I often get asked to reveal to the source of my achievements, even my “success” in writing. This is of course very flattering and good for my scribe’s ego. But I’m just as unsure of where I am or going to, same as the next writer. I don’t really see myself as such a success, but I’ve succeeded in improving my writing and finding my “Voice”. I believe we writers always need to have some reassurance or at least another person we can turn to as a sounding board to either confirm or dispel our insecurities about ourselves and our work.
My “weakness” is my British English, my mother tongue. But that does not say I wouldn’t put my le Carré aside when I grab a good Grisham or Dan Brown. Romance fascinate me, followed by the psychological thriller and Grip Lit genres. Therefore my addiction to writing romance with thriller elements worked in them, and sex scenes involving psychological games.
My own romance books involve interracial love relationships. The Bound to Tradition trilogy, which won me the Writer of the Year Achiever Award 2013 in the Netherlands, is one good such an example. This is an aspect of writing that often plagues me – I prefer to write about what I know and what I’d personally read. I do bring the famous “What if…” into play in the male/female/intercultural negations.
The novels I write tend to be opulent because I’m acquainted with that world and can move around it with ease. But I can also put the billionaire right in the middle of a poor shack in India or the African jungle and do a mix of dialogue because I love the mind games of cultural differences. We all have cultural spectacles and earphones so that one and the same words are interpreted differently using these cultural spectacles and earphones.
Writers might have a facility for writing, or telling stories, or coming up with brilliant characters, or dialogue. But what should a writer write about? I need to have at least one of the above in place to even start thinking of a story. Writing is the hardest work I’ll ever do and probably the least remunerative of any profession in today’s market of commercial writing, where art seem to have been abandoned.
I have found my particular voice and subject matter plus medium, and stick to them in all I write, fiction and nonfiction. I know in my belly when those passages flow and I write easily with a smile twitching at the corner of my mouth.
And yes, I have writers I admire and analyse why I admire them, what draws me to their writing or their Message or their Voice.
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