I was speaking with my second son, Yoni, yesterday. He, along with my other three children, live in Israel and I’m in Florida. He’s studying in the Wingate Institute in Netanya, with the intention of teaching physical Education. He’s also getting married in June and had a few questions for me.
Out of the blue, he began talking about my second novel, “Hog Valley”. “It’s as if you were sitting with me and telling me the story, Dad,” he said. “Like you were right there beside me. But not everyone who read’s your books will have that feeling. Maybe if they were with you they might feel that, but what about everyone else? What do they feel?”
Beats me. I really didn’t have an answer for him, but I think he gets ‘It’. And then so did I. My “Voice” in the Terry Rankin novels is me, in a very big way. I don’t pull any punches when I write those stories. I don’t pretend to be anyone else but me. Terry Rankin tells the story of his life through me (or perhaps it’s the other way ‘round). I will admit there is a lot of me and my attitudes in Terry. Me, and some other men I have known, anyway.
Your “Voice” is what sets you apart from other writers telling pretty much the same sorts of stories as you do. Your “Voice” is the reason readers will come back to buy YOUR stories time and time again over other authors. It’s HOW you tell your tale that counts, even over and above whatever plots you come up with or characters you create out of whole cloth.
So relax, and tell your tale, and put yourself into your work. Be a storyteller. Be you, and let the chips fall where they may.