Now, I know I don’t usually post on Sunday, but during the A to Z Challenge it’s the only free day. So. Happy Easter to you, and let’s forget about the NATO Alphabet for one day to talk about writing.
Felicia Maziarz, author of The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets, recently tagged me to join the Writing Process Blog Tour. Felicia was one of the lucky kids who had the opportunity to interview Mr. Rick Riordan on HuffPost Live’s Tell Me Why Program, with her friend Erik, of This Kid Reviews Books.
The price of being tagged is to answer the questions below.
I’m never shy of talking about writing and my books, especially when it’s so close to the publication of Bravo Victor (have you entered the giveaway for that? It’s here!) So, while I take a break from the final touches for that exciting mystery starring the wonderful Victor, I can entertain you with the truth behind my writing processes. Oops, the cat is out of the bag (or the guinea pig is out of the hay sack, whichever is more appropriate).
At the bottom of this post you will find three talented authors who will be posting in the next week or so.
What am I working on?
I’m finalising the chapter illustrations for Bravo Victor, I’m editing my father’s memoirs of his time with the Imperial Airways flying boat service, and in my spare time I’m trying to write the first of the science fiction stories starring my adorable asteroid miners, Big Pete and the Swede. But then I’m also thinking about the next book in the Princelings series, and an anthology of short stories, and a retelling of folk tales by Willoughby the Narrator. OK, I’m only actually working on the first two in the next month or two.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, how many middle grade books do you know that star guinea pigs who ride around in carriages, invent flying machines, and run business enterprises? The trouble is, the books have really outgrown middle grade literature. I think they may be for adults who enjoy MG lit. Or guinea pigs. Or both.
Why do I write what I do?
I think you find characters you want to write about. No, that’s not true. You fall in love with characters you HAVE to write about – even if some of them aren’t likable, you still need to tell their tale. Once I’d written the first three Princelings books (which had to be written for Fred and George), I found I had a whole world I wanted to write more about – the Realms. Then I realised it was just about to go through some real change in society – but since I’d already written about what was going to happen in 2021 in the epilogue of the first book, I wanted to find out if/how it got there.
How does my writing process work?
Most of the time I wake up wanting to write down what my mind has dreamed up overnight. Sometimes I just have to sit at the screen and type. When I did the first books they just sort of grew – it was like having some ingredients and stirring them up and baking them.
But for Talent Seekers I needed a five sentence outline – this is the situation – then this happens, then this erupts – then this gets really bad and this is how they sort it out. I’m doing the same with my scifi book. It saves me ambling along and hoping it takes on some structure. I was lucky with Hugo’s book, Traveler – because that did amble on, with him finding the tunnel and having adventures down it; then I wondered one night – where is this book going? I woke up the next morning with the answer, and just had to change one statement in the early part of the book to make it twist beautifully!
Who’s Up NEXT Week (or so)?
I’ve invited three wonderful authors to take part, all of whom are writing books I really admire (you can read my reviews of them).
Rebecca M Douglass is no stranger to anyone reading this blog regularly. She is The Ninja Librarian as far as I’m concerned, although she does say she based him on someone else. Her follow-up Return to Skunk Corners, is equally brilliant. She’s just branched out into cozy mysteries with Death by Ice Cream. I reviewed all of these – just click the title to see them.
Jennifer Ellis is working on a lovely series which starts with A Pair Of Docks, which I reviewed in March. I love the way she’s taken climate change scenarios and developed them into a number of possible futures. These have a lot of middle grade-friendly science in them, and I was not surprised to see that Jennifer’s training is along similar lines to my own. I wish I’d written these books!
Ben Zackheim has the most wonderful super-sleuth ever invented – the teenager Shirley Link. I’ve reviewed Shirley Link and the Safe Case, and I’m looking forward to the next – which I already have on my kindle!
Look out for updates on this post to their slots in the Writing Process Blog Tour – or visit their blogs now (linked to their names) and follow them!