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Finding Your Voice: Writing in First Person or Third Person Point of View by Karen-Ann Stewart

Being a new author has many daunting moments, all memorable and full of valuable lessons of what not to do (or to do) with your next book.  One of my most overwhelming decisions was deciding whether or not to use third person point of view (POV) or first person POV.  With my debut novel, Saving Rain, I began writing in first person, in Raina’s voice, but then decided that I wanted Kas’ emotions felt and known by the readers as well.  I struggled with the decision of how to present the story of abuse, human trafficking, and beautiful, redeeming love in the most powerful manner.  In the end, I decided to begin Saving Rain in the poignant first person voice of five-year-old Raina, then switch to third person for the remainder of the trilogy in order for the reader to “see” each character’s thoughts and emotions throughout the story.  

With the issues behind The Rain Trilogy, I really wanted readers to connect with the story and see each character’s battle with the depravity of tracking down leaders in human trafficking rings and witnessing the aftermath and effects of the abuse survivors were subjected to.  Both main characters, Kas and Raina, had major obstacles to overcome in their developing relationship, and writing in third person allowed me to convey Raina’s journey to overcome her horrific past while also showing Kas’ struggle to help Raina heal and move forward without controlling her actions.  There are many supporting characters in the trilogy, so third person worked best.

When I began writing my newest released novel, Ash to Steele, I faced the same challenge of trying to figure out how to best present the story of Breck and Emma to the readers.  I knew that I wanted to write this story in first person POV, but I bounced worse than a ball on a Foosball table on whether or not to write the story in Emma’s POV, Breck’s POV, or both.  I drove myself insane and changed the POV several times before finally deciding on doing alternating POVs, beginning Ash to Steele in Emma’s voice and alternating throughout the story before ending with Breck’s voice.  I’m thrilled with how the story came to life in Ash to Steele by focusing on one character’s thoughts at a time, showing the very different views and beliefs of the main characters and what happens in this story of bad boy meets good girl and rocks her world before she rips his right out from underneath him in their own words.  

While writing Ash to Steele, I fell in love with first person POV and how connected I became to Breck and Emma.  I will always hold a special place in my heart for Kas and Raina in The Rain Trilogy for many reasons, mostly due to their being my first and with how Kas is my version of the perfect man, hot, sexy, protective to the point of bossy at times, and downright fierce in how he will go through hell and back to protect his girl.  I wholeheartedly stand behind writing the trilogy in third person, but I don’t see myself writing another story in third person anytime in the near future, quite possibly ever. I learned a valuable lesson with Ash to Steele and how Breck and Emma came to life through connecting so closely to their convictions, flaws, raw emotions, and seeing them through their eyes as they told their story in their own voices.  There’s just something powerful about internalizing a story read in the character’s perspective.  

I had the most entertaining, wicked time writing Ash to Steele in two very different voices and now I’m hooked to alternating between the hero (hmmm….not sure hero best describes Breck, at least not at first) and the heroine.  It was a blast getting to step into the mind of Breck, Casanova to every woman and a god to every man, and telling his story of how Emma drives him insane wanting to love and hate her while she becomes his sweetest hell.  Breck’s pure masculinity and cockiness were my favorite part of writing his story and I adored counteracting that with Emma’s quiet strength and innocence and letting her character to breathe life in how she told her torment of trying to hold onto to who she is while losing herself to Breck more each day. 

Karen-Anne Stewart is a new author and has only recently discovered that she is now addicted to writing. Her first novel, Saving Rain, was originally going to be a single novel, but it quickly turned into a trilogy. She fell in love with the characters and had to continue the story. Saving Rain is a new adult contemporary romance meant for readers 18 and older. 
She lives in the mountains with her family. She loves to read, hike, and travel when she is not writing. She is a sucker for romance, especially a book with a strong alpha male who has a sensitive side. She also enjoys a good mystery and thrillers. 
Her favorite author is James Patterson; he is an amazing writer. 
With being a newbie, she is just learning all the ropes, but is loving the wild ride. She plans to write for as long as her fingers have dexterity. 

Book Information

Who I am and all I believe is marred with just one glance into angry, steel blue eyes. He seems 
to control my air, my ability to breathe. He makes me crave everything I know is a sin. Pure 
becomes tainted and lines are blurred. It's my fault; I'm the one who isn't strong enough. I've 
been damaged...broken. Breck's words haunt me...'There's a consequence for every choice you 
I've had so many women I can't even remember over half of their names, but none of them are 
mine; I make damn sure of that. I take what I desire and never look back. I don't need or want 
anyone, ever...not until I met Emma. Those eyes bore into what's left of my soul and her touch 
sears me, weakens me. I want to hate her for that. She is my sweetest hell. 

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