, , ,

Welcome to the blog hop! I am fairly new to the world of blogging and seriously new to blog hopping, so stay with me, it might not be pretty. What is not not terribly new is writing. I’ve been creating stories and typing words for about ten years. So I am here to share a bit about me and what I do, what I love.

First, thanks to Fifi the Ninja (aka Felicia Anderson http://fifitheninja.wordpress.com/) for bringing me along on the ride. If you didn’t find me because of her, you should go visit because she’s awesome. I met her on Twitter (@fifitheninja), where I meet all my friends. We swapped pages after a contest and I am dying to read the rest of ‘The Scales on Our Eyes’! I will continue to cheer for it because it left images in my brain. Cool, awesome images. And we had a great time participating in ProjectREUTSway last November. You can find her twisted fairy tale at http://blog.reuts.com/prw-runner-tour-part-underworld-felicia-anderson/ … read and enjoy!

So let’s get on with the questions … what is this a test? *panics*

1) What are you working on?

Several manuscripts in various stages of development linger in the dusty innards of my computer. Several ideas float around in my head, holding onto their secrets until they are ready to reveal them to me and become words on a page. As of now, I am editing a manuscript I wrote years ago, but never gave up on. In my YA fantasy ‘Doors’ we journey with sixteen-year-old Bryn as she enters a door, discovering countless worlds where she becomes a friend, a hero, a slave, a leader, and eventually learns her place in the universe. All the worlds, all the creatures, all the people, the ways of life, the languages I created make my heart flutter. Seriously, living on worlds other than here equals heaven for me. As I dive into the story, I get excited when Bryn goes through another door and I get to go back to all the worlds that came from the swirling insanity of my brain.

2) How does your work differ from others in your genre?

This question haunts me. It is the one I am afraid to answer. Why? Because my greatest fear is that my work isn’t different, that it will never be more than average, just another fantasy. Then again, it came from my head, so … there is hope because I am, well, weird. I see the world differently as all artists do. I have an individual point of view no one else can offer. ‘Doors’ is full of worlds no one has ever seen with races no one has ever met. ‘Faerie Wind’ allows sixteen-year-old Devin into the world of fae as she changes into one. ‘Fate’s Mistake’ takes eighteen-year-old Kim on a journey through her past and present to change what will happen in the future. ‘Everlife’ combines nature and magic in a forest that eats people. I always hope my ideas are unique and that the way I sew the words together gives the manuscript a wonderful voice.

3) Why do you write what you write?

That’s easy. I write what I love. I write what stories materialize in my head because if I don’t … well, it would be bad. My mind lingers in the fantastic. My thoughts tread into the dark and strange. So what I write contain bits of magic, creepy, and plain old odd. The books I read usually offer some bit of scary, magic, or weird to weave through my head forever. The TV shows and movies I love leave me staring wide-eyed in fear or wonder. I want to give this experience to readers. I want to leave them wondering. I want to leave a bit of my story twisted in their minds forever, changing the way they see the world. That’s not asking too much, right?

4) How does your writing process work?

First, an idea. A spark. There are so many sometimes. I let them sit in my head like a snowball sitting at the top of a snowy hill. Some of them roll down the slope getting bigger, gaining speed. Eventually, an entire story evolves. When I pluck that snowball from the bottom of the hill, I usually know the main story, how it begins and how it ends.

Second, I need to know EVERYTHING! I fill notebooks with information about my characters and not just the main character, but everyone who might appear in the ms. I create their personalities … well, that’s not right … they tell me who they are. They let me know what they like and don’t like. I draw maps of where they live, their homes and school. I even sketch them. For months I live in their world, learning how they would react to life, imagining myself there.

As I get to know my world, other scenes pop into my head. The story starts to fill itself out. So where do the scenes go? I tried outlining … that brought frustration and confusion every time the story decided to veer off course, so I set them on fire. Marshmallow, anyone? But I can’t just write without the faint trace of a path, so I draw a calendar and write in what happens when. I can move dates around without too much trouble. I can add things, subtract things. I don’t know every plot point or twist. I have enough faith in my characters to let me know what needs to happen.

So I put words in the screen, starting with chapter one, the hardest chapter for me to write. Oh, the agony of getting the story going! The awful pressure of giving just enough information, or starting it in the right place! The terror! So I push through. Because I can’t have a story at all if I don’t write it. I can go back later and fix all the things. Once I get going I continue in a straight line … chapter two, chapter three, and so on. Scenes I need appear in my head as I go. Characters lead me through the areas I don’t have mapped out. It’s a fabulous journey, filled, at times, with frustration when the words hide. But they always return.

With editing, with help from wonderful CPs and my writing group, I fix all the problems, plot holes, adding description, emotions, tension, and taking out all the telling and filter words. That’s my favorite. The fixing, the making it better, getting critiques from EVERYONE! My problem … it can always be better. When do I stop?

Yes, there are moments visiting all my dear friends on Twitter and FB. There are TV and snacks calling from the kitchen. As a stay-at-home mom there are chores and kids. As a wife there is a hubs that doesn’t appreciate being ignored. But we all deal with my obsession.

That is me. *bows to scattered claps and muttering* Now let me introduce a few fabulous writers to carry on this blog hopping adventure.

Talynn (aka Ink in the Book) http://inkinthebook.blogspot.com/ is a new friend on Twitter (@TalynnL). She is a intern with a Literary Agent and supports new writers. You can find her words of wisdom and encouragement on the Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts.

Ami Allen-Vath http://amiallenvath.wordpress.com/ is another Twitter friend (@amilouseallen). A YA writer represented by The Bent Agency, she will happily discuss all things The Walking Dead.

Tanager Haemmerle http://writingrevelations.blogspot.com/, another friend on Twitter (@dreamoffire), is an artist as well as a writer and is doing an illustration for the upcoming anthology of twisted fairy tales brought to you by Reuts Publishing. She always makes me smile, but any conversation with her will end up on the side of crazy … crazy GOOD!

Join the fun. Jump into the minds of other writers, don’t worry it won’t hurt. 🙂 Much.