Nope. It’s more of a traveling sisterhood pant’s thing. My Writing Process is an ongoing blog hop where a writer answers four basic questions about their writing process and then is asked to pass the baton to two more authors. I was invited by Rachel Blaufeld, author of the Electric Tunnel. Please visit her page and discover her amazing personality at https://rachelblaufeld.com
What am I working on?
I’ve just finished Turn Key Condition. It’s on Amazon at http://amzn.com/B00LWHW2Y2 and I’m now learning Marketing 101. Since this book is a mix of cozy/chick lit and a darker subject matter, I would especially love feedback from readers to see if it resonates with any of you.
I have already started on the sequel, Shampoo and Condition. Both feature friends, Maggie and Jane, who (like Jessica Fletcher, I’m afraid) meet corpses periodically in their lives. Maggie’s soon-to-be boyfriend is a Hispanic cop who uses Spanish adages that are piquant bites of wisdom non-Hispanics may never have heard before.
In Turn Key Condition, Jane and Maggie find a naked dead body of a man with a donut on his genitals
In Shampoo and Condition, Maggie’s sister-in-law drops dead in front of her at a beauty salon.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Turn Key Condition is a humorous mystery but not a typical cozy or chicklit. Maggie was a victim, now a survivor, of abuse who refuses to let that trauma define her.
Years later events trigger feelings of that trauma that she then has to deal with. The next two books in the series will show how she manages that journey. Whether people will be put off by the humor Maggie uses to deal with life remains to be seen. Abuse is certainly not something to be laughed at, nor will it be in this series, but most survivors live their lives with a surprising amount of normalcy – and I think people should see that side of their story.
Why do I write what I do?
I love a good mystery. And since I would be spending a lot of time with whatever genre I decided to write, I chose one I already love reading. Then, I found a bonus to this kind of book. There has to be a puzzle – (repeat to the rhythm of the saying):
“something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”
something stolen, something dead, something recovered, something red (usually blood). Okay, I never claimed to be a poet.
Mysteries make plotting easy. Start with a theft or murder. Throw in suspects and then solve it. Okay, the writing isn’t easy – just the format.
How does my writing process work?
- Am I an outliner or a pantsers (I prefer seatpantser, since “pantser” flashed up all sorts of unwanted mental images – & yes, pun was intended)? A little of both. I try to work off a basic outline.
- Apres the outline: I set pacing by solving the mystery in a week – the book’s week not the writer’s. It takes many months to weave all the chapters into a complete manuscript. This timeline keeps things moving and avoids the bog-down in the middle that some books suffer.
- I sometimes wish I had a co-writer. Think of the Columbo writers and Ellery Queen. You need one writer to be crazy and throw a bunch of weird, unlikely, crazy ideas at the paper. Much like monkeys at a zoo throwing – well, you know. Then you need another one to come in and straighten all the crazy stuff up and organize it, make some likely connections to all the unlikely threads. Weave it into some sense of coherency. I try to be the wild and crazy one when forming the idea for a book and then obsessive compulsive one who edits.
Now I pass the torch to these lively writers, both fellow contestants in ABNA 2014:
- Sephira Allen, who lives in North Carolina and has an affinity for historical fiction (yay!) http://sephiraallen.wordpress.com
- Fran Pickering, http://franpickering.com/, who was in the ABNA mystery/thriller category and is a Londoner whose visits to Japan lead to the authenticity of her book, The Cherry Blossom Murder.
What I loved about the ABNA competition was the variety of writers I met online. Now it’s like I have friends scattered all over the continental USA and the world. I know you’ll enjoy meeting them, too.