Tour Jacket

Barb asked me to go on tour.  I have never been on tour.  I have been to a Rick Springfield concert and a few years ago I saw Dave Matthews, but our own tour sounded…well, righteous.

I started thinking about the tour bus and my wardrobe.  Barb studied at Julliard, she’s an accomplished composer and she’s also a wonderful writer.  I assumed she would be composing or playing something sensational and I, I would be…taking tickets?

While I was wondering if I could pull off the leather pants, Barb’s email explained that it was a blog tour called “My Writing Process.”

Oh…Oh no…my hands started to sweat, I reached for the peanut butter.  I was pretty sure I’d rather take my chances with the KISS platform boots than talk about a process I wasn’t even sure I knew myself.

But, Barbara Froman, who is serializing her sensational work titled Suburban Gothic: Tender Weeds, went first.  She posted about how and why she writes on her blog and on Red Room, where we were first introduced.  I learned so much about her, and the other writers she highlighted, so I decided to share some of my insanity process .

I’m not super open.  I like to hide under the covers, but I committed to the My Writing Process Blog Tour, so here we go…

What am I working on?
Aside from trying to remember to take my vitamins and put my shoes away so I don’t trip over them, I am currently working on the first draft of Candidate, which after a fair amount of hair pulling will become my third novel.
I recently finished the final edits on my second novel, Premiere: A Love Story.  All things going right with the universe, it will be out in June 2014.
I’m always writing my blog which grounds me in my “real” life.  I like having the blog and writing novels.  Manuscripts are long, they take time.  Blog posts are like a little shot, a boost that keeps me going.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a tough one.  I write about relationships.  I like interaction and the journey people take to one another.  Technically, that’s the romance genre, which I’m proud to be a part of, but pardon me while I get a little Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam on you, genres can be limiting.
Stereotypes are formed based on genre.  I can’t tell you how many people say, “Oh, I don’t read that stuff,” upon hearing my book is a romance.  I encourage everyone that will listen to expand their idea of “romance” because connecting, finding those people we travel with, is central to all our lives.
As with most genres, romance has a million shades of grey, pun intended.  Not all romance is the same and so the question is what makes mine different?
Um…I guess my characters and the world I create for them?  I really don’t know.  My stories are uniquely me and that’s hard to define.  They usually take place in a terrific location and, according to my editor, I spend a great deal of time in the “psychological makeup” of my female characters.
I like to write about women who think, have dreams and yet are still vulnerable to the butterfly mess of falling in love.   I’m not a fan of surface romance or stories that are simply a stringing together of mindless conversation and panties on the floor.  My characters need to be real.  I think I answered that question…moving on.

Why do I write what I do?
This one is easy.  It is all I know how to do, it’s what comes out.  My daughter would love for me to write anything paranormal , but that is never going to happen.  I write about smart women and men that are multifaceted.  I spend a great deal of time with my characters, so even though I don’t always like their choices, I need them to be authentic and ultimately likable.
My characters are usually challenged in some way, but I don’t write about horrible life situations, tragic death or controversial naughtiness.   Everything doesn’t have to be roses and spring, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never write a book about a child dying or a drug deal gone wrong.  There’s so much heartache in the real world and while those topics are important to explore, I’m not that writer.
Oh, and people in my books tend to have money.  I suppose that’s because I like being able to put them on a plane or in a gorgeous gown at a moment’s notice.  There are not a whole lot of budgets, bills or grocery stores in my books.

How does your writing process work?
My process is always evolving, I learn new things about myself and what I’m capable of as a writer every day.  I’m certain I will look back on this post five years from now and laugh at what I thought I knew about myself and my work.  That being said, there are some constants in my process.
I write something every day.  It may be chapters or a blog post, or even ramblings I may never use, but like exercise, I need to write every day.
I prefer writing in my office, which is really a walk-in closet off my laundry room, but if I have to, I can write anywhere.  I have sent texts to myself, I’ve written on scraps of paper and I have come up with some of my favorite dialogue while talking to myself in the car, or in the shower.
I type on my laptop because when I write things by hand, if I get all excited, I can never read my handwriting.
I always build my characters first, even the pissy, grumpy ones.  Sometimes extra people will show up as I go along, but I have my main characters in the room with me before I start the story.
I figure out how the whole thing will end, so I know where I’m going, and then I tend to write scenes (a party scene, an argument).  I string it all together which can lead to trouble because I often get stuck in the corners of my story.  If I’m scrambling, or I need a timeline, I will resort to a rough outline, but that is rare.

Whew…I need a nap.  Now to keep the blog tour rolling, I’d like to share two writers that I enjoy.

Maya Rock, aside from having one of the coolest names on the planet, is my editor.

Maya Rock is a freelance writer and editor based in New York.  She was formerly a junior literary agent at Writers House. Her young adult novel, SCRIPTED, is coming out in Winter 2015 from G.P. Putnam & Sons.  You can read about Maya’s book and check out her blog here.

Alys is a blogger I follow.  I love her book reviews, her musings, and her quirky sense of humor.  You’ll see what I mean in her bio below.

Hello everyone.  I’m Alys and I’m a student.
If that doesn’t sound like an introduction in an AA meeting then I don’t know what does. I’ve been accepted to study English Literature and Creative Writing at university next year, so hopefully that means that I’m doing something right…
My blog is a bit of an eclectic mixture of all the different things that I like; books, films and rambling on about nothing in particular (I call them ‘Musings’ to make them sound more palatable) just to mention a few. But of course it’s mainly about the books. I love them. If I could just live in a library I would.  My favourite Disney princesses are Elsa and Belle.
You can find Alys’s blog here.

Maya and Alys will now continue the My Writing Process Blog Tour by answering the same questions about their process on their blogs.  They will also introduce you to writers they think are super duper.  Please check out their posts on March 10, 2014.

That’s all from the laundry room.  Can We Finish This Story Tomorrow…I’m Tired?

work writers writing

8 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I’ve been wanting to read your books, and I am a reader of romance, and proud of it. Anyway, if you don’t have any grocery stores in your books, I’m ordering them tomorrow!

    • Thanks, April. Not a grocery store in sight, I promise. Premiere will be out in June. Catalina Kiss is a sweet story, but my very first effort. It’s special to me, but Premiere is better and may be worth the wait.

  2. haha! Now I think I may have to go back and change ALL of the post I had planned, yours is so impressive! Oh well, apparently I have a quirky sense of humour in my favour, so at least it’ll be funny.
    It’s quite interesting to read that you write ‘romance’ stuff because I don’t. (I suppose I just live in this world where I think that everyone else is like me) But I know what you mean about only being able to write what comes out. It’s as though the characters are real people with their own stories, and we’re just the ones that get to write them down.
    This was good, and I’m glad that you only have two recommended bloggers at the end, only one of mine has come back to me so far!
    Have a lovely day,

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