Thanks so much to Manic Readers for hosting me today and letting me take over their blog. For those of you who are unfamiliar with me, I’m Lila Munro, procurer of all things realmantica. And yes, that’s my own special brand of romance writing where the characters, story, and conflict therein are, well, based in the real. It’s who I am. It’s my voice.
And that’s what I wanted to touch base on today for just a few minutes before sharing a bit of good stuff with you all. A writer’s voice and how they find it.
I think it may be a common misconception that a writer just shoots out of the gate with all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed. Well, we might have a G looped just right at times, but rarely are all the parts quite working together as they all should early on. It’s the same with our voice. I like to think of this finding your voice akin to the way we develop the ability to speak at all. When we’re infants, the first thing we learn is screaming and crying will get results. We’ll either get fed, our diaper changed, or Mom and Dad will fall asleep in a rocking chair trying to appease our unhappy little bottom.
Eventually, Mom and Dad grow tired of guessing what each scream means and they begin to encourage us to use our “big girl” words to explain what we need, want, or desire. A few simple syllables at a time we figure out how to communicate through a word or two, a pouty face, and a glimmer in our eye we’d like a cookie, to be held, a toy, or, in my case and often, to be read to. From there it seems our instinct to achieve more and more results drives us to string sentences together and before we know it, we’re all grown up and off to kindergarten where we learn to take all that a step further and begin to use the written word in the most amazing ways.
As writers, we often stumble along finding our voice in the same way. At first our writing may be unfocused and simple. Someone points that out, “Use your ‘big girl’ words.” Usually this comes from a high school teacher that’s quite tired of marking out “like you know” from your essays. J College can be a brutal stage in this game. In fact, it was while in college I discovered I had a writer’s voice at all…and in high humiliating fashion I might add.
While I don’t recall the class number, it was in English 200-something-or-other (how do you like that for proper use of the language?). The instructor, who was hot by the way and may in fact be the object of one of my heroes or two, decided we should write a theme on someone we knew and what made them special. Well, after receiving C mark after C mark in his class all semester I thought, good, finally something I might be able to do to please this impossible man! (Funny my heroines spend a great deal of time now trying to please an impossible man in the form of a Dom or Master—interesting.)
I picked a young man I happened to work with at the time, and using all the descriptive skills I’d been taught by my sixth grade teacher, I elaborated on the poor boy without his knowing with complete abandon. I turned it in. I waited. The following week, the instructor, oh that impossible man, read my paper in front of the entire class as I sank further and further into my seat wishing I could crawl into a hole in the floor and disappear from the face of the planet. He proceeded to tell the class I was in love with said subject and that piece of garbage might make for a good romance book someday.
Well, the joke’s on you Mr. Impossible Man! That garbage is indeed receiving rave reviews and then some. Thank you for showing me my voice!
For that surely was the day I found it. I’ve spent the last several years perfecting it and I’ve found now it is recognizable as reviewers, readers, fans, and friends tell me so. I’ve heard from more than one person if they were handed a piece of my work with no name attached they would undeniably know it was me because I have a very distinct voice.
Writers, don’t be discouraged if you’re struggling to discover who you are and how you fit it. You’ll figure it all out.
Readers, are you able to identify any writers based on their voice alone?
If you’d like to follow me and my voice, you can find me regularly at:
Thanks again and happy reading!
My latest release is from…
Toy Box Tales…
The Toy Box clubs, where the beer is always cold, the drinks are always perfect, and the sex is always hot, are found in the back alleys of cities across the world. Somehow, elite fighting forces always know where to locate one. Special ops team members stationed and deployed around the globe are guaranteed to find a piece of Americana, or something more exotic if they prefer, every single time they visit–no matter the mission. Owned by a mysterious man who wishes to remain anonymous, these clubs cater to every need, whim, and at times, every fetish imaginable. But as America’s best often find, what happens at the Toy Box doesn’t always stay at the Toy Box…
Volume One: Fayetteville
Sugar and Spice
Drake O’Malley is in between deployments and looking to hook up, but not on a permanent basis. The Toy Box, Fayetteville, North Carolina, is his team’s regular haunt. While most of what goes on in the back isn’t Drake’s style, the club does make a righteous Irish Car Bomb. And the girls who grace the doors aren’t bad either. If only Drake could find one that liked the occasional spanking, wasn’t into the whole twenty-four seven scene, and would let go when he disappeared on a mission. Someone with some spice…
And spice is what he gets when Nutmeg Newman shows up. She’s not looking for a permanent mate, just a good time. In fact, she let’s go on cue and isn’t heard from again until her sister, Coriander, comes knocking on Drake’s door with a special Christmas surprise. One wrapped in a cute pink package complete with hair bow…
Please enjoy a short excerpt:
“Can I sit here?” a small voice whispered just as Drake pushed up on one foot, running a hand down his front pocket to retrieve a twenty dollar bill.
His eyes darted right and wonder of wonders, Miss Skittish Colt perched herself upon the black leather-clad stool next to him. How had he missed her approach?
“I suppose you can,” Drake drawled, tossing the twenty on the slick, varnished bar top.
“Thanks.” Her simple answer was filled with relief and she looked quite out of her element, eyes darting around, finger tips thrumming against the padded edge of the bar.
“First time here?”
“Yep. I take it you’ve decided not to play in the reindeer games?” Drake smiled as her eyes went so wide she resembled a doe in the headlights.
“I think I’ll pass. Have you seen what they’re doing back there? I think I’ve watched everything but someone being set on fire in the past few hours…”
The longer she talked, the higher pitched her voice became until her words came out in a squeak. Drake nearly laughed out loud at her innocence, but contained himself, noting the look of seriousness wash over her face. Poor little gal was a tad on the scared side.
“…I had no idea my sister was into this…stuff. Biting, slapping, pinching? Okay, but…”
“Wait. Cori’s your sister?” Drake twirled the napkin the bartender had set in front of him as she continued to pour his drink.
“Yeah. And yes, I realize we don’t look alike. There are six of us and none of us do. We’re like a box of crayons, the only similarity our chemical make-up.”
The bartender set a glass of Guinness down and dropped a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s into it with a plop then turned to the girl. “Can I get you something?”
“I don’t suppose you’d have any Patron back there would you?”
A tequila girl. Drake wondered if it made her clothes fall off.