Who’s tagging whom? Authors discuss the writing process
I was tagged by Susana Ellis, Regency romance writer extraordinaire and finder of exquisite photos of historical clothing and other bits and bobs. We met over an anthology, Cotillion Christmas Celebrations, which includes her short story "A Twelfth Night Tale."
A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.
In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France, and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around England and visit many of the places she’s read about for years. . . and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley, Central Florida and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.
Um, it's chaotic, unfocused, whiny, superficial ... basically a teenage girl posing in a world of socially adept professionals. But, persistence!
Why do I write what I write?
I write because I can't not. I write specifically what I write because... oh, ten thousand reasons: sub call, subject matter that I feel deeply about, my muse got a wild hair, my co-writer was in a frisky mood.
How does my writing process work?
Every writer I've talked to is fascinated by other writers' processes. We read whole books on the subject and ogle each other's color-coordinated Post-It Note arrangements and Scrivener cork boards. (I am a serious fan of Farrah Rochon's process. Not only is it beautiful and complicated looking, but it results in some kick-ass books.) April Kihlstrom's Book in a Week method is solid, and I've taken her class twice and gotten loads out of it. I have not, however, succeeded in writing a book in a week. My output is more a series of tangential digressions in a week, with a drizzle of semi-sweet unrelated dialogue.
In the end, despite all this discussion and ogling and drizzling, I don't have a set process. I do a lot of prewriting and then sit down and pants until I make myself giggly and start punching the air and stuff. Then I save the file, put it aside for a week or more, go back and read what I've written, and throw up.
Whew. Questions answered for them as gives a pfft! Excellent. Now for the fun part: tagging...
Christa Paige, my partner in crime now on two short stories and my personal fairy godmother of research (complete with wand, just hers tends to look like a lightsaber).
Alexa Bourne, who writes romantic suspense for two publishers, molds the youth of tomorrow with her badass teaching superpowers, and has been such an inspiration to noobs like me.
Jodi Linton, who has a book, her first, coming out this very month. It's got more Wranglers-wearing cowboys than you can shake a stick at. I've read it. It's good.