I want to thank Sia Marion for inviting me to the World Blog Tour. Sia posted a blog on how she writes on July 15, and I enjoyed reading about how she crafts her stories. http://sia4215.blogspot.com/2014/07/world-blog-tour.html I hope you visit her blog to learn her techniques, but more, I hope you poke around to read the free, short pieces she’s shared to lead up to her WIP. She’s up to Part 6 for Blaize, one of the lead characters in her novel…& he’s already in trouble:)
A Little About Me
I just finished reading the book Lost Lake, by Sarah Addison Allen. There’s a character in the novel, Eby, who enjoys listening to people, invites them over for a meal or a drink, but still cherishes her alone time. That could be me. I’m a Libra, and I love people, but I need balance. I guard my alone time, too. I love to cook, and over the years, I’ve cooked for lots and lots of people, but lately, I’m learning the pleasures of cooking small instead of large. I write more now, read more books, and enjoy more freedom. It’s been an adjustment, but a happy one.
Four Questions About My Writing
What Am I Working On?
Right now, I’m writing a contemporary romance, IN A PICKLE, but I usually write urban fantasy. Occasionally, I like to stretch my writing muscles, and romance makes me focus more on character development and relationships. I tend to be a plot-driven writer with stories triggered by battles or events, not feelings and misunderstandings, so this is a learning curve for me. Different triggers drive the story.
How Does My Work Differ From Others Of This Genre?
I think every genre comes with certain expectations. When readers pick up a romance, they want chemistry, characters they like, and a happy ever after. When they pick up urban fantasy, they want strong, kickass characters and lots of tension with a good-versus-evil struggle between different supernaturals. The basics are similar, so it’s how the author approaches them that makes each author unique. I have a fondness for myth and legends with a little bit of the Old Testament thrown in. I think that gives my writing a certain slant. Patricia Briggs favors the fae and Southwest, American Indian legends–like Coyote. Ilona Andrews uses old gods and goddesses in her Kate Daniel novels, and Faith Hunter adds a different American Indian myth base for her Jane Yellowrock novels. I like Greek/Roman and Norse myths. And fallen angels…well, they’re Biblical. Oh, and witches. I really enjoy witches. As for romance, I think that’s where my idealism sneaks in.
Why Do I Write What I Write?
I think most of us write what we’re drawn to, what we enjoy reading. I started out writing mystery short stories. I still love short stories–hence, all the novellas I’ve written. And I wrote mysteries because I was an Agatha Christie fan. Mysteries have changed over the years, though, and so have my tastes. Now, I read urban fantasies and “magical” romances–like Alice Hoffman’s earlier novels: Practical Magic and Turtle Moon. My daughters and I buy Sarah Addison Allen’s novels and buddy read them together. So, I guess, the things that excite me when I read, excite me when I write.
How Does My Writing Process Work?
I’ve written quite a few posts about that on my blog, but basically, to start with, an idea grabs me. I try to ignore it, but if it won’t let me go, then I know it’s a keeper. I write it down and ask myself How did this happen? Why did it happen? Who will it affect? How will the protagonist deal with it? And then the beginning of the story starts to take shape. I play with a main character and write the opening hook and then expand it into a first chapter. I never start with back story. That can be added later to add depth to the character. I just throw the poor protagonist into a problem, watch him struggle and try to cope, and then write a few plot points to see what he’ll do next. I decide on a setting. Then I decide who or what motivates my antagonist and why. I add some minor characters, do character wheels for them so that they bump and clash, and then write enough plot points to sustain the story. I almost always have my entire novel plotted out with turning points at the end of each quarter. And it never takes away the surprise, the enthusiasm for writing the scenes, because my characters still surprise me. Always.
I want to thank Sia Marion for inviting to this Blog Tour. It’s always fun to meet new authors and learn how they work. It’s my honor to introduce you to two more, wonderful writers who’ll post on the Tour on July 29. A writer friend of mine–who writes fantasy, contemporary, YA, and Regency–has just started a blog. It feels like I’ve been waiting for YEARS for her to get around to it. http://historyfanforever.wordpress.com/ It’s new, only one post right now, but she’ll write about her process on the 29th, so check in for that, and I happen to like her webpage, too: http://www.mlrigdon.com/. The second writer I invited for next week is Susan Bahr. Susan and I met through our blogs, and I’ve enjoyed her posts for a long time. She recently started a new blog, mostly about writing, and I enjoy her approach. You can find her here: http://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/64320109/.
Happy Writing, All!