An interesting blog tour is currently circulating and involves asking authors to give insight into their writing process. When I was tagged, I did a little inward groan and thought, “Uh-uh, who has the time?” followed quickly by “Oh, alright, it should be easy for me, because I don’t have a process.” So, I agreed to do it.
Thanks to the lovely and talented Linda Boulanger (the fabulous book cover designer for many authors, myself included) who tagged me to participate in the tour, you’ll get to learn a little more about my…uh…writing process.
The tour involves answering 4 questions. Here goes:
1. What am I working on?
My current works in progress include The Blackest Night, which is a paranormal thriller due out this month, and a new mystery/thriller called Easy Target (title subject to change). Easy Target is the sequel to No Alibi and is set in San Francisco, featuring homicide detective John Doucette. I can’t post more about it – I’m only a chapter in.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
While whodunits, thrillers, mysteries, and suspense may follow certain rules or a formula – plot driven, character driven etc – writers in this genre definitely have their own style. Some thrillers include romantic elements; others are dark and more sinister. I write on the darker side. My characters are always flawed and not always likeable. An amusing critique I once received called one of my works a ‘violence fest’. While they’re not meant for kids, the books only include moderate language and violence, nothing graphic. Romance does not feature heavily (and more often not at all) in my work.
3. Why do I write what I write?
Quite simply, it’s what I like to read, so it seems natural I should write it. Even though it’s fiction, I like to probe into and investigate the psychology behind the darkest of my characters. What makes them do what they do? I’m more interested in that than in the crimes they commit. Trying to understand the depths of some evil is disturbing, yet it’s fascinating to look into how the mind works.
4. How does my writing process work?
My method is different for each book. I might begin with a title or a general idea of the main plot, but I never outline and often I don’t know the ending until I get there. Inspiration for my stories comes from many places: conversations, my past, the pasts of other people I know, news. When I sit down to write, I write whatever comes into my head at that time. Editing is my favorite part of the ‘process’ as it’s my chance to clean it all up. A trick I learned at the first writing conference I attended was to keep a bio on each character, which I do. It’s especially helpful when writing a sequel and saves countless hours of hunting through former works for consistency. I usually have only one project on the go at any time. My head is filled with too many things to keep more than one story straight.
The tour concludes with tagging fellow authors to share the method of their madness, so I will hand over to the following:
Gayle and I go back a little way and have attended a number of book signings and festivals together. Among other things, she writes humorous mysteries featuring amateur sleuth Peri Minneopa. I’ve read most of her work and love the way she mixes funny with serious.