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The Writing Process

Ever curious about how writers and authors write? What inspires them? How do they hone their stories? What drives them?

Friend and fellow author CameliaMiron Skiba invited me to join the Writing Process Blog Tour, and while I don’t normally participate in things like this, I simply had to for Cami. She’s a little scary when you tick her off. (Just kidding! Love you, girl!) Below are the questions I was asked to answer, and now I get to tag other writers to keep it going. It’s like a chain letter for writers only, and what’s not to love about that? 

What are you working on? 

I have a few works in progress right now, which works well for my unfocused, disorganized brain. 

  •  Freaked, the sequel to Psyched. Sequels do not work well for my unfocused, disorganized brain, so I have to prioritize the things I want to happen, decide what works best with Freaked, and what brings satisfying conclusion for the people who love Aisi Turay as much as I do. Easy peasy, right? Or not... 
  •  I’m revising a romance for grown-up types I wrote years ago. I shelved it after it was rejected. After I pulled it out and dusted it off, with a few years between then and now, I realized how truly terrible it was. After working on ArmsWide Open  and falling in love with my heroine Lauren Brooks, I decided to resurrect the reject and combine it with another idea I had for a romance—it’s Jane Austen’s Persuasion meets a singles cruise. Hijinks will ensue.  
  •  This third makes me happy dance. I’m working with five other authors to put together a mid-grade (upper elementary and junior high through high school) urban fantasy series, with each of us contributing one book. The common thread will be the magic of Atlantis, with each other contributing our own characters and story lines. Characters from the other books will make cameo appearances in mine. I’m really excited with how this one is coming together and the characters I’m creating. We’re planning a release for next summer! 

How does your work differ from others of its genre? 

This is a tough question. I know my writing definitely falls within a few genres. Juvenile, paranormal, YA, romance, fantasy. I want to try writing everything and see which voice feels most authentic, see which people like to read the most. Maybe at some point I’ll stick with one.
I guess this biggest difference is I try hard not to be influenced by the next big thing in any genre. I just read what sounds interesting and if an element in that book sticks out to me, I might experiment with it in my own writing.

Why do you write what you do?

I write the stories that come to me. They come on their own and the stories aren’t necessarily connected or geared to any particular age group. I have ideas for children’s picture books, romances, and everything in between in this world and beyond. I write what I do because the stories demand that I tell them. Bossy little things, aren’t’ they?

How does your writing process work?

I write when I can, and when inspiration strikes. I don't write in acts or segments or follow any established "rules" for writing, because who even came up with those? I wish I could say I was one of those motivated and disciplined writers who outlines everything and writes on a schedule, but I’m a realist...and I’m a mom first, above all else. I haven’t written anything for a couple of weeks because my daughter on year-round school is off track, so I’ve been spending time doing things with her. That won’t write or sell any books for me, but she’s kind of awesome and way more fun to hang out with than a computer. 

All done. Okay, now Shantal Hiatt and Conni Byron, tag! You’re it!

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