Monday, February 24, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

A Writer's Space: Where the Magic Begins
I was invited by the lovely and talented young author, Chele Cooke, to participate in this fun and unique blog tour. This week I'm answering four questions about my writing process. I've tagged three other authors to answer these questions on their blog next week.

1) What am I working on?
Emily's Heart by Natalie Wright
Having recently launched my third book, Emily's Heart (Book 3 of The Akasha Chronicles). I've been spending a lot of time writing blog posts, answering interviews, and generally flitting around the cybersphere. But I'm also gearing up to start a new teen, science fiction series (working title H.A.L.F.). I'M SO EXCITED about this new series!!! Well, it's not so new. I had the idea back in 2010 and actually finished the first draft in the summer of 2012. But I shelved it for a while so I could finish up The Akasha Chronicles. But even though it was "one the shelf", by brain and subconscious were still hard at work on it. I'm stoked about the new direction the story has taken in my brain. It will be like The X-Files meets the T.V. show Roswell with a pinch of The Good, the Bad and The Ugly. I'm in the worldbuilding and character development stage right now, but will be sitting my butt in the chair in March to bang out a (second) first draft. I hope to release Book 1 of the series in the Spring of 2015. Stay tuned ;-)

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The Akasha Chronicles
My first series, The Akasha Chronicles, isn't quite like anything else out there! There are a couple of reasons. First, my writing tends to cross the borders between genres. Take Emily's House (Book 1). It's full of magick and myth putting it in the fantasy genre (complete with a spiteful pixie, a banshee, and magickal powers), but it also has a science fiction bent (time travel and black holes at the Large Hadron Collider). Second, The Akasha Chronicles is about Emily's spiritual journey. On the surface, it's a fun series with lots of action and adventure, a bit of romance and the third book is a dystopian lovestory. But taken as a whole, it's a chronicle of a spiritual warrior's journey. There aren't many books written for teenagers that are about a young person's spiritual journey! It's just about absent from teen literature. But readers (especially the 1.4 million reads on Wattpad) have proven that teens enjoy books that make them think. That make them question. And that give them hope.

3) Why do I write what I do?
Because I have to write what I write! It's as if I don't have a choice. I have lots of ideas but some grab hold and become like an obsession, begging me to give it voice. Those ideas become notebooks full of notes, folders full of research, drawings of characters and scribbled on maps. The ideas that begin to fill a notebook become a novel.
4) How does my writing process work?
My stories typically start with a plot. I often have a story come to me in beginning, middle, end form. I then work from the plot idea and consider characters, worldbuilding, etc. I do not outline per se, but I do write a synopsis hitting the main plot points. I spend quite a bit of time working on character back story and I try to understand the main characters and their motivations, etc. before I begin to write. I try to write the first draft in a short period of time (short for me means 30-60 days), then I let it simmer for a while. Then I go back to the manuscript and read, revise, re-write and repeat. I do that until I'm sick of looking at it and can't think of any way to improve it. At that point, it's ready for initial beta reader/content editor. Then the revision process starts anew. My books generally take about 9-13 months to complete. Now that I'm no longer practicing law, I might be able to produce books more quickly. We'll see ;-)
Chele Cooke
Author of Dead and Buryd
Thank you again to Chele Cooke for tapping me to participate in this blog tour. Please check out Chele at her website and do read her debut novel, Dead and Buryd.

And next week be sure to check out Heather Sunseri's blog for her post about her writing process. Here is a little bit about Heather.

Heather writes young adult science fiction romance (but don't let the science fiction trip you up—it's mostly romance). Born and raised in a small town in Central Kentucky, which can be quite boring at times, she had no choice but to create stories in her head in which she can be anything from an FBI agent to a mad scientist who clones human beings to an actual cloned human with supernatural mind control abilities. You can find out more about the stories Heather writes and her publishing journey at http://heathersunseri.com or if you want to discuss other fun life experiences, join her on her brand new experimental blog, http://alifedissettled.com