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Preacher'sWife
08-20-2010, 01:30 AM
Could anyone suggest some authors who write romantic women's fiction (not genre romance) with a simple, easy-reading midwestern voice?

Stacia Kane
08-20-2010, 06:04 AM
Sorry, what's a "midwestern voice?"

Amergin
08-20-2010, 07:23 AM
I don't know exactly what a midwestern voice is [I lived in Chicago for a few years, but otherwise I'm bi-coastal ;-)] -- but Jennifer Crusie is from Ohio and many of her novels are in small towns and cities of Ohio.

Preacher'sWife
08-20-2010, 09:32 AM
Sorry, what's a "midwestern voice?"

A voice with the simplicity of the rural midwest (central U.S.). Not cowboyish, but slightly countrified (is that a word?). Simple. Down-to-earth. I've seen a couple of different agents looking for that. Settings, as mentioned above, in small towns in the midwest.

Thanks, Amergin--I'll look for her books.

shadowwalker
08-20-2010, 06:11 PM
I'd suggest looking for authors who were born and raised in the Midwest - we're the only ones who would really have that 'voice' naturally. ;) Although I'm not sure, myself, what that voice would be. Different phrases, perhaps? Using more straight-forward language?

JanDarby
08-20-2010, 08:31 PM
Definitely Jenny Crusie. Most of her books are set in Ohio, generaly small towns or small communities within larger towns. And she has some midwestern-isms in her dialogue, e.g., "the room needs sweeped" instead of "the room needs to be sweeped."

What about Debbie Macomber? Where are her books set?

readitnweep
08-20-2010, 10:00 PM
Er - to clarify: the midwest isn't really the central US, which is typically the Great Plains, such as Kansas and Nebraska. The midwest is Michigan (where I grew up), Illinois, Indiana - the Ohio Valley.

You may want to Google for RWA chapters in these states; most chapters include published authors and their web sites may even have bios and book lists. I know the Michigan one does. That may be a helpful reference.

shadowwalker
08-20-2010, 10:20 PM
Er - to clarify: the midwest isn't really the central US, which is typically the Great Plains, such as Kansas and Nebraska. The midwest is Michigan (where I grew up), Illinois, Indiana - the Ohio Valley.

It isn't? Then I've not lived in the Upper Midwest for all these years? ;)

Sorry - but the Midwest consists of 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Stacia Kane
08-20-2010, 11:06 PM
I was born and raised in the Midwest (born in IL, grew up in St. Louis) but I don't think you could call my voice "midwestern." :) I'll keep thinking, though, to see if I can come up with some suggestions for you.

But yes, shadowwalker is right about the Midwest. It's twelve states, not four.

Preacher'sWife
08-21-2010, 12:00 AM
I just put the general location for our non-US friends who might need a little clarification.

Thanks, all. Keeping the voice in mind, it might make it easier if I narrow it down a bit more. I'm looking for authors who speak simply, have the settings in small-town USA (or anywhere small-town), themes might focus on love, family, faith, betrayal, etc....without being too edgy or urban, but enough romance/sex and plot to take away the ho-hum drudgery many people stereotypically associate with living in the midwest. Now, do I have you totally cornfuzzled?

Irysangel
08-21-2010, 01:49 AM
Maybe this is me being ignorant (and it could be!) but what's the difference between that and the Small Town Southern stuff that frequently shows up?

Or is it the same sort of creature? I know some of the Southern stuff is all cowboys and boots (cue eyeroll) but a lot of it is not. So I thought I'd ask. :) I do like Lisa Kleypas's contemporaries (but they feature billionaires, so I'm not sure of that's appropriate) and Julia London has set a few contemporary books in Cedar Springs, TX (I think?).

Kristan Higgins writes small town New England and hers are terrific (though lately her latest one has gotten some comments about a 'democratic agenda' because the character refers to Michelle Obama. I didn't think it was offputting but others have disagreed.)

So none of those are midwestern but they're kinda small town? Maybe?

Preacher'sWife
08-21-2010, 02:36 AM
Irysangel--Thanks, I'll look into those! Maybe I should change the name of the thread from midwestern to small town.

ETA: As a reminder--I'm looking for romantic women's fiction authors that don't fit into the genre romance categories. Sort of like Colleen McCullough of the The Thorn Birds fame. She develops another heavy, long relationship between Meggie and Luke that helps develop the relationship between Meggie and Father Ralph.

shadowwalker
08-21-2010, 02:50 AM
Irysangel--Thanks, I'll look into those! Maybe I should change the name of the thread from midwestern to small town.

Well, you're talking different animals, you know. Southern small towns may have similarities to Midwestern ones - but there are vast differences as well. Different industries, different climate, different history, different ethnic groups, different politcs... it all affects how people interact and view the world. Even within the Midwest you run into big differences when you move from one area to another.

Preacher'sWife
08-21-2010, 03:00 AM
Well, you're talking different animals, you know. Southern small towns may have similarities to Midwestern ones - but there are vast differences as well. Different industries, different climate, different history, different ethnic groups, different politcs... it all affects how people interact and view the world. Even within the Midwest you run into big differences when you move from one area to another.


Yes--Thanks. I've lived in several small towns and there have been some great differences, but there is an underlying small-town quality or similarity. Simplicity.

I've been given some names of authors and will research each to see if I can find what I'm looking for. If you have any others that you think might have any similar qualities I'm looking for, I'd appreciate their names.

Thanks again.

JMC2009
08-21-2010, 03:41 AM
Er - to clarify: the midwest isn't really the central US, which is typically the Great Plains, such as Kansas and Nebraska. The midwest is Michigan (where I grew up), Illinois, Indiana - the Ohio Valley.



This was one of my professor's and my favorite debate, though even he would say that you're much too narrow -- I typically do NOT include anything East of the Mississippi as the Midwest.. I would include Missouri and Kansas north to Canada. My professor includes the states that you include plus Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. I would not narrow the hunt for "midwestern" writers to the Ohio Valley because I definately identify myself as midwest!

shadowwalker
08-21-2010, 04:20 AM
I typically do NOT include anything East of the Mississippi as the Midwest..

LOL - around my neck of the woods, those are Easterners as well (although we grudgingly accept Wisconsin). But that's mindset, not geography. ;)

SummerSpring
08-21-2010, 08:07 AM
Billie Letts has several novels set in small town/rural Oklahoma. Her most famous novel is "Where the Heart Is" which was an Oprah Book Club selection and then made into a movie starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd.

Cricket18
08-21-2010, 08:16 AM
I grew up in a suburb of St. Paul, MN. I know what you're talking about, even though it wasn't rural.

Oh, ya!

Dontcha know the Twins are our team?

Also, lots of words that don't have the 'g' on the end.

I'm thinkin' of headin' to the lake.

Too bad my ms isn't published yet. It takes place in rural MN and there's a bit of dialogue like that throughout. I'd give it to you to read. :)

I don't have any books to recommend that utilize this voice, but I'd suggest watching Fargo. It may feel exaggerated to some folks, but I thought the voices / accents expressed in there were right on the money.

Preacher'sWife
08-21-2010, 10:27 AM
Billie Letts has several novels set in small town/rural Oklahoma. Her most famous novel is "Where the Heart Is" which was an Oprah Book Club selection and then made into a movie starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd.

What a coinkidink--I was at school today getting my classroom ready for the little darlings coming next week, and found that book on my bookshelf. I read the first few pages, and thought, This is sort of what I'm looking for.

Preacher'sWife
08-21-2010, 10:34 AM
I grew up in a suburb of St. Paul, MN. I know what you're talking about, even though it wasn't rural.

Oh, ya!

Dontcha know the Twins are our team?

Also, lots of words that don't have the 'g' on the end.

I'm thinkin' of headin' to the lake.

Too bad my ms isn't published yet. It takes place in rural MN and there's a bit of dialogue like that throughout. I'd give it to you to read. :)

I don't have any books to recommend that utilize this voice, but I'd suggest watching Fargo. It may feel exaggerated to some folks, but I thought the voices / accents expressed in there were right on the money.

I was born in Nort Da-Ko-TA and moved to Iowa when I was six. Just had family visiting from the far north last weekend. Fargo does hit the accent right on the head--for you Minnesotans and Nort Da-Ko-TAns.
We don't have that down here in Ioway!