Silvia Villalobos, writer, prior critique partner, and online friend (we have yet to meet in person, and I look forward to that day!), invited me to join the “My Writing Process” blog hop. I’m always interested in hearing how other writers get their stories down on paper. Each has a different process, so hop around to the different blogs and enjoy these “behind the scenes” takes on writing. Check out Silvia’s blog here. She always has inspiring and insightful posts!
What am I working on?
I recently signed a contract with Astraea Press for my young adult historical novel Yakimali’s Gift. I don’t have a release date yet, but I’m preparing for marketing and promotion now so I’m ready to go when the publication date is close.
I just finished revising a middle grade paranormal story The Castle Blues Quake that I’ll begin submitting to agents.
I want to do a major revision for another completed middle grade novel Cryptogram Chaos, this one an adventure story.
And, I plan to start research soon for a sequel to Yakimali’s Gift, which will require a lot of time.
With all this, plus helping my husband with our small business, I’m going to be quite busy!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a difficult question to answer.
Most of the historical fiction published has a sub-genre: Historical romance, historical fantasy, etc. Yakimali’s Gift is closer to straight historical fiction. Though there is romance in the story, and that’s an important aspect of it, there’s also a focus on the main character, Fernanda, who is half Pima Indian and half Spanish, finding her place in the world and learning about her Pima ancestry.
I believe my two middle grade novels have some unique premises, and hope an agent and/or publisher thinks so, too!
Why do I write what I do?
I love writing for children, having them as my audience. Kids and teens have such unique perspectives on life. I absolutely love hearing what’s on a kid’s mind—at any age.
The youngsters are always fun to watch as they show their amazement and delight with each new discovery—discoveries that we have long since taken for granted.
During the middle-school years, kids are starting to come into their own, learning who they are and flexing their maturity muscles. Their independence is beginning to flourish as they start to question things and form their own ideas and opinions.
I have a great respect for teens. By that age, they’ve developed their own one-of-a-kind personalities and strong viewpoints on all sorts of topics. They begin to test and stretch the limits that are attempting to rein them in. Believe it or not, I can still remember those feelings from my own teen years, and it’s an exhilarating time of life.
I think writing for kids keeps me in touch with the feelings from my childhood. It also encourages me to keep an open mind when I’m with kids, to remind me they are unique individuals, and to give them that respect.
How does my writing process work?
The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.
~A. B. Yehoshua
“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
~E. L. Doctorow
These two quotes pretty much sum up my writing process.
It’s always difficult for me to get started. For me, first drafts are the most difficult part of writing. But once I get past that, I absolutely love revising—searching for that perfect word or phrase, developing the characters, refining the plot. I could keep revising a story (almost) forever!
The second quote describes my style as I make my way through the first draft. I know many authors do detailed outlines before they start writing. That’s not me. I have an idea for a story, I know the general plot and the main characters, and I start writing. Along the way, things happen that I never planned on. Characters appear that I previously had never imagined. I love that part of writing. Maybe it takes longer and maybe it requires more revision later, but that’s the joy I find in writing.
Each writer is different. There’s no right or wrong way. And that’s what makes this blog hop interesting!
Thanks again to Silvia for the invite. I’m tagging two other writers to share their process, typically posted on a Monday: friend and long-time critique partner Dale Ibitz who has three published books in her Last Moon Rising series and a fourth book Kiss Me Dead soon to be released through Soul Mate Publishing, and fellow blogger Aubrey Wynne who writes and reviews books in the Historical Romance genre, as well as other genres. Please check out their blogs for more inspiration on writing!
I remember your YA novel so well, Linda. Very few things stay with me over such a long period of time. Thank you for sharing your process. I found it very interesting, and am totally in agreement about teens. They deserve our respect.
Also, look forward to meeting you in person when you come down here to promote your book. 🙂 Thanks for partaking in this, and see you all throughout April.
Thanks, Silvia. See you in April, too (yikes, tomorrow!) 🙂