Last week my friend, M.L. John, (http://mljohn.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/writing-process-blog-tour/) invited me to participate in the world-famous Writing Process Blog Tour and posted it. Now I get to invite three authors to participate the following week, 7/21/2014, and pick which day of the week. Then they get to invite three authors for the following week.
M.L. John asked me to answer a series of questions about my process and to share them with all of you lovely people. I felt this would be a great thing to share, since beginning writers are so often trying to figure out how it works for other writers. The thing I would like you most to take away from this blog is that there is no right way. Whatever helps you put words on a page is a valid process. So, without further ado:
1. What am I working on?
I am working on several novels at the moment. One happens to be the sequel to a book published in 2011. It’s paranormal/urban fantasy. I just finished a book in the genre New Adult that I am excited about and hope to have published in August (I’m in edit mode now). It is a coming of age story, about a warrior who discovers his loyalty to those he protects is misplaced; it is also about betrayal and elements of romance. I also have a filing cabinet full of a science fiction books written over the years that I want, one day, to whip into shape and perhaps find a publisher for. Another finished book is called Darkside. It’s a urban fantasy about a thief who gets more than he bargained for when stealing an amulet from a patron in a marketplace. Hopefully I will find a home for it. I also have a notebook full of ideas amassed for more book projects to tackle, or I might revisit one of four books I started but, for one reason or another, abandoned.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think the most ‘different’ aspect of my work is the way I portray vampires. While a lot of writers put them in large castles with unlimited cash flow and attitudes that would make a statue cringe, my characters have the same issues as mortals. There are homeless, maladjusted, rich, poor, and those who just do not care about anything. One character has a lot of hang-ups which hinders his ability to get into a solid relationship. And, when he does, the love he finds has more issues then he does. My work reflects vampires in situations that are common to regular people, which, in my opinion, are challenging. To me, vampires are never boring and never the same. It’s a challenge trying to keep them unique enough to interest readers in spite of the glut that has happened over the past ten years.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Paranormal stories have endless possibilities if one has the imagination to tackle them. Vampires are my favorite, the bad boys who make women feel like they are the best thing since chocolate. Or evil. Paranormal also encompasses gargoyles, werewolves, angels, and demons. It also takes you to places real and imaginary. I find working with different realms fascinating because you can make up whatever you want and who can question the validity?
4. How does my writing process work?
I write out an outline type synopsis, name the characters, and, sometimes, just dive in and write something. My inspiration comes in spurts, however there are times when I can belt out a chapter within an hour to an hour and a half. And there are times when I struggle, for days, to put a couple sentences together. Sometimes I envision great scenes in my head while driving, or during a long walk but when I get home and sit down to type it out, the brain fogs. It’s frustrating. Overall, I try to complete a chapter, or at least 2,000 words, then move on to the next before rereading the prior one. Time consuming, yes but it works for me. It helps me focus on the words as if they were new instead of rehashing the paragraphs until my minds starts filling in the blank. Taking breaks help and lots of diet Dr. Pepper Cherry.
My greatest downfall is proofing my own work. I don’t recommend it. It is a tendency of mine to write something and the brain sees it as okay. When read days later, the mistakes stick out like a tooth ache. I have to force myself to read slow as I tend to mentally correct errors without realizing it. Writing groups have been life savers and a must for anyone who writes. I belong to two groups and they find mistakes I miss or offer suggestions to help make parts of the story read like silk. And beta readers are like a breath of life with respect to my missing things my writer’s groups found, I thought I corrected and did not. They also tell point out weak areas, places where I ran out of steam and stuffed in lots of filler information. I could not survive the polishing process without them.
The least amount of time I’ve written an entire book was nineteen days (during the NaNo challenge). The most it has taken is four years.
If you are still curious about writing processes, and how they work, please tune in next week to three more writers:
Brian McKinley, author of Ancient Blood: A Novel of the Hegemony and The Ravings of A Sick Mind. Actually, Brian Patrick McKinley doesn’t really exist. He’s a constructed mortal identity used by a relatively young Vampyr in order to publish the truth about The Order. Due to the world-wide influence of The Order and its minions, these accounts must all be published as fiction; however, they are all very real and actually happened. Sometimes the names and sequence of events have been changed to protect the innocent, the guilty, and to keep from getting sued.
Brian is no longer a typical Vampyr and, for this reason, lives in hiding and writes from a secret location. Sure, you can look for him in New Jersey and you might even think you’ve succeeded, but that guy in the author photo is just some actor who lives with his mom in the basement of her house! The real “Brian” lives a life of danger and excitement; he loves Star Trek, Game of Thrones, and Boardwalk Empire as much as he loves Chicken Fried Steak. He’s a reader, a role-player, and a dreamer who doesn’t believe that “liberal” is a dirty word. He’s lived many lifetimes and is eager to share as many of them as possible with his readers.
His website is at http://www.brianpatrickmckinley.wordpress.com
Author, Eileen Sharp, who studied journalism at Brigham Young University before she became a mother of four children. She is a YA writer who is dedicated to writing positive fantasy. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and they may or may not have a cat.
Her website/blog is http://eileensharp.wordpress.com
And, finally, Naima Simone. Her love of romance was first stirred to life by Johanna Lindsey and Linda Howard many years ago. Though her first attempt at writing a romance novel at age 11 never saw the light of day, her love of romance and writing has endured. Now, she spends her time creating stories of unique men and women who experience the dizzying heights of passion and the tender heat of love.
She is wife to Superman—or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent—and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Her blog is http://www.naimasimoneauthor.blogspot.com/