Monday, April 14, 2014

My Writing Process

Albert Anker's painting courtesy of Wikimedia
My writer friend, Antonia van Zandt has tagged me to participate in this writer's blog. "Just answer a few questions about writing," she said. "How hard can it be?" I think I'm about to find out. Anyhow, here goes

1. What am I working on? 
As usual, I have about ten partially finished manuscripts on my computer. I've just completed the fourth part of my Anton and Lenora historical series, a novella tentatively called Willow and it's sitting fallow at the moment until I pick it up again for a good going over. Next up is a romantic comedy about a soap star of a certain age whose character has been killed off. Georgette, the main character, is very dramatic and she's been after me to finish her story. Beyond that, I have two more novellas to write for Anton and Lenora before I bring their adventures to a finish, a more serious novel about a red cross worker who goes to Afghanistan, and a book about ski racing that features Creech, a secondary character in Dancing in the White Room. I'm also playing with a kind of magical realism story called "The Orchard". There's more, but those ought to keep me busy for the next decade or so. :)

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I write across several genres, including historical, women's fiction, and romance. All of them are character driven, I believe that strong and interesting characters are at the heart of any good story. I also pay a lot of attention to things like tone and metaphor, description and emotional resonance. I think this is because my love of words began with poetry--and you'll find some of those 'poetic' elements in my work. 

3. Why do I write what I do?
I write romance because I love love. I'm a romantic at heart. Women's fiction comes out of a love of the genre, I like stories about strong women who overcome, and more often than not, these are the characters I write about.

4. How does my writing process work? 
The most unusual thing about how I write, I guess, is that I write all my first drafts out long hand. It's not the most efficient way to work, but there are a couple of key advantages. First off, there's something to the physical act of writing that connects me to the page and helps me get the tone and feel of my characters and their stories. And secondly, it forces me to rewrite every word into the computer, so that, when I have a 'computer draft' finished, it's in better shape than it would be if I wrote directly to my lap top. 

As Part of this hop, I've tagged three more writers. The fab three I've tagged are 'housemates' of sorts, they, like me, are authors who have been published by Champagne Books. I hope you'll check them out, as well as the other great books over at Champagne.

Elizabeth Fountain left a demanding job as a university administrator in Seattle to move to the small town of Ellensburg, Washington, and pursue her dream of writing novels.  She started writing in grade school; fortunately, most of her tortured high school poetry and song lyrics are lost to posterity. Her first book, An Alien’s Guide to World Domination, is a tale of people, aliens, and dogs who face the impossible, and do it anyway.  Now Liz has three more novels in progress, including You, Jane, which will be published by Champagne Book Group in June, 2014. She takes breaks from writing to teach university courses, spend time with family and friends, and take long walks while leaning into the diabolical Kittitas Valley wind. Liz strives to live according to a line from British singer-songwriter Chris Rea: “Every day, good luck comes in the strangest of ways.” Read more of her work

Buy links:

Kenneth D. Schultz is the author of the science fiction novel Truth-Teller Rebellion and its sequel, Truth-Teller Revenge, which has a November release date. Since childhood Ken’s loved writing and science. After a successful career in finance, he started to write again. Now he brings characters and worlds to life on a daily basis. Ken lives in the quaint fishing village of Poulsbo, on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula with his wife Teresa, Vizsla Ruby, and Pomeranian emergency back-up dog Otto.

Stephanie Joyce Cole lived for decades in Alaska.  She and her husband recently relocated to Seattle, where they reside with a predatory but lovable tailless Manx cat named Bruno. Stephanie has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. When she's not writing, she's hiking, creating ceramics, practicing yoga, traveling, volunteering and discovering new ways to have fun--and oh yes, reading, reading, reading. 

Find her at her
And her blog-

Her book, Compass North can be purchased at Amazon  

On a side note, The All Things Returned blog tour starts today with a spotlight at Melissa Keir's blog


  1. Thanks, Ute, for tagging us! I'm excited to participate and will be posting on April 21. Meantime, your readers are welcome to come to my blog and read about how luck helped Linda Rettstatt become a successful author, about how baseball's opening day can inspire us, and a whole bunch of other good stuff.

    And I love that you write first drafts in longhand. I wish I could do that. I use longhand when I get stuck, and it reminds me of the sheer pleasure of scribbling on a page.

    1. You're very welcome, Liz! I look forward to your post. Yes, I think that longhand make writing very physical and it lets me kind of do exactly that, scribble, noodle around and figure things out.

  2. There is a chance you're qualified for a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.