First off, apologies for flaking on last week . . . I know ALL of you were at home, beating your chests, screaming ‘Where is that Frampton Friday post?!? I will die without it.’ And in other news, it was awfully frigid in Hell last Friday, too.

Second, this week I wanted to talk about voice. For me, voice is what makes or breaks a book. And a blog. The reason I started thinking about this was a post Abby Godwin made on her blog about blogs. There are a bunch of bloggers, and authors, I read just because of their voice.

The best example of this is ESPN’s The Sports Guy. Yeah, I like some sports–basketball, mostly, ’cause I’m fond of tall, thin men, but I could really care less about most sports. But when writes about sports–and the latest Rocky movie–I care. It’s because his voice is so powerful.

You know how some people say ‘such-and-such an author could write a grocery list, and I’d read it’? Count me among those folks.

Even if the plot is weak, or ludicrous, if the voice is there, I’ll be there, too. The best situation is when the author’s voice AND plot are strong, but if there’s a choice, I’ll stick with the author who’s got the former. And voice is such a nebulous thing; is it the author’s personality coming through the work? Their distinct choice of language? Their sense of humor (or not)? It’s all of these things, plus something more–something that makes the author (or blogger) unique.

So who’s got the strongest author’s voice you’ve ever encountered? How about bloggers? (my favorite blogs are in a sidebar on my Writer’s Diary, go over and click around if you want. You don’t have to, though. I’m just too lazy to write them all down here. So they’re there.)

In romance, I’d say authors Carla Kelly, Anne Stuart, J.R. Ward, debut author Meljean Brook, Jennifer Crusie, and Mary Balogh.

In Blogland, I’d mention (okay, so I’m not as lazy as I look) Cindy, Suisan, Ilene and of course the Smart Bitches. There are many more (and I did not include any authors’ blogs), these are just some of the strongest voices whom I’ll read, even if they’re talking about vegan desserts.

How important is an author’s voice to you? Are you willing to overlook plot and other problems if you like the voice? Who’s got the strongest voice? What blogs do you like to read, even if the subject is not your favorite?

Thanks for reading!

P.S.: The painting is by John Singer Sargent, one of my favorites. Just because.