Monday, April 14, 2014


Hello dear friends--

So glad to get back to blogging! There are so many pulls in so many directions, it seems whole days and weeks go by with many things undone. But I like blogging. Why shouldn't I do more of it?

I have been nominated for the "My Writing Process Blog Hop" by Kathararina Gerlach, a German writer who writes wonderful historicals and fantasies, for both adults and younger readers, who posted her own answers to the questions below on her blog on April 7th.


1) What am I working on?
But no, it's not all that bad. I'm really just working on two historical romances, plus cover art, plus planning a major trip, plus... OH LOOK! A SQUIRREL!

Right now I'm in the midst of the third first draft of a no-longer titled historical romance set in 1812 England and the Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal. This is one of those impossible to write stories that has nagged me for about twenty years, and morphed in and out of several major plot changes. My hope is to sell it to Montlake or to self-publish it. To me, this is the most difficult story I've ever written, but it's a very important one that I feel I must write. Since it's told in large part in letters, but the slow travel times of the day meant delays of up to a month before letters arrived makes timing the plot difficult. The plot itself has to be structured like a romantic suspense.

The other story is GILDING LILLY, a Regency Historical I've been wanting to finish for a long time since it's had to be shoved aside for other projects so often. It's a lighter story, which makes it a good foil for the darker war story.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don't think I write a standard romance. Yes, I follow the genre formula, and yes you will always find the genreic happy romantic ending in my stories. But I have a very strong interest in human psychology and emotional growth, and I love stories of people overcoming huge adversities. So I have to write stories that are boh heavily character-oriented and heavily plot-oriented. I have heard some instructors say you can't have both. But I can't NOT have both.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I have a compulsion to create, and I particularly love creating stories with words.

I also have a strong love of history. I want to see history as it really was lived, not romanticized to the point of contemporary American heroines in pseudo costumes try to pretend they live in some foreign time and place. I want it realistic. And that's so important to me, I'd rather not sell a story than to make it into a mere costume party.

4) How does my writing process work?
This last year I've been working on changing my writing process. Organization has not been my greatest asset since I quit the day job, so I've been working harder to establish my routine. I am one of those people who must know at least to some degree where my story is going, so I must begin with a story outline then flesh that out enough to be sure it works and that what happens is truly what my characters would do. From that, I begin and write an average of ten pages a day. Research will often stop me cold because I hate writing something that has to be completely discarded. I usually write straight through, but I'm not afraid to skip a section that isn't making sense. And I often make notes on the page using ALL CAPS (and marked by XXXXX to make it easier to find when editing).

I often work on two or more books at once, and sometimes I stagger tasks. It' hard to plan ahead for revisions especially when they're what an editor wants. This can disrupt routine. But I normally go from creative first draft to edits. Polishing, and other author tasks like cooperative critiquing, editing, promotion, etc., have to somehow be worked in, too.

And then there's the cover art, which I really do for fun. But I do have clients, and when they need covers, the need covers. Sometimes the two jobs are more in conflict than in harmony.

Now I get to nominate three more authors for next week, April 21st.So far I have one, so I will have ro get busy and find two more, and wil add them as I find them.

HEATHER HIESTAND, a.k.a. ANH LEOD always has a hundred things to do at once, and yet she gets them done. So I'm dying to hear more about how she does that.

Check them-or Heather- out next week. And thanks to all of you for putting up with my scatter-brained ways!


1 comment:

  1. Awesome work.Just wanted to drop a comment and say I am new to your blog and really like what I am reading.Thanks for the share


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I write write write. Sometimes I travel. Then I write some more. And I have a great family who understand that I write write write.