I went to my local chapter meeting this weekend and listened to our speaker, Tracy Wolff. She raised some very interesting points....Her topic was about "voice" and it got me thinking about how important it is.
I'm not one of those writers who only reads the genre in which I write. Contrary, I indulge in everything from historical, paranormal to women's fiction. What I love is finding the right voice and storytelling that would sweep me away from reality for a few hours. I like to be entertained and I'll know in the first few pages if I'm going to want to finish the book. There are some voices that I don't care much for, no matter how many endorsement from friends. It's really a matter of preference. This doesn't mean I won't give the book a try, but it got me thinking. Editors are the same way. They know what they like, what they're looking for, and they want more of whatever it is that grabs them. Maybe my storyline or writing style doesn't resonate with some editors, but it may with others. That's the beauty in diversity and individualism of writers. Every author has a specific imprint in their storytelling and certain phrases or nuances in writing reminds the reader that it's them. When an author's writing voice reaches the right person, you've got a new friend. Someone who will follow you through your next few dozen or hundred books. That's what makes each writer unique and identifiable. That's why it's important for an author to stick to the style that fits them, represents them. When your writing voice is distinct, no matter what genre you write, you're going to captivate your audience.
The Multi-Ethnic and Multicultural market is proving that voice is important and it's making a difference. There's something refreshing and new that comes out of a writer who can share their cultural lifestyle with their readers in an informative, yet entertaining way. I've often frequented bookstores, anywhere from chain to independents, and I smile knowing that diversity is being celebrated. It's becoming more acceptable and generating interest with readers who may not have read our books otherwise. There are a lot of East Indian, Asian, African American and Latino books available, more so than in past years. Because these types of books are more visible, it's reaching a wider demographic, even paving the way for our youth to enjoy all the unique writing voices out there.
I could have stuck to writing books that focuses on Caucasian heroes and heroines, yet I chose to write Multi-Ethnic stories because it's a celebration of my cultural background and my love for both worlds, Eastern and Western. My writing voice is very 'me' and not necessarily focused on race. I think that's what will make me stand out. I'm not afraid to admit that I am a mix of two incredible worlds and I hope I am one of the many new voices of this generation...where race is not the focal point but the storytelling and the showcasing of who I am in these books.