My writing buddy and mentor, Henry McLaughlin, writing at henrymclaughlin.org, tagged me in this Writing Process blog hop. Henry’s insight into writing and faithfulness to the craft have been a huge inspiration to me.
1. What am I working on?
Currently, I am working on an entirely different kind of novel than one I’ve ever written before. The working title is #FeedWar—a techno-thriller. Two young adults dealing with their pasts become pawns in a future cyber syndicate war waged through the social media outlet known as The Feed. I’ve received some positive feedback about the concept from potential agents/editors, so I hope to complete it later this year and begin submitting it for publication.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I’ve read and seen a lot of techno thrillers that deal with biological agents as the technology in question (think Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry, both great novels and authors). My story uses futuristic technology without the biology component.
My characters are also dealing with some really tough, dark issues. One is wanted for murder. The other is dealing with the potential death of her mother through cancer. My hope is that their journey through these dark times will come across as real and emotional on the pages. And though they both struggle through spiritual and emotional difficulties, they will find some kind of hope at the end.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I can’t imagine not writing. I’ve always loved writing stories, watching movies, and reading. My Saturday nights were always spent watch Star Trek TNG with my dad. I guess my brain was always pondering those big what if questions from an early age. About ten years ago figured out I could write for fun, and write creatively—not just the stuff they made us write in school.
- I write to inspire.
- I write to entertain.
- I write to explore questions about the future.
4. How does my writing process work?
My stories always start with some kind of question. For my novel, The Breakout (Launch Pad Novel Contest winner), I wondered if it were possible in the future for someone like Hitler or Ceausescu (dictator in the communist Romania era) to rise to power again and take children away from their parents to be raised by the state. More questions kept coming about what that world would look like. And the characters were born, though I didn’t quite know them yet. Over the course of exploring their stories, I got to know them and their struggles, and wrote them down.
As for getting that story on paper, it takes sitting down everyday to write. I keep a time log, and schedule writing time in as though it were my job. I study the craft of writing diligently and practice. And I’m not afraid to try something new when what I’ve been doing isn’t working.
I also value the community of other writers. I’ve been blessed to meet some amazing writers and been able to learn from them. We meet monthly, email each other, meet at conferences/workshops—all with the goal to help each other grow in our writing.
I’m tagging my very good writing friend, Teri D. Jones. Teri writes YA novels and stories dealing with the overwhelming crisis of human trafficking.