Happy Fourth of July!
A few weeks ago, I was tagged in the #mywritingprocess blog tour by my good friend Angela Wallace, herself an author of thrilling, imaginative fantasy and urban fantasy. So, considering interviews are a theme of this summer’s blogging, I thought I’d take a turn and give you a peek inside my writer brain 🙂 I’ll answer four questions, then pass them on to two other writers.
What am I working on?
I’m currently writing like a freight train to finish the sequel to The Illuminator’s Gift, a book which is scheduled for publication this December! At this point I think I can safely say that it’s quite different from the first book, but is still a continuation of the same story. If you enjoyed the characters in The Illuminator’s Gift, I think you’ll enjoy watching them grow and face new dangers, enemies, and challenges in the sequel.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The Illuminator’s Gift is fantasy, but truth be told, I’m not a die-hard fantasy lover. (Did I say that out loud?) Of course I enjoy discovering new worlds and encountering mythical beasties, but those aren’t enough for me to fall in love with a book, either as a reader or a writer. Dragons and swordfighting alone aren’t enough to make me care. So my work combines genres–some fantasy, some theology, a dash of history, a sprinkle of fairy tale, a little travel writing. I love to read cross-genre books, so why not write them?
Why do I write what I do?
Fantasy books like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and C.S. Lewis’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Great Divorce have been some of my best friends and truest guides as I have navigated the roughest places in my life. What I really love about fantasy is its ability to grapple with deep truths and teach us how to tackle life’s difficulties and darknesses, all without triggering our defense mechanisms or putting us to sleep. So when I write, I seek not only to spin a good fantasy yarn, but to infuse it with truths I’ve learned along the way, because I think all good stories have truth at their center. Not that I have it all figured out! Often I find myself exploring and growing right alongside my characters, which is part of what makes writing challenging and fun 🙂
How does my writing process work?
Hehe. Today or yesterday? As with many important disciplines, I don’t think writing habits are something you learn once, master, and practice like a machine for the rest of your life. The way I wrote my first book is not the way I’m writing my second. Part of that is because I learned from a few mistakes the first time around! I consider myself a “pantser,” meaning that I tend to write by the seat of my pants, letting the story develop organically rather than planning out a whole book in advance. This time, however, I did start with a sketchy, big-picture outline of the story’s events, leaving big gaps for serendipity to happen. I think the general outline has helped me stay on track (and write faster), but some of my favorite scenes have come from the serendipity gaps 🙂
And the blog tour continues with two other splendid writers, both of whom I hope to introduce to you via interview this summer!
Shelley Adina is the author of over twenty books, from Victorian steampunk to Amish women’s fiction.
Jenn Castro is the author of Mom*Me, a charming picture book for young readers and their moms.
If you’re local to the SF Bay Area, come say hello at Village House of Books next Thursday, 7/10! From 6-8 PM, illustrator Amalia Hillmann and I will be there, signing The Illuminator’s Gift and answering questions. Plus lots of family-friendly activities including face painting, snacks, an art contest, and a drawing for a free book! We’d love to see you there!