I read a lot of books and the same themes keep recycling over and over. This isn’t bad per se but in addition to sometimes tepid writing means books tend to blend together or be forgettable. When reading for entertainment as I think the majority of us do it doesn’t matter so much as the enjoyment WHILE reading but when looking back at the vast number of books I’ve read I sometimes can’t remember a thing about them.
So when I discover an author with a distinctive voice, one that resonates through their writing no matter what the subject or genre, I tend to cling that author. I love when I can open a book and instinctively know who the author is. This partly guarantees a good read (or strongly suggests) but I also like the familiarity; sort of like visiting an old friend who’s got some new stories to tell.
I’m not exactly sure what makes an author voice distinctive. I’m not sure I could pinpoint the exact element from author to author. Just one of those you know it when you see it. Not all authors have this elusive quality, even some massively productive authors still lack a distinctive stamp while some authors with only a few books to their credit stand out with uniqueness. It’s just one quality that I love when it comes through – even if I’m not a fan.
I recently read a book of hers and right away at the beginning I knew I was reading Dane. Though much has been made of her continued and almost stubborn use of cringe inducing prose – I don’t think a single book can go by without a fluttering rectum or seizing chute of molten fire – her books are very distinctive. From the situations to the characters, the set up of the sex scenes and of course the prose, these books scream Cameron Dane even if her name wasn’t on the cover.
She tends to polarize fans with those that adore her writing and those that can’t stand it. I tend to fall into one or the other as well as often EA’s work will get 1 star from me but also it can get a super hot 4 stars OMG MORE PLEASE too. She seems to stick to GFY tropes and a yaoi-inspired non-con with a patina of homophobia over the whole thing. Yet I don’t think anyone can argue that her books aren’t distinctive and easily recognizable.
I recently read The Only Gold (reviewed here) and right away I was swept into her world. I knew I was reading an Allen book with her attention to detail and that melodious voice. Her style of writing is immediately evident and unique even as her characters vary wildly. Yet it’s the complexity of the story and the men themselves that shows her voice. The sheer level of complicated personalities and beautiful lyrical writing never lets me forget the author. This doesn’t detract from the story at all, in fact I like that feeling of comfort and knowing I can trust the story.
I could go on but these are just 3 examples of authors with distinctive voices to their writing, at least in my opinion.
But what do you think? Do you like a distinctive author voice or not? Who stands out to you as having one and do you immediately think of when asking about recognizable writing?