Tag Archives: authors

My Writing Process – Blog Hop

I was tagged by author Joanne Hall – www.hierath.wordpress.com – to partake in My Writing Process Blog Hop! Here’s my effort!

 

What am I working on?

At the moment I’m trying to complete the first draft of The Sinner’s Daughter, which is a follow on story from The Reluctant Prophet. It’s nearly finished, maybe another 20 – 30k and that draft will finally be complete. I’m also starting to draw up a draft of the third book in the series, as well as tinkering with a post-apocalyptic work set in Ireland. I wish there were more hours in the day for writing! (Sigh)

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s a difficult one because some of its themes you would see in other books, though I hope my own take on these themes are different. My works, though fantasy based, don’t draw heavily on magic or wonderful and imaginative creatures. My stories are character based and focus a lot on the inner workings and development, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t have the other themes in my books. The books I’m currently working on are based in first-person and from a female perspective. I’m hoping I am able to portray they characters as strong women, despite the fact they are not warriors who can kiss ass. Hopefully that makes my books differ from other works of its genre.   

Why do I write what I write?

I tend to write stories that capture my own imagination and for the most part, fantasy had been the strongest influence on my own writing. I also have a lot of ideas that aren’t related to the fantasy genre, but for the most part, fantasy based books encourage my own imagination the most and I like losing myself in different worlds and places when I write.

How does your writing process work?

I am not a person who organises their writing with plans, although I have tried very unsuccessfully to do that. I like letting my mind roam and see where the story goes. When I’m writing I might have some ideas fleshed out in my head, but I have no idea what journey might be involved in the characters getting to that point. So I guess I’m a pantser in that respect.

I also spend a lot of time re-reading my draft as I go along, especially if I’m feeling stuck at a certain point. It gives me time to think over the story and link the threads together. One thing I love to plan is the map for the book, as imagining the scenes and places grounds a lot of the ideas for me as I’m drawing it up.

I wish I could say that I’m strict with myself and can write a certain amount of words a day, but I tend to have 0k days and then a 5k splurge another. A true pantser then! 🙂

 

And as a finale, I get to tag a few authors now to hop along this blog! Good luck!

 

Dean Lombardo – http://authordeanlombardo.wordpress.com/

C.N Lesley – http://cnlesley.com/

Emma L Clapperton – http://emmalclapperton.wordpress.com/

Jane Dougherty – http://janedougherty.wordpress.com/ 

 

 

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Plain ol’ post on Editing and my Experience. (And one small plug for an awesome Editor)

It has been a while since I’ve posted anything myself, but today I found myself thinking about last summer, when I was about to sit down with my editor to work on editing my novel. Recalling how nervous I had been, with all the usual worries about whether it would need a lot of work, whether it was good enough, if my editor would like my novel . . . In hindsight (and isn’t it a great thing?), I didn’t need to be overly anxious about anything because Zoe put me at ease fairly quickly. Straight forward, thinking outside the box, understanding; Zoe was all these things and most importantly, honest, about what needed to be chopped, tightened and expanded upon. And of course, it did take work – a little love and care – to bring the story together. But in saying that, we worked so well together that editing my debut novel was a joy. I didn’t think I would enjoy the process, but seeing the story grow with a little nurturing was a remarkable thing and my mind(and trepidation) was changed!  

I have a great respect for my editor, Zoe Harris. Not only is the talented Zoe the Editorial Director of Grimbold Books, but she works as an editor to her own company, The Book Polishers, which offers editing, proofreading and copy writing services. (Any authors out there looking for an awesome editor???) And to top it off, the multi-talented lady moonlights as an author in her own right! 

I think its pretty evident that the experience I had editing my novel was a very positive one. In being so fortunate, I will be cheeky by adding that I’m hoping Zoe will enjoy working on the next novel with me! (Even if it needs at least 20k cut from it again . . .)

Books & Series that have inspired me!

I thought I’d do something fun today! I was thinking about books that have inspired me as a reader, and then, as a writer over the years.  Picking out my favourite top ten – in no particular order – was rather difficult, because there are so many great books out there.  So in making this decision, I went with the ones that I have a particular soft spot for!

1. The Obernewtyn Chronicles, by Isobelle Carmody.

Book 1 of the Series, Obernewtyn, was a class reader I received in secondary college, chosen by my favourite teacher.  Obernewtyn was the first fantasy book that started my love affair with this genre!  The series is set in a post-apocalyptic world – cruel to people with obvious physical defects as well as people labelled with mind-defects.  The series focuses on this group of people, in particular the narrator of the story, Elspeth Gordie, who has special mental abilities and is called a Misfit.  The Misfits range of abilities are vast and amazing, with gifts like telepathy (called farseeking), communicating with animals, healers, future-tellers and people with the ability to sense the emotions of others.  Full of intrigue and adventure, I’ve been waiting nearly 20 years for the 7th and final book in the series to come out.  The Red Queen should be released late 2013.

      

2. The Sevenwaters Series, by Juliet Marillier.

Perhaps one of my favourite series of all time, Juliet Marillier is a master story-teller with a gift for writing in the first person.  Her Sevenwaters Series is set in Ancient Ireland and the first book, Daughter of the Forest, sets the scene for mythology, adventure and romance.  Her books are generational and written from the view of different women in the family.  Each book reveals the trials and strengths the focus character must rely on to overcome dilemmas for their loved ones and themselves.  The narrative is beautifully wrought and told.

3. The Immortals Series, by Tamora Pierce.

This is another Series from my teen years, but I still love to read over them as an adult – from time to time.  Tamora Pierce’s books are always full of fun and are fast paced, as well as having enough romance in them to keep a teen girl interested!  Her main character, Daine, is headstrong, brave and has a great knack to shape shift and call on Wild Magic, which is sometimes a little unpredictable.  Her mentor Numair, would no doubt still be a favourite of the girls! Always great fun to read.

4. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

What can I say about a classic?  Unlike a lot of people who might have loved Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, I preferred the characters of Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester (sigh…) I suppose in many ways it had all the right ingredients for a soapie – a man who locks his mad wife in the attack, falls for his young ward’s governess, who in turn discovers the truth at the wedding altar and flees! (phew!)  Most people probably know the ending, but I’ll leave it open! Brilliant stuff!

5. The Green Mile, by Stephen King.

It was my granddad who gave me this book to read only a couple of years ago and not before his death, so maybe that’s why this has some significance for me!  I had of course watched the movie and loved it, but had never read a Stephen King book, so when I sat down to read it, I was hooked.  The narrative is strong and the story so intriguing I could not put it down.  Must say, I think they did the book justice with the movie and you can’t always say that!

   

6. The Quickening Trilogy, by Fiona McIntosh

This series has a rather unique idea in the story, which really appealed to me when I first read it. (And which I don’t want to give away!) It has everything a good fantasy book should have – politics, intrigue, adventure, romance and of course, magic!  Her ability to weave all these elements into her work, make her books very difficult to put down, especially when you have other things to do!

7. The Tamir Triad, by Lynn Flewelling

It wasn’t me, but my mum who first picked up The Bone Dolls Twin and suggested I read it.  I wasn’t overly bothered, but when I read the first page, I never put it down until I finished it, which was the next morning!  Of all the gender-bending and mind boggling ways to keep a future ruler safe – The Bone Dolls Twin and its subsequent books, The Hidden Warrior and Oracle’s Queen – have it in spades!  It also has a lot of traditional fantasy aspects, magic and political intrigue, but at its heart, it is about one very confused child attempting to discover who they really are…

8. The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman.

Alice Hoffman’s, The Dovekeepers, is a fairly recent book on the market.  It came out last year, or if I’m wrong, I read it last year.  It is set during the Jewish-Roman wars in Ancient Israel, and follows the lives and points-of-view of four very different women, brought together in Masada during these difficulties.  It’s a story that I’ve thought about several times since I’ve read it.  It is potent and engaging stuff.

The Black Magician Trilogy, by Trudi Canavan

Trudi Canavan introduces us to her character, Sonea, whose world is turned upside-down after the Magician’s Guild attend their yearly purge of the city’s ‘miscreants and homeless’. It’s during this she discovers powers of her own and a game of cat and mouse ensues as the Magicians pursue her (of course catching her so they can train her – but that in itself poses its own problems!)  A great debut back in 2001, the series had anti-hero’s, tonnes of magic, adventure and bad guys. Oh and a sprinkling of romance for the girls…

The Devil’s Diadem, by Sara Douglass.

I must admit that I am a Sara Douglass fan and was sad to hear she passed away in September 2011.  The Devil’s Diadem was her final book and I think one of her best.  She had a way of using the medieval time period and made her own world out of it.  There’s plenty in this book – a devil-spawned plague, a lot of twists and intrigues (not only in the court, but in her MC’s love life as well).  And the Devil is looking for his stolen crown…  I read this in one sitting, but then, I pretty much read all of her books in one or two sittings!