I was thrilled to be invited to this blog tour about sharing an author’s writing process and showcasing other authors and their works. My friend Carol Balawyder has kindly invited me to this tour. Carol is the author of Mourning Has Broken, her memoir about life, loss and grief of a sister and parents. You can check out Carol’s wonderful Blog at CarolBalawyder.com and read about her upcoming books and her wonderful reviews of famous women writers and Nobel prize laureates. While you are there, take a look at Carol’s post on the blog tour last week and learn all about her writing process.
And now I am happy to share the answers to the four questions posed to the authors on this blog hop:
WHAT AM I CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I have just recently finished first draft of my next book. This book is a look at women’s self-esteem issues and the obsessions and hang ups we endure in younger life which have a propensity to devalue our self-worth. It is written from my own experiences and analysis. This book will be published this fall.
I am also writing chapters intermittently for three other books, one is a sequel to my first book Conflicted Hearts, another is essays on rants and reminiscence , comparing life today to yesteryear, and the other is a secret for now.
HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
Writing in memoir can be raw. Some write in first person. Others may write in third person and choose to use another character to represent the story. And some memoirs are written in diary form. Many memoirs are written in one particular chunk of time. But all memoirs are based on a theme. my writing style was influenced by reading books written by William Zinsser, author of the widely acclaimed, On Writing Well. Only I wrote my first book, Conflicted Hearts with some slight deviation. My book spans through my life in different vignettes through time, holding with the same theme about how powerful guilt can continue to prevail throughout life, regardless of what we learn and how much we grow. For me, guilt didn’t exist in one chunk of time, I lived with it most of my life, even through my triumphs. I write raw and true and my voice speaks to my readers as though I am sharing my story with them personally.
WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I WRITE?
I began my writing as a teen. I kept journals to release pent up emotions and to self-analyze events and people in my life. I was driven to try to find answers for people’s actions. In those earlier times writing was self-medicating, and as the years passed I wanted to share my thoughts on subjects that people could relate to and possibly leave some suggestion from my writing about my experiences. I don’t believe we just decide to be kind or nasty. The events of our pasts have much to do with the character traits we acquire.
HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?
I try to write five days a week. I don’t impose time-frames on my writing, I go with the flow. Some days I can crank out 2000 to 3000 words, others may only be 500. My outlining process is usually: the concept of the book and then creating temporary chapter titles for the subjects I’d like to include in the book. I begin writing a chapter and when the pen gets flowing full of ideas, I keep another blank page for that chapter for when too many thoughts come at once and I don’t want to lose them. I jot what I want to talk about on the separate page so when I’m finished writing my current thought, I know what I want to write next. When I’m not writing for my books, I will be writing blog drafts or doing creative writing exercises from Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend From Far Away.
I write in long-hand. Okay, call me old-fashioned but I just don’t feel creative in front of a computer. For my first book, I had been journaling for years. I had torn out the chapters and began adding to them. I used a post-it-note system where I’d title the chapters so I could add to them or move them around. I know this may sound archaic but it worked for me. I actually tried using Scrivener but I was so overwhelmed by it, I went back to my tried and true system. I did promise myself to try Scrivener again when I wrote my second book, but old habits die hard, so I found myself once again back to my pre-historic method.
My system can become quite messy. If anyone saw my kitchen table (where I love to write) while I’m working, they were overwhelmed by what appears to be a mess of papers, yet I know exactly where to find any page.
Only after finishing first draft do I venture over to the computer. I begin entering my work into Word with my chapters already in order—sprawled out on the floor. Being a tactile person, I just work better when I can pick up a page.
My revisions are all done in Word and through the process it’s not uncommon for me to print off about eight copies of my manuscript between revisions and edits. The human eye catches typos much easier on paper than the computer screen.
Final readings and proofs are always done from paper.
For next week’s blog tour I am introducing two fellow authors here who will be passed the torch. Deborah Jay and Annie Edmonds are author friends of mine. Deborah is a fantasy author and Annie writes in erotic romance. Be sure to visit their blogs next Monday August 4th when they will be joining the blog tour.
Here is a little sampling of what these two talented authors are about:
Annie is a Jersey Girl born and bred. She has been happily married to the one man that stole her heart thirty years ago. She hopes one day to move her Jersey girl butt to the sunshine state. She says winters are just too hard on someone who lives with chronic pain.
Annie loves to write and has been doing so her entire life. In 2013 she reached a milestone birthday and decided it was now or never. She needed to write and she published her first novel. She had no idea what to write about so she started asking her friends and their friends what they were reading. When the consensus was erotic romance, she did some research and what she found fascinated her. Annie took her love of romance, and added lots of kink and started writing Second Chances Sammy’s story. It’s the first novel in the Second Chances series. Annie is currently working on book two, Master Mike’s story.
Being an independent author isn’t always easy, but it can be fun when you start to write a sexy blog that you love. She started Sex w/Annie on WordPress and it seems to have hit a sweet spot where followers are concerned. She posts a Sexy Sunday blog for couples and singles every Sunday by 4 pm. aedmonds315.wordpress.com.
When Annie isn’t writing/blogging and promoting, she loves to spend time with her husband and family. At the beach is where she gets her inspiration. The beach has always been the one place to calm Annie’s soul. Her interests also include, photography, gardening, and, being a foodie, Annie loves to cook.
Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.
Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.
Her debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award, has featured frequently in the Amazon Top 100 Epic Fantasy books since publication in July 2013.