The Writing Process Blog Hop 2014

laptopMy 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?

Right now, today, I’m working on all the details for tomorrow’s launch party for Ilsa!

Ilsa-facebook-header

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!

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I’m tagging James DiBenedetto and Lia London to carry on the blog hop!

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