Mar 31 2014

My Writing Process Author Hop

I’ve been invited to take part in the “My Writing Process Blog Tour” by Page Morgan, the author of THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED.  I just got to meet her this month, and on top of being super funny and kind in person, she has the claim to fame of writing gothic fiction, which is my favorite genre of all time.  (Seriously.  I own seven different editions of Jane Eyre.)
On to the questions!
1) What am I working on?
Landry Park II: Landry Parkier,  which is in the edit stage right now.  Send scotch.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
YA Dystopian has really flowered in the years since The Hunger Games emerged, and it’s been really exciting to see how different authors take similar themes and explore them in vastly different ways.  I think Landry Park takes a slightly more glamorous approach to the Oppressive Future of Society theme–the protagonist is one of the elite, rather than being part of the underclass, and the world is richer and more colorful than many of the desaturated and gray dystopias out there.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I don’t have an easy answer for this.  Sometimes I write because I’m compelled–by an image or a character or a setting.  Sometimes I write to escape.  Sometimes it’s both.  What drew me to Landry Park was the luxurious world, with both its beauty and its darkness.  I love settings that take on a life of their own, that are more and more complex the deeper you delve into them.
4) How does my writing process work?
  • After the initial inspiration–a scene or an image–lodges itself in my brain, I usually give it a gestation period.  Sometimes a month or several months, depending.
  • Then I write the first chapter or two, just to dip my toes in the water.
  • After that, I do the SAVE THE CAT beat sheet to give myself a loose road guide for the journey ahead.
  • Once that’s in place, I aim for 1000 to 2000 words a day.  Any less, and I won’t get the book finished in a reasonable amount of time, and any more, and my words devolve into mush that’s at best unreadable and at worst madness-inducing…
Be sure to check out Elizabeth Otto’s blog next week for the next installment of the hop!  Elizabeth is a dear friend of mine, in addition to being the most talented romance author I know.  A paramedic by day, Elizabeth writes women’s fiction that’s as heartfelt as it is steamy by night.

Mar 27 2013

The Next Big Thing!

Look at me!  I was tagged in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop by Elizabeth Richards to answer a few questions about my debut novel coming in 2014!

1)      What is the working title of your book? LANDRY PARK TWO, a Tale of Woe and Misery and Atoms: The Dressening
2)      Where did the idea come from? This is the second book in the Landry Park trilogy and picks up a couple weeks after the Big Event that concludes Book One.  The initial germination for Landry Park came from working at my local museum, where playing with pictures of debutantes and pictures of fallout shelters began to create weird pictures in my mind.
3)      What genre does your book fall under? YA Sci Fi, although I would love to see “Future Historical” as a real classification someday.
4)      What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  Aw, crap.  I’m bad at this.  I still like Shailene Woodley as Madeline–she’s smart and thoughtful, which is exactly how Madeline is–although now Shailene will be (an awesome!) Tris, so I think it will be hard to see her as any other YA heroine for a while.  And I’d like Michael Fassbender to be her father just so I can drool over the idea of Michael Fassbender discussing philosophy in a three piece suit.
5)      What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? Oh, this is easy!  Gone with the Nuclear Wind.
6)      Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?  Landry Park will come out from Dial/Penguin in early 2014, and I’m represented by the amazing Mollie Glick of Foundry Media.
7)      How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  The first book went through major, major revisions and took two years, but The Dressening only needed four or five months for the first draft.  (That’s fast for me.)
8)      What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  For Darkness Shows the Stars, almost certainly.  Landry Park has distinct Austen overtones.
9)      Who or what inspired you to write this book?  I wanted to write a book that layered in thorny issues of responsibility and identity with beauty and romance and dashing army uniforms.  I wanted to write a book that could talk about atomic particles on one page and have a heroine kissing in a garden on the next.  I was inspired by books I love so much I wish I could read them all at the same time: Gone with the Wind, Mansfield Park, The Illustrated Man, Jane Eyre, Rebecca, Brave New World…
10)   What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  Let’s see…a mysterious attack in the woods, ballroom dances, radiation poisoning, dresses, a flirty boy with a big smile, a mausoleum hidden in a maze…
So I’m passing the torch onto two fantastic authors, Laurelin Paige and Katherine Ernst, both good friends of mine!  Look for their posts next week!