Without further ado, it's time to answer four questions about my writing process:
1) What am I working on?I'm currently in the final editing stages for Tess in Boots. It's a sweet contemporary romance set to be released with Anaiah Press in December 2014. The story is about, you know... a girl named Tess who wears boots. Kidding. It's so much more, of course. My heroine, Tess, gets an opportunity to step out of her routine and totally reinvent herself on a remote vineyard in North Carolina. The story speaks to the pressure we place on ourselves to play a certain role in our daily lives, and how this pressure can hold us back from conquering our fears and experiencing personal growth. Lots of secrets, twists, and turns make this story hard to put down. (So does my dreamy leading man, Thatcher. I can't wait to introduce him to my readers!) This book is funny, heartwarming, and comes with a money-back guarantee if you don't cry near the end. (Just kidding on the guarantee thing.) But seriously, get your tissues ready.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?When people hear I have a romance coming out, they often assume it's a bodice ripper. I'm a pretty awkward person. (Fortunately for me, I'm not out there in the dating world, because if I had to flirt with someone they'd probably assume I had some sort of nervous twitch and feel sorry for me.) So when people think I'm writing something steamy, it makes me blush and want to hide under the table. My work is different because it's clean. Though packed with lots of heart-fluttering moments, Tess in Boots is contracted with a Christian publisher, and there are certain guidelines the book must adhere to with respect to language, romantic scenes, etc. It's a perfect fit for me, because I'm a clean writer through and through. I love the challenge of writing a fantastic, gripping story while keeping it safe to read with Grandma looking over your shoulder. When I can strike that perfect balance, I call it a win!
3) Why do I write what I do?Ever since I was a kid, I've always adored books that make me feel like I'm on vacation. I'm a sucker for a good escape read, and I want my readers to feel like they're getting away when they pick up my book. The picturesque setting of Tess in Boots is a vacation in itself, but more importantly, this is a story you'll get lost in and won't want to leave. Every time I finish up a round of edits, I'm a little sad because I wish I could spend more time with these characters and this story.
4) How does my writing process work?What a loaded question! To keep my response concise, I'll stick to a few key points with links to longer posts I've written:
- I don't sweat the beginning. Or the entire first draft, for that matter.
- Once I get an idea, I run with it and let myself enjoy the process all the way through the first draft. Then, I go back to edit and tighten things up. (Read more about this here.)
- I write really early in the morning.
- Most days I wake up to write before 4 am. There's a lot of coffee involved. (Read more about this here.)
- I use a calendar to map out my plot.
- Yep, a good old-fashioned, paper calendar. It helps me keep track of my characters' busy lives! (Read more about this here.)
- I know when to walk away.
- Sometimes, slacking off is a good thing. When I have writer's block, I step away from the keyboard. (Read more about this here.)