Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Saturday, June 7, 2014

All is Revealed - My Writing Process (blog hop)

Many thanks to Stacy Juba, whose forthcoming romantic comedy Fooling Around With Cinderella, I'm very much looking forward to reading, for including me in the Writing Process blog hop.  This seemed an interesting way to explore how I approach my writing from story idea to printed page, and to share my latest project.  Next week Misty Beller and Deborah Court will post their responses to the questions below.

1) What am I working on?

Due for release next week, my latest story is a contemporary romance with suspense The Nightclub.  Here
is the blurb: 

Trying to make a living for her teenage sister and herself, Laura Hamilton accepts a job offer as a hostess at an infamous nightclub. As she struggles to survive in a world of sex, drugs and corruption, she certainly doesn't expect to find her own knight in shining armour in the club's owner, Julian. But will he really save her from a future as a fallen woman? And is he involved in the criminal organisation that threatens not only her sister's life, but will change her own fate forever?

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

Like Stacy, I've published in a variety of genres, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, a psychological thriller and a modern ghost story.  I've even co-written a short science fiction story with my darling son.  All my stories involve people facing a dramatic emotional journey, which I try to make as realistic as possible to allow my readers to identify with them.  Although I like to include emotional or sexual tension, I don't write erotica and consider my romances to be 'clean'.  The Nightclub probably goes one step further than the rest, and I'll leave it to my readers to decide if that's a step too far.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I like to write the kind of stories I enjoy reading involving characters with whom I can really empathise, since I want readers to do the same.  That's not to say they are without flaws—Ellis Crawford in Killing Jenna Crane, for example, is one of the most unlikeable men imaginable; he's deeply flawed and his journey to self-discovery is fraught with difficulties.  Despite his faults, readers still manage to understand him and some even like him.  I'm not sure if I do, though.

4) How my writing process works

I used to need to have the whole story mapped out in my head before I began writing, but nowadays I've been known to sit at my computer with only the sketchiest of ideas and let the story evolve according to its own whimsy.  I wrote my best-seller Wishful Thinking that way.  It's great fun as it allows stories to evolve organically.  When I'm not writing, my brain is still swamped with ideas.  I have packs of pens and Post-It notes in every room in my house so I can grab one and scribble down ideas as they come to me.  I stick all these into an exercise book on my desk that I use for jotting down relevant names, places, dates, any details likely to recur throughout the story.  Once I've finished with each sticky note, it goes in the bin—nice and tidy—though believe me, I'm anything but a tidy worker!

Do be sure to catch the two great writers nominated to continue the hop next week—just click on their names to take you to their blogs:

Misty Beller was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep, as does her love for Christian novels. Misty is a semi-finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers 2014 Genesis Contest in the Historical Romance category, and is looking forward to the upcoming release of her debut Historical Romance novel by Prism Book Group.

Deborah Court lives in a picturesque European small town. A health

professional by day, at night she loves to write romances about elven warriors of deadly beauty, capable of making a woman die from sheer pleasure - or stories to awaken the deepest, most secret fantasies of her readers.
Deborah's bestselling debut novel Bound to the Prince, a fantasy romance featuring an Elven hero, was nominated "Best Book of 2011" by The Romance Review. Writing in both English and German, her favourite genres are fantasy/paranormal, erotic and historical romance; she also publishes young adult mysteries for Harlequin Books, Germany.


msmariah said...

I really relate to your style of writing. I used to think that I had to have the entire story mapped out beforehand, but what I've found is that the story tends to unfold as I write it. Unfortunately, this is a recent revelation!

ManicScribbler said...

Thanks for your comment msmarha. My experience is that even if a story is pre-mapped, it changes as you write it. Characters just don't always do what they're expected ;)

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