I'd like to thank my friend George Wells for giving me this prompt. You may remember George from my interview with the editor and some of the writers from Spark: A Creative Anthology's debut issue. George is now a writer in residence for Spark, having appeared in every issue so far and he's definitely a writer to watch.
Q: What am I working on?
All kinds of things!
I just finished putting together a collection of short stories (which I'm going to shamelessly plug in my next blog post).
I'm also working on the sequel to my sword and sorcery novel, 'The Lost Weaver', which is called 'Legacy', as well as an old work that I'm re-imagining, called 'World Builders, Inc.' In between those, I might find time for a project called 'Triskele'. You can find more details of all of those in this post, where I complain about the 'problem' of having too many ideas.
Q: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
That's a difficult one! I think it differs because it's written by me and I try to put my own slant, my own voice into my writing. There are similarities (genre conventions), but even there, I still try to do it my own way. I like to flip stereotypes, and I like reversals. So my big barbarian warrior type also likes to cook, and treats his daughter as an equal.
Q: Why do I write what I do?
What can I say? I love fantasy, have done ever since I was a little girl, reading Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree stories. I also love science fiction, because I love thinking up answers to 'what if?' questions. I also love to read classic literature, and literary fiction, but I think I'm more of a storyteller than a literary writer. I do try to use much of what I learned in my studies of literature when writing science fiction and fantasy, however. Because the more tools a writer has, the better.
Q: How does your writing process work?
I write best in the mornings, when I'm on my second cup of coffee and I'm rested from a good night's sleep. I concentrate better and get more done then. It has to be quiet, too; no music, no distractions or I can't get in 'the zone'. You know, that place where the writing just flows?
For longer works, I start with an outline. I learned long ago that if I write without an outline I fizzle out at 30,000 words or so. It's not a rigid outline and is always subject to change when I get a Brilliant New Idea (TM). But it does give me a path to stick to (or come back to when I invariably wander off course). Within each planned scene, I free-write, while keeping the points I need to hit (from the outline) in mind. So it's a combination of outline and free-writing that works best for me.
For short stories, I start with the idea in my head and just free-write and see where that takes me. It usually means more revisions and changes, but that isn't so daunting with 3 or 4 thousand words, like it is with a hundred thousand!
Q: Who will we meet next week
I'm really excited about this part. Next week we're going to meet the three other members of the Alchemy writers' group, and my writer 'besties'. They are a great source of support, encouragement and help me immensely with my writing. They are also lovely people. So without further ado: