Thanks to the multi-talented Jan Edwards, who nominated me, today it's my turn to post as part of the #MyWritingProcess international blog tour, where writers follow a thread across the blogs of lots of different fellow wordsmiths.
Jan is a truly inspirational member of Renegade Writers, editor for Alchemy Press and writer of great short stories, and fantasy novels and is also the author of the dark novel Sex, Lies and Family Ties under the name of Sarah J Graham.
The task is quite simple, once nominated you answer the same four questions as those that have gone before you.
So, here goes:
1) What am I working on?
My current work in progress is the next book in my series for Young Adults. The first book titled "Clear Gold" tells of an alternative but not dissimilar world to ours, where water is more precious than gold. In a society where technology has fallen out of use, because of the lack of oil, and the options for girls are limited to being either a mother or a fighter, my heroine Mouse has to find a way to get out there and explore her world and her place in it.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hopefully because of the character of Mouse herself. Unlike more conventional heroines, Mouse has problems relating to other people. She is a survivor who has learned, through bitter experience, to put herself first, but as the story progresses she begins, somewhat tentatively to realise that it may be possible to trust.
The other thing that I feel makes "Clear Gold" different is that although targeted at Young Adults the book is a romance and although Mouse's relationship with Lanyon is central, it unfolds very, very gradually and there is no explicit sexual content. This is not because I disapprove, as those of you that have read some of my other work will know, but because I believe very strongly that there are teenagers who would prefer this approach and that there are no books that cater for them on the market at the moment.
3) Why do I write what I write?
I'm not sure I know the answer to that one. Sometimes, my ideas come from things I've read, seen, or experienced but more often than not a character simply presents itself. With Mouse I saw her lying on her stomach high up on the Roches watching the wagon train make its slow way through the valley and that was that; her story unfolded from there.
As for writing in different genres, as well as my "Dragonfire" trilogy for 8-12 year olds and above and beyond, I also write short stories and novels for adults. I suppose that the thread that runs throughout all my work is the paranormal/fantasy, but having said that I've also written straight forward women's fiction. I suppose it all goes back to the characters and their situations.
4) How does my writing process work?
After the initial idea, I carefully map out each chapter, sometimes just noting down plot lines but more often than not scraps of dialogue. Then I write a very quick first draft and after that it's a question of taking the work in progress to Renegade Writers for their feedback and editing, editing, and editing some more until the book is ready for a beta read. At that point it's ready to go out into the big wide world, at which point a hold my breath and press send.
Now I'd like to nominate the fabulously, talented Jem Shaw, the author of "The Larks," one of the best books I've ever read about WW1 and needless to say a fellow Renegade. Hopefully he'll answer the same four questions before March 15 and pass them on to another writer.