Finding My Voice
I’ve been writing ever since I could pick up a pen and scribble words onto the page. There has always been something inside me urging me to write it all down: my life experiences, loves, heartbreaks, dreams, poems, short stories, and anything else that needed to come out.
So, for my entire youth, I wrote and I wrote, but up until I went to grad school in France, I’d never thought about turning my writing into a career. Sure, I loved to come up with stories, but the thought of writing an entire novel seemed so daunting. Where do you even begin with a 300 page story? Well, obviously at the beginning, but how do you write something intelligent, witty, funny, romantic, and suspenseful, and then tie it all together in a beautiful bow that makes your readers want to come back for more?
I certainly hadn’t answered all of those questions when I finally decided to take the plunge with my first book, but through the process of writing a seventy-page Master’s thesis in French, I conquered my fear of writing a longer work. And, the most important part: I had fun! I absolutely loved waking up every day and writing.
As I was finishing up my year in Paris, the idea for my first book, Sleeping with Paris, came to me. I returned home to the States, read a few books on how to write a novel, then during a short stint as a French translator with not much work on my plate, I outlined the story and wrote the opening pages.
My voice, as it turned out, was more than ready to pour out onto those pages. In fact, I’ve recently gone back to my very first draft to see if any of my original words are still there, or if I did, in fact, rewrite everything in the two year editing process that ensued. I was pleasantly surprised to find that while I had changed much of the story, the one thing that was never lost in the editing process was my voice. Writing fiction, for me, has always provided an outlet to release some of the most ridiculous, embarrassing, flawed, and romantic parts of myself, and in turn, gift (or curse) my characters with those pieces of myself.
My advice for aspiring writers is to not be afraid to open yourself up in the writing process. Only through being vulnerable in your writing will you create true, three-dimensional characters who your readers will identify with, and unique stories that will make those same readers want to come back for more. Also know that the path to finding your writing voice will sometimes be a frustrating one, and at other times, it will be the most rewarding, exciting experience of your life. But either way, if you’ve been bitten by the writing bug, don’t worry, your voice is in there just waiting to come out.
About the Author
Juliette Sobanet earned a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. from New York University in France, living and studying in both Lyon and Paris. She worked as a French professor before turning a new page in her career, penning romantic women’s fiction with a French twist. She is the author of six Paris-based romances, including the bestselling Sleeping with Paris. Her upcoming Confessions of a City Girl series will release in 2014, and her short story The Paris Journal recently released in the women’s fiction travel anthology Sunlounger 2. Today she lives in San Diego, where she devotes her time to writing, eating chocolate, and dreaming about her next trip to France.
Confessions of a City Girl: Los Angeles
In their efforts to start a family, talented DC photographer Natasha Taylor and her professor husband have plunged headfirst into the stressful world of fertility treatments, scheduled sex, and IVF-induced debt. When an opportunity arises to sell a gallery left to Natasha by her late mother, Natasha hopes the sale could dig the couple out of financial ruin, give them one last shot at a baby, and save their crumbling marriage.
But when her husband walks out on her and doesn’t show up to her most important exhibit, an intense encounter with the alluring Nicholas Reyes—a once-famous photographer turned investor—leaves Natasha questioning everything she believed she wanted for her life.
Nicholas offers to buy the gallery…on one condition: Natasha must join him for a decadent weekend in Los Angeles, where he will give her the career opportunity of a lifetime and one unforgettable Hollywood night.
How harmless could one night be?
As it turns out, one night with the disarming Nicholas Reyes has the power to unravel Natasha’s tightly-wound world and awaken her in ways she never could have imagined.