Writing Process Blog Tour

Notice the bandit scarf. It was the wind, I tell ya!

To purchase your copy, please click here.

Also, I have an exciting announcement: Sailing onto your bookshelves and Kindles Tuesday April 15 will be SURFACED—a follow up to TO THE SEA taking readers back to the beach with Kira's hot fling, Jamie. This is book two in the Follow your Bliss Series. Surfaced can be read after TO THE SEA or as a stand-alone, quick beach read filled with romance, surfing, and transformation. Check back soon for updates, the cover reveal, a giveaway, and more. 

Thank you to Faith Sullivan for inviting me on the "My Writing Process – Blog Tour." She's a compelling storyteller, a great Twitter friend, and a quiet rebel with two new adult fiction series: Heartbeat & Take Me Now, along with stand-alone Unexpected. Please check out her books and her website, Faith Sullivan Writes. Also, Hold me Tight comes out in....click here for the countdown!

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Wondering about my writing process? Here goes: 

What am I working on? 

As of late March, I'm doing the final edits on SURFACED, a follow-up novella for TO THE SEA. It follows Jamie's story as he washes up on the shores of his native Australia with a broken heart. 

I'm also very tenderly revising SUGAR, a young adult contemporary, with a lot  of heart...that made it to Round 2 of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. I just can't resist a polish. I'm also dipping my toes into a tie-in for SUGAR. I'm never happy when a stand alone novel ends, even if it is fairytale-esque with a happily ever after. There's always that, "But I want more!" (Ahem, that happens with cookies too, but I digress.) So I've been exploring ways to expand the world I created...just a wee bit. For my new adult novels, I intend to write a novella following one of the secondary characters. For young adult contemporary, I'm thinking something more creative and less prose-y. 

I have another new adult book releasing this fall, so I'm doing some preliminary read-throughs, but I have to let that one marinate a bit more before I tear into it. 

Lastly, I have a young adult fantasy brewing that I am super eager to make time for. It will be a three-part series involving ice, ink, and ire. Wink, wink. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

As an author there are certain boundaries created so a novel makes sense to a reader. I've noticed some self-pubbed books don't quite follow these guidelines and not for creative purposes. This makes it hard to stay in the story and trust what's going unfold if I'm not sure what tense we're working in or if there are major plot holes. That's not to say I don't make mistakes, but I appreciate the stitches on these seems. However, as an indie-author (and non-traditional person in general) I also like having the freedom to see where my stories go, how characters develop, and just how real I can make a book while it still providing the reader with an escape. I find there is more room for this in the self-pub format because my bottom line is connecting with the story and readers, not what's necessarily hot at the moment and will sell, though that would be nice too. 

But to really answer this question, I'll refer to the kind words of author and book lover, Cheyanne Young

"The author's writing style was absolutely beautiful and I constantly got chills while reading. This is the kind of story that I'd love to see in every New Adult book. It wasn't just trashy sex scenes and dumb Mary-Sue main characters -- This was a sexy and smart story that truly livens the NA genre and puts plot and substance into a story that is also sexy and fun." 

Why do I write what I do? 

The short answer is I can't not write.  

The long answer, ideas for my novels appear, often inspired by snatches of time that stick in my mind like a photograph and then develop from there. I first started writing in the young adult genre because I still hadn't answered the question, Who am I? (As a high school freshman, I had to write an essay answering that question, then senior year I had to revisit it. Ten years later, I still wasn't sure, so I took the opportunity to explore it through fiction. I found myself immersed in contemporary, hopping into fantasy, and then as the A to my Q coalesced, I shifted into new adult territory where once again, I delved into what it is to be a young woman. 

I write for the love of it. To connect. To share. To show my children and people everywhere what it is to pursue a dream, press through the shifting currents, take the no's as delays, and never give up. To entertain. To grow as an individual. To put a story in a reader's hands and give them that same experience that broadens their world. 

How does my writing process work? 

Once I get an idea, I sketch an outline, estimating about how long I want each of three rough sections to be and then give myself an estimated word count. Like I said above, I like having boundaries (sometimes I stay in the lines, other times, I go right to the edge, and still other times I push right past.) But they're there and that is helpful to me.

Then I start writing. I tend to write well in large chunks of uninterrupted time. Yes, I suffer from writer's butt.

After the first draft is completed, I add any last minute details while the story is fresh, do a spell and grammar review, and let it marinate. Sometimes I'll do a preliminary read-through here.

Then I read in document, print out and edit for both style, consistency, and grammar...I'll copy the changes into the doc, and then read again, aloud. I may repeat any of these steps until I'm jump-up and-down happy with the outcome.

I'll step away for a couple weeks (or months depending on what I have going on) and then reread...making changes, etc.

Following this I have some beta-reads, then after whatever changes need to be made, move forward with the final draft.

Next week check out the writing process of these great authors:

Cheyenne Campbell: UK via US author of fantasy & contemporary, Cheyenne also wrote her disertation referencing Tolkien and Rowling—a fantasy-lovers dream! Aside from being widely read, she's traveled extensively and has a great taste in music. 
Visit her Website
Check out her books. 
Join her on Twitter 

Colleen M. Riordan: Sci-Fi and Fantasy author Colleen lives like she means it and her writing is no exception. She rallies on skates, jumps from great heights, and takes the long way 'round. Check out her blog to find out what she's been up to. 

Visit her Website.  
Join her on Twitter. 

Cheyanne Young: a native Texan who live up to her state's standards of "Go big or go home," with high-octane new adult novel MOTOCROSS ME and young adult fantasy series, POWERED and contemporary UNDERSTUDY. Her words are powerful, lovely, and I look forward to reading more from her.  

Visit her Website.
Check out her books
Join her on Twitter

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Please check back soon for splashy novella SURFACED, releasing next week!

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