Holy smokes! I almost dropped the ball on this! Thanks to my lovely writer friend, JD Faulkner, I agreed to partake in my first Blog Tour. That's where I get to answer some questions about writing, and then pass the torch to someone else. I don't have a "someone else" at the moment, so, for now, make sure you go back and check out JD's fabu-larious blogs at http://timearchivistnovels.blogspot.com/ Also, my friend SM Freedman is a part of this Blog Tour, so you should check her out at http://www.smfreedman.com/blog/ Both these gals are newly published with amazing books. You can look them up, along with the other members of the WorldWiseWriting group, at http://www.thunderstories.com/worldwisewriters/
First question: (1) What are you working on? Well, that's easy enough! I'm in the process of publishing my first novel, a Young Adult fantasy/adventure book, called "Thunder." It's about a handful of kids who find out that their mom's make believe stories aren't so make believe after all. I've also begun the sequel, which is titled "Lightning." In this book we get to meet some new characters and say hello to some old cast members. I'm pretty excited to hear what their story is because honestly, I write it as they tell it to me.
Second question: (2) How does your work differ from others in it's genre? Hmm ... I'm not so sure that it does so much, and I mean that in the best of ways. See, I have this idea about originality and "being different." I wrote this answer for an ABNA thread question, but it works here so well, I'm going to re-use it. And, sorry, it's rambley. Nothing is truly original because we are humans and our own underlying stories are reflective of that. Fantastic series like Harry Potter-- who else thought Lord V and his Death Eaters were very much like a certain German dictator and his band of SS Nazis (and he, sadly, hasn't been the only one throughout history to do such evil) and the Hunger Games (which explores the ramifications of war with the same feeling of heaviness and "what now" as her earlier series of Gregor) are not even original. Think of our myths, legends, creation stories ... throughout history and in varying cultures, similarities crop up. For example, there are Native American, Chinese, French--and more--variations of Cinderella, which spread around the same time, in a time when world-wide knowledge wasn't instant. (That's according to a book I read about Hans Christian Anderson, but who knows what you can believe in print!?) How many Great Flood stories are there? How many people sent to save us? Even people like Santa :-) -- St. Nicholas came first. But there's also Father Christmas and other bringers of light during the winter months. Think of something basic as food. We can eat grains, meat, fruits and veggies. The same stuff, over and over. But not really, because the originality comes in with the person who prepares it. The thought behind it, what flavors to bring forward or showcase .... Writers are chefs, or cooks, or burger flippers. We vary the degree of our brilliance, the uniqueness of the final product, with who we are and what stories we have lived through. I've been telling stories to my children for years, like my mom did for me, and now I read a book and think, wait-- I already had something like that written in mine! But I love everyone's spins. To me that is the originality. So, I guess the end point is--you're going to have to read Thunder, and see what you think. Then you can review it on Amazon and tell me what your conclusion is!
Third question: (3) Why do you write what you do? Another easy one. It's a pretty well-known rule to write what you know. "But, wait, " you may say. "How does that pertain to fantasy or any other imaginative writing?" Trust me: It does. I grew up living and breathing fairies and magic and angels and all things built on light and love. And I also grew up suffering through the most horrendous nightmares. So monsters? I know them, too. Then there were my books. I read allll the time, and my parents read to me (as well as telling us made-up stories) every night. The Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L'Engle, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper, anything by Lloyd Alexander, and this list goes on. Now I read Rick Riordan, Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, and such. This is what I know. It's what I love. And it's what I write.
Fourth (final!!!) question: (4) How does your writing process work? Whew, you still with me after all of this? I sit and let the words come. They're there, just waiting. I run and let my mind go blank, and these pictures come to me, sometimes full conversations. I go home and scribble them down because I haven't written to the point where the new stuff is supposed to go. I wake up from a dream and think, "Oh, my gosh! I need to use that!" (That's where the black lightning in Thunder came from, by the way-- keep that in mind as you read it.) And, then, some crazy stuff happens in real life. That makes it's way in, as well. I actually start at the beginning and go right through to the end, adding in my scribbles when I finally get to where they belong, just like I'm telling a story. And, really, I end up surprised at where the words took me because it's certainly not something I planned out!
So that's it! Now you know probably more about my writing than you ever wanted to! But if you want to know more, write to me! I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments. "Thunder" Should be hitting Amazon THIS WEEK. AAAAAAAH! Please, though, look up JD Faulkner and SM Freedman at the links I mentioned at the beginning. That's as far as my "tour" can take you for now ;-)