Monday, June 2, 2014

A Very Unusual Mind

I was recently tagged by fellow author, Kathleen Wheeler, in the Writing Process Blog Tour. Kudos to her on her GCLS nomination and being a finalist in the Poetry category. A big thanks to her for checking in with me before she tagged me, as she understands wearing a lot of hats and trying to find extra time for an additional one. Kathleen penned her first novel Changing Shapes, which was well-received, and an anthology of poems entitled The Immaculate Chaos of Being, which is a finalist for a Goldie…in case you missed that earlier. Read about her current WIP, Blindsided, which will hopefully drop sometime in 2014, in her “writing process” blog post. I understand she also dabbles in pottery, music, and has an affinity for fried chicken. Thanks to Kathleen Wheeler for tagging me! Hope you enjoy!

1. What am I working on? My current work in progress has been slow to say the least. Made to Love is a continuation of sorts to Someone Like You. I started writing it before my dad got diagnosed with esophageal cancer and passed away this past January. I had my mind set on a romantic comedy of sorts, the opposite of Someone Like You. After a break from writing that lasted longer than I would have liked, I picked up the story again. I found that writing the story became cathartic for me; a part of my healing process. Hopefully, I can wrap this one up sometime this summer, as it is long overdue.

2. How does my work differ from others in the same genre?
  I think it’s hard to say that what I write is uniquely different from the genre as a whole. I like to think that different story twists add something to my novels that you may not see in another book of this kind. I like to put something of myself in each person, mostly vulnerabilities or personality flaws, which make the characters believable. I share a lot of my embarrassing moments with the world, so you will usually find those dents in the armor of my characters as well. I feel like it makes them more real and more likeable and makes them more believable. I tell stories of people. My books aren’t just the love story about the main characters. I love to tell the stories of everyone in the book. I was told once that I spent too much time on developing side characters, but those are people I enjoy writing as well. To me, the love story without the “fluff” isn’t the same. I also love to capture the details about the areas where the stories take place. I realized, probably as a result of my granddad being a builder and following him around as a kid, that the house in every book is a crucial part of the setting. I am fascinated with architecture and you will see that in my books. Nothing super different, but just enough to bend the mold.

3. Why do I write what I do?
 The voices in my head tell me to! Seriously, I think that we lean toward what we know and what interests us. I write the stories that I love to read. It’s probably cliché to say I write stories about lesbians because I am a lesbian, but it’s the truth. I don’t imagine I would do Gay Fic justice. As far as the ideas, I write them as they come to me. I will do that until there aren’t any more in my head. Then I won’t feel like the Mad Hatter lives in my brain, laughing maniacally and tossing out stories willy-nilly with no regard for time!

4. How does my writing process work?
  See the Mad Hatter comment. It’s very chaotic. I have a general idea of how I want the story to end or highlights that I want to include and I write to that end. I don’t have an outline, because I’m not very good at following rules and I would certainly veer from it anyway. There are times I will actually skip chapters and go back and write them once I’m comfortable with where the book goes from that point. I crave quiet when I write. I don’t do well with distractions, as I actually play every scene in my head as though it is a movie and I’m playing the roles. It helps to get up around 4 AM and write before work. I’m at my freshest before my life and job seep in and occupy the small amount of free space. The other odd thing I do is I have to have my cover done before I start to write the story. I may change font, but the cover is narrowed down to 2 choices, if not the final version long before I write the first words.

So now it’s time to tag the next Blog-a-thon vic…er, I mean ready and willing participant and I chose Penelope Grey
to pick up the torch. She penned her first novel, Infinity’s Song, in 2013. She promised me that the follow-up to that, Caught & Kept, would be out before her most recent jaunt around the world. She owes me $5.  :)  

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