My Writing Process: Catch as catch can!

blog hop

“Hopscotch” by Jan Tik https://www.flickr.com/photos/jantik/271986658

Hello everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Writing Process Blog Hop! I was introduced to this blog hop by Lori L. Schafer:

Lori Schafer is a writer of serious prose and humorous erotica and romance. More than thirty of her short stories, flash fiction, and essays have appeared in a variety of print and online publications, and her first novel, a work of women’s fiction entitled My Life with Michael: A Story of Sex and Beer for the Middle-Aged, will be released in 2015. Also forthcoming in 2015 is her second novel Just the Three of Us: An Erotic Romantic Comedy for the Commitment-Challenged. On the more serious side, her memoir, On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness, will be published in October 2014. When she isn’t writing (which isn’t often), Lori enjoys playing hockey, attending beer festivals, and spending long afternoons reading at the beach.

Website: http://lorilschafer.com/

Like my colleagues also participating in this blog hop, I’ve been asked to answer four questions about my writing and my writing process. Don’t forget to spend some time getting acquainted with authors Rosemary Whittaker, Val Conrad and Jolee Wilson whose bios and links are at the end of this post. Rosemary, Val and Jolee will be hosting the next stop on the blog hop next week.

1. What am I working on?

About a year ago I read a Writer’s Digest featured agent who said she’d be interested in reading a YA Time Traveler’s Wife. I loved that novel, and took it as a personal challenge. What I wound up with was I Am, Was, Will Be Alice something part YA Time Traveler’s Wife, part Alice in Wonderland, part YA romance (yuck!), and all adventure. I am participating in July’s Camp Nanowrimo to give me the kick in the pants to finally get Alice’s story told.

My first YA novel, The Revenant,  is to be released on 10 July 14 and so a good part of my summer will be spent on publicizing and selling that.

I am also working on an adult time travel love triangle novel called Chicken or Egg: A Love Story, not to mention the next instalment in the Molly McBride series, entitled The Next Coming Race, involving evidence of aliens having visited Earth in antiquity in the historic record.

This is where I usually work:

My Writing Space

My writing space.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I suppose you could call my primary genre science fiction, but when I think of sci-fi I think of alien race wars, lots of tech, space ships, and robots. I call my brand of sci-fi feminine speculative fiction, a made up genre composed of a sort of light-sci-fi, no war (which is stereotypically masculine), modern day tech (also stereotypically masculine), but maybe with a few tweaks. If there is time travel involved, it is in the near future, less than 100 years and not that far removed from the society of today.

[Tweet “I call my brand of sci-fi feminine speculative fiction. That does not mean it only appeals to women.”]

Calling my brand of sci-fi “feminine” does not mean it is chick-lit or only appeals to women. Rather, it is sci-fi of the mind. It takes the world of today, proposes one change, and runs with it to see the effect it may have on society. Phase Shift explores what might happen if the ability to travel to alternate worlds were discovered. The Revenant (not unlike “X-Men” or “Heroes”) supposes there are people among us who have special abilities which some might use for good and others evil. Alice proposes a similar scenario – that people might one day evolve the ability to travel through time. Ditto Cat and Mouse, only this time, the ability for time travel is via technology and not genetic. 

I make small tweaks to people, beliefs and tech and sit back and watch what happens.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I consume popular culture like candy. I also question everything I consume. Star Trek was my first introduction into the world of sci-fi, introduced to me by my father at a young age and the ideas stuck. I grew up telling myself stories before bedtime between lights out and falling asleep. At some point I started writing them down. 

[Tweet “I consume popular culture like candy. I also question everything I consume.”]

It seems like I don’t choose what I write, but rather, it chooses me. Case in point is The Revenant, which grew from a desire to write the penultimate vampire story. The storyline wasn’t gelling so I decided to do some research and found a link on Wikipedia for revenants. The idea blossomed from there. You could almost say Zulu found me and started telling me his story. I really had no choice but to write it down.

4. How does your writing process work?

My first novel, The Guardian, took almost ten years to imagine and another ten years to write. This is partly because I was bogged down with the responsibility of being a new teacher, but also because I didn’t like the way I wrote and struggled over every word. When I took a page from Nanowrimo and just wrote to make up the word count and worry about the editing later, writing became more of a pleasure than a chore. The agony was still there in the revisions and re-writes, but at least the story had already been told.

[Tweet “Accepting you aren’t a real writer if you don’t write every day builds barriers to success.”]

Many sources you read will tell you that writers write every day. I’m here to tell you that’s not necessarily the case. Whole months go by where I don’t add to my current work in progress at all as far as word count goes, but I am always thinking about my work in progress and adding to the story. Taking frequent breaks like that helps the thoughts to percolate so that when I do finally sit to write, I know exactly what I want to say. Accepting that you aren’t a real writer if you don’t write every day is a good way to build barriers to your success. Life happens, especially if you are a student, or are juggling a full-time job with a family. Work on your story every day; write whenever you can.

[Tweet “Work on your story every day; write whenever you can.”]

Don’t forget to spend some time getting acquainted with authors Rosemary Whittaker and Val Conrad whose bios and links are at the end of this post. Rosemary and Val will be hosting the next stop on the blog hop next week.

[Tweet “Writing process blog hop! Get acquainted with authors @LoriLSchafer, @DanzaCRose, Val Conrad and @JoleeWilson!”]

Rosemary Whittaker:

Rosemary is a British born author. She is an English teacher by profession. Since leaving university she has lived and worked in the United States, New Zealand, Australia and twice in Denmark. Her husband works in biodiversity informatics (cataloguing all living species on earth) and this has entailed many moves. They have five children so the moves have been extra challenging.

Her real love has always been writing and she has written several novels, variously set in the countries in which she has lived. She also writes for children. All her novels are available on http://amzn.to/UXJUJp and http://amzn.to/1iUadT. Her recent novels, a set of four, all take the theme of British women who move, by choice or circumstance, to one of the four countries mentioned above. The Cinnamon Snail is set in Denmark, where Rosemary currently lives. [http://bit.ly/1puSPwJ]

Website: rosemarywhittaker.wordpress.com

Val Conrad:

Val Conrad’s life is upside-down to most – her nights are spent working as a nurse in intensive care, leaving her days and more often her nights off to writing.  Her series – Blood of Like Souls, Tears of Like Souls, Promises of Like Souls, and Secrets of Like Souls (Black Rose Writing) is available at Amazon in both paperback and e-book formats.  Much of the skeleton of these stories comes from living in the geographical settings and a career in medicine spanning decades.  She steals moments to write any time, but odd places and crowds of people don’t deter her.  She’s currently working on a new book about how cellular phones are being used to catch criminals.

Website: www.valconrad.com

Jolee Wilson:

Jolee Wilson lives in West Texas with her husband and three children. She has been writing as a hobby since age seven and decided to turn it into a career after the completion of her first novel, Seven Days Normal. With a passion to help hurting relationships, Jolee uses fiction to impart her own lessons in love.

Website: http://www.the-nkwell.blogspot.ca/

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