Thursday, April 3, 2014

The "My Writing Process" Blog Hop

I am thrilled to take part in the Writing Process blog hop. Thank you so much Devika Fernando for inviting me. You can check out her answers to these questions on her blog here. I've tagged three new authors at the end of this post to keep the hop hopping.

1. What am I working on?
     I am currently drafting the last book in the Moonlit trilogy, and am coming very close to the end! Since book #2 hasn't released yet, I can’t give away details about book #3 without spoiling earlier twists and turns. I can tell you every question and mystery posed in the first two books will be answered.
     I am so excited to dive into this moment, which I've anticipated writing since 2009. The setting, motives, and survivors have changed in my mind many times in the last five years, but now that it’s within my line of sight, the big moment where all sides descend on the door of the veil is crystal clear. I’m also doing a couple of “rough sketches” for new projects once Moonlit wraps up.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
     Book #1 in the Moonlit trilogy was described in one review as a “magnificent explosion shot backwards,” which is a beautiful way to describe the elements of mystery that lace up the story’s corset. These books are written in first person present, so you discover questions and answers with main character Tanzy Hightower.
     Horses are used in a bass-drum way throughout the series. They mark an important part of the heart of the story, but you don’t often hear them over the sounds coming from the other “instruments.” The equine industry serves as a setting in book #1. In the sequel, Tanzy travels to the Outer Banks, and seeks refuge in a safe house located in the four-wheel drive district, where the residents coexist with wild horses. In book #3, the main characters are split in two very different locations, one of which is Cumberland Island, where development is extremely limited, and the resident wild horses tolerate the presence of people.

3. Why do I write what I do?
     Growing up, I never felt fully attached to the world around me. I knew there had to be something more – be it somewhere more beautiful during times when life seemed gray, or somewhere that I would be understood, and I would matter, when I felt like a weirdo or out of place. Horses were a piece of tangible magic for me, a door way between this world and somewhere Unseen. I will always see fairy dust when dawn sets dew soaked leaves aglow, and feel the most capable when I’m on a farm.

4. How does my writing process work?
     In fits and starts! I have a three year old daughter, two large indoor dogs, another job, and baby #2 on the way, so my time is limited. I used to write well into the night, once my daughter went to sleep. But presently I’m either too tired or nauseas to concentrate. I’m hoping that’ll ease up in the next couple weeks.
     I don’t outline very well, so I use one of my best friends as a “sounding board.” Her mind works in a straight line, where mine is more like a squirrel in a crystal shop. I talk my way through my ideas about the plot, and she’ll stop me mid-sentence if I’ve contradicted myself or if I’m making a big tangle. I’m also learning how to let go of a new sentence in a first draft and just let it be weak until I come back through to edit, or else I’ll spend 45 minutes tweaking every word in a new paragraph.
     As for new projects, typically they arise from either an image in my head, an interaction I witness in real life that I spin further out, or a “what if” question that keeps popping up. Then I break out note cards and jot thoughts down as they come. 

Now for the next round of authors on the Writing Process Blog Hop:

1. Charity Bradford, author of "The Magic Wakes" and "Stellar Cloud."
2. Kerri Cuevas, author of the "Deadly Kisses" series.
3. Bailey Ardisone, author of "Sweet Oblivion," "Sweet Escape," and "Sweet Requiem."

Their posts will be up on/around April 15th.

Tell me about your writing process! Especially die-hard outliners or fellow pansters who figured out how to successfully incorporate outlining... I'd love to learn!