Monday, March 10, 2014

All Aboard! The Writing Process Blog Tour

Grab your coffee and hop on board for the Writing Process Blog Tour! On this tour, writers and authors spill the beans about their writing process.

Fellow Soul Mate author Emelle Gamble, tagged me to join the tour. You can read all about her process, and her fabulous books, on her website.

Are you ready? Let's go!

What am I working on?
Assassin P.I. is a romantic, noir intrigue story set in Ellington Bay, where the only thing worse than the dirty politicians, are the dirty cops who double cross them. Former boy in blue turned private eye, Jack Gaines is on a mission to sidestep the red tape and clean up the city streets. His way. But when Angie, his former lover, comes to him with a case he can’t say no to, Jack finds himself on the wrong side of the law. With the Feds breathing down his neck, and his former partner acting as his fairy godfather to keep the heat off, Jack learns one very valuable lesson: The vigilante justice business gets mighty complicated when the killer you’re tracking . . . just might be you. I’m currently 45,000 words into writing my first draft.

I also have a new project in the works. It’s currently untitled as of yet, but features Mateo, a surly wounded ex-Marine who exudes testosterone, and Sophie, a kind-hearted school principal who won’t take no for an answer. ‘Teo meets his match when he tries to boss around Sophie. Turning the tables on him, the petite principal orders ‘Teo to serve 100 community service hours volunteering in her school. What could go wrong when you’ve got a dozen or so well-meaning, matchmaking kids hanging around? EVERYTHING. I’m plotting up lots of twisty trouble for these two would-be lovebirds to get into.

I might be a slow writer, but don't worry, I'm brewing up new storylines all the time.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My storylines never seem to be very straightforward, no matter how hard I try to wrangle them in. I love all the twisty complications and delicious disasters my characters face. Growing up, I loved to read mysteries, especially Mary Higgins Clark. As an adult, I ventured into romance. I'd like to think my stories are a good blend of both romance and mystery.

Why do I write what I do?
It’s all my mother’s fault. She once suggested that I’d make a good romance writer. And here I am.

Before I got married, my family accused me of being a serial monogamist. I had a string of boyfriends who never lasted long. Some were nice, some were not. I supposed I was in love with falling in love. I wrote all the requisite bad love poetry to cope with my feelings, which later was a gateway to me writing short stories and plays. Now that I’m happily married, I can fall in love along with my characters, and my hubby gets to enjoy the fringe benefits. ‘Nuff said.

How does your writing process work?
My writing process seems to always be in flux. Sometimes my ideas come from real-life situations, a floating line of dialogue, or a cute guy I see. Over time, my characters become real to me. I can see them in my mind. I know their likes and dislikes. I can even imagine their go-to drink, and how they’d react in any given situation. Once I begin writing that first scene, I tend to “hear” the dialogue first and try to capture that on paper.

When I wrote Redemption For Liars, I had to write in complete silence. With Assassin P.I., I have several songs I listen to while I write. Often I play one song on a never-ending loop for hours on end. Since I barricade myself in my bedroom to write, I also surround myself with a soothing candle scent, my favorite snacks, and lots of hot tea.

The first few chapters virtually write themselves. Then then I hit the dreaded middle act where all progress slows to a crawl. Writing might be a solitary activity, but personally, I prefer to bounce storyline ideas off my friends and family. Especially when I get stuck. They get subjected with phone calls and typed missives describing how I might be able to get my beloved characters out of the trouble I got them into. Their questions and ideas help me flesh out the storyline.

Eventually I reach the end of the story. Then the editing process begins in earnest, and I pull out all those revision love notes I'd been writing myself throughout the months. First, I go back and add the setting details or facial expressions I might have neglected to include on the first draft. I try to tighten up the story and drop any scene that doesn't absolutely have to be included. Then, I begin cleaning up my grammar and word choices. Searching for all those annoying superfluous words is the most tedious part of editing for me.

Along the way, I meet with my critique partners to foist my characters (and all their unsightly drama) on to them. They don't let me get away with anything. They question me about the choices I've made and force me to spit shine my manuscript until it gleams. Then off to publishers it goes!

And now it's my turn to tag a couple fellow writers.

Dianne Gardner is an amazing award-winning author and illustrator, and I'm proud to call her one of my first critique partners. She writes young adult fantasy books that are absolutely rich with details. If you think her books are fabulous, wait until you see her artwork! Drop by her website next week to read all about her fascinating writing process and visit her Amazon author page to purchase her books.

Up-and-coming romance writer, Ryan Jo Summers is a fellow Soul Mate author. Look for Shimmers of Stardust, a Christian time travel romance, to hit Amazon in September. While you're anxiously waiting, visit her next week to get the inside scoop on her writing process. Come on friends, show her some love. and Visit her Amazon author page to purchase her debut book, Whispers in her Heart.

Tag! You're it! Leave a comment below and I'll randomly select one commenter to receive some swag. Come back next week to see if you're a winner. 

1 comment:

  1. I left a comment Monday. But it disappeared Enjoyed the post. Thank you