Authors’ voices are as varied as Authors, but they tend to bifurcate into two camps: what I’ll call the “lush,” adjective- and adverb-laden, detailed descriptions, explication of characters’ emotions and sensations, five-dollar words; and the “minimalist,” plain-spoken, vernacular, just-the-facts-ma’am, economical action and plot. The reader must deduce characters’ thoughts and feelings.

I confess as a reader I love both styles and, as an author, have gone both ways. In my fin de siècle titles (The Gilded Age, Every Mystery Unexplained, Daughter of the Tao, and Celestial Girl), I found my lush voice. In contemporary, futuristic, science fictional titles (Summer of Love, Shaken, Hummers, and the forthcoming Quester Trilogy), I tend toward a minimalist voice.

Lush is easy to appreciate and understand. Minimalist may be a mystery wrapped in an enigma. You the reader say, “How did the Author create a whole cinematic scene in my head with those few words?”

“They threw me off the hay truck about noon.” So begins Cain’s classic, minimalist, brutal story of a lusty amoral drifter and a scheming sexy wife who conspire to murder her nice husband and make it appear like an accident so she can inherit the husband’s humble little roadside café and she and the drifter can live happily ever after. Written and published in 1934, at the height of the Great Depression, the subtext of every word and scene is desperation: rancor between the haves and have-nots; tension between Mexican immigrant laborers and Southern California Americans; illicit lust between man and woman.

This is a classic Greek tragedy. No good comes to anyone.

My plastic-wrapped, 1947 Pocket Edition tops off at 121 pages so you can see why filmmakers in Hollywood and Europe scrambled to adapt the book to the movies. It’s the length of a screenplay. None of the Hollywood films I’ve seen, though, can capture the violent lust between the drifter and the wife like Cain’s minimalist voice. Spoiler Alert! Here’s their first hot sex scene at page 9:

“I got some cooking to do. I’ll wash up this plate.” I took her in my arms and mashed my mouth up against hers. “Bite me! Bite me!” I bit her. I sunk my teeth into her lips so deep I could feel the blood spurt into my mouth. It was running down her neck when I carried her upstairs.”

CUT! (And he’s not a vampire.)

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!