I want to thank Christina Jean Michaels for tagging me for this Writing Process Blog Hop. You can check out her post here.
1. What am I currently working on?
My current work-in-progress hasn’t found a permanent name yet, but the working title is To Have and Hold, Like it or Not. It’s a romantic suspense novel about party girl Briella Monroe and workaholic millionaire Reece Hollingsworth; the only thing they have in common is being equally shocked and horrified when his mother announces their engagement about five minutes after they meet. If they don’t go along with this arranged marriage, they could both lose everything they hold dear. Her drummer ex-boyfriend shows up to make things worse, and then there’s Reeces’s jealous personal assistant. But the biggest question on Briella’s mind is why on earth Prudence Hollingsworth is so hell-bent on having her for a daughter-in-law.
2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?
A few things, I think. Plot twists are fun so I like to play with the unexpected and throw in some shockers. Even in my darker novels, I use just enough humor to balance out the gritty stuff. Everybody has flaws, but some of my characters choose to embrace theirs. For example, in Nefarious, Lex is a rock star who tells you in his own words, “…the only thing bigger than my ego is my—” Well, I bet you can guess which part of his anatomy he finishes that sentence with. 🙂
Oh, one other thing. In my Rock Candy Romantic Suspense Series, I write my own original song lyrics for the musicians in those novels.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I just can’t help it! I read all the time, a little of just about everything from romance and thrillers to horror and classic Shakespeare. I write mainly gritty romantic suspense and cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist, but I don’t always write with any specific genre in mind. When a story takes root in my mind, I run with it.
4. How does my writing process work?
There’s never a shortage of story ideas jumping around in my head shouting “Pick me!” Some start with an idea for a character, some stem from an emotion I’m feeling, a situation, or my favorite, the big ‘What if’ scenario. Sometimes it takes a while to decide which manuscript to work on first.
The planning stage is so much fun. I figure out who my characters are and what makes them tick, what they want and why. Then it’s time to sketch out what’s going to happen to them. I brainstorm all the possibilities, the best and worst things that could go on in the story, and if I can work in an insane stalker or a ghost, more fun for me!
After I have my character sketches and outline finished, then I get busy on the first draft. I like to write in Scrivener, since it works with scenes that can be moved around easily during revisions. Sometimes things pop onto the page that I didn’t plan, and that’s always exciting. Listen to the muse whenever possible.
When the first draft is done, then I leave it alone for a while and work on something else. After about a month, it’s time for the second draft. I reread the manuscript, making notes on what to change, add, take out, and fix. Then I roll up my sleeves and dive back in. Nobody gets to read what I’m working on until after about the fourth draft, when the story is pretty much like it’s meant to be and most of the drivel has been hacked out.
1st draft – slapping the story down on paper
2nd draft – check and fix flow, pacing, plot holes, character development
3rd draft – smooth out the prose
4th draft – seek and destroy typos and nits that sneak in while I’m refilling my coffee or playing on the internet
5th draft – there’s always something to tweak
Now to tag a few writers… and they are Jeanne Bannon and Maggie. (If you’re reading this and would like to be tagged too, just let me know and I’ll hook you up.) Hop on over to their blogs around the 17th to check out what they have to say about their writing process.