Writer’s Process Blog Tour

Hello all! This week I am changing things up a bit on my blog. I am participating in the Writer’s Process Blog Tour. So what is it, exactly? Each Monday, authors from all over the globe answer four questions about their writing process and then ‘tag’ another author to answer these same questions the following week. So far, the blogs I have been reading are fascinating! Every writer does things a little bit (or a whole lot) differently than the last.

I have been ‘tagged’ by the extremely talented author by the name(s) of Amy DeLuca/Amy Patrick. No, she does not have a split personality. She writes YA (Young Adult) under the name of Amy DeLuca and NA (New Adult) under the name of Amy Patrick. She is a 2013 and 2014 Golden Heart® finalist, which is how I met Amy last year. In August, she will be releasing CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, her first novel in a new NA series. I have been lucky enough to have a sneak peek of this book and it is a winner! Visit Amy at her NA website here, or her YA website here. Or on Twitter.

Okay…on to the questions!

What am I currently working on?

I am currently working on A LOT. I am completing final proofreading on my 2013 Golden Heart® winning novel, Mind Sweeper that will be released in the fall. Yay! (Sorry for the shameless plug, but I am so proud of this book!). It is the first book in my Mind Sweeper series. I am also completing first edits on my novella which is book two in the series as well as my second full length novel, Shifter Wars, which will continue Kyle, my heroine’s, story. And with all of this comes the decisions inherent with self-pubbing. I am juggling a lot. Some days I juggle tennis balls and other days I juggle chainsaws (don’t try this at home), but as long as I keep things in the air and don’t shed too much blood, I’m calling it a ‘win.’

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

You know, this one is a toughie. There are so many phenomenal paranormal romance and urban fantasy writers out there that I am in awe of and who are each unique in their own way. But if I really think about my writing, I would say it has a great combination of the fantastical and the funny. I look at my writing as delving into ‘normal’ situations and putting a paranormal (and therefore oftentimes humorous) twist on it. And I love independent heroines who think that they are in charge of their lives and their emotions, but in reality have a lot to learn, including how to trust.

And that is the cool thing about writing. You can have universal themes that work across the genres. Women with trust issues can be wearing hoop skirts in a historical, a gun and badge in a suspense or be sporting fangs in a paranormal. But the ability to let someone close to you and love them is relatable to everyone.

Why do I write what I write?

I have been addicted to books my entire life, so it isn’t too hard of a leap that I have also been writing for a long time. But in the last 5 years, I really started to take my writing seriously and that is when I wrote my first paranormal. I absolutely loved, loved, loved, the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all of the paranormal shows that have evolved since then. There is something wonderful about creating a world of ‘other beings’ that have powers that we can only begin to imagine, but struggle with the same issues we as everyday humans face (love/hate, trust/betrayal, good/evil). And world-building that is involved with writing paranormal is my idea of heaven.

As for why I write romance, I guess you could say it is because relationships are the basis of everything in life and make stories and characters more interesting. I grew up reading mysteries and I love them, because I love solving puzzles, but wow does it take a long time for a relationship to blossom in one. Dead bodies are cropping up left and right, but it isn’t until book five when the plucky independent heroine and the sarcastic cop finally, finally, finally kiss! So my books have paranormal characters usually solving some kind of mystery and falling in love at the same time. I guess you could say I write romanstery or mysterance!

How does my individual writing process work?

Now on to the final and hardest question. I have been reading all of my fellow writer’s blogs on this and I am amazed at the intricate process many of them follow. But we are talking about me now and I can tell you emphatically that I am NOT a plotter. I actually have a tendency to jump around when I write. Which if you know me personally is VERY ironic since I am extremely meticulous in my day job. Spreadsheets and project plans are my friends during daylight hours. But when I put on my writer’s cap and sit down to create, I do not write an outline or synopsis. I start with the kernel of an idea. It could be about a character, it could be about a situation. And if that kernel rattles around enough and bursts open, I have to write it down. I equate it to a movie trailer. The idea flashes in my brain for a few seconds and it makes me want to see and write more.

I will tell you that I do write fairly complex plots (mystery lover, remember?) and a large cast of characters. Those two things are my main focus. Does my plot make sense? Did I leave something flapping open in the breeze that readers are going to say, ’what about this?’ I make sure that my plot works and carries through the entire manuscript. And I love creating those, ‘oh crap’ moments that make the reader wonder how they will ever get out of trouble.

Then on to characters. Because when it comes down to it, that is what readers love and come back to again and again. So after my first draft when I am editing I make sure that I have really given my characters the back story to explain their motivation. Why does my heroine not trust? Why does my hero feel the need to save everyone? And this part is so hard because as writers our characters are three-dimensional in our heads, but that doesn’t mean that they are coming across that way on the page. That is probably where I spend most of my time in edits.

So there you have it. Now on to the fun part! I get to tag someone for next week’s blog. And Miranda LiassonI am lucky enough to tag my writer-friend and chapter mate, Miranda Liasson. Miranda was the 2013 Golden Heart winner for her series contemporary manuscript, Baby on Board, Help! And I am so excited to announce that she recently signed a multi-book deal with Entangled Indulgence for a contemporary series she is working on. I have read snippets of Miranda’s work and she is uber-talented. Check her out here. Or on Twitter.

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28 thoughts on “Writer’s Process Blog Tour

  1. Are you sure Amy doesn’t have a split personality??? She has two different twitter avatars!!! This is a great post, AE and I am so glad to know you are on team panster with me. There’s a new craft book out (are you a craft book junkie like me?) called Story not Structure. We pansters are coming into our own and I look forward to reading your book. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Hello Piper!
      You will have to ask Amy DeLuca/Patrick about the personality thing! And yes, we pantsers have to stick together. And I can’t wait to read your Milford College series!
      AE

  2. Hi AE,

    I can attest to the fact that your stories are funny as you-know-what but also tug deep at the heartstrings.

    I was lucky enough to meet your heroine, Kyle, a kick-butt woman who will make you laugh out loud (many, many times!) but also touch you to the core.

    You just said something that I loved:

    Women with trust issues can be wearing hoop skirts in a historical, a gun and badge in a suspense or be sporting fangs in a paranormal. But the ability to let someone close to you and love them is relatable to everyone.

    This truly is why I love romance!

    I can’t wait to see Kyle again when she debuts this fall. I am so lucky to have you as a chapter mate and friend and share this crazy roller coaster ride of transforming from writer to author with you. Thanks for the tag!

    Miranda

    1. Miranda! Thanks for stopping by. I can’t wait to read about your process next week! You are a great friend and we have been traveling this bumpy road together toward our publication path, haven’t we? Can’t wait to get my hands on your books when they release with Entangled!
      AE

  3. Hey AE!!
    Repeat after me – Spreadsheets and projects plans are my friend! – Oh wait — you said that! So funny that you are a pantser. Maybe the pantsers will achieve World Domination! It sure seems like most of us started this way.
    Cannot wait to read your books! Hurry and get them out!!

    1. Yes Nan, they are my friends, just not when I am writing. I also write scenes out of sequence too…does that give you the hives? Yeah, it is weird that I am a pantser. Maybe it’s my way of rebelling against my day job! Thanks for dropping by and I plan on getting my series rolling this fall. I let you, and the world, know!
      AE

  4. I’ve loved reading your journey toward self-publishing, and that image of juggling chainsaws, yow! (and sometimes yes)

    I have to admit, when I hear writers who tackle plot-heavy books say they’re pantsers, I’m amazed and impressed. The books I’ve written that lean in that direction are so character driven, all I need to do is follow the emotion and it carries me through the book. And even then, I scribble down major plot turns beforehand. I can’t help myself.

    Can’t wait to read Mind Sweeper! It sounds like such fun.

    1. T –
      Yes, I am crazy for writing complex plots and a large amount of characters without an outline. I may regret it later, but for now…I am having a blast. Mind Sweeper is fun and poignant too, which I hope everyone can relate to.
      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, especially since you must be crazy busy today with you newest book relase! How awesome. CALL ME SAFFRON sounds very intriguing and I will be downloading it ASAP!
      AE

  5. Romanstery! Perfect! Just the sort of thing I love to read. I’ll definitely be watching for Minesweeper.

    I’ve found Scrivener covers all the bases I used to use several programs for, but I’m still a linear writer. That’s probably why I’m not very good at writing a synopsis ahead of the manuscript–I don’t know the high points until I get there!

  6. It is funny though because I do the whole spreadsheet and planning in my day job too, but with writing, I’m a panster. It must be that creativity needs to flow differently 🙂

  7. Haha! You are so fantastically funny, AE! It’s no wonder you embrace the genre. 😉

    You know, it actually doesn’t surprise me that you’re meticulously methodical in your day job and yet a pantser by night. I’m kinda the same way. I think our writing gives us the medium to be…liberated! To color outside the lines! *scribbles everywhere*

    And i’m “fantastically” excited for Mind Sweepers release! Which reminds me, I need to start on that paperclip necklace. 😉

    1. Darcy –
      Hello my dear! Yes, I want my necklace, I haven’t forgotten…
      I agree, writing is liberating, isn’t it? I love creating a world that soars above the mundane. And I love to color 😉
      Thanks for stopping by!
      AE

  8. AE! Thank you for sharing your process with us. I can not wait until your Mind Sweeper series debuts. Best of luck and wishes for bushels of success. I’ve been following your self-publishing blogs, and I’m sure it’s on the way for you.

    1. Jackie –
      Hello! Thanks for the visit. I am so excited as well for Mind Sweeper to debut. Thank you for the wishes. I could definitely use ‘bushels of success’ and I send those right back at you as well. Can’t wait for your books too!.
      AE

  9. A.E. – I love stories with humor! I’m really looking forward to Mind Sweeper. New York doesn’t seem to like funny paranormals, but quite a few indie authors are making a lot of money with them.

    Gail

    1. Gail –
      Loved your process blog post today as well! I hope your words ring true. I want to find a reader base and being indie may be the best avenue for me. Thanks for visiting. AE

  10. AE, I too am a huge Buffy fan and I write ridiculously complex plots–we must be sisters in another life!
    I loved learning about your paranormals and I can’t wait to get your new release in the fall. I’t sounds amazing. 🙂

    1. Sharon –
      Yay Buffy-sister! We must talk more at Nationals 😉
      Thanks for the encouragement. Mind Sweeper is written with love and I hope that people really enjoy the series. Good luck at Nationals with your 2014 GH Manuscript!
      AE

  11. It’s interesting that you are a daytime spreadsheet kind of person, AE, but don’t use them for your writing. I wrote my first book (now hidden under the bed) not having any idea what a panster or plotter was. I’ve since leaned the definitions and I’m a panster through and through, so I get your writing process.

    So looking forward to reading Mind Sweeper. See you in San Antonio!

    1. Sandra –
      I was just thinking about you! Can’t wait to see you again in San Antonio and for your new series to come out with Montlake. I love your stuff! Pantsers through and through!
      AE

  12. Love your descriptions of “romanstery” and “mysterance,” AE! So looking forward to reading Mind Sweeper!

  13. Great post, AE! I agree that paranormal world-building is a lot of fun–it’s the keeping all the details straight that’s hard. Can’t wait to read your book!
    Lark

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