Fun with Writing Processes

8 Apr

If you guys haven’t been able to tell, I’m the worst blogger ever.  No, seriously.  Between my real job, my volunteer jobs, and actually writing, the amount of time I spend on blogging is pretty much zero.

This led to me being berated gently admonished by my publicists at Spencer Hill to try to do better, and so I guess it was good timing that Danielle tagged me on one of those newfangled blog hop things all the kids are doing these days.  (Random Aside about Danielle – Rarely do I meet someone who doesn’t make me feel like an Amazon woman.  Seriously.  She’s pretty much my height of a million feet tall 5’11ish, and it makes me all giddy inside.  And she writes pretty things.  And edited my book.  And once we shared some terrible gluten free pizza, so I pretty much am a lifelong fan.)

Okay, so here’s a little bit about my writing process.

1.)  What am I working on?

So, currently, I’m working on three different projects.  I just finished up (hopefully) my last round of edits for Lifestyles of the Rich and (In)famous, which is coming out in August.

I’m also working on the sequel to Lifestyles, which WAS like 75% done, only then I decided to add a few more character POVs and basically set myself back to like 50%.  Sigh.  But it’ll be worth it in the end!

Lastly, I’m also like 50% on a book about a city torn apart by two rival crime families.  I’ve always been really obsessed with the Italian Mob–mainly the history, and how despite the fact that they have such strong sense of things like honor and family, they do a lot of not-so-nice things.  I pitched this as a Shakespeare meets Goodfellas–lots of family drama and star-crossed loves and pasta.

2.)  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

So, I originally wrote, pitched, and sold Lifestyles as a YA novel.  But, once I signed on with Spencer Hill, my lovely/gorgeous/smart editor Patrica felt that it’d be stronger as a NA (New Adult).  It made sense once she explained it.  My characters weren’t in high school, but not exactly full-fledged adults either.  But, the more research I did into the wide world of New Adult books revealed that things were…a lot more, ahem, scandalous than what I wrote.

I remember when Lifestyles was first announced as an NA acquisition for Spencer Hill, someone (on Twitter) commented that it was nice seeing a new NA book that wasn’t entirely devoted to sex.  I think “New Adults” are way more than these scintillating love affairs.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with them, but not really my personal jam.)

I think as NA continues to be defined as a genre, all kinds of stories can find their place, from college-coming-of-age tales to…well, a girl who grew up in the Mafia trying to figure out her own morality.

3.)  Why do I write what I do?

I mean, I guess my answer is no different from any authors.  I write what I’m interested in.  I think no matter the setting, no matter the circumstances…at the end of the day, folks are folks.  Heartbreak is heartbreaking, even if you’re an a-list celebutante or a ruthless Mafia princess or a Southern beauty queen.

I think I really love discovering new cultures.  For the second Lifestyles book, I’ve been doing a ton of research about beauty queens, sororities, and the whole “Southern Belle” culture in general.  And, for the mafia book, I’ve been reading tons of biographies of guys who grew up in the mob and about their daily experiences.   It’s super important to me that the universe you write in feels authentic.  I’d hope that LiLo could pick up Lifestyles and relate to Nyx’s struggles with the media tearing apart her every move.

4.)  How does my writing process work?

Honestly, I’m a little ashamed of my process.  I have all these writing friends on Twitter who tweet their daily word counts, and I’m just like, I barely had time to eat dinner today before collapsing in bed.  The entrance into the writing world was a little bit of a shock for me.  I wrote my first book over like six years, and the fact that now people are expecting follow ups in way less time is really intimidating.

I also have really terrible ADHD.   I can’t even watch movies without getting antsy half-way through and wanting to get up and do something else.  All my books live so vividly in my mind, but the act of actually sitting down to get them out is something I don’t always enjoy.   Probably part of my problem is that I do a lot of technical writing for a living, so by the time I get home at night, the last thing I want to do is stare at the computer screen again.

Things that help me stay motivated?  Reading other books in my genre.  Sometimes I get these feelings like “I can do that too!” and it sends me running to my laptop to work.

And when I do actually get the motivation/concentration to work?  I work like a mad person.  I remember during one snow storm, I wrote for like twelve hours straight and finished half a book.  It’s like the words build up over a period of time, and then once I actually start, they just come out like a waterfall.


Okay, so here’s where I tag someone!  Again, I’m not super involved in the writing community (BAD LLAMA!) but one of my dear author friends is Rachel Robinson.  We became friends when we were both just regular people bloggers.  (I was style, and she was lifestyle.)

Rachel grew up in a small, quiet town full of loud talkers. Her words were always only loud on paper. She has been writing stories and creating characters for as long as she can remember. After living on the west coast for many years she recently moved to Virginia Beach, VA. Escaped is her first Paranormal Romance novel.

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