks for the great comments. I love hearing from readers and what they enjoy the most about reading. Glee… look out for my Blind Lust. No one could predict the ending until they got to the very end!

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Susie Medwell September 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Great post Annie – oh that all important and elusive voice! I must admit voice is very important to me when I pick up a book – I read a random couple of paragraphs and if I don’t like the voice then that’s it, however tempting the story looks! A good voice to me is ‘real’, it draws me in, talks to me and so I’m part of the story.

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Samantha Veerasamy September 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Great post, Annie! For me…I never really understood the term ‘voice’ until recently, well last year infact, when I entered New Voices. When I was buying a book, I would read the back and maybe the first page and if it caught me, then I’d buy it. It’s soooo true what they say about that first page, it has to be tight! and catchy! And interesting! Sorry, getting off of the subject….voice….I think it is passion….if I can feel the passion in the first few pages then I’m sold.
x

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Fiona Marsden September 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I like authors who can evoke emotion.

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cate September 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Well, I think that a “voice” has to be confident in it’s finished product. Some voices are like nails on a blackboard, & some sound like Pavarotti – so it’s really too subjective to call ..

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Christy September 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Great post! I love seeing everyone’s opinion on voice. To me, it is how a writer presents the story. The descriptions used and how the characters interact.

What made me understand it was working with my crit partner. Many times we would talk about a story line and we could both see how it could unfold. But then, there is always that point where we separate. If we both sat down to write the same story, the final product would be completely different.

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Roxanne Snopek September 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I think we all have such varied facets to our personalities that we “put on” different cloaks for different characters. It’s a safe way to pretend to be someone else for awhile, maybe.

Well, that’s how it works for me, but I’ll never be a poster-child for sound mental health! ;^)

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AIMEE SWIFT September 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I like authors that can make you change your opinion about a character, you bleive that you feel one way about a certain character, then the author can throw in a twist and add extra layers to a characters personality that can make you feel completly different towards the character.

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Solange September 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I like a writer who possesses a terse minimalist style of writing that dispenses with flowery adjectives and gets straight to the point.

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Sarah Tremlett September 22, 2012 at 10:22 am

I think an author who is able to really engage with his or her characters makes for a great voice. If they get in to the minds of their characters and separate the characters from the authors own mind then it makes them more believable and the readers can better engage with the characters and the plot. I really enjoy reading books where it is clear the author has been totally immersed in the whole writing process.

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Jane Paddey September 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I think the tone of the voice is an important factor and also someone who changes their voices to match the character.
I like reading books by different authors, I find that a book has to be believeable and not fat fetched. I like books that have plenty of things going on and that don’t get stagnant half way through, but have a good ending. I feel cheated if I get to the end of the book and the ending is rubbish

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srivalli September 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I like books where the voice talks directly to me, something like a friend narrating his/her experience.

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DENISE WILDEN September 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm

A warm interesing voice who makes the story come to life.

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Samina September 24, 2012 at 9:24 pm

some authors may have a simply way of writing but hey grasp your attention. for some less is more, an example would be Bethany Griffin’s Masque of Re Death. some authors tend to be more poetic than the others a classic example will be Nalini Singh, who uses beautiful words to make you feel every emotion.

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