I was tagged by Jessica Reisman for the Writing Process blog tour. So here’s about me and my process.

What Am I Working On?

Having finished Book 1 of the proposed new series (working title Bandit Girls), I’m currently writing Book 2. This doesn’t have a working title yet, at least not one that has stuck. It does have an aphorism: It’s not cheating if there aren’t any rules.Attr. Butch Cassidy

He probably didn’t say that, but that’s okay: 1, Butch Cassidy doesn’t exist in my secondary fantasy world, and 2. That’s based on the movie Butch anyway. BG2, as it’s cleverly called, is about two sisters who, having regained the family’s status and vanquished their enemies, now find things are, if anything, even more complicated than they were in the previous book.

I’ve also written two new short stories, a tiny screenplay, several scraps of new things, and bits and bobs of other stuff. I just reworked one of those scraps from two years ago into a new short story that I’m very happy with. Don’t throw anything out, kids!

How Does My Work Differ From Others In Its Genre?

Well, I write books with romantic elements, but I don’t necessarily believe in an HEA. My new series has two teen sisters, but since I don’t think people that young should find their soulmates without a few miles on them first, they don’t have angsty romances. They do explore physical attraction and love of course, but it’s not the grand sturm and drang of current teen books. This may be why I can’t sell this series, but we’ll see. I also don’t have a lot of magic in my fantasy. My first series, the Books of the Gordath, has very little magic in it, which was subtle and had only a few elements yet was the driving force of the books. I don’t like flash-bang magic. I prefer the quieter stuff. Also a YMMV thing: some people like fantasy like that, other’s don’t.

I also write what I call recognizable women: strong, but realistic. They are never going to roundhouse kick someone into next week, but they will be able to handle a weapon — or horses — and are competent in their sphere. I roll my eyes at the “strong female characters” of most movies, in which the women are all supernaturally strong and “better than.” Women don’t need to be better than. They just need to be good.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

Louisa May Alcott said: “I had a hard life, and so I write jolly books.” I didn’t have a hard life in the same sense but I write adventure stories because I didn’t have a lot of adventure. I’m a very straight-and-narrow sort of person. So I write about swashbuckling and horsebackriding and great battles and yes, magic, and strong women (who are realistically competent!). Adventure is good for the soul.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

Hahahaha! I laugh. I have no idea. I used to hate the idea of outlining. Then I tried it. And it worked — a little bit — and then it derailed. So I went back to seat of the pants writing, in which I worked from a scene and an inspiration, and it worked for a while, and then it derailed. Spectacularly. So I think I’m one of those writers that pantslines, and throws a lot of stuff out (into a cut file, anyway), and has to have a lot of false starts and wrong paths before the whole thing comes together.

Lately, the short story writing has been pretty straightforward. I get an idea, develop it in my head a bit, then jot down notes in a primitive outline. Then I try to write it in one shot, going linearly. It’s worked the last couple of times in a really positive way.

Thanks for tagging me, Jessica! I hereby tag Rebecca Schwarz and J.K. Cheney for their writing process.


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