Writing Process Blog Tour

The lovely and talented Michelle Ziegler tagged me for this tour. You can find out about Michelle’s writing process here.

1) What am I currently working on? I’m revising a manuscript I completed sometime before 2010. I can’t remember exactly when I finished it. The working title is Laurel Heights. It’s paranormal romantic suspense and I’m very excited about the project because it will be my first time self-publishing my work. Not only do the main characters have to deal with desperate characters and bad guys, but they must also contend with pushy and sometimes mean-spirited—um, sorry about the pun—ghost or two. Of course the heroine is a woman who can take care of herself if she wants, but she asks for help from a man just because she wants to. The hero is a hunk with past, but then...aren’t they all?

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? The most common romantic suspense trope seems to involve a damsel in distress who needs rescuing by a big strong, hunky male. The heroine must fall in love with the big strong hunky male while he is rescuing her from certain a horrible fate.

My heroines are rarely damsels in distress. I like my heroines to be strong, independent women. Survivors. They don’t wilt and cower. They stand tall and face adversity. Okay, so they fall hard for the hero, and he plays a large part in resolving the conflict in the book, but only because my heroine chooses to allow him to help her not because she has to have his help. My heroine is usually the one who saves the day. Because she can.

3) Why do I write what I do? I write romantic suspense because I love the moment where the breath catches. I like to read those moments and I like to write those moments. With romantic suspense, the reader gets a two-fer. Both the romance plot line and the suspense plot line must come to a pivotal moment, the moment the reader has been waiting for, anticipating. The first kiss. The confrontation with the villain. The I love you moment. The revelation of the deep, dark secret that makes everything make sense. When a reader keeps reading because he or she has to reach that wonderful ah-ha moment, I feel as if I’ve accomplished my goal. I live to read the words, “I couldn’t put the book down.”

4) How does my writing process work? Something will give me a bit of inspiration. The opening scene of the book will somehow pop into my head, and I’ll start writing the first chapter in my head while I’m driving or showering or eating or prepare another stinking tax return (I’m a CPA.) I decide where I want the plot to go. With the beginning and the end in mind, I’m a certified pantser in the middle. I let my characters dictate all the different directions the plot will twist.

I usually edit as I go. I’ll write a few chapters, then go back and rework them until the flow feels right, checking for continuity and deepening the characterization. Then I’ll write a few more chapters. It’s a stop and go process, but it works for me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a little insight into my twisted writer’s mind. I’m tagging author Krista Ames to keep this hop going.

Krista Ames was born and raised in Indiana. She now resides in Northern Michigan with the love of her life and their 4 children. She is a full time stay-at-home mom and pursues her writing career when she's not chasing kids, cooking or doing laundry. Krista can be found at http://www.apassionforromance.blogspot.comand would love to hear from you any time via mailto:krista@kristaames.com.

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