Thank you to my good friend Conrad Brand for tagging me on a My Writing Process Blog Hop. As well as writing for The South African, where he gets to meet and interview interesting and often famous people, he is also an author and publisher. He runs Springbok Publications, who are the publishers of the Plight of the Rhino anthology, full of stories, poems, and art from amazingly talented creatives around the world. The purpose of this book is to donate the profits to the Save the Rhino fund, so all contributing authors and artists obviously worked without expectation of payment, wanting to help those poor disappearing rhino guys in any way they could. My contribution to this book is the short story Nkoninkoni, a story of Africa, a little boy, and a mystic wildebeest that shows him that being small doesn’t have to mean you’re powerless.
Pop over to Conrad’s Blog – he’s a great friend.
The idea with this Hop, is to answer a couple of questions about your writing process, and then nominate the blogs of three other writers who inspire you to do the same. If these three choose to Hop along, they would then post their writing process blogs the following week, together with links to this post, and the sites of their three nominees.
1. What are you working on?
Right now I’m about to detangle some research I’ve done for Shadow People 2. I’m learning that writing a series of sci-fi/fantasy books means that you have to stay on your toes with your facts, whether they’re real facts or facts that you’ve made up for your books. Also, finally being better after feeling rather sickly and generally weird for several weeks, research is the best way for me to wiggle myself back into my proper writing and editing work.
2. What have you worked on recently?
I haven’t done much of anything for some weeks, but before that I was hard at work on the second and third books in the Shadow People series, as well as the first book in my Ghostwriter series – Emmaline. I want to get them properly ready for publication with lots of bells and whistles this year, and I’m about to dive right back in there again. I’m also fiddling with turning The Visitation into a full length novel, not because I think that there’s anything wrong with it as a short story, but because old Tony keeps on popping up in my head and telling me things.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I don’t know if it’s the same for all of us scribblers, but the minute I realised that that was indeed what I am, and embraced writing as what I do, and what defines me, I found that I don’t write any particular thing or way, but whatever happens to be happening in my head at any given time. If there’s action going on between the ears, I’ll write it, whether it’s sci-fi/fantasy, horror, mainstream or humour.
4. How does your writing process work?
I take a lot of notes as I go along. I forget whether someone was wearing boots or sandals, or the spelling of a name. I have a great little programme called All My Notes, and as I go along if I know that a scene will be relevant further along in the book or series, I copy and paste from Word to there as I write. I also have lists there for the overall series timeline, and the characters in Shadow People. The main ones sometimes have more than one name, and have connections to various incidents in time and space. They are also linked to their Vimana (sentient spacecraft), so I have to be able to pop quickly back at any time to see what I’ve named them and why. Writing my mainstream stories I just write them as they happen – the characters tend to let me know what’s going to happen, and it’s mostly smooth going. I do lots of research for everything though. Whether it’s a personality disorder or the name of a perfume, I like to try and get things right. With the sci-fi/fantasy I research myths, legends, conspiracy theories, odd antiquities, astronomy, and more, and twist and tweak whatever I like to fit any scene I want to create.
Now for my nominees. These are writers and bloggers I admire and respect, and I’m nominating them without their consent, so it’s up to them whether they would like to carry on the hop or not. If they do they will do the same thing next week, and if they don’t, they still know that I think they’re awesome.
Belsbror – I love the way he thinks about the way we live, he makes me smile so often when a smile is just what I need, and his stories that he so generously shares are good reads every time.
Janice Spina is the author of several fantastical children’s books. She also has a soul of gold, and selflessly supports us scribblers and bloggers.
Melanie Toye who wears so many hats beautifully. Author, dancer, and generally gorgeous inside and out.