My thanks to Elizabeth Hanbury for asking me to be part of this. Her work and her lovely blog can be found at:
If you’ve ever wondered how writers do things, this writing process blog tour may offer some answers!
What am I working on?
That’s a good question! Sometimes I really wish I could stick to one project at a time. Since I got my contract with Harper Impulse, life’s been a bit of a whirl. I always write out a To Do List (I love lists and sometimes do the old trick of putting something on it, simply to enjoy ticking it off. Feels so good!) For starters, I’d earmarked a partly historical dual narrative, which has languished unfinished for some time now. However, with The Rumba being published, I’m now trying to write a fourth novella in the Say it with Sequins series. This one promises to be a little different though. So far, it has a public school, rugby playing hero, who is a bit shambolic. I keep getting an image of the detective Columbo in my head and it’s soooo not the look I’m after for my leading man!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’ve never been the sex and shopping sort of a girl. I wouldn’t know a Manolo Blahnik if its stiletto heel hit me in the face. And I’ve always read very widely. I love biographies, Jane Austen, thrillers (favourite author being Phil Rickman), ghost stories, myths and legends, as well as many genres of fiction.
When I first began writing, I was incredibly disappointed in my ‘voice’. I thought I’d write fairly highbrow literary stuff. Out came this chick-lit style that was more diet Jane Austen than the real thing. It stopped me writing anything for a while. Then I realised it was how I write, accepted it, moved on and enjoyed it! I’m not arrogant enough to think my writing is particularly different to others of its genre. I enjoy writing about softer heroes, not quite as alpha male as in some books. Maybe that’s a difference?
Why do I write what I do?
Part of the answer to this one is in the comment above. As I’ve said, I read widely – and enjoy a range of films, plays and television. The thing that really draws me into whatever I’m reading or watching, is social interaction and if that’s romantic, then even better. Writing romantic fiction makes sense for me.
How does my writing process work?
I wish I knew! Often it begins with a couple of characters who stay in my head and refuse to leave. Gradually, a setting appears for them but rarely a plot. I’m happier writing character based stories than plot based. One novel, begun but not finished, lost my interest, as it was too plot heavy.
The next thing that happens is the first draft. This is the fun bit, the ‘fire in the belly’ part of the writing. This is when the head is down, the fingers fly over the keyboard and my hands can’t keep up with the ideas flowing. Wonderful. The next part isn’t quite so much fun – the second draft. It’s when I realise how much work I still have to do. If I can, I’ll put it away then, to take out and rewrite again. Sometimes I don’t have that luxury.
Writing takes me ages, I’m very slow and guilty of fiddling and changing things, only to change them back again. I hate the final edits, as I’m not keen on going back to something I consider finished and ticked off my list!
I’ve nominated the talented Carmel Harrington for the next blog, which will appear on the 30th December.
Here’s a little about Carmel:
With my husband Roger and two beautiful children Amelia and Nate, I live a pretty idyllic life in Ireland, full of stories, songs, hide and seek, Mickey Mouse, walks on the beach, tickles, kisses, chocolate treats and most of all abundant love. To make life even more perfect, I have now fulfilled a lifetime ambition to be a writer as I am both a published author and a playwright. I believe in Happily Ever Afters because that’s what happened to me.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy, romance reading, New Year. Thank you for buying, reading, reviewing and supporting me in 2013.
Here’s to a wonderful 2014. May all your dreams come true.