Sunday, March 30, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour.

I've been tagged by Yvonne Hertzberger to be one of the next stops on the Writing Process Blog Tour. Thanks for the opportunity, Yvonne. And a hearty hearth/myth welcome to any newbies who have found their way here from her site.

By the way, Yvonne writes some pretty awesome epic fantasy; click on the Rursday Reads tab above and look for my reviews of her "Earth's Pendulum" series. She's also a fellow staffer at Indies Unlimited.

Now then, to the main event -- which is for me to answer the following four questions:

1. What are you working on?

Alert readers of hearth/myth already know that Scorched Earth will be the third and final book in my Land, Sea, Sky trilogy. What they don't know (because I just signed up yesterday) is that I've made this book my Camp NaNoWriMo project for next month. My outline is already done; I still need to fill in the pertinent dates on my dry-erase calendar, which I will do before I go to sleep tonight, and then I will be ready to kick this thing into overdrive on Tuesday.

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

This question assumes I've settled on a genre. The Pipe Woman Chronicles were easier -- Native American mythology + handsome shapeshifters = urban fantasy/paranormal romance. Land, Sea, Sky has some Native American mythology, but none of the sexy Plains tribes are involved; instead, Darrell is a Potawatomi Indian, a tribe which almost nobody has heard of, and his sponsoring deity (if you will) is the Ojibwe culture hero Nanabush. I've also got the Morrigan, who's the Celtic goddess of war and who is allied with Tess (to Tess's dismay); and Gaia, who is more or less a Wiccan Earth goddess, and whose human avatar is Sue. The plots of all these books involve a fair amount of intrigue and political maneuvering. So I'm calling the series contemporary fantasy.

If pressed, I'd compare Land, Sea, Sky to Neil Gaiman's American Gods, or to some of Charles de Lint's books. But my books are not enough like those to make a fair comparison. I don't really think anyone else is doing what I'm doing.

3. Why do you write what you do?

Because it interests me. I began studying various Pagan pantheons as part of my own spiritual journey several years ago, and I'd been reading up on Native American spirituality for many years before that. As a news reporter and editor, I spent a couple of decades covering politics (along with a whole bunch of other stuff). I've lived in all the places where the books in both of my series have been set (so far...).  And I read a lot of fantasy.

4. How does your writing process work?

I have discovered that I work best on deadline -- a holdover from my years in journalism. So the NaNoWriMo template seems to work best for me: I churn out a first draft of 50,000 words or so in three or four weeks. It's an intensive process, obviously. I don't have much of a life during the weeks when I'm writing the first draft; I typically spend several hours each night and all day on the weekends at the keyboard.

I do work from an outline, although it's a general, beat-style outline rather than a really detailed one. I write that, and I put the big events of the narrative on a dry-erase calendar that hangs above my desk, before I start writing the first draft. I also collect my research notes in a OneNote notebook. But that's pretty much it for my "writing process." Other than that, I just write.

Tag -- you're It!
The next thing I get to do is tag three authors to be the next stops on the Writing Process Blog Tour. They have all agreed to post their stuff by April 7th. Do stop by and visit them!

1. Laurie Boris

Laurie is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and former graphic designer. She has been writing fiction for over twenty-five years and is the award-winning author of four novels: The Joke's on Me, Drawing Breath, Don't Tell Anyone, and Sliding Past Vertical. When not playing with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she enjoys baseball, cooking, reading, and helping aspiring novelists as a contributing writer and editor for She lives in New York's lovely Hudson Valley.

2. John R. Phythyon, Jr.

John wishes he were a superhero or a magician, but since he has not yet been bitten by a radioactive spider or gotten his letter from Hogwarts, he writes adventure stories instead. He is the author of the Wolf Dasher series of fantasy-thriller mashup novels, as well as several short stories, a two-act comedy, and numerous game manuals. He won awards for the latter and hopes to make millions with the former.

In the meantime, he lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife, their children, a dog, and a cat. His current projects include the next novel in the Wolf Dasher series, world peace, and desperately wishing for the Cincinnati Bengals to win a Super Bowl before he dies.

3. Alesha Cary

Alesha Cary grew up reading mysteries and she still loves a good who-dunnit. But she's also a romantic at heart and believes we all deserve our own happily-ever-after -- we just have to find the right person. She writes her books with a bit of romance and a bit of mystery ~ and sometimes a splash of paranormal.

The mixture is different for each book, but you can expect to find some of each in every story.

Just like her characters, Alesha lives on the Pacific Northwest Coast with her husband and two cats. Their neighbors are deer, raccoons, skunks, foxes, mountain lions and bear, and far too many birds to list. From her window she gets to watch the whales playing as they migrate.

These moments of bloggy process -- or maybe it's processed blogginess? Anyway, here they are, brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

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