Last month I was contacted by author Rosemary Claire Smith, one of my fellow students at Taos Toolbox 2013. She very graciously invited me to participate in a blog tour to help readers discover new writers. If you like dinosaurs, love stories, and adventure, she’s someone to watch. Find her online at rosemaryclairesmith.com.
And now, here are some things that you might find interesting:
What am I working on?
Lots of things. I’m always looking for ideas for cool short-stories as well as novels. My novels-in-progress include one about the anti-Hogwarts, one about vampires in space, and a couple of NSFW ones that I hope to publish under my pen name. I have two novels out for queries to publishers and agents right now; one is a middle-grade story about a girl with an unconventional family, and one asks the question, “what do girls like Buffy do after they save the world?”
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I like to think that I differentiate myself with three things:
- Characterization – My characters are real people, even if they’re piloting spaceships or slaying dragons. None of them are perfect; none of them are caricatures. They have hopes, fears, dreams, and desires, just like you and me. And they’re rarely writers, because, really, who wants to read about those people?
- Language and Grammar – I know my way around the English language, and I am a grammar wizard. I use punctuation and words of varying length to control the reader’s pace as she reads my stories; I want my readers to feel the things I felt as I wrote, and that’s one important tool in my utility belt.
- Realistic Endings – Things don’t get tied up in neat little bows. Not in real life. Sure, you killed the bad guy, but now what do you do? Do the police come and pick you up? Do you begin a life of crime? Or does everyone ignore you now, just like they did before? I like exploring the way things end, because they never end the way we expect them to.
Why do I write what I do?
A combination of curiosity, planning, and wish-fulfillment. I’m told that I over-plan everything, that I’m not spontaneous. That’s not entirely true, but it’s not entirely false. Sometimes I write stories because I want to know what it would be like to do thing x, thing y, or thing z; I read, research, and write… until I have the answers I’m seeking. Then I try to make real life fit the story. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes I’m successful.
And sometimes I just see something cool online and it becomes a story. Like that picture floating around Facebook of the list of chores where the three grounded kids can earn “points”, and when they reach 200 points they’re un-grounded. That led to a 6500-word YA-focused fantasy piece about a witch.
How does my writing process work?
I can only write when I’m supposed to be doing something else. Working, cleaning, editing, recording, shopping… as long as I’m not supposed to be writing, I’m writing. It’s kind of annoying, actually. But sometimes I can just sit down and get it done. If I’m in the mood.
I’m what’s called a “pantser” – I sit down and write, and go back and fix the problem areas later. My manuscripts are littered with [square brackets], which I use to remind myself that something needs to go there – a detail, some research, whatever. I write in a linear fashion, too, and if you read my work you can see where I abridge things because I want to get to a certain scene.
For short-stories, I might make a few notes. For novels, I usually write a couple of chapters and then go back and make an outline; occasionally I’ll write a one-page list of bullet-points and use that instead.
Meet more writers:
As part of the blog tour, I’m going to recommend three more writers that you should check out. In alphabetical order:
- Jonathan C. Gillespie has been writing genre fiction for over a decade. His stories have been publishedin a variety of outlets on three continents, including The Drabblecast, Spinetingler Magazine, and Murky Depths, and have been nominated for a number of awards. He is the author of the Beacon Saga serial and the Tyrant Strategy novel series. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, daughter, and three cats. Find Jonathan online at jonathancg.net. Jonathan’s post will be coming on May 26.
- Beau Hall has exhausted every creative form of self-expression there is: music, dance, acting, illustration, design, songwriting, and scrabble. After almost 30 years of songwriting, he began to write fiction; currently revising-ad-nauseum the manuscript for the thriller SNAPSHOT, a tale of an old serial killer trying to retire before his granddaughter discovers his darker side. He’s also tracking songs for his upcoming release, “MORE WHATEVER”, the follow-up to his world-wide-selling multi-plastic CD, “UNH!”. Find Beau online at: beauhall.com. Beau’s post will be coming on Monday May 26 as well.
- Terra LeMay writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Her short fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming from Apex Magazine, Cemetery Dance, Daily Science Fiction, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and other places. Find out more at: terralemay.com. Terra’s post will be coming on Monday June 30.
Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to check out Jonathan, Beau, and Terra!
(PS: I’m terrible at self-promotion, but if you like Christmas stories, you might like Secret Santa, which is available for only 99 cents from Amazon.)
(PPS: I know the post title says “again”, but this is my first blog hop. It was too good a bad pun not to make.)