I thought we’d have a change of venue for this next post to my other ‘office’ (and yes I have eaten a macaron or two…).
This blog tour is where authors answer four questions about their writing process. My author friend Susanne Bellamy—who tagged me to participate in this hop—posted hers last week. She has had two contemporary stories published ‘White Hot Ginger’ and a sexy novella ‘One Night in Sorrento’. Not only that, Susanne has also recently signed with Entangled Publishing to write Book 4 of the five book continuity series, The Emerald Quest.
You can check out Susanne’s writing process here: http://www.susannebellamy.com/my-blog.html
Now to the questions…
What am I working on?
At the moment I have two ‘works-in-progress’ both quite different from each other.
I absolutely love historical romance of all kinds, particularly those set in the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras. Hence, one of my WIPs is a Regency romance. Although, for the first time in one of my books, my hero and heroine actually attend a ton ball. My other completed stories—one a Scottish-set Regency and the other a Jacobite Rebellion tale—haven’t featured balls or soirees at all! I’m particularly enjoying playing around with banter-laden dialogue between the hero and heroine in my new WIP. Although I’m finding that I have to watch out for anachronisms. Oh, what I wouldn’t do for a wonderful etymology dictionary! I estimate that the word count for this story will be somewhere between 85-100,000 words. I do tend to write quite long novels; both of my completed single title manuscripts are both over the 100k word mark.
My other WIP is a novella (estimated length of 15-20 000 words) with a working title ‘Long Gone Girl’. It’s not exactly contemporary—it’s set in the 1950’s—but it’s certainly more modern in tone than my other stories. I’ve had great fun researching a new era as well. It’s based on a second chance romance trope between a nurse and pilot, both of whom have just returned to their home town in New Jersey after the Korean War. I’m hoping this one will be finished within the next month.
Aside from writing, I’m also researching and planning a cross-genre trilogy—it’s a combination of historical romance/murder mystery/paranormal story. I’m hoping it will have a dark, gothic edginess to it.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think I’m a bit of a rule breaker and boundary tester when it comes to my characters and plots. Whilst I love reading traditional historical romances, I also love stories that are a bit left of center, especially dark, gritty high-stakes romances. Australia’s Anna Campbell is one of my favorite authors in this genre.
My second novel fits into the category of a dark Regency. My heroine who is in an estranged marriage, leaves her syphilis infected husband rather than stay and become a victim when he decides it’s time to beget an heir. And then she falls for someone else. So I guess I could safely say that I’m breaking some of the rules of the traditional romance with this story! I’m also testing the boundaries a little in my new Regency WIP. The widowed heroine in this story was in a marriage of convenience for many years—her husband just happened to be the lover of her twin brother!
My erotic Regency short story ‘An Improper Proposition’—which has just been accepted for publication by the Australian boutique publisher Steam eReads—also features a cougar/upstairs-downstairs romance. So again, it’s not a traditional Regency romance by any means.
Why do I write what I do?
I love writing and I have wanted to write books since childhood. Indeed, I fell in love with historical fiction when I first read Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ (I think I was in Year 4 of primary school and I probably didn’t understand half of what I read!). Of course I read titles from a wide variety of genres now, but historical romances are my firm favorites. It seems natural for me to want to write within a genre I love so much. Plus I love history, castles and grand manor houses, as well as researching about all of the period clothing that was worn at the time! As for my boundary-testing plot ideas…I’ve always had an active imagination and like the idea of writing something that’s a little bit different…
How does your writing process work?
I am very much a plotter and a bit of a pantser. I like to have the characters worked out and the whole plot mapped out before I start to write. But I’m not rigid…I don’t plan scene-by scene. And I’m happy to follow the lead of my characters. I love it when they tell me what to do!
(I’ve posted another blog today ‘Getting Inside the Writer’s Mind’ if you’d like to read more about my process.)
Thanks for dropping by and reading my post. Next on this rolling blog post is the lovely Alyssa J. Montgomery, author of contemporary romance—her post is due out on 24th February. You can find out all about Alyssa’s books and her writing process on her website and blog: http://www.alyssajmontgomery.com