Much is made on writing courses about developing your voice, your unique pattern of using dialogue, syntax, punctuation and vocabulary that is distinctively you. The problem is, we don't always hear our own voice, as distinct from our favourite writers, we just know we don't match up to them. We are influenced by them, but mostly unconsciously. I know if I read something like Emma Darwin's The Mathematics of Love (a five star read, by the way), I unconsciously pick up a little of her style and pace. It's like spending the weekend in Ireland, you come back with a trace of an accent. Then it fades and a new writer influences your voice. I can almost pick out what I was reading while I'm bombing through a first draft, where I listen to myself the least.
Then the characters have voices, too. My historical narrators speak to me the loudest, especially as two of them are first person narrators. Kelley's voice, in Borrowed Time, is so loud in my head I write him twice as fast as anyone else. I feel like I've found out about him as the chapters went on, a picture forming in my head that doesn't feel like all mine. Vincent's love for Viola, his brother's child, is so much that of a doting father it shines through his grumpiness. Somehow I have a grumpy old man lost in my head, who can be snappy. The one character who is quiet, is my main character Jack, who would probably not speak much anyway if she was real. She occasionally wanders into the study to stroke the cat, look at the books, and sit in the window looking over the garden.