A Peek Inside The Writerly Mind

Happy Monday to you all! I’m back in Indiana, fresh from a trip to the Windy City this weekend. And shocker–the snow followed me there. (Seriously, will this winter never END?) Thankfully, I remained indoors the majority of my time in Chicago, cozying up with a few hundred other writers at the 2014 Love Is Murder Mystery Conference.

And while I don’t write strict mystery, I certainly gleaned a lot of information from both the speakers and all of the wonderful writers I met during my stay. Big names like Heather Graham and Jacquelyn Mitchard, and up and coming names like Rob Riley. Of course, travelling with my wonderful friend Anita DeVito made the trip that much more enjoyable.

One of the questions voiced repeatedly throughout the weekend revolved around writing preferences. To plot ahead or not? How does everyone self-edit? How many drafts does each book go through? I found it very interesting that nearly everyone had a different process. And the best part? There’s not a darned thing wrong about that.

Writing is subjective, as is the process. Sure, there are certain grammatical and formatting rules to follow, but as far as the actual writing process there is no standard that must be followed.

Which brings me to the second reason for this post: I was tagged by the lovely and ever-charming Gabrielle Bastttistel to participate in a Blog Chain on Writing Process. And so, without further ado…

What are you working on?

I am approximately half way through my first straight romance novel and taking a stab (oops, can you tell I just spent the weekend talking about such things?) at third person, him/her point of view. And I have to say, it’s been a lot of fun getting into both main characters’ heads.

The book is currently titled ESCAPING EEYORE, and is about two characters down on their luck who, through the course of some unexpected events, end up stuck with each other for a week. During their time together, both come to realize how low they’d managed to sink, and how being around the other renews their hope in love and humanity. It’s set in Michigan, and will hopefully evolve into a multi-book series. If you follow my Facebook page, you’ve no doubt seen a few snipets and pictures from the story.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Well, does the fact that I’m writing it count? 😉 No, let’s see…the book is set just outside of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, so the setting is rather unique. And the circumstances that bring everyone together isn’t something you see in the office everyday. At least, I sure hope not…

Why do you write what you write?

Because if I don’t get their stories out, the characters might kill me in my sleep… Oops, there’s that Love Is Murder influence coming out again. I write because I love to tell stories. And I love to inspire through humor and humans stumbling through life like we all do.

How does your writing process work?

My books typically start with one scene, just a snapshot in my mind of a conversation, or a character’s thought, and from there I sort of zoom out. Who’s in the scene? Why are they there? What events led to that moment? Where will those characters go from there? Once I’ve got the skeleton of the story ironed out, and do some research on the location, characters’ backgrounds, etc., I sit down to write. My first book, ARMED WITH STEELE, took quite a while but a lot of that was learning the craft of novel-writing. Now I try to turn out a first draft in 2-3 months, and then edit for a month or two. Then the story goes to a few beloved beta readers, who give me input on the story and try to help me catch any remaining type-o’s. It’s truly a lot of fun.

So, there’s a look into my writerly brain. And to keep the fun rolling, I’ve tagged two other amazing authors for next week’s stop: Cd Brennan and Liz Flaherty. Be sure to click on these links next Monday to see how they respond to these insider questions.

If you’d like to share your writing tips, leave a few below!

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