SILVER - the Power of Voice

Katherine Longshore 5 Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Plus, it has a stunning cover.

My first taste of SILVER was at a writing workshop in 2009. It was early morning, and I hadn't yet had my coffee (though I noticed that Veronica, who I didn’t know at the time, had already found a Starbucks across the street. Cue jealousy that I haven’t felt since I got to know her better.) I was nervous, because the great Ellen Hopkins was moderating our critique session. And because I had never shared pages from my new WIP, which would eventually become GILT.

So imagine: several women sitting around a circular table in a hotel conference room. Papers rustling, a cough, a delicate sip as Veronica drinks her coveted coffee. And then Talia begins to read.

The voice is to die for.

Like Donna, I am in awe of Talia’s ability to juggle complicated plot points, multiple characters, difficult scientific issues, magic and pacing. But mostly I am in awe of her characters. The way they interact, the way they relate to each other and the world around them, but especially their dialogue and Brianna’s original impressions of events.

For instance, in the first chapter, on the first page, Brianna goes to a party that her friend Haley calls “a rager”.  Brianna adds, internally,

The perfect combination of no parents, cute guys, and alcohol-fueled hook-ups.  I can almost smell the pheromones.  Then again, it could be the guy in the Padres jersey sweating tequila from his pores. 

Then Haley tells Brianna she smells like horse before spritzing her with vanilla body scent.  Padres jersey spills beer on her.  Brianna’s reaction?

Perfect.  Now I smell like a sticky patch of pavement at the state fair.  A magnet for future farmers and carnies alike.

Pitch-perfect, snappy, clever.  Just the kind of girl I’ve always wanted to be.  I know Talia works hard at this, but she makes it seem so effortless.  I love the sound of the words together, the kick I get out of it when the meaning sets in.  Now, whenever I read anything Talia has written, I hear her voice reading it.  Dry, witty, with a hint of a smile.

I’ve learned a lot from knowing Talia.  Critiquing with her.  Brainstorming.  Traveling.  Talia has a talent for analysis, for taking things apart and putting them back together, for seeing the big picture.  But her major writing talent is voice.

I’ve read SILVER more than once since that morning – through several of its incarnations.  I’ve read two versions of SPIES AND PREJUDICE and an early draft of GOLD.  And I feel the same way every.  Single.  Time. 

I’m so glad you can now, too.


Just added this to my TBR! I love the rhythm as well as the cleverness of her descriptions, and you are right: the voice kicks a$$. That voice could lead me anywhere and I would follow :)

Thanks for sharing, and congrats to Talia!


I had the priviledge of beta reading this, & I am so excited to read it again! That's how awesome Brianna's voice is - I want to spend more time with her.

I very much enjoyed Silver! I had a hard time following it in the beginning this being my fault for reading too fast. It does have a complicated plot line and if you read too fast, you don't get it. I had to start over and really pay attention. It was a totally refreshing novel for me, very new being Celtic lore and that soul bond, very unique. I loved that I had to read slow. I really know the story and characters. I don't know what's going to happen next because there was nothing predictable about her story, but I envy you that you've already gotten to read Gold!
Silver definitely sets itself apart from all the other YA I've read this year in it's genre.


Thanks everyone for coming by, but especially thanks to Katherine for this kind post!

Martina, I hope you enjoy Silver!

Beth, thanks for your help with Silver.

Heather, I'm glad you stuck with Silver. I have a bit of reputation with one of my editors for complicated plots! It's something I work on, but I also think it's fun to weave storylines together. Thanks for the nice review!

This is a great post emphasizing something nice. Voice can be very important since it can draw or push the reader in the direction you want them to go...preferably draw them in :-)

I need to make sure Silver is on my TBR :-)

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