Today is my turn to talk about my own writing process. This blog tour is where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process. My friend, US author Sharon Struth, posted hers last week. Sharon’s beautiful book, The Hourglass, is a stunning example of women’s fiction at its very best. I’d encourage you to check out her writing process here: http://sharonstruth.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/my-writing-process-blog-tour/
This week, you can read not only my post, but also those of Shehanne Moore and Ellen Butler.
With the help of these four questions, I’d like to share with you my writing process. This should be an interesting activity, because I have to admit I’ve never analysed it before. I guess it will be a learning process for all of us.
What am I working on?
My third novel, Honor’s Debt, is about a quarter finished. Still a long way to go, however I’ve plotted out the main points of the story, so at least I know where it’s going, and I don’t feel like I’m floundering. I’m not moving quickly on this book as I’ve had several other urgent tasks to attend to (unfortunately not writing related). This is an unusual situation for me because usually I write my books in one hit. With Rosamanti, I wrote 65,000 from start to finish in three weeks. It was an amazing feeling, and looking back now, I don’t really know how that happened. All I can say is that it was a story that was meant to be told, and it just sorted of bubbled out of me.
I’m also about to start final edits (I hope) on my historical novel (based on true family history), Stone of Heaven and Earth. I finished this book over two years ago, but it’s been sitting, mulling away, for a long time.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t know that my Contemporary Romance books are all that different to several other authors who like to use locations and settings that they’ve travelled to and fallen in love with. But what I do try to do, is to have several little subplots weaving through the stories which contain mystery, intrigue, suspense, danger, adventure. I also like to have a couple of interesting support characters, who will one day be the main characters of future books. I then combine these elements with a well described (I hope) exotic location, two likeable main characters, and some pretty good romance.
Why do I write what I do?
I write books like Rosamanti, Let Angels Fly, and Honor’s Debt, because they are the sorts of books I love to read. I also love to use locations that I’ve travelled to or lived in, and then watch as the setting makes my characters behave in a particular way, which may not have happened had I set the stories somewhere else. I believe strongly that location/setting has a huge influence on the behaviour of characters.
How does your writing process work?
I start with an idea that pings into my brain, usually when I’m driving, or when I’m just waking up in the morning. You know those moments when the creative right side of the brain is acting superior to the normally dominant, logical, left side?
I love those moments. It’s almost like the whole book is written in your brain, but of course, when I rouse from that out-of-body moment, all I’m left with – usually – is a vague plot line, a title, a setting, a mind picture of my characters.
Next step is to begin writing down dot points. I find that hard, as the rich vision I had in my head ends up being barely a half page of points. I get my writing juices flowing by fleshing out the location. What kind of people live there? What do they eat? What year is it set in? Why are my characters there? How do they meet? What attracts them to each other? What causes the inevitable conflict? Can it be overcome? How? And so on … It’s really the old who, what, why, where, and how process. Works for me.
Who will we meet next week?
As I’m an Aussie author, I thought I’d introduce three fellow Australian authors who each write in different ways and genres.
Isabella Hargreaves writes historical romance. Isabella has been interested in history all her life and her stories are usually set in her favourite eras, both in Australia and England. Her stories will take you on a journey through Regency England, convict New South Wales, and with the Viking Danelaw and you will experience romance through the ages ... let's live there...love there...linger there.
Susanne Bellamy writes contemporary romance. Susanne loves travelling to
new places and exploring the culture and history, and meeting new people. These
experiences are gradually being incorporated into her stories, along with her
love of music and musicals.
Kendall Talbot writes romantic suspense. Kendall writes stories that reflect her life experiences. She’s travelled
extensively, some 36 countries and counting and she loves adventures that make
And my books are available through all good online book retailers, or from my publisher, Etopia Press.