Thanks go out to Victoria Clapton for inviting me to hopalong on the blog tour. You can find her musings at the charmingly named, http://www.southerndisappointments.blogspot.com . Ms. Clapton wrote and published two of my favorite thrillers: Dark Light and Luminous Shadows.
So here are my answers to the following questions:
1) What are you working on?
I'm working on book 2 in my Rise of the Battle Bred trilogy. I got this crazy idea for a paranormal story in 2013 and wrote 97 in about a year. This year is dedicated to writing '98'. Obviously the third book is '99'. More and more I'm thinking my book titles sound like the price rollbacks at Wal-Mart.
2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?
While my paranormal series has the typical hallmarks that make YA Paranormal a genre that women come back to again and again, mine is different for a couple reasons. First, I am a huge fan of Regency romance novels, so my writing style tends to slip into that cadence. While I make every effort to have a consistent contemporary feel in my series, I also make no apologies for the occasional nod to Regency that I allow to spill onto my writing. I like to think it makes my paranormal series classy. Second, my characters are really into each other, but they're not overtly sexual. I like being able to recommend my books to anyone, including the friends of my kids, without worrying about offending innocent minds.
3) Why do you write what you do?
Yeah, so if someone had told me five years ago that my debut novel would be a YA Paranormal I would have scoffed at them. I've been 'working on' several Regency novels for over ten years, finished a couple, submitted a couple to publishing houses, and also been busy having several kids. Historical sweet Regency novels were my first love and the books I go back to read when I want to have a 'feel good' reading experience. During a long pregnancy I decided to give YA Paranormal a try, and...uh yeah, I got hooked. So many fun fantasies! Werewolves, vampires, ghosts, demons etc.! Anything goes!
The problem arose when I stumbled upon a couple that weren't very well written. And then I stumbled upon a handful that were astounding. And they were self-published. Suddenly I saw before me the possibility that I could write something and get it out in the public eye without jumping through publishing house hoops. I sat on that epiphany for a while, minding my own business and having that baby.
But it didn't take long for the seed to germinate and once I got my amazing idea for a paranormal romance, I just knew I had to run with it. I had read several great series that followed a specific formula: Three books, offer the first one for free, hook your readers, then sell books two and three. That's what I had always intended to do, and that is my plan once books two and three are completed. If I were to change anything though, I would leave 97 with more of a resolution as the ending. I've had several reviewers and readers complain that the ending was too abrupt, and sadly, I do agree with them.
4) How does your writing process work?
Insert evil laugh. Uh.
Well, first I have to wake up in the morning, and then I have to feed my children, and change diapers, and make sure they're wearing clean clothes, and then I have to scrub toilets and sweep the kitchen floor, and fold and put away laundry, and wash the dirty sheets and brush my teeth or maybe even shower, and then check the email and pay bills, and answer the phone and update my Facebook feed, and referee sibling arguments and police internet usage, then I have to feed the children again and help them get a show to watch, and navigate guilt for not playing on the floor with them so I might indulge in reading some books to them or making a Rainbow loom bracelet. Of course by this time someone has probably spilled milk on the kitchen floor, overflowed a toilet and lost a library book. Wait...what was the question?
Oh right. Well, it's been kind of difficult this year. See in 2013 when I wrote '97' my baby was an immobile infant. He's a completely different animal now...a toddler and into everything. I would like to have 98 finished by December 15, but I'm only about 1/4 of the way done.
But maybe that's not the question. Writing Process.
Believe it or not, I just sit down and start writing. I do have a notepad and even more important, GOOGLE KEEP, the best app ever for my smartphone, where I keep notes about where my story is headed, conversations they have, details I want to include etc. I have a general idea of where I think the story is going and when I finally get to sit down and write, I just hitch a ride with my characters.
Once I have the bare bones down, then I go back and flesh it out. Once I've fleshed it out, I go back again and edit. And once I've done an edit, then I'll ask a select couple people to read what I have. Those fresh eyes are incredibly helpful in catching things I've missed.
Probably the best thing I do for myself is force myself to vomit out the story. I have to constantly tell myself to just get the dang story out of my head and onto the paper. I can fix it later. I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, and it can be paralyzing to allow that to dictate what I write the first time around.
Thank you for reading about My Writing Process!
I have nominated three other authors to share their process as well. I'm looking forward to reading posts from Colleen Blackstone, John Murray McKay and a third author yet to be named. Their journey starts on July 17th.