The question I posed above is one I could have answered easily in years past. I wrote for me! I was both my harshest critic and most zealous fan. For years this admittedly schizophrenic gestalt powered my writing and colored my outlook. I’m sure it’s also why I can’t write a single sentence without going back over it a minimum of four times to get it right. (And you thought Sheldon Cooper’s OCD door knocking was strange… Hah!)The realization that I’d been fooling myself came as a shock. I wasn’t really writing for me; I was writing to meet the expectations of everyone who’d suffered through my work to that point. I didn’t have a “voice.”
While working with Barbara Galler-Smith on the Druids trilogy–book 3, Warriors, debuts in August, 2013–I began to get a sense of what I should sound like. But a collaboration is hardly the place for harnessing such a thing. A collaboration should bring forth the best that both contributors have to offer, and I firmly believe we accomplished that.
But by the time we were done, I knew I had to write something in the voice that evolved over the decade-plus that we labored on Druids. In contrast, Resurrection Blues grew to maturity in a mere two months. And in the process, that nascent voice I’ve been babbling about became something I’m quite proud of.
I’m convinced I really am writing for me now. Best of all, that voice makes my work far more entertaining for anyone else who might discover it.