The Writing Process Blog Chain

This is part of a blog chain that the lovely Rachael Johns tagged me on. I’m slack and posting late and also lazy because I’m supposed to tag three people  and I can only think of two people!

What am I working on?

I have a number of things in the works. Firstly I’m editing my first single title with St Martin’s Press – Mine To Take. The edits have to be with my editor by March 1st. Secondly I have the first of a new series with Samhain to write – Living in Shadow AKA #darksoldier.  This one is going to be a difficult book to write for a number reasons, mainly because the hero’s conflict is very, very dark (hence the hashtag). He’s a part African ex-child soldier who has been repatriated to New Zealand and is studying Law at university. The heroine is a professor (yes, yes, I know) and thirteen years his senior.  The book will be full of delicious, angsty forbiddeness and no doubt be a complete bitch to write.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Okay, straight up, I don’t know any other people writing about African child soldiers in New Zealand. Hehe. Broadly speaking (and this includes my billionaire books) I think my work differs in that I tend to write quite psychological romances. I’m far more interested in character than plot and how a person’s past has shaped them in the people they are in the present. I like exploring the layers of a personality and how damaged people come to terms with what happened to them and eventually find strength and healing in love.  You won’t find stalkers or jealous exes in my books – the difficulties the characters face come from themselves not outside forces. Also in place of therapy my characters have a lot of plot forwarding sex. 😉

Why do I write what I do?

Well, basically see above. I like exploring relationships between people and digging down into all the elements that make a person think and feel and speak and act the way they do. However, sometimes I like to write a lighter, more flirty book and these turn into my Entangled books. My Samhain books are all set in New Zealand and tend to be much darker and grittier – I can write whatever I want basically so I do. The stories I write for St Martin’s Press are my fantasy books but with my own personal stamp on it; they’re billionaires but they’re very, very screwed up billionaires. Misfits  and loners and outlaws, both the heroes and the heroines.

 How does my writing process work?

Okay, so I used to be a total pantster – which means starting with an idea and just sitting down and writing it. This lead to lots of rewriting and much angst, and over the years, I’ve had to change it for the good of my sanity. 😉  What I do these days is when I get a story idea – usually in the form of a character but it can be a plot – is think about it. A LOT. Then I’ll Skpye my CP Maisey and we’ll talk it through.  Since my stories are character driven, I have to have a good idea of my characters BEFORE I start the book, so Maisey and I will discuss the characters and their backgrounds etc. I find talking really helps me ‘set’ the character in my head. Once I’ve done that, I usually start writing. I don’t do a synopsis first (unless I have to for a proposal) and often I’ve only got a vague idea about what will happen in the book, but plot points happen as I write. I used to have to do multiple sets of drafts but these days I only do one and then edit it up.  When I run into problems during the writing – which is inevitable – I usually have to call Maisey again for help. Either that or I’ll go for a walk, which usually ends up solving the problem for some reason.

I have to tag 3 people to do this now but I can only think of two so I’m tagging Maisey Yates and Nicole Helm.  Your posts should go up the week starting 10th of Feb. 🙂