Four Questions for Writers – WIP Meme

Four questions for writers.

This is my reply for the “four questions for writers” meme that I just got from A. Thurman over at Inspired Melancholy. Moving forward, as I tagged Linda Adams, Wayland “Beegs” Smith, and DL Thurston last year for a similar meme, I shall spare them this time. ;)  And as N.R. Brown is away on vacation, I’ll be passing this along to CVS writers Anthony Dobranski and Jennifer Brinn. Can’t wait to see what y’all have to say!

And now to the questions:

What are you currently working on?

Right now, I’m in a bit of a jumble. I am doing promotion for my young adult novel, “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn,” have a horror-ish short story due at the end of the month, am 1/3 of the way through the subject of my “Next Big Thing” WIP post of about year ago, Pigeonfall (trying to sort out a tangled plot-subplots issue), and working on Draft Zero of a Venetian science fiction novel with N.R. Brown. Which basically means all  of these projects are fighting for my time and attention.

How does your work differ from others in the genre?

It is tough to answer the question as the three novel-length items I listed are so diverse – YA Steampunk, Weird West, and Science Fiction. Like A. Thurman, I’d have to say, “I’ll let you know when I figure out my genre!”  In truth, the only thing I can say is that I (not truly unlike other authors) love research and I thoroughly enjoy including “Easter eggs” in the larger works, particularly involving unique historical elements or figures. I include them in interviews and collect several in my “Book Secrets” blog posts.

Why do you write what you do?

I love the fantastical and I love even more the fantastical that has some sort of anchor to our world.  It is the world of, “What if?” It inspires the imagination but is close enough to our own world that it urges us to look critically at our own societal and cultural mores and values.  I also have very strong feelings about diverse characters and diverse worlds so purposely seek out cultures and ideas, and build environments that challenge our perspective, even if only a little bit.

How does your writing process work?

In truth, I’m still experimenting with a variety of processes.  I’m a slow and inconsistent writer.  Great for a hobbyist but not so useful for a writer with deadlines.  I’m always open to suggestions!  (Just not “Write every day.”  I’ve tried that.  It didn’t work.)

When it comes to the writing itself, I research as I go to ensure I stay authentic to the world I’m building and to the characters with strong “anchors” to a reality that is cohesive and makes sense to the reader.  I tend to write dialogue first, with action, and then go back and add description.  I’m  a big proponent of looking at larger themes such as faith, redemption, fate etc. and how we as people struggle against and fight for the things we believe.

Old brown books on a shelf

Image by Stephanie In love