Jen Funk Weber invited me to join the Creative Process Blog Hop. For me, this is about my writing, but others will be blogging about other creative endeavors as well. Jen is a multi-talented person: author, teacher, speaker, traveler, and “stitcher,” creating gorgeous bookmarks and participating in the Stitching for Literacy blog. Check out her website; you never know what you might find, such as a post about the moose in her Alaskan garden!
What am I working on?
My young adult historical novel Yakimali’s Gift from Astraea Press will be released July 29, 2014, so right now I’m heavy into pre-publication marketing and promotion. I designed my business cards, which just arrived from the manufacturer yesterday. Look for my cover reveal this Wednesday , June 25th.
This year I also sold the rights to my middle grade paranormal story The Castle Blues Quake to Beau Coup Publishing. I’ve gone through one round of edits, which was fairly painless, and am awaiting the next round.
Both of these publishers have been amazing to work with.
I want to do a major revision for another completed middle grade novel Cryptogram Chaos, this one an adventure story.
I have a rough draft to a sequel for The Castle Blues Quake that I’d like to start revising soon, as well as starting research 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.
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.
Thanks again to Jen for the invite. Happy reading and writing, and have fun with all your creative activities!