My Writing Process (a blog hop)

The very lovely Dimity Powell tagged me last month in the My Writing Process blog hop. It’s taken me until now to get organised, but I’ve finally put together my responses.

First up, the preamble:
The #MyWritingProcess blog hop works like this: You get an invitation from an author-blogger to answer four questions about your writing process. When you do, you also invite three more writers to answer the same questions to pass the torch onward.

Step 1: Acknowledge the person who invited you to join:Dimity Powell 2010
Dimity Powell, whose information-packed blog you can find here. (And her blog tour responses are here.) Dimity is the author of the fun junior novel, PS: Who Stole Santa’s Mail.

Step 2: Answer these questions as deeply or briefly as you like:

1.      What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on Burn (Rephaim #4). I’m almost finished the first draft, but I have a mountain structural editing to do. I’m also been writing guest posts for Shimmer’s (Rephaim #3) recent release in Australia and the UK, and planning posts for Haze’s (Rephaim #2) upcoming release in the US and Canada in September.

2.      How do you think your work differs from that of other writers in your genre?
That’s a tricky question, but I guess the best way to answer is that I’m telling a story in a way that appeals to me. I enjoy exploring the complexity of relationships between all of my characters – the things that draw them close and the things that push them apart – as much as I enjoy writing fight scenes. I don’t know if that makes my writing different, but it does make it mine.

3.      Why do you write what you write?
It’s fun! The beauty of speculative fiction is that you make it whatever you want it to be. You can follow traditional forms of storytelling in a particular genre or you can head off in weird and wonderful directions (e.g. genre mash-ups). I’m writing a series about people with flaws, who also happen to be supernatural creatures with special abilities – but these abilities don’t help them solve their problems. (Well, okay, sometimes they do, but not the deep-seated issues:  those ones they have to work on without their swords and fists.)

4.      What’s your writing process, and how does it work?
I don’t know that I have a process (I used to think I did, but now I’m not so sure). Basically, I’ll mull over an idea for a while before I start writing. I tend to be thinking about the next book/story while still writing the current project, which I think allows for plenty of ‘percolating’ time. Then I tend to map out my plot (very roughly) and just dive in. Whenever I hit a brick wall, it’s usually because my plot or character arc isn’t quite right, so I may need to brainstorm (translation: daydream while driving and listening to the Foo Fighters) to get things back on track. My main process, though, is simply sitting down and writing, and fighting through that first half hour/hour when nothing seems to want to come out. The only way it will, is if I stay there and write (rather than checking twitter, Goodreads, facebook, IMBD, etc…)

Who’s next?
This is where I’m supposed to name three other writers to continue the blog hop, but I’m going to cheat and do what my good friend and fellow writer Vikki Wakefield once did, which is to invite any interested blogger-writers to pick up the question (and preamble) and go for it! (Feel free to link to your responses in the comments here.)

Shimmer launch, UK release, guests posts, reviews…

It’s been a busy few weeks, with Shimmer releasing in Australia/New Zealand and the UK. Here’s quick wrap-up of what I’ve been up to.

Shimmer Australian launch
I had such a great night last Thursday at Riverbend Books, when the fabulous Marianne de Pierres and I sat down for a relaxed chat as part of the official Australian launch for Shimmer.

We covered a broad range of topics, from the appeal of angel mythology to the challenges of writing ‘hot’ scenes. I always enjoy chatting with Marianne (with or without an audience), and I loved the chance to meet readers and celebrate with my always supportive family and friends.

Thanks to the great crowd who came along on the night (so many of you bought books – and not just mine!). Thanks again to Marianne and Riverbend Books (especially Dave), and Text Publishing for making it happen (thanks Steph!).

Guest posts
I’ve had a couple of guest posts this week, as part of Shimmer’s release:

  • Kids’ Book Review : where I talk about why I chose to tell the Rephaim story as a series
  • Sister Spooky : 20 random questions
  • Wondrous Reads : an in-depth Q&A including questions about THAT scene in Shimmer (warning: some spoilers if you haven’t read Haze and Shimmer)
  • Dark-Readers : fun guest post featuring bonus details about Rafa and Jude

And a few early reviews of Shimmer:

Thanks to everyone who’s sent messages and left comments after reading Shimmer. I really appreciate it.

Now, back to writing Burn (Rephaim #4).