Hello! You’ve no doubt found your way here from the incomparable Susanne Matthews blog. If you’ve come here by other means or because you follow my blog welcome and please check out Susanne’s (and the authors before her) answers to how and why they write. Anyone out there who’s ever completed a work of fiction, be it 100 words or 1000 pages, knows that writing is like sharing a little piece of your soul with the world. Each story is like a baby we kick out into the world and hope that readers will give it a loving home. In honor of this process, and the heartbreak and joys it brings, writers all across the internet have been joining in to share with you how we do what we do.
So how does all this work? Well, each author on the hop answers the same four questions about their process, why they write, and what they’re working on. We then pass the torch to the four new authors. It’s a long thread and after you visit my tagged authors and learn a little about them feel free to take a trip down the rabbit hole and follow it back through the link to Susanne’s blog above.
*1) What are you working on?
It always seems like I’m working on a million projects at once. Luckily right now that’s not the case.
At the moment I’m finishing up the final touches on No Place Like Home the second book in the Southern Honor series. I can’t wait for you guys to get another peek into the lives of the men who are beginning to call Devotion, Georgia home. In NPLH we meet Philip ‘Roc’ Rockland, a fellow Delta and unit member of Jack Devlin from Homecoming. Roc had a hard time coming back from the mission to rescue Jack and has come to Devotion to figure out the next step in his life beyond Delta. Trust me when I say Roc’s in for a few surprises (namely a feisty attorney named Gabe) and more than his fair share of demons to face.
I’m also working on a really fun project for the M/M Romance group on Goodreads. Every year they do a big writing event called Don’t Read in the Closet where readers get to tell authors the story they want to read. My story for this project, Bastion, is a post-apocalyptic New Adult tale that finds two young men falling in love while running for their lives on the road trip from hell. I’m so excited for you guys to meet Luca and Sebastian. Keep an eye out this summer! (Psst! They compile an anthology and it’s FREE)
*2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?
I like to think my books are unique because like most authors writing is a personal journey for me. I put a little piece of myself in my stories and I hope that shows in the lives of the men I put on the page. The men in my books have some serious issues to get beyond in order to find the peace they need. This journey doesn’t always end with the book closes. Homecoming left a lot of questions unanswered and in the next book No Place Like Home you get to see Jack and Dillon navigating what their new relationship really means in terms of how they’re going to live their lives in Devotion and how they’re going to face the loose ends they still have yet to tie up. Though the story is primarily about Roc and Gabe, the two couple’s lives are very intertwined.
*3) Why do you write what you write?
Oy- what a question! I think every author out there would agree that we write what we do because he have to. The stories that pour onto the page are pounding on our brains to let them out. To show them to the world and hope readers fall in love.
Seriously though I’ve always been a sucker for a good love story. All the ups and downs in romance that ultimately leads to a HEA hook me every time. It’s funny, I stumbled into the world of M/M by accident (literally, my first M/M was supposed to be a hetero romance but my characters had different plans) and have fallen in love with the genre. The LGBQ world isn’t just now becoming a powerhouse in the world of publishing and I find it important to portray stories that go beyond the super steamy sexytimes (though there are plenty of those) and really give readers of the M/M genre a believable love story that isn’t necessarily centered on the physical relationship but the deeper connection that comes with loving a friend as well as a lover.
*4) How does your writing process work?
I’m 110% a pantser. I let the characters take me where they will. I’ll think the book is going to go one way when somehow I end up surprised by a character’s actions and they take it in a completely other direction I hadn’t thought of until that moment. It’s amazing to take that journey with my characters and let them tell me their story without what I think should happen getting in the way. To me the story feels more organic if it’s allowed to develop from the actions and words of the characters.
I won’t go back over the story until I’ve reached the end. Then I look for inconsistencies and basic errors before sending it off to my critique partner. Because of the way I write there’s a lot of extra scenes that function more as a getting to know my characters rather than moving the story forward. I don’t do elaborate character bios before starting on my manuscript but learn from my character’s choices in the book who they are. Sounds crazy, but any true pantser will understand. I try and get all these scenes out or tweak them if I’m in love with them before anyone’s eyes see the manuscript.
I’m also what I call in impromptu writer. I’ll get a visit from the plot bunnies at 1am and have to start the story right then. Not because I want to get out of my bed in the middle of the night, but because I need to or I’ll be up all night with scenes running thought my head. Or I’ll be sitting with my family or working on my WIP when inspiration strikes and I have to jot down a few notes (or start up yet another new WIP) and get back to what I was doing. My TBW (to be written) list is going to keep me busy for years to come.
Now it’s time for me to tag a few of my fellow author:
Lynne Connolly: Author of smokin’ paranormal, contemporary, and historical romance, Lynne has a little something for every reader.
Katriena Knights: She takes you to another world in her paranormal romances featuring everything from vampires to starship captions.
Raina James: Author of anything from contemporary romance to steamy ménage space exploration, Raina brings sexy back in a big way.