I want thank my sister, Diana McCollum, for inviting me to my first Blog Hop. (It’s about the writing process.) I’d also like to give her a shout out at www.dianamccollum.weebly.com .
Diana is one of the authors of LOVE & MAGICK: Mystical Stories of Romance from Windtree Press.
What am I working on?
So far, I only have a title and a hero for my Valentine’s anthology story. A Portent of Peacocks is a YA romance that takes place ten years after the events in Blindsight. My hero, Jake, was only seven when he used his psychic Talent to help free himself and the other prisoners from a drug lord’s camp for enslaved psychics. But life on the outside has not been easy for him.
His foster mother died in the escape. Jake still misses her terribly. His biological parents are afraid of him and his older foster brother is leaving on assignment with the FBI. Plus, there’s this new girl at school. She’s locked down, sarcastic, even scary when she wants to be—she’s an Illusionist—and none of his friends want anything to do with her. But something about her makes Jake seek her out, no matter how many times she cuts him off at the knees and twists him up inside.
This story is going to be so much fun to write!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Writing instructor Alicia Raisley told me I write dark comedy. I think she meant I don’t shy away from dark truths, but my voice is humorous and breezy, which keeps readers reading through the tough parts.
I also like to push the boundaries a little as a writer. My heroine in Blindsight lost her sight in a car accident, but her blindness has nothing to do with her psychic Talent. It just makes life more difficult for her in many ways. My heroine in another book is an ex-con who was rightly convicted of trying to kill a man with a manure shovel. Contrary to what the so-called experts told me, I was able to make her a character my critique partners loved. I’m confident my readers will love her, too.
And last, but not least, dogs play a role in almost every story I write, although when I started writing I thought I was a cat person. Go figure!
Why do I write what I do?
I write to entertain and uplift my readers, to restore their faith in happy endings and give them hope.
How does my writing process work?
Wait. There’s a process?
Seriously, I spend time on what I call pre-writing before beginning a first draft. This includes figuring out my characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts; mapping out the story spine (inciting incident, turning points, ending.) I plot using four-act structure, and it’s easier when I have a TP to write each act toward. I also do obvious research during this time, such as researching the setting or a character issue, like survivor’s guilt.
I’ve learned to knock my internal editor out for the duration of my first draft. I need to go full-bore from start to finish. Once I have the rough draft in hand, I wake her up and get to work. I sketch out what I’ve got on a story board and then to story edits. This is also when I do a book collage.
|SARAH & FRECKLES|
The second draft is about adding description and sensory detail, and deepening the emotion.
Then I polish before sending the story to my wonderful editor, Kelly Schaube.
The next step is incorporating Kelly’s edits.
Then I send the story to my Beta readers.
I tweak the story if needed, and finally reach THE END of the process.
This has Blog Hop has been fun! Thanks for inviting me, Sis.