Monday, May 12, 2014

Blog Tour: My Writing Process

Today is Blog Tour Day. This blog tour is where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process. My friend Lana Williams, who writes wonderful historical romances, posted hers last week. You can check out her writing process here: Love Historicals 

I hope you enjoy this peak into my process and I’d love to hear your comments and questions-please add those at the bottom!

1)  What am I working on?
Right now I’m writing the sequel to my women's fiction novel, The Shell Keeper, which was the first in my Keeper trilogy. I’m just past mid-way and still wandering a bit in the wilderness that is the middle of the book. I always find I more or less sprint to the middle, hit a plateau and then wander a bit before I find the way to get to the end. As usual I have another book in the back of my mind that I sometimes play with. This one is unrelated to the Keeper trilogy, and its plot is percolating until I am ready. 

                2)  How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I write in two genres: women’s fiction and mystery (that one is Framed, a Kay Conroy mystery). This current book is women’s fiction and the trilogy is based, in part, on themes from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from The Sea, which explores the phases of a woman’s life. Instead of one main character, I have three best friends whose stories we follow in each book, focusing more heavily on a different character in each book. The Shell Keeper followed Gwen, this current book (still working on the title) follows Claire and the final book will be Del’s story. But don't think they are heavy, serious reads! I love to incorporate humor, happiness and romance in all my books. 

                3)  Why do I write what I do?
I enjoy exploring the highs and lows that women face in all times of their lives. That can be pretty serious stuff, but I like to inject some humor into my stories as well. I suppose it’s a reflection on my own life since I tend to be a 'glass half full' kind of gal and, whenever possible, would rather smile and laugh than cry. In a way, I hope reading my books will help other women see that they aren’t alone—in whatever challenges they face—and help them face them with a smile. Okay, I know, it’s corny, but it is what it is!

                4)  How does your writing process work?
If you know what a Pantser is that’s me! I go in with a general idea of where I’m starting, how it ends and what happens in the middle. Then I let the characters show me the way...within reason. Sometimes they stray (especially in that plateau I mentioned in #1) and I have to wrangle them back. But generally they cooperate; which is not the same thing as behave!

Like many authors, writing isn’t my day job, so I have to work around my work schedule, which changes daily. In general, I try to hit the keyboard after an early lunch and, if I’m lucky, I’m there till mid-afternoon. I might write a page or a chapter. Either way, I think as long as I’m writing it’s like putting one foot in front of the other—I’ll get there.

Since I work from home I have a separate, smaller office set up just for writing. It’s tucked away in a cozy corner and, if I exercise will power and avoid my email, I can focus completely on writing.

I know many writers wax poetic about their chocolate/diet cokes/etc., but since my writing happens after lunch, I don’t usually bring along food. I might have gum or Twizzlers if I’m particularly antsy, but I do have something to drink, like water or iced tea.

Even if I know what I’m going to write next, I always start by rereading what I wrote the day before. It’s the first official edit (my sweet spot—more on that in a second) so it cleans it up a bit and gets my mind back into the story. Along the way I keep notes on each chapter on a separate document with color coding for all of my characters. I trudge and shove my way through my first draft and then I’m a happy camper because I LOVE editing. I’m a little odd that way but I can’t help it. Having something to work with vs. a blank page just makes me giddy, and I think I do my best working adding/hacking/tweaking from beginning to end.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post!!  Curious about other writers? You can check out the writing processes of R.S. Guthrie, Jennie Marts and Michael Roueche next Monday, May 19! Here's a little bit about each one and a link to their blog:


R.S. Guthrie "BlackBeast: A Clan of MacAulay Novel" marked Guthrie's first major release and it heralded the first in a series of Detective Bobby Macaulay (Bobby Mac) books. His ‘Sheriff James Pruett Mystery/Thriller’series includes "Blood Land", “Money Land” and“Honor Land” is due out in 2014.It is set in a fictional town in the same county where he spent much of his childhood and still visits.
To find his blog click HERE

Jennie Marts Jennie loves to make readers laugh as she weaves stories filled with love, friendship and intrigue. She's the author of the Kindle Bestselling romantic comedies, Another Saturday Night and I Ain't Got No Body and Easy LikeSunday Mourning. Reviewers call her books "laugh out loud" funny and full of great characters that are "endearing and relatable."
To find her blog Click HERE 

Michael Rouche writes historical fiction about the civil war era including Beyond the Wood and A River Divides. Whether you are a Civil War buff or not, Michael's books really draw you in -I highly recommend them!
To find his blog click HERE