Linda asked Ruta Sepetys:

Hi, Ruta! OUT OF THE EASY is one of my all-time favorite YA books, and I have recommended it to so many people. Loved BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY as well and have SALT TO THE SEA at the top of my TBR pile. So my question is, can I get a commission on your OOTE sales? Haha, just kidding. My question is, do you have any advice for making sure one's characters have distinct voices? Thank you!

Ruta Sepetys Hi Linda!

Thank you so much for recommending "Out of the Easy" to so many people!! I really appreciate it and I'll have to check into that commission for you. Ha! :)

To create distinctive voices for characters, I try to imagine how they would express themselves if they left me a voicemail message. For example, if you read a transcript of the following voicemail message who would you think it was?

"Hello, dear. I'm just calling to let you know that I bought some lovely pink yarn from Bertha at the church sale today and I'm going to knit you a scarf. I'm worried you don't dress warm enough on those book tours of yours."

Maybe the voice above sounds like a grandmother?
And then the voicemail below:

"Oh. My. Gosh. Seriously? Is this seriously happening to me? You have to call me. Call me!! I have a story. It's epic and...SO embarrassing. Call me. Like, right away."

So perhaps try the voicemail message technique? Hope that helps! :)
Ruta Sepetys

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