Okay, so there I was, my mind foggy from writing twenty-six short stories when a comment pops up on my about me page and caught my attention. The main reason it caught my attention was because it wasn’t spam (really, what does my blog have to do with haemorrhoids and natural remedies??). Instead, it was from the brilliant, if somewhat highly caffeinated, wanna-be-published writer AKA Heather B Costa.
Heather asked me if I wanted to be part of a writing process blog hop and, of course, I thought ‘sure, why not?’ Actually, I thought ‘what day is it?’ And ‘how many of these posts do I have left?’ but I said yes anyway. I then noticed that Natacha Guyot over at Science Fiction, Transmedia & Fandom, also tagged me in her writing process post. Seriously, you really have to check both of these authors out. Their writing is amazing and they are both frighteningly omnipresent (or, at least, that’s how it feels to me).
Wait, where was I…? Oh, yes, writing process post…
Heather and Natacha bid me answer four questions:
- What am I working on at the moment?
- How does my work differ from others of its genre?
- Why do I write what I do?
- How does my writing process work?
Then came the catch: find three worthy writers and force them to answer the same questions. Sorry, did I say ‘force’? I meant force.
I’ve deliberated long and hard on this and want to nominate:
- Jen Bradlee, a romance author, who blogs at I Feel a Sin Coming On;
- Thain, flash fictioneer (if that isn’t a word, then it ought to be) extraordinaire, from Thain in Vain; and
- Stephen Doyle from the remarkable Trifectumblog.
Now, let’s do this…
What am I working on at the moment?
Currently, I’m pretending that I’m not working on anything and taking a break following the success of A Dictionary of Tales, but you and I know that was never going to happen. So, what am I working on? Those of you who’ve been following this blog know that I’m heavily invested in my urban fantasy series, Harlequin, and I’m in the process of editing book one. I am also drafting book two of the same series.
As well as Harlequin, I’m planning on releasing my Dictionary of Tales anthology but not before I add twenty-six new stories to the mix. Stay tuned for updates at a later date.
The A to Z Challenge enticed me to the websites of writers I’d never come across before and out of this I found a number of new blogs to follow. I also found opportunities to collaborate with other writers on new projects (I’m very excited about these). Announcements will be made on the blog in the coming weeks (months, if my brain fails to restart).
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
That’s a tough one.
You’re probably all aware that I’ve a strong leaning towards the themes of urban fantasy and horror. These themes are both known for their wide spectrum. What makes my work different from the others? I suppose it’s that I infuse it with my own black humour and tongue-in-cheek references. I am not afraid to bring the gods down to the level of man, or to elevate monsters above us. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before I end up on the working end of a lightning bolt but, until then, I’ll take my chances.
Why do I write what I do?
Purely and simply, because I love it. I love the very act of writing. I love the release and creativity it affords. I write because I love my characters (not to mention that it’s the only way to stop them from talking to me…constantly).
Why horror? Fear is what drives us. It makes us feel more alive than any other emotion. It get the heart pumping and the adrenaline going. Horror, revulsion and fear have minds of their own. You can test this, just sit alone in a dark room for any real length of time and your mind will instinctively start to worry: what else is in there with you? What’s just outside your field of vision? What was that chill on the back of your neck? Our minds are drawn to it, so why shouldn’t I be? Besides, I suck at writing romance.
How does my writing process work?
Very simply, it works like this:
- Stare at computer monitor until I can no longer keep my eyes open – total word count: zero.
- Give up and go to bed.
- Lie awake in the darkness with 1001 ideas clattering through my head like express trains – total word count: somewhere in the thousands.
I’ve begun to look at writing as a creature in need of daily sacrifice in order to be sated. What sacrifice does it require? Time. It requires time in the following quantities: 10% writing and 90% day dreaming. Each night, the creature searches for an offering of words: sometimes only a handful, sometimes thousands.
I find that the beast can awaken at any time, and have taken to carrying a notebook with me wherever I go. I also carry a phone (should I forget how to use my notebook) and an audio-recorder (should I forget how to use a pen). The notebook is so well travelled that it has worn a hole in the pocket of my jeans. I open the book the instant an idea comes to me which has led to more comedic pile-ups than I can remember. It is used when I have two or more minutes with nothing to do. Inside, it holds my thoughts, observations, new vocabulary, misused words and anything else that I think important. The notebook is the first thing I open when I sit down at the laptop placed far enough away from my coffee (once bitten etc…) I don’t know where I’d be without it.