. . . the essential nature of your voice never changes. It’s as organically a part of you as your fingerprints or the character of your reflexes. I believe that you’re born with your voice. If you’re young and/or inexperienced it may become distorted for a time as you try to imitate some established writer or conform to fashion (I went through a phase in early adolescence, for example, of imitating Dickens) but even then your own distinctive ‘take’ on the mode will emerge. Last year while cleaning out the attic I found some stuff I’d written when I was fifteen and essentially I have the same writing style now as I had then. Astonishing isn’t it? You can refine your technique, change your subject matter, disguise your own voice with pastiche or parody, but that’s about it. Writing schools teach you to recognise your natural strengths and weaknesses – what you can and can’t do with that voice – and then you go on to learn how to minimise the weaknesses and make the most of the strengths.
Interview Amanda Lohrey (Interview appeared in Famous Reporter 10, November 1994).(from here)