My Writing Process Blog Hop
I’ve been tagged by the most amazing friend, author and shaman Ailsa Abraham in the My Creative Process Grand Blog Tour.
Ailsa Abraham has worked at more jobs than she can remember, finally ending up teaching English in France over twenty years ago. Now on early retirement due to health problems she can devote herself to her passion for writing.
Her other interests include campaigning for animal welfare, motorbikes and studying ancient and modern religions. Her passion for genuine ritual practices are reflected in her writing.
Working under two pen-names she has published six books. As Ailsa Abraham published by Crooked Cat, she has written: Alchemy and Shaman’s Drum. Her work has also featured in magazines and anthologies both under her own name and her pen-name of Cameron Lawton.
Her only ambition is to continue writing and perhaps return to the UK to live one day.
If you enjoy Ailsa’s work and would like to connect with her, come and join the gang in Ailsa and Friends on FB – https://www.facebook.com/groups/294439520709930/
I know this isn’t my first, but there’s always something new to say, and us scribblers love it when we get to talk about what we get up to in our darkened quill-filled dens. So then – answer four questions, and then tag three other bloggers to carry the torch forward, if they so desire, and do the same next week, or again, whenever they desire. Because I’ve had a couple of months where I fell properly off my writing wagon, my answers might be slightly off the garden path, but then again, with us Indie guys writing books isn’t only about writing books.
1. What are you working on?
These past few days have been all about getting organised again. I’ve been de-cluttering my office and getting reacquainted with my manuscripts. My goal starting into this year was to publish four of my WIP novels by December, but because of all the time I’ve lost I’m going with two instead. I know this question is about the actual book or books you’re working on, and the answer to that would be Shadow People 2 and Lesser Being, but what I’m actually working on first is being properly ready for action when they do get published. So my workspace is ready to go, and next will be to tidy up my online sites, regularly post to my Facebook page, and gear up in general for that.
2. How does your work differ from others in its genre?
Apparently books with angels and demons in them have lately overtaken the vampires in popularity, so probably there are going to be lots of them coming out now. The Shadow People series is different in that it’s not only about angels and demons, and my angels and demons might be or not be actual angels and demons. Mainly these books are sci-fi/fantasy with bits of theology and legends, real and made up, thrown in for good measure. I think that all mainstream books are different to others in their genre unless they’ve been plagiarised, so my other books would be different because they reflect my views, and whatever scenarios I want to create.
3. Why do you write what you do?
A lot of what I see or read ends up with a “What if….” going through my head. I love it when my sci-fi worlds suddenly appear and I get to live in them for a while. I don’t sit down and decide to write a particular thing unless I see a fun little challenge somewhere, and those sort of writings tend to be very short and relaxing for me. My mainstream writing tends to be about people and situations that aren’t normal in most lives – I enjoy immersing myself in feeling what someone else would be feeling in difficult situations, and I enjoy trying to make things better for these characters – mostly. Generally, after something’s occurred to me and I’ve written it down, more will occur to me and I’ll write that down too.
4. How does your writing process work?
As I grow with my writing I’m finding that I I’m getting a bit set in my ways. When I started writing I never owned a computer, so I wrote in notebooks. When I finally did get a computer I found that I didn’t feel overly inspired to write on that, so I carried on writing on paper. Now I only use notebooks for writing outlines or single scenes, and am only comfortable banging away at my desktop when it comes to the actual books. When I’m on a roll I can write all day, and only stop when I’m about to fall off my chair. Occasionally when my writing seems wrong or forced, I walk away from it until I’m inspired again because that sort of writing for me always ends up in the bin.
I don’t ask my nominees for permission to tag them, because I like to choose writers who I really admire even if they choose not to participate, on the off chance that they will, and share some of their personal writing lives with us. I’m selfish that way. They are:
Kevin Cooper whose book Miedo I’ve just read and been blown away by, and would love to know more about his writing process.
Mihran Kalaydjian whose music is so beautiful it generally has me floating around the ceiling, but I would love to know all about his writing too.
Wonderful friend, and author of the Sage books which I love, Marian Allen, who will hopefully forgive me for so surprising her, and also for falling off the boat these past months.
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.