Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the My Writing Process blog tour – my thanks to Janet Gover for the kind invitation. To see how Janet answered these questions, why not visit her on her blog?
And now, to my answers:
What am I working on?
I have two projects on the go at the moment. My edits are in for my first paperback novel, Do Opposites Attract? It’s out in July, and this is the first round of edits – the round where you have to take a big breath before you open your editor’s email! I’ve not looked at the book for nearly two years now, so it’s lovely to meet Mitch and Brianna again. Of course in two months time, I might be glad to see the back of them…
Meanwhile, I’ve nearly finished the first draft of a full length novel about a racing driver. My husband and sons are huge Formula one fans, but I always thought it was dull. Faceless men in fast cars go round a track seventy times. So what? Then I went to my first meeting and was bowled over by the sheer speed and noise. That was when I decided to have a hero who was an F1 driver. The research has been great fun and I’ve been able to dazzle (umm, okay they might not agree with that term) my family with what I’ve learnt. So when I’ve finished my edits, I’ll be meeting up with my racing driver again.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I write contemporary romance. Books that feature a hero I’ve fallen in love with, and a heroine who’s lucky enough to catch his eye. Does this differ from other work in this genre? No – in fact what I write is traditional romance. The part of writing I enjoy most is when I’m in my hero’s head. He’s everything I want in a man – and it’s not just his looks. He’s strong but vulnerable, macho but kind of cute. He’s also funny. To me, a sense of humour is the sexiest trait a man can have. So the way my work differs is personal to me – it features my type of heroes.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write the type of books I enjoy reading. My passion for a strong hero started early in my reading career, when I fell in love with Julian from The Famous Five. When I finally set out to write, I didn’t do it in any planned way. I simply wrote what I wanted to read.
4) How does my writing process work?
The term process might be a little strong. I start with my hero, and for a while I ‘play’ with him in my head. I imagine what he looks like, what he’s doing, where he’s come from. Then I picture his ideal woman – and that’s ideal from my perspective, not from his. After all, I invented him, so I know who will suit him best. When I have a good handle on my hero and heroine, the story starts to work itself out – again, all in my head. If you see me stuck in a traffic jam, smiling to myself, you’ll know what I’m doing! There comes a point when all the ideas start pouring out and I have to collate them before I lose them. That’s when I’ll open the blank sheet of paper and drop everything down. It’s not organised, but in that brain dump are my characters and the story outline. After that, I sketch out a rough chapter by chapter outline. As I write, new ideas come and the chapters shift and change, but the essence of the story remains. If it made me smile in a traffic jam, my hope is it will make my readers smile, too.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Following on from me, Jules and Margaret will be entertaining you with their writing processes next Monday. Why not join them?
Jules is a fellow Choc Lit author. She writes fun, contemporary romance. Her debut novel Talk To Me will be published by Choc Lit in June 2014.
“From an early age I’ve been an avid reader and started writing when I ran out of books from my favourite authors. In the fantastic digital world we now live in that would never happen.”
I was lucky enough to meet Margaret at the RNA Winter party. Born in Hertfordshire, England, she writes readers for people learning to speak English and women’s fiction.
Her readers are published by Cambridge English Readers, Cambridge Discovery Readers and Cengage Learning. They are in lots of different genres including Fantasy, Romance, Human Interest, Thriller, Fact Book and Adapted Short Stories. Two of these readers were finalists for the Extensive Reading Foundation’s Language Learner Literature Awards.
Margaret’s first novel, The Goddess Workshop, is a roller-coaster comedy about a mismatched group of women with a common aim – becoming confident, sensual beings. A second novel, The Dare Club was published last month.