Amelia “The Nice One” Bishop tagged me for this blog hop. I love process—well, I love/hate process, but it’s fascinating how the creative parts of our brains, hearts, and souls come together to communicate story to readers. It’s not always an easy birth, either.
1. What are you working on?
I’m working on a contemporary romantic suspense titled “Hitting Black Ice.” When two damaged heroes meet, their attraction for each other begins to resemble the hazards of winter driving. They can steer into the slide and maintain control or give up control and hope for the best…
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I hope my style is different enough to stand out but as accessible as my favorite authors.
3. Why do you write what you do?
When it comes to mysteries and suspense, I’m fascinated by the aftermath of a crime, how the characters deal with it emotionally and psychologically, whether it’s in Renaissance Florence or an imaginary suburb of Boston, where “Hitting Black Ice” is set. Suspense has a bit of a different arc than mystery, but I like to blend the elements.
4. How does your writing process work?
It’s different for every story, which is irritating. Sometimes a plot blooms whole with just a few characters and a setting behind it. Other times I have to dig at piles of research before a character begins to talk to me, really talk to me. Hitting Black Ice, where no one is telling the main character the truth, is giving me fits about when to reveal and how much and what the off-stage characters are doing. The repercussions of lies and of the truth propel the story forward. The first draft, about 30,000 words, went quickly and frantically, but these second and third drafts are taking far more thought than the original skeleton I laid down.
The first draft of Ardent Fire went the same way, but in the end, I had to start completely over twice, except for the sex scenes, before it took the shape it has now. For Ardent Fire, as I got close to the end, I had painted myself and one of the main characters into a corner. But I got us out using the opposite side of my brain with a quick sketch of circles and arrows to find the next logical step that I’d been blind to before. HBI is taking a lot of journaling right now, mostly about the offstage stuff and about one of the character’s hidden motives.
Back to work!