Ever wonder how we do what we do? Then welcome to the Writing Process Blog hop! Thanks to Kate Curran for tagging me. I love Kate’s heartwarming romances. She and I have been email buds for, wow, I think it’s 10 years now! We keep each other writing, setting goals in the morning, then reporting back at the end of the day. It really helps to push me to meeting that goal. And Kate’s great for brainstorming, too. Check out her storyboards on her Blog, really cool! You can find out more Kate’s romances on her website. She also writes children’s book with an agriculture theme.
So, on with the writing blog hop! It centers around 4 basic questions:
- What am I working on?
- How does my work differ from others of its genre?
- Why do I write what I do?
- How does my writing process work?
I write classy erotic romance as NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasmine Haynes. I also write romantic comedy with a twist of mystery under my Jennifer Skully pseudonym, and right now I’m working my next Cottonmouth book. The first two in the series are She’s Gotta Be Mine and Fool’s Gold. I haven’t written a Cottonmouth novel in years, and it’s been so fun to revisit that little town I created and catch up with the couples from the first two books. Can’t Forget You centers around Maggie Halliday, a newly divorced mother of a college-age daughter, returning home to Cottonmouth after a 20-year absence. Her grandmother has just passed away and Maggie inherits her house, along with all her grandmother’s boarders still living there. And guess who lives in the attic room? Cooper Trubek, the high school sweetheart she dumped. The story is about whether you can really come home again, but it’s also about all the secrets we run away from. And her grandmother’s house has lots of secrets that it doesn’t want to keep buried anymore. There’s a little bit of magical realism going on here, because the house can actually make things happen. I’ve finished the first draft, and I’m now working on the first revision. I’ll tell you all about that process in a bit.
My romances differ from many of those in my two romance genres because I write about mature characters. Most of them are in the late thirties or their forties. I’ve even had some of my characters in their fifties. Their at a different stage of life. Their kids might be in high school or fully grown. They’ve had divorces. They’re not starting out anymore. They’ve done all that, and now they’re looking for something different. The issues they tackle are different from characters in their twenties. And make no mistake, just because I write erotic romance, my stories aren’t all sex-sex-sex. Everyone has an issue they’ve got to deal with. I guess I’m really answering the third question here as well, why do I write what I do? I’m no spring chicken, so I write about people who are older. I was an accountant in Silicon Valley for many years, so a lot of my books feature people in the business world. Max Starr in the Max Starr series is an accountant. She’s also a psychic, and she has visions of murdered women. The West Coast series takes place in a Silicon Valley company similar to one I worked in (without all the sexual hijinks!). The first book in the Cottonmouth series, my heroine was an accountant! So there’s a lot of “write what you know” in there. I like to write funny stuff, mystery stuff, sexy stuff. And I like combining them. Someone recently said that I write humorous erotic! I’d never thought of it that way, but my latest, Teach Me a Lesson, did make me laugh! I’ve done a bit of paranormal with Max Starr and my reincarnation story, Twisted By Love. Those are the paranormal things I believe in, ghosts, reincarnation, and psychics. So I write what interests me about characters who are closer to my age in settings that I’m familiar with or that intrigue me.
As for my writing process, I’m a linear writing, meaning I write from beginning to end. I know people who skip around, but often how a scene plays out changes scenes that come later. A small or big thing happens that directs the course of the books, sometimes changing it in ways I never expected. I guess I’m sort of living the story along with my characters as I’m writing it. I have a basic plot which I enter into a chapter-by-chapter outline, which I call the Toad. LOL, I was telling my friend Rosemary Gunn about my “roadmap” in an email, and I accidentally typed Toadmap. So we just kept calling it the Toad! I know where I’m going. Usually, LOL! There was one Max Starr book where I had no idea who the killer was until my heroine figured it out for me! But for the most part I have the basics down. Things can change, though, in unexpected ways as a scene is playing out, and that often directs the action later on. Just like it does for a real person! I pick out my characters, names, ages, backgrounds. It’s important to have all that up front so I don’t lose the characters as I’m going along. That’s not to say they don’t surprise me, too, and I find out things I didn’t know! I try to write between 2000 to 2500 words a day. I don’t edit or rewrite unless a scene is totally hopeless and I have to scrap it. I do make notes in my Toadmap about what I need to consider revising, things I forgot to seed in earlier, etc, etc, but I push through to the end. My first revision is going back to all those notes in the Toad and revising. Some of them might be more global and I’ll take care of those on the second revision, which is a full read-through. After that I do one final read and send it to my editor. There’s one more revision after I get it back from the editor, and it’s done. I try not to go over and over and over the manuscript. That can take all the joy out of it and erase my voice. Sometimes a book can be totally polished but completely bland because all the good flavor has been revised right out of it.
So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
I’ve got some fabulous authors coming up next so please be sure to check out their writing process blogs next Monday, April 21! I adore the books of each of my guests, and I’m sure you will, too. Here’s an intro to each of them!
Golden Heart Award winner and Epic Award nominee Pamela Fryer writes contemporary romance with a dash of paranormal, and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense that will leave you breathless. She lives in Northern California, but has never worn Birkenstock sandals. Visit her at her website www.pamelafryer.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter, or at facebook.com/pamelasbooks newsletter. Look for her blog at http://pamelafryer.blogspot.com/. If you haven’t read one of Pam’s books, then now’s your chance! The Lost Finder—I loved this book—is free thru Tuesday, 4/15. Reward yourself for finishing your taxes by getting a great free book!
Regina Kammer writes erotica and historical erotic romance. She has been published by Cleis Press, Go Deeper Press, Ellora’s Cave, and her own imprint, Viridium Press. She began writing historical fiction during NaNoWriMo 2006, switching to erotica when all her characters suddenly demanded to have sex.
2013 releases include:
- The Pleasure Device (Harwell Heirs Book 1): http://kammerotica.com/books/pleasure-device/
- The General’s Wife: http://kammerotica.com/books/the-generals-wife-an-american-revolutionary-tale/
Connect with her:
- Blog: http://kammerotica.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kammerotica
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kammerotica
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Kammerotica
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ReginaKammer
Liz Adams, author of the bestselling erotic fairy tale Alice’s Sexual Discovery in a Wonderful Land, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA. Her short story Amy “Red” Riding’s Hood, an erotic version of Red Riding Hood, won Goodreads’ Book of the Month for October 2012. Liz studied music and creative writing in college before making her writing her career. In her spare time she cuddles with her lover on the couch to watch her favorite shows, and often they work together doing research for her books.
Link to website: http://www.lizadamsauthor.com
Link to blog: http://www.lizadamsauthor.com/my-blog/ Teach Me a Lesson is available for preorder on Amazon http://amzn.to/1fpPZAD BN http://bit.ly/1iK9QlF and iBooks http://bit.ly/1nq2Igu. I hope you all will enjoy it as much as The Naughty Corner.