This go around I was tagged by Anne Barwell, my co-conspirator in The Sleepless City series. Anne also has a fantasy series, and a World War Two series, as well as a great dragon shifter book. You can find them all on her website, Drops of Ink.
What am I working on?
I have two books I’m currently working to have completed, the first is Jewel Cave (book #3) of Circles. The second is Checkmate (book #4) and is part of The Sleepless City series written with Anne Barwell. I should be receiving edits shortly for book #5 of Sentries, Tethered Pair and book #2 of Circles, A Barlow Lens.
Circles is a contemporary, mystery series that features different couples in each book with one of the men in each couple working in various branches of law enforcement. In each book we briefly meet one or two of the characters from the next book. This gives the series its title: Circles. Since every life is a circle.
The first in the Circles was Run for the Roses, released this past May by Dreamspinner Press. It revolved around the Kentucky Derby, murder and a gambling scheme. A Barlow Lens finishes the story started in Run for the Roses and intertwines it with the story of another couple involving a cold case murder that occurred in 1927. This book is told in two timelines and takes place in my neighborhood of West Park in Cleveland, Ohio.
Book three, one of my two WIPs is Jewel Cave. This book features US Marshall Griff Diamond and his partner, Clint Bishop. Much of the book takes place in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My first literary love was scifi, which emphasizes science. I’m a huge astronomy buff and in one way or another work that into just about everything I write. I didn’t set out to do that, it just sort of happened. I’m also a veterinary nurse and most of my books feature at least one four-legged supporting character.
In Electric Candle (book #2 of The Sleepless City) I tried to give some evolutionary and scientific reasoning behind the vampire mythos Anne and I used. I’ve often said it’s probably a good thing she’s in New Zealand and I’m in the United States or she’d bop me over the head for constantly asking her, “But why is it like that?”
The title of A Barlow Lens (book #2 of Circles) comes directly from a special lens used on a telescope to enhance magnification. When we look up at the stars we are looking back in time and this type of lens lets us look back even farther.
It’s been said there are only seven basic plots in the world, but I do try my best to take those plots and give them a good, healthy twist or three.
The beauty of romance is it goes so well with so many other genres. I love stories with a lot of action and suspense. Blending those aspects into a nice romance is fun, challenging and I think makes for a very interesting story.
Why do I write what I do?
I think that answer is simple, and probably the same as everyone else’s. I write what I’d like to read. I write what sparks my imagination and takes me to another place/time even if only for a little while. Most importantly I write because I must write. The stories are in my head and believe me when I say, they need out!
How does my writing process work?
My books are plot driven stories. I enjoy reading books that have a great plot incorporating romance, a mystery or a good monster hunt and I strive to write such books (some days that works out better than others).
The method that seems to work the best for me and the one I’m most comfortable with is developing the plot first. From there I develop the characters, or fit existing characters in then I find a good place for my novel to take place since location, location, location is very important.
I use a few programs to help me keep track of all my research and ideas for each book and each series as a whole. OneNote is my overall information base. I use Google Drives to store random scenes and any outline/overview as they are developed. I have both Scrivener and Liquid Story Binder to use for cataloging and rearranging scene notes, but those aren’t used as heavily as OneNote and Drive. I like using these programs because they are portable. They’re on my desktop, laptop, phone and table. When an idea strikes I can jot it down on my phone and pull it up a week later for development in a story on my laptop.
Once I get a chapter completed I send it out to my beta readers. They read and complete the first editorial remarks. When I have a few chapters beta read I go back and begin editing earlier chapters. That does a few things for me. It refreshes my memory about what happened earlier in the book, lets me know if I have to make adjustments to the early plot and additions to later chapters.
By the time the final chapters are beta read, the earlier chapters are polished and edited and when I’m done with the book, I’m done. I don’t generally look at the manuscript until the production process begins.
Who is next on my hit list?
This round I am tagging, Andrew Grey, Sue Brown, Will Parkinson, Alex Dundass and Andrea Speed. If you’ve done this already, or don’t want to participate, I’m sure the meme police will not come get you. However, if they come to me looking for you I’m giving out contact information….bwwwaahahahhaa