These four questions have been circulating the internet for a few months now in the form of a “Blog Hop”. It’s a tag for writers who blog. I was tagged by the lovely Kristen Ciccarelli at Two Cent Sparrow and will tag two writers at the end who can answer them in turn:
What am I working on/writing?
As usual, I have multiple projects in process. I am nearly finished with SNATCHED, Book #6 in The Phoenix Agency series, and the first in Lone Star Phoenix (so I can get my cowboys in there, of course!). This one developed from a contest I held to launch Phoenix #5, FEEL THE HEAT. The winner was the featured heroine in a short story on this blog, but people loved it so much they wanted a full length book from it. So now we have a kidnapped heroine and the circumstances that led up to it.
I’m also working on my first book in Game On, a football series contracted by Kensington. It’s a little different from my other things I’ve released lately and I hope when it comes out you all will love it.
In my spare time (ha!) I am writing a short fireman novella for a boxed set and a Halloween themed novella for my Re Hot authors group. Next up will be the new Rawhide novella and the new Naked Cowboys novella.
I have to say I love working on multiple projects because if I hit a wall on ne I can switch to another. I do, however, have to keep a spread sheet so I can keep my characters and plots straight! LOL!
How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
I’m not exactly sure how to answer that except to say I write in several subgenres. All my stories fall in the erotic romance category, but then they branch off into action/adventure, paranormal, BDSM, romantic suspense, straight erotic romance. So guess you could say my writing is a buffet that readers can sample from.
Why do I write what I do?
The funny thing is I didn’t set out to write any romance at all. Oh, maybe “elements of romance” but the book I plotted so carefully was a straight-out murder mystery. But a funny thing happened on the way to trying to finish the book. I discovered that wasn’t what I wanted to write at all. I read Linda Howard’s Cry No More and a light bulb went off in what passes for my brain.
Writing has always been my drug of choice. I didn’t actually get to sit down and write until I was retired and my husband encouraged me so much. When he became ill and then passed away it was what kept me going. Now it sustains me and keeps his memory alive.
Every romance is our romance, every story one where he is the hero. I write in subgenres that relate to movies and television shows we loved to watch. And of course every one of them has a happy ending. Why would I write a sad ending? Life can be depressing enough without adding to it. Writing books-and reading them-is an escape, and we all want to escape to Happyland.
How does my writing process work?
I am basically a pantser. Plot it out? Are you crazy? Part of that is because my stories are character-drive and the nugget of a plot grows from who the characters are. So do I do any preparation? Yes. I do full character outlines. I immerse myself in my characters and listen to what they tell me.
I also have had to learn to write at least a one-page synopsis, which is what my publishers contract on. But as the story progresses and my characters talk to me, my editors all know I can take a sharp turn here and there.
The other thing I do is research. Research, research, research. Nothing drives me crazier than to read books where I know the author has made things up out of whole cloth that are easy to find on the Internet. For my Phoenix Agency series, for example, I researched weapons and aircraft of all kinds, I even found a picture that represented the cabin in Maine they have and researched the geography of the area. Even more, I visited a company that makes sniper rifles for Marines and another that armors cars for people at risk. I’ve stood ankle deep in horse shit at ranches and visited BDSM clubs to observe. And—well, you get the idea. So research definitely comes before I even write the first word.
My children are all adults, living on their own with busy active lives, so the only demands on my time come from my three lovable cats who insist they help me write. Check my Facebook page and you can catch pictures of them sometimes.
Oh, and let me tell you I am blessed with wonderful friends like Cerise Deland and Jordan Dane who I brainstorm with, and Margie Hager, the world’s best beta reader, all of whom keep me on track.
Early morning is for answering email and posting on social media. Then the treadmill or my son will yell at me. A shower, more tea and the writing begins.
Do I love what I do? You bet. It’s my life, my pleasure, and my drug of choice.
And now I’m going to tag Cerise Deland and Brenna Zinn so you can peek in at their writing process.