Thanks to author Julie Morgan for suckering me–I mean, inviting me to do this blog hop! You can find Julie over at her website, http://juliemorganbooks.com. And MORE thanks to Peter Andrews for being the second to tag me! He’s over at the How to Write Fast blog!
I actually think I’ve agreed to do this twice by accident (ETA–make that 3 times). That’s what happens when people ask me to do things when I am so busy and drained I can’t muster up the energy to say no!
So, the questions and answers…here we go!
1) What am I working on?
What am I working on…Right now I am in the middle of writing a YA (I think) epic fantasy novel, which will hopefully be the first in a trilogy. I can’t really talk very much about the plot line, etc., because I’m the kind of writer where, if I talk about it too much, it’s like I’ve let it go out into the universe and I have nothing left to write on the page. My main character is a young woman who needs to learn how to stop trying to please others and live life for herself. There’s a quest, and fun creatures, and a world that is falling into madness and mayhem.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I suppose I would say my work is different because of the mixture of dark themes and humor within it. There’s some bad stuff going on in my world. I explore the edges of madness and cruelty and beyond. There is a lot of loss. But these things never exist in a vacuum. If there is no humor in the world, no joy or fun, then why bother to save it?
3) Why do I write what I do?
Well, I’m writing what I enjoy reading–but haven’t found enough of to sate my hunger for it. I like to have a good laugh while I cry. It’s just how I am. I’m the one who can’t understand why it’s “in bad taste” to crack jokes at a funeral, especially when the dearly departed would have laughed, too. I write what I do to show that even in what seems like the darkest hour, there is lightness and hope somewhere.
4) How does my writing process work?
Oh…boy. I am the WRONG person to ask about this. Writing process? Whatever works. I can’t screw around. I just don’t have the time. So when I sit down to write, whatever makes the words come out is my process for that day. But GENERALLY, what seems to work for me is this:
I sit down with a smidgen of an idea. A scene with a character already in it, that I don’t even know. I just sit and write to see what happens. I write until I become stuck. Then I figure out why I’m stuck. Usually it’s because I don’t know my characters well enough. So I figure that out, along with the world details that allowed this character to be who she or he is. I ask myself what she wants, why, and what is stopping her from getting it. I usually “waste” about 10k words just exploring things, holding my story loosely, trying to find the right voice, etc. I actually don’t consider them wasted, however. That’s what I do instead of formal outlining. It takes about the same amount of time, but unlike formal outlining, this works for me. Once I get things figured out, I just WRITE. When I’m stuck, I move ahead to a different part of the story, one I’m excited about and know about, and write that. Then I go back and connect the dots. In this way, I rarely get writers block (unless I agonize wayyy too much–and once i realize that’s what I’m doing, I usually just stop worrying and continue on).
I generally set a deadline for myself with every project. This helps me stay disciplined. And while I try to write every day, it’s not always possible, so I don’t beat myself up too much over it.
All righty then, time for me to announce who is next on this tour. These ladies need to tag two or three others to take part (with exception of Betsy…)!
First we have the fierce and lovely Mercedes M. Yardley will be posting to her blog www.abrokenlaptop.com. Mercedes wears stilettos, red lipstick, and poisonous flowers in her hair. She likes to do a little bit of everything, and writes dark fantasy, horror, nonfiction, and poetry. Mercedes minored in Creative Writing and worked for four years as a contributing editor for Shock Totem Magazine. She is the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love and her debut novel Nameless. She often speaks at conferences and teaches workshops on several subjects, including personal branding and how to write a novel in stolen moments. Mercedes lives and works in Sin City, and you can reach her at http://www.mercedesyardley.com.
Regina Kyle knew she was destined to be an author when she won a writing contest at age ten with a touching tale about a squirrel and a nut pie. By day, she writes dry legal briefs, representing the state in criminal appeals. At night, she writes steamy romance with heart and humor. A lover of all things theatrical, Regina lives on the Connecticut coast with her husband, teenaged daughter and two melodramatic cats. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely singing, reading, cooking or watching bad reality television. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and treasurer of her local RWA chapter. Her website/blog is at www.reginakyle.com
JL Murray blogs at http://www.jlmurraywriter.com/blog. J.L. Murray grew up in Northwestern Montana in a rural logging and mill town. Like most writers, she started writing at a very young age. She overcame great odds before returning to school and focusing on her craft. J.L. lives in Hawaii where she now writes full-time, with help from her husband, the writer and editor John Q. Murray, and two sons. She writes the Niki Slobodian series, the After the Fire series, and The Thirteen series (Jenny Undead). She can be reached through her website at http://www.jlmurraywriter.com.
Nikki Woolfolk blogs at thedrunkenmousse.wordpress.com. She grew up with her southern father’s good cooking and tall-tales and her mother’s science fiction loving influence early Silicon Valley. In 2013, a friend challenged her to mix her two loves, science and writing, to create a romance novella. Considering herself more nerd than a romantic, Nikki wrote her version of a romance in which she gets to “have a parkour chase scene, blow sh*t up, and make sure the good guy and gal get the girl” with food on the side when the adventures work up an appetite.
Megan Ryder is an instructional designer by day, writing and designing training programs for a national insurance company. By night, she pens sexy contemporary romances all about family and hot lovin’. Ever since she discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the library one day after school (she was barely 12 and her mother had said no romance!), she has been voraciously devouring all types of romance. She penned her first romance in college then life took over and she didn’t get back to it until the late 1990’s when she discovered RWA thanks to Julia Quinn. She writes all sorts of romances including contemporary, suspense, urban fantasy and paranormal. She has even penned two cozy mysteries! She is still looking for her niche in the publishing world but feels very close now. If only her cocker spaniel mix, Josie, would let her focus on her writing instead of playing ball all day.
She is also a master procrastinator, with knitting as the main procrastination tool. She blogs at www.meganryder.com.
And hey, author Betsy Dornbusch also tagged me to do this, but I missed it! Here is the link to her blog post about her writing process. http://www.betsydornbusch.com/2014/05/blog-hop-writing-process.html Betsy Dornbusch writes urban and epic fantasy, science fiction, and dabbles in thrillers and erotica. Her short fiction has appeared in print and online venues such as Sinister Tales, Big Pulp, Story Portal, and Spinetingler, and her work is in the anthologies Tasty Little Tales and Deadly by the Dozen. She’s been an editor with the ezine Electric Spec for six years and regularly speaks at fan conventions and writers’ conferences. Her first full length novel, ARCHIVE OF FIRE came out in 2012 to great reviews and the first of her her epic fantasy series, EXILE, came out in February 2013. She’s the sole proprietor of Sex Scenes at Starbucks (http://betsydornbusch.com) where you can believe most of what she writes. In her free time, she snowboards, air jams at punk rock concerts, and just started following Rockies baseball, of all things.