Whose voice? A Man’s or a Woman’s?

OneMoreMoon_eBook_Cover_finalizedThis past week I was asked “how was writing One More Moon different from what I’d experienced writing the last book?”  It’s a curious question – one that I find myself reflecting upon now and certainly something that I was not overly conscious of when I was writing.  Had I considered the difference, would it have changed the way I wrote One More Moon?

Old habits are hard to break.  I can’t say the way I approached the writing changed much – the way I researched, my daily routine, the thought process.  I always take my craft seriously.  Even though this was a different story, little else changed.  One initial reviewer noticed.  But, no one else did and I never gave it much more thought.

I realize now that it’s very obvious.  The difference?  My first book, A Smile in One Eye, is told by a man, my father.  I tried to put myself into my father’s head and explain his world from a man’s perspective.  My new book, One More Moon, is told by a woman, my grandmother.  I had to find her voice, understand the world from her vantage point, and speak the words she would have said.  I honestly can’t say that I purposely tried to write one with a male voice and the other with a female voice.  I didn’t instinctively prepare or choose my words differently.  I wasn’t aware of the nuance – I hope this was because I didn’t want there to be one.  I didn’t try to express their emotions or how they said things differently simply because one was a man and the other a woman.  My aim was to portray and project the individual characters as I knew them.  I wanted them to be real.

Now I wonder how readers will react.  Do readers prefer books written in a woman’s voice versus a man’s?  Did I make these characters authentic?  Should I have used a different pen name?  Will their voices stand up to the scrutiny of my readers?  When put to paper, what does distinguish a man’s voice from a woman’s?  Is there a stereotype that one is supposed to follow?  As One More Moon rolls out in the coming weeks and months I am sure I will learn many of the answers.  Readers have a way of being very direct in their observations.  They will tell me the answers.

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