One of the most important questions you can ask yourself as a writer is why do I write? This may seem like a simple question, but the answer is often complex and almost always multi-faceted. An honest assessment of the driving force behind this all-consuming venture helps to define genre, tone, and most importantly, voice. Voice is the way you "speak" on paper. It is how your words come across to the reader, and it will be different for every writer. Voice depends on the style you choose - formal, informal, technical, chatty, poetic, etc. - and the words you choose to express this style – simple words, scientific terminology, slang, etc. Some writers strive to enlighten, teach, or inspire. Others may want to challenge social norms, shock sensibilities, promote a cause, or prompt action. Many harbor more simplistic goals such as to entertain. Most, though, can probably attribute their desire to write to a combination of factors including my favorite double negative, “I can’t not write.” I find the most compelling impetus behind creating my novels is to entertain by taking readers on an amazing and outrageous adventure which generally results in the characters discovering courage and strength they didn’t know they possessed and a deep and binding love for each other through shared sacrifice. I have to admit, that as a geographer and avid traveler I do hope to peek people’s curiosity about our world and maybe even occasionally incite a reader to pull out a world map or their favorite Search Engine. And I must confess I’m one of those who, can’t not write. I’ve tried a time or two, but before long an idea forms and I’m back at the computer entrenched in a make-believe world in an exciting or faraway land.