So, I’m participating in a blog tour thanks to Abigail at Writing While the Kids Sleep and I couldn’t be more excited about it! So, my job is to answer some questions about my writing life, and in turn, send you to some more lovely writers out there that are participating in the same tour! (I think that this is a really huge honor, especially since one of my very own favorite authors, Suzanne Palmieri, did her own post on this tour a few weeks ago!)
So, here it goes:
1) What am I working on?
As most of you know, I just completed my fourth NaNoWriMo style competition in April. It was wonderful, and stressful, and overwhelming, but now that it is over, I couldn’t be more proud of what I was able to accomplish. I’ve written four full length novels before, two of which no one will ever get to read. My third full length novel had some pretty great characters, but my plot just wasn’t there. My fourth, the NaNo novel, was a young adult fantasy that was fun to write, but needs heavy editing to go anywhere.
Right now, I’ve got some lofty ideas to go back and edit the third novel this summer. I’ve got a new main character, a more concrete setting, and something that resembles a plot line. Who knows? Maybe it will work this time!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I feel like this question was written for people who are published, so for me this is really hard to answer. I love magic. I love the idea that even as an adult, with big time life problems and issues, there is magic out there. I know that sounds beyond corny, but I just can’t help it. I’ve always been a romantic at heart. So, I always saw myself writing young adult fiction because I thought that was the only place that magic could exist. Thankfully, I ran into authors like Suzanne Palmieri and Sarah Addison Allen and they have shown me the truth.
My writing usually has this overwhelming theme of home. Being from rural Arkansas and moving five hours away has really caused this struggle when identifying what home actually is. Is it the people? Is it a place? Can one return after being gone for so long? I’ve also had to reevaluate and go back to my Southern roots, because when I’m writing Southern, it just rings more true.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I think that I answered that in the previous question a little bit, but the answer also comes down to that sense of home. There wasn’t much to do growing up and I have always been a reader. You know that saying that children become readers in the laps of their parents? Well, I was lucky enough to have a mother, grandmother, and both aunts who really love to read. I can remember my mom sitting up late at night reading, and so it was always a part of our culture.
When I read Harry Potter for the first time, I knew that I wanted to one day create that sense of home for someone else. Home, at least in part, has always been between the covers of books. See, it really all does come back to that idea of home.
4) How does my writing process work?
I feel like I am a young enough writer that my process is most definitely not set in stone. My first couple of novels were complete hogwash, mainly because I had, aside from having read a lot of books, no idea how to write a book. Now, while I believe the ideas were good, and I may go back to them one day, the truth of the matter was that it was a bunch of writing poo.
So, I learned from those lessons quite quickly. It’s a lot of work to write 50k words that you feel are complete crap when all is said and done. My third novel, the one I plan on revisiting this summer, had much more rounded characters, but still, I was lacking plot. My fourth had plot and should be fairly easy to revise. After all those hard learned lessons, I’ve become a sticky note planner, color coded by character, and organized on a framed piece of fabric in my office. I am able to move stuff around and play with the plot a little more easily this way. This always helps me with organizing my ideas.
My process usually begins with a character. There is rarely ever much more than that. I think that’s why I struggle so much with plot lines. The latest character (her name is Georgia, by the way, possibly Georgiana) came with a semi-plot, so who knows, maybe I’m developing!
Next up you get to hear from one of my dearest friends and one of my new friends!
Madi at And So I Did
Ashley at Afternoons With You