Writing is a single-player sport for the most part. A game one plays with oneself, where words replace a ball or chess piece, and single game can last for months or years. Near the end of the game, others may get involved and lend some specialized expertise, but for the most part, its a lonely sport.
I was recently tagged in a blog post by the fabulous writer and friend, Terri Reid. Terri is the author of the Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery series, along with some Fantasy and other genres worked into her bibliography. Check out her Amazon Author Page as well as her Website and Blog to find out more about Terri’s books. You’ll be glad you did.
I get to see Terri face-to-face on occasion, and always enjoy her energy and creativity. Her friendship and wisdom have had an impact on me, and I am so appreciative…
The idea of this “author tagging” is to have an author some basic questions about their work, give a shout-out to the “tagging” author, and invite yet others on the downstream side to participate. I was supposed to tag 3 other authors, but I’ve had 3 “thirds” now, and in each case, participation didn’t work out for one reason or another. So I hereby authorize one of those downstream authors to tag a 4th… You have my permission.
what are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a thriller with a working title called Delaney’s Cure. In this story, a cellular biologist discovers a breakthrough in veterinary vaccines. He creates a genetically modied virus for his testing, which is released into the environment, infecting a large number of dogs.
But this story is not about the science, it’s about dogs. It’s about what happens when the dogs in an isolated community turn viscious and begin attacking – and killing – the people who love them.
So Delaney’s Cure is about dogs – both demonic and heroic, and how one small town is driven to fear their family pets, and the steps they take to protect those that are not yet infected by this man-made sickness.
How do your stories differ from others in its genre?
I try my best to write “reasonable person” characters, which to me adds realism to the stories. For me as a reader, I am put off by characters who do not act as a reasonable person for sake of the story.
Now, I write horror and fantasy – so I don’t mind putting characters in unusual places or circumstances – in fact, that’s what I love to do. However, I want those characters to behave as a reasonable person would given the situation. Reasonable people don’t open doors to rooms where they think monsters lurk. They don’t attack a mob of 20 people with guns when all they have is a slingshot.
So keeping people real is what drives realism – not creating a realistic world or setting to put them in.
Why do you write what you do?
I’m sure the common answer is that writers write what they love to read. For me, that’s true. However, I like to write about topics that you don’t see in the news everyday, which leads me down the path of the paranormal or supernatural. I love being scared by a story, and my goal is to scare others with similar preferences. I don’t like gory, bloody splatter stories, but tight stories where the tension is palpable is what I seek. I also try to keep the story moving, and don’t tend to drag out subplots unless absolutely necessary. I want a story to read like a movie in the readers mind.
How does the writing process work?
Typically, by the time I get to writing a story, it’s been brewing in my head for months or even years. When I have idle time, like driving or waiting in line – I’ll be working out plots and scenes in my head. I must have a pretty good memory for this stuff, because this is what works for me.
When it comes time to write it down, I just jump right in. I’ve tried outlines, but find that as the details of the story emerge, it changes the direction the story might go, so outlines are largely abandoned – and therefore a waste of time. I will sometimes write scenes out of order, and sometimes I will move a scene to a different part of the book, depending on what makes the most sense for the story.
Then edit, and edit again, and then edit some more…
First on my list of “tagees” is Niki Danforth, author of “Stunner” – a Ronnie Lake mystery.
I’ve known Niki for over a year now, and we’ve had countless email discussions and several phone conversations – which saves a lot of keystrokes that we can both save for our next book! Niki is a class act, and her work shows it. Have a look at Niki’s website and blog, and you can find her book on Amazon as well as other retailers. Niki does everything full-out, and Stunner shows it.
Jannifer Powelson is another writer friend and author that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face as well. Jan is a principle at Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, and we have worked on a number of projects together. She has written a series of children’s books that are absolutely adorable and well done. The subject is nature and conservation, and the stories and incredible artwork make her “Rachel and Sammy” series a wonderful introduction to these topics for kids. Jan has also written an adult mystery novel titled “When Nature Calls” and also follows the Nature and Conservation theme. Her titles are available at Amazon and and other book retailers. Visit her website and Amazon Author Page to learn more. You can also check out Progressive Rising Phoenix Press to learn what Jan is doing over there.