31 March 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

I was tagged by two wonderful writing friends, SK Keogh and Precy Larkins, to participate in a blog tour where authors answer a few questions about their writing process and what they're working on. SK Keogh writes historical fiction. You should check out her Jack Mallory Chronicles, of which two books are published and a third is on the way. Read more about her writing process here. Precy Larkins is a Young Adult author and you can read all about her writing process here. Now, on to the questions!

1. What am I working on?

Well that's a heck of a question. As a self published author, I'm never just working on the next book. Writing-wise, I'm currently working on a women's fiction manuscript tentatively titled Confessions of a Non-Believer. In this story, Bree is a young woman dealing with the emotional fallout after the sudden death of her fiance. She faces the daunting task of keeping her life and sanity together while facing a crisis of faith--or non-faith, as it were--and acknowledging the growing attraction to her would-be brother-in-law.

Additionally, I have the start of a contemporary romance on paper and fighting for brain space. This one is untitled, but it's in an introverted love story that I was inspired to write because I think the quiet soul is super sexy and underrepresented.

In terms of marketing, I'm working on some new cover concepts for Sorry's Not Enough. The book will be one year old at the end of May and I'll be revealing a fresh new cover and it will be hugely discounted for a short time as well! My short story collection, Consenting Adults will get a new cover to celebrate also. I've already decided on that and will reveal it soon. (Check out my Facebook page to stay updated on when that happens or to give me feedback on the things you love/hate to see on book covers)

2. How does my work from others in its genre?

That's a difficult one to answer. Based on feedback I've gotten from readers and what I see in my own writing, I would have to say the degree of realism. But in a good way. We want to get lost in stories and characters, so sometimes being too true to life can be boring or dull. I think my realism is the opposite. My characters are flawed, sometimes awkward, emotional, sometimes uncertain, sometimes very certain about something only to discover they were wrong. I think they can really touch on elements of the human experience that speak to us all. I've also been told I write great, natural dialogue.

3. Why do I write what I do?

Because I love it. That's the simple answer. The more complicated answer is that emotion and drama make me feel connected and alive, even when they're sad ones if a character is going through something bad. Maybe it's because I am, in my own reality, a fairly even-keeled person who goes with the flow and doesn't express extreme emotions very often. So I like to live it out in fiction. People fascinate me, which is why my stories are character-driven. The vulnerability (and, of course, sexiness) of what happens between two characters in the bedroom, is beautiful and presents a great opportunity to explore more of the emotional things I like in fiction, which is why I never shy away from sex in my stories when it makes sense.

4. How does your writing process work?

I'm a slow drafter. I do all of my first drafts by hand, in notebooks. It involves a lot of staring at the page or off into space as I decide the next word, the next sentence. There's also lots of daydreaming and working through potential scenarios while in the shower and before falling asleep at night. It can take me quite a while to get that first draft written. I'll type up large sections of it when I get stuck or feel uninspired, to put myself back into the story. And as I type, I do some minor edits. So the typed draft is a little more polished than the written one. So far, I've been very lucky that my first drafts are often pretty clean and I don't usually have to spend months ripping it apart and putting it back together again. With the exception of my first novel, but we won't talk about that! Then it's off to some trusted readers for feedback.

I'm supposed to tag others to participate, but if you've read any of my other meme or blog hop type posts, you know I often decline to do so. Mostly to spare myself the awkwardness of asking others and fearing they'll feel obligated because they're my friends even though they don't want to. What can I say? I like to avoid even the potential for conflict or awkwardness. Guess that's why I write it instead. If you feel inclined to share your process, then consider yourself tagged! Tell folks I inspired you to blog about it, and tag some others to participate the week after you do yours. Or don't. Whatever. You're a grown adult. You can decide. :-)