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 I 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.