I was tagged by Deb E Howell – http://deberelene.com/ – for the My Writing Process Blog Hop, so here goes!
What am I working on?
Having just finished the final copy-edit of “The Art of Forgetting : Nomad” – it comes out on May 24th, kids! – I’m taking a step back and tinkering with a new sandpit that I’m not going to talk about until it’s ready, sorry! Also playing around with some short stories, because I’d like to write a few more shorts, and generally giving my brain a bit of a recharge before I dive into anything that’s going to involve a heavy committment. Brain has requested a holiday!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The last three books I’ve written – The Art of Forgetting, Spark and Carousel, and The Summer Goddess, have mainly focussed on the actions of ordinary people. The ones George RR Martin refers to as the “smallfolk” – farmers and criminals and low clergy. Epic fantasy tends to focus on the deeds of Kings and princes, and I’ve moved away from that. I think that makes it a bit different. Also there are strong roles for women that don’t completely focus on how kick-ass they are – there are many forms of female strength that don’t involve an ability to kick people’s heads off at four paces (though that is a cool ability!). I also think in places my writing is quite funny – epic fantasy can sometimes be a bit po-faced and serious!
Why do I write what I do?
Because I love fantasy. I love the freedom it gives me to make things up without being restricted by real-world history, or those darn-pesky Laws of Physics. As long as what I write confirms to the laws of my own sandpit, within that sandpit I can do whatever I like. Also, swords, magic, dragons, unicorns, more swords, horses, bows and arrows, mad gods, demons, ghosts, inter-dimensional travel, shapeshifting, did I mention swords, and boys wielding them….? Hell yeah….
How does your writing process work?
I’d like to say that like David Bowie I throw it all up in the air and assemble the pieces at random, but that’s not true. Sometimes I feel like doing that… I’m a bit of a pantser – I usually have an idea of how a book starts, how it ends, and four or five scenes that happen in the middle, but the journey, the adventure, is in joining up those scenes and making a coherent narrative, and I find if I plan that in too much detail it takes some of the fun out of the story. I like my characters to be able to wander off-plot, and some of my best storylines and sub-plots have come from letting them do that! It’s always amazing when a character takes on a life of their own and starts behaving in ways you don’t expect.
As for HOW I write – if I’m working on a novel I try to write 1000 words per day. I don’t always make it, and I don’t beat myself up if I don’t make it, but that’s the aim. Some days it’s a real slog, other days I’m done by lunchtime and can get on with all the other bits involved in being a full-time writer – blogging, social media, admin, the dreaded accounts… It’s a full time job and I work seven days a week, but it’s so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work (except when I have to do the accounts). Time flies when you’re having fun!
And the last part of the blog tour is where I pass the torch to a few other authors. I have chosen to tag :
FRAN JACOBS -Dark Fantasy author and professional procrastinator – http://www.franjacobs.com/
PETE SUTTON – Bristol Book Blog blogger and short story writer – http://brsbkblog.blogspot.co.uk/
And finally my Kristell Ink stablemate GILLIAN O’ROURKE, who hangs out here : http://gillianorourke.com/