I've learned every writer has their own process, from start to finish, plot bunnies to final revisions we each go about it a little different. I was invited to share my innermost thoughts and practices of my personal journey.
Q: What am I working on?
Currently I am writing the sequel to my YA Paranormal novel, Illuminated. Continuing Jillian's story in Enlightened has been like returning to my home town to see all of my closest friends. I haven't seen them since last summer and the visit is way past due. Readers have contacted me repeatedly wanting to find out what Jillian is planning for her sister, Heather, so I guess its about time I give them what they want.
I am also working on a completely new as of yet untitled Paranormal novel. This story centers around the lovely Grayson Goodman, who is learning to cope with the aftermath of her best friend's murder. She meets Bael, the sexy, mysterious man she never knew she wanted who may just be more than he seems. I am loving the freedom to write Grayson's and Bael's love scenes without having to worry about keeping it PG, they can be as naughty as I want.
Q: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
When it comes to YA Paranormal its pretty much been done already which makes it difficult to stand out. I spent a lot of time devouring every YA-P I could get my grubby little hands on so I would know what has been done. I found that there was a formula. Girl who is either orphaned or moves (or both) gains instant popularity and although she has never had a boyfriend she now finds herself in a love triangle, torn between two flawless guys. She is then faced with a very unrealistic supernatural obstacle that she overcomes with ease. And the same supes fill the pages- Vamps, shifters, witches, fae, etc.
I decided to break the mold a bit in Illuminated. Jillian is practically invisible but does find a love interest and a friend or two. No triangles. She does face an obstacle but it is one that any one of us could find ourselves facing. And I decided to sort of create my own brand of supes, a Vessel, a Mimic, an Elemental, and many more.
Q: Why do I write what I do?
Simply put, I adore Paranormal Romance. When I was little I wanted to be a vampire, a mermaid, a centaur, a fairy, and a witch. My favorite movie to this day is Labyrinth (Jareth the Goblin King is HOT!) and all the books I read had some otherworldly elements. When I am watching a movie or a television show or reading a book I love losing myself in another world and even more so the world I've created. Sharing my creation with others is scary and exciting and wonderful and many other nerve-wracking emotions but they are all worth it when someone enjoys my book.
Q: How does my writing process work?
Well, here's the twisty part- not only am I a "pantser" but I sort of write backwards. How can someone write backwards? Confusing right? Told you I'm weird.
So here's the deal. If you've ever had to write a paper in school and the teacher made you write an outline, a rough draft, then a first draft, and at long last the final copy and you were successful good for you. I wrote the final copy first, then made up the other drafts and outline afterwards. I also do not plot, I just fly by the seat of my pants, hence "pantser"... I literally sit down and wait for the story to flow which can be good and bad. When the groove hits I write like a fiend, other times I sit and stare at the screen until I get frustrated and end up surfing.
When I was writing Illuminated there were periods of time, some lasting months, where I wouldn't even pull up the file because my process and I didn't quite see eye to eye. I would get so jealous seeing all my author friends posting status updates "just typed 'THE END'" or "big word day! hit 5000!" and there I sat, blank page full of nothing. But I didn't give up.
Q: Who will we meet next week?
The first author I've invited is the lovely A'ndrea J. Wilson, an award-winning author of the Wife 101 Series (Wife 101, Husband 101, Couples 101, and the upcoming Singles 101). She also writes thrillers under the pseudonym Janell. Please join her at her at http://drawilson.wordpress.com/