Wheeee, it’s my turn on the Writing Process Blog Hop! Last week I got tagged by awesome reviewer Petra Grayson. Her blog is full of reviews, recipes and other fun tidbits and can be found at http://theoryoflietofine.blogspot.com/. Check it out!
What am I working on?
It feels like I’m really busy, but after seeing all the balls the other folks on this blog tour are juggling, I feel bad for complaining.
Just finished edits on the next Ylendrian novel, Peripheral People… the story of a psychic serial killer IN SPAAAAAACE. Once the copy edits are completed, it’s on to the publicity push. I’m really excited about Peripheral. It was definitely one of those blood, sweat and tears projects, so it makes me feel very protective of it. I think West and Corwin’s relationship is one of the best Reesa and I have ever written, and the plot itself is so intricate and deep that I feel incredibly proud of us every time I think about it.
I’m also working on two short stories in my Playa Escondida paranormal series: “Beach Patrol” and “Native Species”. It seems like I’ve been plugging away at them for forever. Here’s hoping there’s an end in sight, if only because I love my town, and I want to keep exploring it. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want to live in a coastal Florida town where a weregator runs the local used car dealership and a mysterious little girl and her lemonade stand herald town disasters?
Reesa and I are also working on a sequel to The Slipstream Con, with a working title of Inside Job. We had too many requests for more Kellen and Vanya and Tal to refuse! And not to give too much away, but Heston might be making another appearance, just to keep our trio on their toes.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Because I’ve written it. Not to sound conceited, but I think that’s true. Every single person has their own writing style. You can try and copy the style of a writer you admire, but your own personality is always going to come through. This is a good thing. I know I’d read a whole lot less if everything I picked up sounded the same.
Along this same line, I believe that every character I write has something of me in them. Even the evil ones, believe it or not. Well, okay, so Heston isn’t really evil… he, uh, just lacks those boring societal morals. But, hey, he and I share a liking of Hawaiian shirts.
Why do I write what I do?
I write what I love to read and I love to read romance. Life is about relationships, and I’m fascinated by that. How do they develop, what wild-n-wonky things happen along the way, how does it all work out in the end? Closely tied with this is the fact that I only read and write happy endings. The way I see it, there’s enough bad shit in the world… all you have to do is turn on the news to realize that. Books (my own and others) are an escape for me, and I want sunshine and ponies and fluffy kittens! Now having said that, I’m a-okay with a heavy dose of angst and misery getting to that HEA, but it’s got to be there.
How does your writing process work?
If I’m writing with Reesa, she’s the awesome idea person. She’s all over the “what-if” side of things. I love the conversations with her that start “Hey, I was thinking…” because it means there’s a great story seed. On my own, a lot of inspiration comes from anthology calls. I’ll see one with a publisher I like and think “Oooh, that sounds like fun” and then I’ll let it percolate through my brain (unfortunately the image I always get is a septic field percolating!) and hopefully come up with an idea.
I’ve learned through hard experience that I’m better off with some kind of, if not an actual outline, at least a roadmap pointing me in the direction I need to go. I had a lot of years of viewing myself as a “pantser”, mainly because outlines made me think of high school English and Roman numerals and indents that seemed totally random. Then Reesa and I hit the last quarter of Peripheral and realized if we were going to finish, we needed to have a plan. We put together a rough outline that kept us on track, and voila! There was something very comforting about reaching a point in a chapter and instead of sitting there staring into space wondering what the hell was supposed to happen next, I could look at the notes/outline, sigh in relief, and keep writing.
Right, so when I’m co-writing, that’s how things fall out. When I’m on my own, there’s a whole lot of knowing where I want to go and not a freaking clue how I’m going to get there. Case in point? “Beach Patrol”. Gotta get rid of a demon and set up a possession. Crap, I have NO idea how I’m going to do that and make it both true to the town and interesting-n-different. Where’s that road map? I don’t even need all the highways filled in. Just give me a compass rose so I know I’m headed in approximately the right direction! I’ll muddle through the rest on my own.
Thank goodness I stick to short stories since I think a novel on my own might kill me. That would be why I’ve got about five winning (50,000 word) NanoWrimos sitting around unfinished and with plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. The thought of having to rewrite huuuuuuge vast expanses of prose so that they’re not only coherent but move in a logical, linear pattern and actually GO SOMEWHERE makes me want to sob. Loudly. And continuously.
Up next week you need to be looking for Connor Wright and Reesa Herberth!
- Connor has written such wonderful stories as First Flight and Tobias’s Own Adventure. Connor is a firm believer in the “what-if” school of writing, which has led to some fun and fantastic stories that magically appear out of the great Northwest. Connor can be found at http://www.connorwrites.com/.
- Reesa Herberth has written such incredibly diverse stories as “Fin de Siècle”, The Balance of Silence, The Slipstream Con, and “The Wishing Box”. Her love of science fiction provides a strong foundation for her writing. Reesa can be found at http://www.michelleandreesawrite.com/.