My Writing Process Blog Tour
Last week I was tagged by fantasy author Lloyd Baron to take part in the “My Writing Process Blog Tour!” This blog tour asks author four questions on their work in progress – what a great way to tell you about what I’m working on and introduce you to other great authors by tagging two more. Links to Lloyd’s answers and the two author’s I’m tagging are at the end. But first, my answers to…
What am I working on?
I’m in the final stages prepping for the release of the last novel in my epic fantasy trilogy on elemental magic, the Rise of the Fifth Order. Spirit of Life is with my wonderful editor and I’m currently working on the cover design. I expect to have a final series of edits (hopefully no more rewrites!) and am aiming for a May release!
I’m really excited to be so close to wrapping up this series and this novel. There were large chunks that I ended up not being please with and rewriting. But the result has been worth it. I’ve been working on the series for close to six years, spending many of them writing and then rewriting book 1, Born of Water. I’ve learned a lot since then – and gotten faster at writing! To wrap up the trilogy feels like an accomplishment… and I no longer feel like such a newbie Indie author!
Of course, I’m not merely sitting back and waiting for my editor while playing around with cover art. Author Steven Montano inspired me in a blog post to write and edit and create all at the same time. Basically, to live in chaos. So… I’m also editing Born of Water and reformatting it for CreateSpace! I’ve always wanted a physical copy of my novels and, with the last one coming out, now is the time!
And believe it or not, I’ve been picking away at some short stories for my next story line. It is a military dystopian scifi with a touch of romance that I playfully explain with “because it is no fun when everyone dies and no one falls in love!” This project is a huge change from the epic fantasy series. No one has magic. The protagonists are older with complicated pasts. The language is far more complex. I love the challenge! The goal is a series of around eight short stories that will lead into two novels. The overall story arc is called “Friends of my Enemy” and the compilation of short stories is “Stories from the War.”
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
For my epic fantasy series, I think the world I created is unique. I try to push my fantasy locations beyond what is traditionally out there. So the world of the books, Myrrah, is not medieval and has no castles (that I’ve run into!). It has more of an ancient Greece feel with much of the travel done by sailboat. It isn’t sword and sorcery!
I also endeavored to make the elemental magic unique. I’ve never been satisfied with how the powers of earth, air, water, and fire were portrayed in other novels. I used some science and thought about what really could you do if you could control water? The results were surprising and fun! Well, not for everyone. 😉 And there is also the issue of a fifth power, dubbed magic. The series is really about what magic is and how it fits into this world. The Church of Four Orders, those with the power of earth, air, water, and fire, wants magic exterminated. I like to think this series challenges the traditional western view of what we consider the elements…
For the dystopian military scifi smashup… well, for one, it takes place in Europe. All of it. I think the fall of the USA has been done enough times that I don’t need to go there. It is set in the near future, with the short stories beginning in 2055 and the novels happening in 2068 and 2069. It touches on problems with climate change, global catastrophes, terrorism, and war. Oh, and love and loss and governmental intrigue along with near collapse. Big stuff told in a personal way through the experiences of a small handful of people whose lives interconnect. I really love writing it (and have been thinking of the background a very long time!).
Why do I write what I do?
Easiest question of them all. These are the stories I’d love to read.
I was a voracious reader in my teenage years. One of those kids who had a book in hand for those five minutes before the bell rang to start class. Nerd, nose in book, usually fantasy, though I loved space stories and travel. I always loved a bit of romance. Oh, and when I finally took a class on classic literature… if I had a time machine I’d go back and save the library of Alexandria (before the first time it burned!). All of those ancient texts… I drool. (excuse me).
I’m still a fast reader. I can polish off a book in four to six hours. And whenever I’m unhappy with how something turns out, I’m picking it apart to see why. Then I try to put what I thought was missing in my next chapter or novel. It means a lot to me to write something that challenges my views, includes some real science, is visually stunning at times, and, that if I’d found in my teenage years, would have been my most favorite book EVER.
How does my writing process work?
With an idea. I’m constantly daydreaming, rewinding ideas when they feel flat, and playing with characters. When something finally snaps into place, I write it down in a journal. If it sticks around, I’ll begin thinking about the characters, building the world, thinking a lot about what happened before the novel took place – why the events I want to write about are happening. I like everything to have a reason.
I have several journals of ideas all waiting for birth into actual novels.
Part of what I love and hate about writing is that I learn so much more about the characters and events during the process of writing. Those moments of inspiration are… addictive, awesome, orgasmic, euphoric. Is there a single word for that moment? What is to hate about that?!
Well, no matter how much I plot and plan, the characters take over and reveal themselves or events in ways I don’t expect. So, by the time I’m at the end of the book, or in the next novel, I realize I could go back and tighten up the earlier sections. Rewriting has become a part of my editing process. And I like the result enough that I’m trying to write ‘ahead’ so that I’ve got most of a series done before I release the first part.
And that is it for me! A huge thanks to Lloyd Baron for tagging me. Learn more about his really interesting epic fantasy series the Prophecy of Ages by checking out his answers here.
The Tour Continues…
I have tagged Chantal Boudreau and Scott Bury! Find their answers on their blogs next week. Until then, here is a snapshot of what to expect:
Chantal Boudreau is an accountant/author/illustrator who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband and two children. A member of the Horror Writers Association, she writes and illustrates horror, dark fantasy and fantasy and has had several of her stories published in a variety of horror anthologies and magazines. Fervor, her debut dystopian novel, was released in March of 2011 by May December Publications, followed by Elevation, Transcendence and Providence. Magic University, the first in her fantasy series, Masters & Renegades, made its appearance in September 2011 followed by Casualties of War and Prisoners of Fate. Learn more at her blog.
Chantal will fill us in on Dominion, the sixth book in her science fantasy series Fervor.
“The series is dystopian and I describe it as science fantasy rather than science fiction because they refer to the psychokinetics used in the story as “magic”. Part of that is because aside from the genetic manipulation discussed in the story, most of the “scientific” elements are based on pseudo-scientific concepts rather than real science. There is still extensive explanation in places as to how these things work and the socio-political background that led to their development, but most of this is introduced gradually, integrated into the plot.”
Find Chantal at these places:
Scott Bury is a journalist, editor and writer living in Ottawa, Canada. His articles have been published in newspapers and magazines in Canada, the US, UK and Australia, including Macworld, the Ottawa Citizen, the Financial Post, Marketing, Canadian Printer, Applied Arts, PEM, Workplace, Advanced Manufacturing and others.
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He holds a BA from Carleton University’s School of Journalism. He has two sons, an orange cat and a loving wife who puts up with a lot.
He is a recipient of Maclean Hunter’s Top 6 Award and a member of a team that won a Neal Award for business reporting.
He published his first novel, The Bones of the Earth, in 2012 and follow it with his “50 Shades” spoof, One Shade of Red, in 2013. His work-in-progress is a memoir in novel style based on the true story of a man who escaped a German POW camp in Ukraine in 1941.
Scott is going to fill us in on his other WIP, a fantasy story titled Dark Clouds:
He and his pretty wife, Teri, try to get out of the way, but as the Witch’s Son, Matt is drawn into a spider’s web.
He has to use his special abilities to spoil the Witch Queen’s plans—but the price for that is to be paid in blood.
Fortunately, Teri has a few special abilities of her own …
Find Scott at these places:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Scott-Bury/e/B007Z4BXGY/