My friend and fellow writer, Kayla Dawn Thomas, tagged me as part of The Writing Process Blog Hop 2014.
I’m tasked with answering four questions, so here goes…
What am I working on right now?
I’m also finishing up some exciting stuff in regard to Aundy. That info will be shared tomorrow as well!
In addition to that, any spare minute I have, I’m working on the next installment in the Pendleton Petticoats series and I’ll be taking the photo and designing the cover for a book that will be out in early summer!
How does my work differ from others in the genre?
My books are happy-ending romances. One thing that makes them a little different is that they are clean. Because of this, many people tend to pigeonhole them into a Christian or inspirational category, which they aren’t. They’re just clean romances. So often, I think people confuse sex with romance and, to me, being a hopeless and incurable romantic, that is a sad thing.
Reviewers have called my books character driven. I work really hard on developing each character and bringing them to life. I love books that make me feel like I’ve made a new friend or two by the end and those are the types of stories I endeavor to write.
Also, I like to infuse a little humor and sarcasm into my books. I just got a review for Ilsa that said, “You will laugh – cry – get angry!” To me, that is the best compliment! To get the reader so involved in the story that they are experiencing all those emotions – that is what I strive for.
Why do I write what I do?
My aunt told me years ago, as I packed up to leave for college, that I should always write what I know. I grew up on a farm around all things rural including crazy animals, farmers, ranchers, cowboys, and beautiful sunsets. I married the sweetest guy in the world who has melted my heart on a daily basis for the last twenty years. I’ve worked a variety of jobs that allowed me to gain a wealth of experiences.
I take what I know and turn it into stories with interesting characters. I love (LOVE) writing westerns, both contemporary and historical.
At the end of the day, though, I hope someone reads my book and it gives them a lift, makes them laugh, takes them to a place where they can relax and escape for an hour or two. That’s success to me.
How does my writing process work?
I tried to follow a structured outline – once. After that fiasco, I stuck with what works for me.
Once I’ve decided on the basic story idea (where it starts and where it should end), I start visualizing my characters. That’s a huge step for me because I’m very visual. I find a face that looks exactly as I pictured the character then start fleshing out all their details. I do this for the two main characters and few of the prominent minor characters. I use Pinterest to create book boards where I pin things that help bring the story to life.
After I get all the visual components in place, I start writing. I know where I want the story to begin and I know where I want it to end, but most of the chapters in between generally come as a surprise. Ioften feel like the characters sit in my office with me and tell me what should happen next. It’s a lot of fun!
I’m tagging James DiBenedetto and Lia London to carry on the blog hop!