WRITING PROCESS BLOG TOUR
I was tagged in the Writing Process Blog Tour by one of my talented critique partners, Carrie Pearson. Carrie is an insightful critiquer and a fantastic writer. She’s the author of the picture books, A Warm Winter Tail and A Cool Summer Tail, and I have no doubt there will be many more books with her name on them on bookshelves in the near future. Carrie is also the co-RA for SCBWI-Michigan. I don’t know how she finds time to do it all!
Here are my answers to the blog tour questions, and below those, you’ll find the two writers I tagged to answer them next.
What are you currently working on?
I’m anticipating the editorial letter for my first novel-under-contract any day now. That novel is due out in bookstores next spring. While I’ve been waiting for the letter, I’ve been fleshing out an outline for the sequel to that novel, and revising a stand-alone mystery that should be published in 2016 or 2017.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The novels I’ve written so far all have humor, mysteries, adventure, layered plots, and quirky characters. They are all contemporary stories, but I do a lot of research for my books and love finding obscure facts or historical trivia that can be woven into the plot or spun out in a compelling way. Each of my novels, so far, have mysteries that revolve around significant historical literary figures. My first book (Book Scavenger) and its sequel also revolve around an online/real world book hunting game.
Why do I write what I write?
Since I was a kid, I dreamed of growing up to be the next Beverly Cleary, Lois Lowry, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, James Howe, E. L. Konigsberg, Roald Dahl, Ann M. Martin, Judy Blume . . . To have books published that will be shelved next to these authors is a dream realized for me. The stories I’m drawn to writing are often the ones I wished existed when I was a kid.
How does my individual writing process work?
Writing a story isn’t like changing the oil in a car. There’s no methodical way to go about it, at least for me. I have the spark of an idea and I sit on it. I ask myself questions. If scenes or characters come alive, I jot down notes. Eventually the notes turn into pages. I keep doing variations of that until I’ve puzzled that spark of an idea into a fleshed-out story. Then I give the story to some trusted readers who tell me what they think. I process their feedback and use that as a gauge for myself to figure out what exactly I’m trying to do with this story anyway. And then I set about rewriting the story. I send the revision to trusted readers, again, to see what they have to say. The more I go through this process, the clearer my understanding becomes of the story I’m trying to tell, and how close or far off the mark I am.