My good friend and writing buddy, Judy Christie, invited me to join in with a blog hop that’s going around. Good friends are like that . . . they share when they have good ideas. Judy is the author of the popular Green series, the Hurry Less, Worry Less Series, and the fun new Trumpet and Vine Series. Thanks, Judy, for tagging me to write about my writing process.
1) What am I currently working on? I’ve just finished the first round of content edits of my next Roaring Twenties novel, A Flying Affair. For the past several months I’ve been in the writing cave neck deep in learning about women in aviation in the Jazz Age. Mittie Humphreys is a high-spirited horsewoman with ambitions to compete alongside early aviatrixes Amelia Earhart and others. Whew! Now that the story is finished, I’m going to relax a bit and let some of the others ideas bubbling in my head marinate.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? I write women’s fiction which in itself lends itself to a variety of themes and approaches so there’s not really a genre standard. My earlier novels were nostalgic (1950s and 60s) which is not a common genre. People have told me they hear my character’s voices when they read my stories (I like that!). Another thing readers tell me is that I have memorable characters and that my stories transported them to the setting and era. And my newest book – The Hatmaker’s Heart – is different in that it has both an American and a British setting, which was very fun to write. And I honestly can’t remember ever reading a book that focuses on the high fashion world of millinery.
3) Why do I write what I do? I write to answer some of the burning questions I’ve always had about life and explore eras or topics I’m curious about. I’ve always been moved by the power of stories and love creating characters and situations that evoke strong feelings and yet leave the reader with a glimmer of hope that all is well when the final page is turned.
4) How does your writing process work? What a loaded question! What usually comes first is the premise or idea – an unusual occupation, a question, a situation that grabs me, sometimes a setting. As I think about crafting that seed into a story, characters often come complete with physical characteristics, quirks, and even back story. Once I have two or three characters in mind, I call others on stage to layer the story – a best friend, family members, a mentor, a second or third antagonist. I’m not by nature a plotter, but I find it helps to have a beginning (sometimes this part is elusive), a few major turning points, and I nearly always know how it will end. I’ve found Michael Hauge’s Six-Stage Plot Structure makes the most sense for me in laying out the story in three acts. Research begins right away while the story is simmering. Scene lists are made. And ALWAYS when I begin the actual writing there are surprises – and sometimes characters – that I didn’t plan on. It keeps me on my toes and I hope keeps the stories fresh and unique.
One thing I love about being an author is that I have many author friends who are also wonderful storytellers and all around nice people. I hope you will check out these three authors next week when they post about their writing process.
CAMILLE EIDE: www.camilleeide.com
Camille Eide is an author who lives near the evergreen Oregon Cascades. She blogs about God’s amazing grace Along the Banks, reviews books and inspirational TV/Film at Extreme Keyboarding, and writes faith-inspiring love stories sprinkled with bits of wry wit. She is the author of Savanna’s Gift, (White Rose Publishing), a Christmas Romance nestled in a snowy ski lodge with the sweet promise of cinnamon, spice, and second chances.
Camille’s soon-to-release full length novel, Like There’s No Tomorrow, is a sweet, faith-inspiring love story about two quirky old Scottish sisters bent on reuniting, and their young co-correspondents who fall in love even though her family secret could break his heart—again.
Camille is a sucker for Muscle Cars, Classic Rock, #WhenCallsTheHeart, Jane Austen, Peanut M&Ms, and her pretty new Granddolly. Visit Camille at www.camilleeide.com
ANNE MATEER: www.annemateer.com
BIO: While I have been writing for what feels like my whole life, I began seriously studying the craft in 2000. Since then I have completed five novels, had several pieces published in local periodicals, attended six writing conferences and managed to final in ACFW’s Genesis contest in 2006, 2008, and 2009. I currently have three historical novels published: Wings of a Dream, At Every Turn, and A Home for My Heart. Playing by Heart will release in the fall of 2014. But writing is only a piece of my life. I am mostly just a woman trying to live her life in a manner pleasing to the Lord. That involves being a wife to Jeff and a mother to my three young adult children–neither role coming easily but both roles stretching me, requiring me to press in closer to Jesus. And because of this, Jesus has taken an insecure, fearful, sometimes angry girl and is turning her into a more trusting, peaceful, grace-filled woman. At least some of the time. There is still such a long way to go!
LAURIE TOMLINSON: http://www.laurietomlinson.com
Bio: Laurie Tomlinson is a wife and mom who writes stories of grace in the beautiful mess. Her first book won the 2013 ACFW Genesis Award (Contemporary), and her second is a current semifinalist in the 2014 Genesis Contest (Romance). She is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary.
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