I am loving being able to present different authors on my blog. The experience affords me an opportunity to learn more about what drives a writer to put themselves on the line. Quite simply it is scary place to be. You are out there vulnerable to criticism. Writers, I have decided are brave in a way that is highly personal and emotional. There is a part of me that wants to retreat and then I meet someone and all I want to do is write.
This post I am lucky enough to present – MV Ellis, an author whose books have a raw edgy quality that is very appealing. What I like most about this author is her determination to have a voice and her confidence to own it. Have a read and see for yourself. Links to media and her books can be found below.
MV Ellis on Finding My Voice
As I meander through this writing journey, I’ve had consistent positive feedback about a particular aspect of my writing. I’ve been told from various quarters that I have a ‘strong voice,’ and while I am quite a loud speaker, that’s not what’s being referred to in this context.
An author’s voice is about how we chose to use the words at our disposal. The fact is, that all authors start with the same tools—the letters and words that form our language. Where we differ is in how we apply those words to tell the story we want to share, and to take our readers on the journey of our making.
In essence, our voice is our tone, our attitude, and the feelings we convey and the emotions we elicit with our writing, and it’s fundamental to who we are firstly as people, and then as writers. In my case, I tend to write how I speak. Most of my characters are straight-talking sharp-shooters who apply wit (read: sarcasm) for comedic effect and dramatic emphasis, and make judicious use of expletives.
Dialogue aside, my no-nonsense approach is reflected even in regular prose. A case in point being that I once received a manuscript back from an editor who praised me on the rare achievement of using no purple prose throughout the entire 90,000+ word novel. For a romance writer who doesn’t shy away from sex scenes, avoiding flowery euphemisms is no mean feat!
The fact that my voice is so inherent to who I am as a person first, then as a writer, I almost feel like I’m cheating when I’m complimented on it. After all, it’s not something I’ve created. In fact, it’s both as natural and as individual to me as my fingerprints—it’s in my DNA.
The fact is, I’m lucky enough come from a long line of storytellers. None are published, though several should or could be. Most in fact, have never committed a story to paper. Most of the tales I grew up with have been told, and retold orally through the years, largely at family celebrations.
It was when listening to these yarns that I think I first learned some the key tenets of storytelling that have stayed with me every since: how to take my audience on a journey, how to leave breadcrumbs, direct, misdirect, and create and sustain suspense, and most definitely comic timing.
From that perspective it does sometimes feel that in having had that exposure from an early age, I’m gaming the system. I’m not, of course—I’m just using the tools I have at my disposal the best way I know how.
I’m eternally thankful that to date, my approach has been well received, both in the industry and with readers, because the title of this piece is a little bit of a misnomer. It’s less about finding my voice, because I couldn’t lose it if I tried—not that I would ever try—and more about owning it.
Check out some of MV’s links especially her website and pintrest. It’s all deliciously sexy.
Until next day,