By now, you may have come across several of these posts. Each author who writes one invites three other authors to join the tour. I signed up twice–once with Karin Beery and again with Stacy Zink.
Karin is an author/editor from Michigan. You can find out more about her and her writing process on her blog. (I’ll link you with Stacy next week).
The point of this tour is to provide an insider’s look at the writer’s desk. Here’s Part One of what’s going on at mine.
What I’m working on: I rejected several ideas this year, so now I’m gazing into the mist, toying with thoughts, teasing stories out of them, meeting potential characters. I’m in the midst of “hide and seek” on the playground of my mind, and stopping too often to chase butterflies. Soon, I’ll find what I need to spark that writerly enthusiasm that has me daydreaming about my hero and playing patty-cake with my heroine. I’m looking forward to it.
How my work differs from others in my genre: Every author brings something new into the mix. Voice, life experience, education, depth of faith. My works are different because they come from the sum total of me in all my whacky, complex, caffeinated splendor. My answer is what every author can give, and every author would be right–their work is different because they are different.
Why I write what I do: Because . . . well, I’ll tell ya–sometimes I don’t have the sense God gave a goose. I wrote The Cat Lady’s Secret because at the time, I didn’t know I was supposed to keep writing Contemporary Western Romances like Give the Lady a Ride. I cowrote The Simulacrum (in the submission process) with Brad Seggie because I’ve always wanted to write a thriller, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it on my own. And I cowrote Writing In Obedience with Terry Burns because I believe it would be helpful to other Christian authors. And I’m not finished exploring the genres. I’d love to write cozy mysteries and historical. Light romances are fun too, and I may stay with them.
So you see why I said I don’t have sense?–it’s all about branding. How do you brand a name that can’t be immediately related to one genre? All the experts tell you not to do what I’m doing. Listen to them. You won’t have to work as hard.
How my writing process works: I get an idea, in that mental playground I mentioned before, and fiddle with it. Sometimes it’s a scenario I’d like to explore, like in Give the Lady a Ride: New York socialite takes bull riding lessons from handsome Texas cowboy. Other times, like with The Cat Lady’s Secret, I want to explore a character–and Millie was one fun character to explore.
Once I start writing, I don’t stop to outline or do character bios until I’ve run out of scenes in my mind–usually around Chapter 5. Then I chase rabbits, writing and deleting scene ideas until the right rabbit leads me to its hole. Sometimes my characters surprise me; then I have to pull out pen and paper and explore who they are, based on the information I’ve already written about them. I never really determine their personalities beforehand. I just let them introduce themselves and see what kind of trouble they can get into.
Eventually, I have a book written. Yeah, I know. Surprises me too.
Next Monday, I’ll go through the question list again and get a little more specific about The Cat Lady’s Secret.