My good friend Tony Healey recently invited me to participate in a blog hop. He explained to me that it was not just a chance to talk about my work, but also an opportunity to keep the chain going by nominating two other authors of my choosing. Sounds like fun to me!
The rules of this blog hop were simple: answer four writer-ly questions, and then introduce the two writers that I’d chosen. I’m excited because I’ve selected two really good ones that I think you’re going to enjoy. So, be sure to hop on over to their blogs when you’re all done here (sorry, “Dad jokes” are in my nature).
Blog Hop Q & A
What am I working on right now?
I am in the final editing stages on Noble: New World Order. It’s been a labor of love for the past two years, and I couldn’t be more anxious to get this book into the hands of readers. In my down time, I’ve begun preliminary work on a couple of upcoming projects, including a brand new series, a “strange” sequel, and a Noble spin-off series.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t strive to be different, I strive to be authentic. I am committed to my vision, and I won’t be deterred because what I’m writing is not en vogue at the moment. I am laser-focused on creating rich stories and characters that I am interested in, and that I am proud to put my name on. My work can be gritty and uncomfortable at times, while sappy and romantic at others. I believe in delivering the human experience (or non-human; I write Sci-Fi, after all), and I hope that my dedication to this process bleeds from the pages.
Why do I write what I do?
I am inspired by stories that challenge my imagination and allow me to think bigger than the world we know. At the time I began writing Noble, I was really into the TV show Lost, the video game BioShock, and my love of the paranormal. All of that culminated into one of the craziest dreams I’ve ever had, and when I woke up, I immediately grabbed my notepad and started scribbling down ideas. This may sound a bit cliché, but I truly believe I was born to tell stories. No other profession in my life has felt as rewarding as this.
How does my writing process work?
Every story begins with a single kernel. I catalog all of my ideas, and when it’s time to start a new project, there’s always one that’s fighting a little harder than the rest to get out. From that single kernel, I start clustering/brainstorming on ways to make that idea bigger. I then move on to thinking about characters: who they are, what their motivations might be, and their relationships to other characters.
From there it’s a matter of connecting those characters with plot ideas. Once I’ve determined a “critical path” for the story, I brainstorm ideas that will allow the storytelling to branch out a little bit and create a deeper connection to the world. Then things get technical: chapter summaries, character bios, establishing the rules of the world I’m building, etc. The final stage is to actually put words on paper, and with a little luck, I’ll have a draft ready within a few months.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages…
Without further ado, allow me to introduce my very dear friends Miellyn Fitzwater Barrows and Hilary Heskett Shapiro. These ladies are freakin’ amazing writers, and I am so lucky to have them in my network. They’ve helped me more times than I can count, and their feedback played a huge part in shaping the final draft of Noble: New World Order.
Writer and producer Miellyn Fitzwater Barrows has provided creative content to more than a dozen national television networks including National Geographic, Discovery, TLC, Travel, and HGTV. She is the creator and series producer for Tin Man Games videogame gamebook series Strange Loves and writer/producer for Strange Loves 1: Vampire Boyfriends. Also a published author, her work has appeared in Random House and Smart Pop Books anthologies, the UK Telegraph newspaper, and across the web. Her first novel is now available at Amazon.com.
A marketing consultant for clients including BioWare, Electronic Arts (EA), Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Princess Cruises who has been published in three NYT bestselling editions of CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL.