Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blog Hop

After a few posts about Stitch Fix, why don't we return to some author-type stuff? My cousin-in-law and fellow blogger and author, Susan Braun, put out the call for authors to join a Blog Hop she’s participating in. Due to some family crises, this post is about 10 days late, so my 'Blog Hop' is a bit of a late one. :-(

At the bottom of this post, you can find out all about Susan and her writing.  She's a big fan of the Royal Family and Princess Di in particular. So if that is your area of interest, you should check out her books. Susan asked me four questions about my writing as part of the Blog Hop experience:

1) What am I working on?

Great question. I'd like to know that myself. In the works I have a sequel to my YA book, BLOOD MOON, and the beginnings of any idea for a new series - a navy linguist with unique skills finds herself caught up in supernatural events that might lead to aliens.

I have to admit, the creative writing side of me has slowed down lately. I have my own business, and have found my time taken up by trying to make a living!

(What? You mean you don't rake it in as an author? But what about Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer? They are bajillionaires!)

Sadly, most of us authors make very little for the amount of time we spent on our books. Luckily, if the process weren't enjoyable, I wouldn't be writing. It'd be nice to rake in the dough, but that's not always in the cards.

2) How does my work differ from others?

I would say that someone who reads my books could possibly mistake me for a man. I like scary. I like bloody. I like frightening. I don't do sappy romances, although there is some romance woven into all 3 of my books. Also, I enjoy writing action scenes.

3) Why do I write what I write?

I didn't start out writing paranormal suspense. In fact, you can read my road-to-publication story here: My First Published Book.

I wrote semi-autobiographical junk, to be plain. My education in high school and college (English Major!) taught me that the only books worth reading were high-brow 'literature' with 'purpose' and 'meaning.' Once I got over that idea, my writing turned toward what I love: suspense and supernatural stuff. I also love science fiction, but I find that genre rather intimidating to write in. Lots of world building…

Authors tend to write what they enjoy reading. Funny how that works.

4) How does my writing process work?

I am not a planner. Typically, I start with a great idea. For The Ninth Curse, I remember seeing the title for a movie that had the word 'curse' in it, and it sparked an idea. What if someone had to suffer through a series of curses and had to race against time in order to stay alive?

I took that idea and started writing. I knew where I wanted to end up with the story: evil defeated and curses eradicated. But that was about it. I made a list of possible curses (I have no idea why I chose nine curses) and imagined how each curse might play out. Then, I sat down and let my mind take me where it wanted to go.

Part of what I like about my 'no plan' style of writing is that the story unfolds as if I were reading a book for the first time with no idea how the book will end. My hands just type it out, and I surprise myself with where my words go.

If I were more of a planner (i.e. writing outlines, creating a storyboard, etc.), I probably would lose interest in writing because I'd know exactly where the story was going to go every step of the way. As it turned out, when I was 2/3 of the way through The Ninth Curse, I had a revelation that an important character was missing. I began writing the rest of the book as if that character were there the whole time. Once I got to the end of the book, I had to go back and edit in a bunch of extra scenes to make the character fit. Talk about crazy!

Those were my questions to answer. Now let's learn a little bit more about Susan Braun who invited me to participate in the Blog Hop. Here's a very nice photo of her:

Susan Braun has been writing since childhood, but began pursuing it seriously about three years ago with a memoir of growing up Baptist in a small town, called  I Love to Tell the Story. She was inspired to write this book as a way of passing along memories in a humorous way to her three girls, but she found that writing was addictive. Her experience as an elementary teacher led her to write for children: two Christian beginning reader chapter books, a biography of "Mad" King Ludwig for teens, and a biography of Kate Middleton for elementary and middle school students. All of Susan's books can be purchased at Amazon.

She blogs at Girls in White Dresses, where she keeps her writing sharp by sharing "a few of my favorite things" each weekday. You can also keep up with Susan's writing through her Facebook page.

Susan Braun
Writer at Girls in White Dresses
Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge: A Biography for Children
 I Love to Tell the Story: Growing Up Blessed and Baptist in Small Town Indiana
Not So Happily Ever After: The Tale of King Ludwig II
Sophie, Pay Attention!
A Dog Called Naaman

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