Today's Special guest blogger is Tina Ferraro. Not only is she talented at creating a strong character "voice", she's also generous. When I told her that I was going to give away a copy of The ABC's of Kissing Boys along with her interview, she offered to give away two books as well; another copy of The ABC's of Kissing Boys and one copy of The Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Promdress. So, if you leave a comment below there will be 3 winners drawn on Wednesday. You can also have extra chances to win if you post this giveaway on your blog, Twitter or Facebook and if you follow this blog. You receive an extra entry for each thing that you do. Make sure you let me know in the comments so that I can give you the correct amount of chances to win in my tupper-ware-bowl of winningness.
The thing that I love so much about Tina's characters is that they are relatable, strong and funny. So, I asked Tina a few questions about "Voice." Here's what she has to say:
1) How do you define "voice"?
Well, let me start by saying I often have two streams of thought running in my head. What I say and what I think. For instance, a lady is holding up the supermarket line, trying to find all her coupons. She turns and apologizes. I would smile and say, "No problem, I love using coupons, too," while I am thinking, "Lady, for crying out loud, get organized! I've been standing here for so long I think I celebrated a birthday."
Voice, to me, is what I'd think--not what I'd say. Doesn't have to be funny, but it generally hits higher highs and lower lows than a person's normal life.
2) How and why is "voice" crucial in a manuscript?
I think it's make-or-break critical to have voice. For instance, anyone could tell the story of a southern plantation on the verge of the Civil War, but only Margaret Mitchell delivered Scarlett O'Hara and her "fiddle-de-de" that was at once irritating and oddly endearing.
3) What have you done that has attributed to your strong sense of voice? (Classes? Advice? Workshops, etc.)
The most important thing that I found in establishing voice is letting go of my natural inhibitions. When I was writing TOP TEN USES FOR AN UNWORN PROM DRESS and got to the first scene where Nicolette was dancing alone in her bedroom in her dress, I was so embarrassed for us (Nic and me) that I about dove under the desk. I felt like I'd just exposed our rawest side to the world. Later, I got more compliments on that scene than any other.
4) When writing The ABC's of Kissing Boys, how were you able to maintain a consistent voice through out the entire book?
Well, whenever I felt unsure of the story or voice (which was often), I went back and re-read earlier scenes. Then I then grabbed Parker's hand and we jumped back in...
5) What advice would you give to aspiring authors so that they can improve their literary voice?
Take a good look at yourself and see what pushes your buttons, what is going to take you and your readers to entertaining places. While you don't have to write your life (I surely don't), try to twist fiction with fantasy. For instance, in THE ABC'S OF KISSING BOYS, Parker worried that she was a bad kisser...and while it's been a long time since I've had that concern, I continue to be a queen of performance doubt, so I could easily relate to that fear.
6) What is your favorite "voice" book(s)?
Oh, so many! But here's few that I recently read include THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie, GOOD ENOUGH by Paula Yoo, and SOPHOMORE UNDERCOVER by Ben Esch.
Thank you, Tina, for thoughts on VOICE!
Now, go ahead and
*leave a comment
*tweet this contest
*mention this contest on your blog and/or Facebook
*Become a follower of this blog.
And then I'll choose 3 winners on Wednesday.
Thanks for stopping by.