by Guest Cynthia Herron
Hi Seekerville friends ~ Great to join you again today! It’s been a while.
Settle in. We’re hunkering down for the long haul. But stay with me! Pssst…There’s a giveaway at the end!
Since I last visited, I’ve had my fingers to the keyboard, meeting deadlines and writing books. Speaking of books, today I wanted to touch on something that a reader recently shared with me—I love your voice! You give me warm fuzzies through your word pictures!
Huh? I do? Well, thank you!
Sometimes, an author’s “voice” is hard to describe.
No kidding, right?
I never really thought that much about it when I jumped back into writing ten or so years ago. I established my tagline early—Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction—and I just kind of went from there.
I write in the same vein that’s uniquely me. I’m a simple, unpretentious Ozarks’ gal who grew up the hard way and learned at an early age the true importance of wealth. Not the material kind.
With that in mind, I pen heartwarming, second chance stories with complex, quirky, lovable characters. I blend nostalgia, simplicity, and homespun with twenty-first century reality.
Writing in our own voice isn’t imitating others. It’s staying true to our brand and who we are at our core. That doesn’t mean we put ourselves in a box or erect glass houses that limit us.
When driven by passion and story, writers’ fictional worlds resuscitate lackluster reality. Our words (and worlds) infuse inspirational oxygen into ordinary life.
In other words, we take the mundane—normal day-to-day chores, work, and perhaps, the boring—and add the wow factor. That unique spin that’s intrinsic to us. (Our voice.)
But let’s dig deeper.
Maybe it will help to describe “me” so you understand what I mean. In other words, let me share some insight into my“voice.”
Now you might guess that family is very important to me. So is my heritage and the region where I was born and raised. The Ozarks are where “my people” are.
When we’re children, I don’t know that we can fully appreciate our roots. In fact, I’m sure we can’t.
Things like culture, heritage, family history, and geographic locale aren’t on our “live in the moment” radar.
Children live in the now.
A child’s world is immediacy. It’s Mama’s smile at breakfast. Daddy’s hug as he leaves for work. It’s macaroni and cheese, crayons and coloring books, and stinky socks on a summer day.
Little ones don’t think in terms of tomorrow. They understand the concrete—the tangible. The things that adults so often take for granted.
I once heard it said, “I loved being a child. Though I didn’t realize it then, those years were the best years of my life.”
As I’ve matured, I understand that statement and I fully embrace it. (My experiences have given wings to my voice.)
In the present, I have a full and happy life. I know Jesus. I have a loving family, my health, and a beautiful home.
Despite this, life hasn’t always been fair, kind, or easy.
I’ve worked hard.
I’ve survived loss.
I’ve known heartache.
Just like you.
The learning curve’s been chock-full of twists and turns.
I’ve grown from where I’ve been, and I’m thankful for the journey and how my roots and milestones influenced me and the stories I write. (Again, this is voice, friends.)
Let’s dig even deeper.
As a youngster, growing up in the Ozarks was an interesting mix of old and new. Life meandered along at a steady, but snail-like pace. Change in some areas arrived slowly, while in larger towns, transformation was more obvious.
I grew up in one of those smaller regions where “new” and “different” had to be mulled over and left to simmer for a while. A long while.
At the little elementary school I attended, most of us shared similar backgrounds and breeding. There was a rump roast sale on Fridays at our local market, and church on Sundays was the town norm. Our mamas and daddies were hard workers who knew the value of a dollar and waste was a foreign concept.
Where I lived, summer was less about boredom and more of an adventure. There was always a bike to ride, a fort to build, and cousins to visit.
We had a drug store that had a real soda fountain, a hardware store that sold everything from A to Z, and a department store that boasted bib overalls for the men, and dresses and aprons for the women. (Yes, it’s different now. But that was then.)
Each business establishment was locally owned and operated and closed on Sundays. Big box stores and shopping meccas hadn’t arrived yet and neither had the hustle and bustle of life in the fast lane.
In the Ozarks along the expanse of old Route 66, the hills and hollows were lush, green, and scented with honeysuckle. Folks who lived in the nearby, little niches were self-made, salt-of-the-earth, not-afraid-to-get-their-hands-dirty kind of people. They were passionate about God and country, family and friends.
Though I no longer live in the same town where I grew up, my little neck of the woods is still a subtle blend of yesteryear and today. Time has given way to progress, and our growth and change reflect this, but our culture is still unique and our heritage the same.
Now, think about your past. Your present. Your future. Think about the lens with which you view life. Write your story from that perspective using your own voice, because your voice is the most powerful persuader.
In my recent release His Love Revealed, book two in the Welcome to Ruby series, I used my beloved Ozarks as the backdrop to introduce you to new friends in the region where no one is a stranger.
There’s always room at the table for “just one more,” and to make you feel at home, we’ll even let you wash a dish or two. No need to wear your fancy duds. Just come as you are and limber up those arms for a big, ol’ bear hug! (COVID can’t last forever!)
Writers, please give us a sense of your voice. Please share what makes you “you.” Drop a snippet of your current WIP in the comments. We’d love to get to know you!
Readers, what draws you to an author’s voice? What great books have you read lately that define what you mean?
Leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy of His Love Revealed. (Due to postage, U.S. readers only.)
Cynthia writes Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction from the beautiful Ozark Mountains. A hopeless romantic at heart, she enjoys penning stories about ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. His Love Revealed, book two in the Welcome to Ruby series released October 2020.
“Cindy” has a degree in psychology and a background in social work. She is a member of ACFW, ACFW MozArks, and RWA.
She is a 2020 Selah Award (Double) Finalist, a 2017 ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2016 ACFW Genesis (Double) Finalist, and a 2015 ACFW First Impressions Winner. Her work is represented by WordServe Literary.
Besides writing, Cindy enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has a fondness for gingerbread men, miniature teapots, and all things apple. She also adores a great cup of coffee and she never met a sticky note she didn’t like.
Cindy loves to connect with friends at her online home. She also hangs out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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