Friday, August 31, 2012

Finding Your Voice

Well, it's Friday. Thank goodness, is all I can say! What a week.

Before I hand the blog over to the wonderful Carol Kilgore, I want to give Sangu Mandanna a huge shout-out for the release of her debut novel, The Lost Girl. The cover is fabulous, and I can't wait to read it. Many congrats, Sangu! If you don't know Sangu, hop over and follow her blog. She's one of the friendliest, loveliest bloggers out there.

Secondly! This weekend, from today to Monday, all my novels (including The Hating Game and Watching Willow Watts) are 99p/ 99 cents as part of the Labor of Love promotion, with other great authors like Michele Gorman, Elle Lothlorien, Juliette Sobanet, Dina Silver, Beth Orsoff, Donna Fasano, Barbara Silkstone, and many more. It's our way of saying thank you to all the wonderful readers who have helped us in so many ways. Click the link above for more detail, or click here for my Amazon page: UK; .com. Happy reading!

Thirdly! I am a guest today over at Jera's Jamboree, talking about author superfoods. Drop by if you get the chance!

Phew. Okay, now over to Carol. 

Talli, thank you so much for hosting me. Your blog is the last stop on my blog tour to promote IN NAME ONLY.  I can't think of a better place to end what has been a fantastic summer. This my first visit to London, and I'm noticing the differences. Older buildings and much cooler weather, for starters! But I see a lot of smiles, like in Texas, so I feel right at home. (Talli says: Londoners smiling? In public? At strangers? Carol must be out clubbing after midnight....) Since your blog is my last stop before turning off the light, I suppose it's appropriate to tell a bedtime story.

Once upon a time, I lost my voice.My writer's voice.One day I had it, clear as a bell; the next, it went missing.

Voice is a terrible thing for a writer to lose. Mine was dark and twisted. It hung out with killers and sociopaths. Psychopaths and kidnappers. Thieves and scorned women. My voice was a lean, mean voice. It loved getting into the nitty-gritty of things, getting good and dirty, and getting out as soon as possible.
The day it went missing, I looked everywhere for it. I looked in the short stories I was writing, in essays, in travel articles, in personality profiles. Wasn't in any of those places. I searched through a couple of novels. Wasn't in those, either.

Then one day, when I'd grown tired of chasing after it, there it was! You'll never guess where I found it, so I'll tell you. I found my voice on my blog—Under the Tiki Hut—soaking up the salt air and listening to the surf roll in. Lazing in my hammock playing Words for Friends and drinking a Margarita.

I was ecstatic! We celebrated long into the night and professed our undying love for one another. Or something close to that…as best I remember. Did I mention I had a headache for a day or so? Ouch!

My new-found voice is different from the lean, mean one that vanished. While it was missing, it lost its love of looking at life through a dark lens. My new voice is lighter and has a hard time resisting a funny retort, but enough of its former self remains to get to the heart of what makes the villain tick.

Losing my voice happened a few years ago, but my memory of the horrible experience is still fresh. I don't ever want to lose my voice again, so I give it lots of exercise. I hope we live together happily ever after!

How about you? Have you ever lost your writer's voice? Or had a hard time finding it to begin with?

This post was inspired by Linda Grimes and the post she made on The Debutante Ball on August 10. Thank you, Linda!

No home. No family. No place to hide. For Summer Newcombe, that's only the beginning.

The night Summer escapes from a burning Padre Island eatery and discovers the arsonist is stalking her, is the same night she meets Fire Captain Gabriel Duran. As much as she's attracted to Gabe, five years in the Federal Witness Security Program because of her father’s testimony against a mob boss have taught her the importance of being alone and invisible.

No matter how much she yearns for a real home, Summer relinquished that option the night she killed the man who murdered her father. But Gabe breaks down her guard and places both of them in danger. Summer has vowed never to kill again, but she's frantic she'll cost Gabe his life unless she stops running and fights for the future she wants with the man she loves.

Thank you, Carol! You can learn more about Carol and follow her here: BlogWebsiteFacebookTwitterAmazon; Amazon UK. Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. Thanks Talli and Carol! I enjoyed reading this.Good luck with your novel. Talli - I don't know how you do it . any chance of bottling some of your energy and selling it on ebay?

  2. Going to check out your links, Talli, thanks. Enjoyed Carol's post too.

  3. Your snarky voice is fun, Carol!
    And congratulations on an awesome blog tour.

  4. Hope you have a great relaxing weekend, Talli. And Carol, LOve that your voice found its own way, and you found it. I hear humor in your new voice.

  5. My voice had been lost for awhile but I always seem to find it again. Congratulations on an awesome blog tour, Carol. And hi, Talli.

  6. Love that post, Carol! Congratulations on your blog tour :-)

    Thank you SO much for the shout out, Talli xx

  7. I imagine lovely Carole's voice as husky and super sexy!! Like her firefighters!!

    I never notice Londoners smiling but then maybe that's cos I'm too busy walking with head down and not catching anyone's eye(s)! LOL!! Awwwww but the Jumbolymparalympics have changed all that! Right!?!?

    Take care

  8. It's always in the last place you look, Carol! But, really, soaking up the sun, Tiki Huts, margaritas? Maybe you should've looked there first!!

    Fun post. Great tour! Congrats on a job well done.

  9. Aw, thanks for the shout-out. And may you never lose your voice again! :)

  10. Happy you found your voice again. Professional speaking has helped mine to emerge.

  11. Talli - Clubbing after midnight? Dang, you called me out on that one :)

    Seriously, thank you so much for having me here today. I'll try to keep a stiff British upper lip. But a Texas y'all may slip in every once in a while!

  12. Carol H - Thanks for your good wishes. Nice to meet you :)

    Suzanne - Thanks. Good to see you again.

    Alex - Me? Snarky? :)

    Em-Musing - My voice visits the humor factory every so often :)

    Karen - Thanks! Voices are fragile beings :)

  13. Good luck with the novel -- the cover is so vibrant!

  14. Glad you found your voice Carol! Best of luck with the huge promotion Talli! I'll pop over to Jera's over the weekend! Julie

  15. Congrats, Carol! I think it's important for a writer to lose his/her voice - or at least forget it for a bit - because reconnecting ensures them that it's truly theirs. It's happened to me before!

  16. At first it was hard for me to find my voice because I was afraid that I would end up sounding unoriginal or boring. But I just focused on writing what I loved and what interested me, and it got easier.

  17. There are some days I lose my voice and what really helps me is some free writing. I just write from my heart without thinking about the rules. I love where your voice came from though.

  18. Sounds like hell, Carol. Hope it never happens to you again. Guess it hasn't happened to me yet because I work on different things all the time and take long lay-offs.

    Hey, Talli. *waves madly*

  19. Sangu - I've seen your book all around this week! I love the cover, and the story sounds awesome. It's on my list. Nice to meet you :)

    Old Kitty - Husky and super sexy. Of course! Umm, if you know me in real life, please stop laughing now :)

    Linda K - Thanks for the kind words :) You're right that I should have looked at the Tiki Hut me slow :)

    Linda G - You're welcome! May we all keep our voices loud and strong!

    Diane - All we need is to find the right vehicle :)

  20. Well, who wouldn't want to hang out under the Tiki Hut??? :)

    To anyone who hasn't read Carol's book yet, it's awesome!!! I loved the characters and the plot - lots of fun & adventure :)

  21. Hi, Talli, Hi, Carol ...


    What a wonderful gift you are giving us! Your writing at way affordable prices! YAY! Now I can catch up on your novels that I have missed. YAY again!


    Great story. You have an AMAZING voice, especially in this post!

    As for me, it took me a while to find mine... I believe we will live happily ever after. At least I hope so. I am a detail FREAK, and my voice luxuriates in the lush, plush details of life. Ah, thankfully there are zillions to choose from...

    Have a great weekend ladies!

  22. A - All to the credit of the best cover designer ever!

    Julie - Same here!

    Julie Dao - Glad to know I'm not alone :)

    Neurotic Workaholic - That's the whole key...write what you love! Or as some say, write the book you want to read :)

    Clarissa - I have to be careful when I'm editing that I don't edit "Me" out of my writing.

    J.L. - I prefer to focus on one or two projects. Once when I was working on more, I put the characters from one story into another, and that was a *itch to straighten out!

  23. Congrats on your blog tour Carol! Whenever i lose my voice, i try not to stress over it, since that makes it worse. Instead i just relax and trust that it'll return. It always has so far, anyway

  24. Hi Carol! I have many voices, and the strongest on a particular day wins. (Some epic battles have been fought.) Congrats, and nice to meet you!

    Hi Talli - Love the "Labor Of Love" weekend sale idea!

  25. Jemi - Awww, thanks for the awesome plugs for my book and my blog :)

    Michael - Thank you. I'm glad you liked my bedtime tale :) And I'm glad you found your voice!

    Sarah - Yea! I'm glad your voice always returns. I thought mine was a goner, LOL :)

    Li - I have many character voices, but only one true author voice. Well maybe I have two author voices, but one is definitely stronger than the other.

  26. Glad you found your voice again! :)

    I've had a hard time finding my writing voice; hoping it sticks around and I don't have to go hunting for it again.

  27. Yikes - I'm so glad you found it and it still had its sense of humour! Great post. xx

  28. Sounds like your voice just needed to get away and relax!

    I think it is something that just exists in a rudimentary form, but it can be developed and honed with lots of practice.

  29. Golden Eagle - I hope it sticks around, too :)

    Janice - Same here! Thanks :)

    Nick - I think you're right :) Lots and lots and LOTS of practice!

  30. I had a hard time finding my voice. I didn't find my lighter voice--which feels just right--until I started writing YA. All my previous stuff was much darker.

  31. Medeia - My lighter voice feels just right, too. I wasn't able to maintain my darker voice over the length of a novel. I kept seeing all the funny parts :)

  32. Thanks for hosting Carol Talli. She's got a great voice. I think voice is one of those things you only find by lots of writing, as your influences are cast aside and you shine through. Can take a lot of writing to achiever that!
    Enjoy your weekend. It's Father's Day in Oz. Is it in UK?

  33. Carol - I do sometimes find my voice changing a bit depending on the mood I am in and what I have been reading!! So I have to guard against it and re-write where necessary.
    Talli - great guest post and I did read your superfoods for writers. It made me smile! You are so comical and versatile!

  34. I find my voice is easy to find, all I have to do is sit down, think what I want to write and poof off I go. At least so far.

  35. previous comment vanished. That happened to me with Blogger the other day, too. I think I have Gremlins.

    So I'll respond again.

    Denise - I mentioned the 'it takes a million words to make a writer' thing. I think I'm getting close :)

    I'm glad you enjoy my voice. And Father's Day in the U.S. is in June. Don't know about England.

    Pat N - When I first started writing, I was influenced by what I read. Not so much anymore. But it took a long while for me to be able to read for pleasure again.

    Pat H - Lucky you! Don't lose that ability :)

  36. Hi Talli, Hello Carol!

    Loved reading about you Carol, thanks for sharing!

    Thanks Talli!

  37. Thanks, Nas! Glad you stopped over.

  38. Talli - Thank you so much for sharing your blog space with me. This was the perfect ending to my blog tour :)

  39. I can understand why your voice would be hanging out under the tiki hut. It's a good place to be.

  40. Carol, great guest post! Congratulations on completing a successful blog tour.



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