FINDING MY VOICE: Allison Butler
My voice wasn’t the first thing I searched for when I began my writing journey. The genre I chose to write in, or rather the genre that chose me, was a given the moment I picked up a historical romance novel from the staffroom table at work. I devoured it. The book was, Simply Love by Catherine Anderson.
I joined Romance Writers Of Australia and started learning my writing craft. Soon after, I was blessed to have the fabulous Anna Campbell as my Mentor-Extraordinaire. Anna taught me about sentence structure, punctuation, grammar and so much more, and did it in an encouraging, positive and supportive way. A few years later I was lucky to be a member of Claytons Critique group where I continued learning about the craft of writing by swapping chapters and critiques with my talented critique partners – one of whom is my amazing CP, Alissa Callen. But never once did any of these wonderful people try and change my writing style or stifle my voice.
I love words. Words are powerful. Words are beautiful. I write Scottish historical romance and find some words are too modern. But the right words help to highlight my voice.
But voice is more than words. I work with the elderly in an aged care facility and have done so for twenty-two years. I love these wise people. I care for them. I feel for them. I miss them when they’re gone. I love to make them smile. In my Scottish medieval, THE HEALER, due for release October 8th, the heroine, Lynelle Fenwick, pretends to be a skilled healer in order to earn her father’s approval. She has some knowledge with herbs and treating ailments, but she also has an underlying craving to help people, to make them feel better, to make them smile. Through Lynelle, I am able to share my feelings and my beliefs and show the things that matter to me.
Finding my voice took time and I believe it continues to shift and grow as I continue to grow and experience life. I have often heard that you should write what you know. I also believe you should write what you feel and let your voice shine through.
For writing tips about voice I recommend the excellent 2 part article here – Anne Gracie
About the Author:
I spent my early years in country NSW, Australia, building pretend castles with hay bales and leaping white posts with my army of two older sisters and a younger brother. Many years later, with my mother’s influence, I discovered a passion for words and history, read my first historical romance and was inspired to write my own. I write by day and care for the elderly by night. My love of travel has given me the gift of many amazing sights but none more heart-stirring than the rugged beauty of Scotland. I’m a proud member of Romance Writers of Australia, New Zealand and America. I live in a small town in NSW, Australia, with my very own Scottish hero, two beautiful daughters and a Jack Russell named Wallace. I love travelling, dancing like no-one’s watching and seeing the sights from the back of my husband’s motorcycle.
An outcast in her own home for as long as she can remember, Lynelle Fenwick will do anything to earn her father’s approval. Including exaggerating her healing skills, and setting off alone to rescue her step-brother from a band of raiding Scots.
Living under a curse that has haunted the Closeburn Clan for years, Laird William Kirkpatrick, will do anything to save his sole surviving brother. He may not believe in curses, but his clan does, and the growing number of graves seems to support their side. Having banished all healers from the clan for trickery, he has no choice but to allow an Englishwoman, claiming to be a skilled healer, into his home and into the room of his wounded brother.
Enemies by birth and circumstance, they can only succeed together. But blood runs deep, and tensions high. What matters the desires of a heart?