A lot of blogs are doing this right now... and I'm one of them!
I was nominated to do this by the fabulous Kristy Feltenberger Gillespsie, author of the YA thriller Jaded (which I rate a big fat 5 STARS).
My Writing Process:
What am I working on right now?
At the moment I am doing Camp Nanowrimo's April season to get 50,000 words down this month. This wordcount will complete the two novellas which are set for release between last December's The Book Of Shade and this October's The Potioneer, to keep fans going with some more adventures from the most interesting characters in TBoS. After that I have a strict deadline for the third book in the Synsk series with Clean Teen Publishing.
I also usually work on projects on the side and this month is no exception, right now I have a historical horror that is 50% written (think Pride and Prejudice meets Jekyll and Hyde), a non-fiction book about my long-term illness and a top-secret collaborate project with the fabulous Amy Freeman.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I read a lot of reviews about my work that say 'At first, I really didn't think I was going to get into this book'. Now some writers might react to that in a negative way, but to me I feel that I'm doing something right if a reader reacts this way, because it means they're reading something that they weren't expecting. I abhor typical genre fiction and predictable storylines: a book where I can guess every nuance of the plot even from reading the first page is not for me, so I like to give a real mixture of genre influences that subvert normality and help readers to experience something new.
Why do I write what I write?
... because the sky is blue?
I really couldn't tell you why I have specifically chosen the areas and storylines that I have explored in the past; they are simply an amalgamation of influences that collect in my mind and form themselves into tangible things that I can work with. What I can tell you, however, is that once a project has begun and those ideas have taken root, I always endeavour to incorporate as much diversity into my books as I can. I stopped reading commercial, mass-market fiction because all the heroes were fit, healthy, good-looking white people. I started reading independent fiction because people were offering me other options, so now I want to carry on that tradition and represent culture, race, disability, sexuality, gender and all other forms of variation that I can in my work. Life's just more interesting that way!
How does my writing process work?
I always just let the words out onto the page at first. The first few chapters (usually up to about 10,000 words) of any project that I begin will always be 100% organic and relatively unplanned apart from a few ideas I've been rolling around in my brain. Generally there is never a written plan until I reach about the 2/3 stage of the story, at which point I'll skeleton out the build-up to the end, the end itself and the aftermath to ensure I'm going to do it within the right amount of words. I'm very big on numbers and targets, I like to calculate words per chapter and estimate from that how long a book is going to be so I know roughly what I'm aiming for. I do it so well that I'm almost always within 2000 words of what I estimated my total book length would be. I think it's helpful to do that; it stops you waffling on for too long or skipping to the good bits without enough development.
Tag, you're it!
Meet the next two writers who are going to take this personal discovery challenge on:
Amy Freeman grew up in Salt Lake City in a family of five siblings, one of which is an identical twin. She spent most of her time as a child daydreaming and creating stories. She wrote a stellar screen play at ten, her first full length book at age thirteen, and her second and third at age nineteen. She has been published in Meridian magazine, Moab Adventures magazine and has just released her debut novel SHINE the Knowing Ones: the award-winning first edition in the SHINE series. The second book in the series will be released in 2014. She is active in several writing and critique groups and maintains an online page for writers, as well as her own website http://vedunywriter.com and writing blog http://vedunywriter.blogspot.com
Toni Lesatz is a wife, mother, gamer, aspiring writer, and lover of the culinary arts. I have been blogging for over ten years about a variety of topics. If I’m not curled up with a good book and a steaming hot cup of coffee, you’ll most likely find me playing with my kids, writing, baking cupcakes, or killing zombies.
She is known and loved for her stellar book blog: http://mybookaddiction.com/
You can catch their posts at their blogs on April 14th!
One year ago today, I sent the manuscript of The Atomic Circus out into the great wide world of Kindle Publishing and made my debut as an author. In the 365 days that followed this act I have experienced more inspiring moments and met more interesting people than I ever have in any other year of my life. People say that the years go by more quickly once you’re past the age of twenty-one, but for me I feel that my life as a writer has slowed down the hectic hurtle that my academic and working life had been in previous years.
I did a few calculations, because that’s what I do when my brain has too much juice in it. In this last year I have written four novellas, four novels (two have yet to be published) and six short stories. That totals in at just shy of half a million words. Half a million words have fallen out of my brain and made it into the hands of readers the world over and, for the most part, they have been enjoyed. For the first time ever since trying on and off for years, I completed NaNoWriMo. I even completed it in just 15 days and then sat back and supported my other writing buddies instead. Looking back on this incredible year and all the ideas, characters and settings that my crazy mind has dreamt up, I finally feel authorised to say “I’m a writer” when people ask: “So, what do you do?”
I also have a publisher for some of my work; something I didn’t feel was going to be possible for a long, long time since I was starting out at the bottom of the self-pub ladder. When the email came through from Clean Teen Publishing to tell me they had accepted my manuscript, I was half passed-out in a taxi coming home from an exhausting day in Manchester. Their news lifted my adrenaline levels enough to get me home in one piece and I went to bed babbling about how I couldn’t believe they’d liked my work enough to put it into print. It was the very first time I’d ever sent anything to a publisher, so to be accepted so readily and so kindly was beyond my wildest dreams.
More than that though, this journey has unexpectedly led me to an incredible social world that is, quite frankly, much nicer to be part of than the world in which I actually live. I have met some fabulous new friends, one in particular that I was lucky enough to travel four thousand miles to meet up with for chatter and key lime pie, and I have been accepted into a supportive community full of creative and uncommonly kind people who support and inspire me every single day. They have encouraged me to believe in myself and my art and through their influence I am emboldened to explore new genres that I never considered myself capable of tackling and do some daring new things with my storytelling in this coming year.
Below this post is the real symbol that marks my 1 year writeaversary: the anthology edition of Caecilius Rex. It was Cae’s story that first hit the shelves and encouraged me to delve into this world of authorship and now I am proud to mark its completion with the 140,000 word epic that is Cae’s collected story. This one book was really all I had hoped to achieve by now when I sat down this time last year and hit the publish button for the very first time. I am thrilled to have been able to experience so much more along the way.