One of the slogans of my publisher, PDMI Publishing, LLC, has to do with ‘personal voices and visions.’ These are important things for authors. You’ve got to know what your own authorial voice is, where it fits–and doesn’t–with other authors who swim alongside you in the literary current, and who have come before you in the great oceans of time. It’s also good to know the voices of your characters, so you can convey them accurately–which your readers will recognize, and for which they will thank you. Both of these voices–authorial and character voices–can change, over time. i know my own literary voice has changed over the years, although it is still recognizably mine, just as is the voice I speak and sing with.
I’m currently writing Annah’s Exile, the second book in my Children of Evohe series, which focuses largely on a young woman named Annah, from a distant world called Evohe. Annah’s voice changes–both her physical voice, and the voice of her own personal authority in her world–as all of ours do, as we grow up and grow old. Conveying that is one of the challenges and joys of writing about her–and it gives me the chance to look back on my own changes as well.
As I write a novel, I always end up compiling a playlist of songs that have been somehow inspirational to–or downright connected to–the work in progress. There was a song on Annah‘s early playlist that never quite seemed to fit the first book, although it fit Annah herself, and her youth and sense of yearning. I came across it again today, and found that, lyrically, it fits more with Annah’s Exile’s themes of maturity, responsibility, and homecoming. Yet Chantal Kreviazuk’s high voice and impassioned vocals seem to evoke Annah’s younger self. I can almost imagine her singing this song, about what’s going on in her life–at the point I am writing about in the second book–and remembering things about her younger self (which is not that distant a memory for her). Singing of the present, if you will, in the voice of the past. I wonder if, in that sense, our voices ever change at all. Anyway, take a listen to this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-ouxPhYy7Y