The lovely, lovely Faith McKay tagged me in this blog hop! Here my answers:
1) What am I working on? At the moment–nothing. I finished Book 1 of AMD&B on Thursday (hooray!) and that’s out with my CPs/Betas at the moment. Once I get their feedback, I’ll make any necessary adjustments and then query! I also have a few thousand words written of the circus book, and a vague sketch of a NA romance floating around in my head. But at EXACTLY THIS MOMENT, I’m taking a little breather.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? Ooof. That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Well, I like to think that I do a pretty good job of blending fantasy with historical fact–and I especially love crafting entire stories around little known historical places, events, or figures. I also love playing on readers’ expectations. For example, AMD&B has the seeds of a good, old-fashioned Southern Gothic ghost story–but it’s set in the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and I added some witches for good measure. (Book 2 is going to have zombie/thrall-ish characters involved, so you know it’ll be a good time!)
3) Why do I write what I do? I write stories that won’t leave me alone, that keep me up at night asking what if until I can’t help but sit down and start writing. I write the type of books I want as a reader. I write because I believe these stories can have a home one day.
4) How does my writing process work? I always, always, always start with a question. With daydreaming and doodling and scribbling down lines until the main character’s voice becomes clear to me, until it’s almost like he or she is peering over my shoulder and prodding me to write.
And then I start drafting. I tend to outline as I go–normally I like to have a chapter or two written to get a feel for the voice before I even attempt an outline. The outline changes anywhere from 5-500 times over the course of the first draft, and once I’m finished writing the first draft I usually end up tossing the outline completely and starting from scratch and seeing what bits of the first draft I can use in the second.
The second draft–especially in the case of A Magic Dark and Bright–is when the really hard work starts. It’s the thankless draft–the draft where things were almost-but-not-quite-right. I usually get so frustrated with this draft that I have to bribe myself to finish and figure out what still isn’t working.
And then eventually there’s this giant lightbulb moment that causes everything to come together. And then from there it’s making sure all of the pieces are in the right place and making them tidy and as perfect as I can before I start feeling satisfied with what I’ve written. But it does happen, eventually. And that’s my favorite part of the entire process.
And I’m tagging :