As both a lover of the written word and a new fictional author returning from a book tour, I have learned the powerful influence an author’s voice –– spoken as well as written –– has on their audience. As an author you will want to be a bit of an actor as you lead them deeply into your book. Let go and flow. Return back to the time your great imagination created life through well-chosen words forming a story on paper.
Just as you found your author voice at a book event find another voice and read with gusto and believability. Practice by reading your story out loud. Become comfortable with speaking the various voices of your characters. Along with the voice gesture as you speak. Raise an eyebrow, if that is what your character does or down turn your lips, if another does that.
During my book reads I bring it all into play, the words and gestures of my characters.
My story , The Skye in June, is a historical mystery about a Scottish family and begins in Glasgow Scotland. I stayed true to the dialect of my Scottish characters and wrote it as such. When reading passages from the book I read the descriptive of the scene/setting in my normal English US west coast voice and then switch over to reading the thoughts and conversations of the characters in my best Glaswegian burr. Of course, I had an advantage having been born in Glasgow and growing up in a household that stayed true to their birth country language.
With each character my voice changes to match the sentiments of the characters: he bleated, she recoiled silently thinking of his unfairness before snarling a retort; he volleyed back, strongly voicing his decree, their disagreement ricocheted around the hospital ward. I add a gesture or facial expression of a character.
The guests love it! I hear chuckles, groans and sighs. As the story jumps off the page into the ears of the guests many close their eyes perhaps to visually follow along. Later I learn that listeners were smitten with one character while angered by another.
They leave with books and a promise to read the Scottish parts as they heard it. My writing voice has greater meaning.
At your book readings, give life to your story and your listerners will enjoy the story so much more. Enjoy!