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Monday, August 18, 2014

Blog Hopping with Maria V. Snyder

 Author pal Maria V. Snyder invited me to take part in a blog hop. Each author thanks the person who invited them (thank you, Maria!) and then answers a few writing related questions, then passes the "hop" on to someone else.

Here is Maria's contribution (I love her books--she's one of the people who inspired me the most when I got serious about my own writing, so if you haven't read her yet, you might want to start!)

Maria's blog hop post
And here is mine...

Question One: What am I working on?
Well, there's the Sekrit Project I can't talk about yet (soon, I promise), but mostly I am working on a new novel, which I am provisionally calling One Born Every Minute. It is a complete departure for me, since it is a humorous contemporary romance, rather than a paranormal romance or an urban fantasy. I love writing with humor (there's always at least a little bit, no matter what I write) and I'm having a ball writing something that is out and out funny.

Question Two: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Answer:  My paranormal romance books (the Baba Yaga series) aren't quite as grim or sexy as a lot of the books out there now (not that I have anything against grim and sexy--it's just not what I write), and there is always a hint of humor. The Baba Yaga books are loosely based on a bunch of Russian fairy tales, which isn't exactly the norm either. Also, I have dragons disguised as dogs. Go ahead, find someone else who has THAT.

Question Three: Why do I write what I do?
Answer: I suppose that the simple answer is that I write the kind of books I love to read. I adore books about witches (especially ones that break the normal stereotypes) and I really like modern retellings of old fairy tales. (Check out Jim C. Hines Princess Books to see what I mean.) I like kickass female protagonists who mostly rescue themselves, with maybe just a little help from the good-looking guy who shows up. Not to mention dragons that turn into dogs. Or is it the other way around?
I also write what I do because that's what shows up in my head. I might say to myself, "Gee, I'd like to write a humorous romance next." But what shows up after that it pretty much out of my control.

Question Four: How does your writing process work?
I always love reading other authors' answers to this question, since no two authors I know work the same way. My friend Alex Bledsoe tend to get up very early, to write before his kids are awake. Maria said in her post that she works from 10 pm to 3 or 4 am--if I tried that, all you'd get would be drivel!

Every book is a little different (they all want to be written in their own particular way, believe it or not--some can be outlined in detail, others prefer to be mostly made up as I go along...it's very annoying). In general, I tend to start with an idea (what if there is a woman who is the only honest one in a family of thieves, who is forced to work with an uptight cop and pretend to be a thief?), then create the main characters, figure out the basics of the plot, then delve deeper into the protagonists, which usually introduces me to the secondary characters. I try to write up a "blurb" for the story (like the one you would find on the back of a book jacket), to sum things up, then write up detailed character studies and a basic outline before I start actually writing.

Once I'm into the story, I write almost every day, usually from about 6:30-7pm to about 9:30-10:30 pm. At which point I clean a bunch of litter boxes and stagger off to bed. When things are really rolling, I often do two stints on the weekend days. (No, I don't have a life. And your point?) I aim at producing at least 1,000 words a day, although on a good day I can get two or three times that much, and on a bad day, I'm happy to produce a page (about 300 words). In theory, I can write the first draft of a novel in about 3-4 months, then I send it out to a few folks, including my fabulous critique partner Lisa, and my equally fabulous agent Elaine. Revisions take about a month, not counting waiting-for-responses-time. Then, if the book is already sold, it goes off to my editor, then I do MORE revisions. Oh, the joy. Then I have a glass of wine.

And eventually, the finished book comes out, and I celebrate!

Next up on the blog hop, be sure to check out the lovely and talented Nancy Holzner, author of the Deadtown books (which I LOVE). Nancy has had a tough year, with the loss of her husband, and hasn't been blogging at all. Hopefully this little blog hop will be a easy way for her to hop back to it. (Yes, I did that. I'd say I'm sorry, but of course I'm not.) She'll be posting her piece of the puzzle sometime next week.

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