Today I’m taking part in the My Writing Process Blog Tour. A huge thanks to my lovely friend, Choc Lit author Laura E. James for passing one of the batons on to me! She blogged last week at http://www.lauraejames.co.uk so please do pop in and see what she had to say.
So, over to me to chatter away about my writing process. Here goes…
What am I working on?
I’m currently working on finishing my next full length book for Harper Impulse. It has a working title of The Nanny’s Revenge and the opening chapter was in a top 20 finalist position in the writing competition for aspiring writers, Novelicious Undiscovered 2012. Novelicious no longer run the comp, having ventured into the world of publishing themselves, however a number of the finalists that year went on to be offered publishing contracts.
The Nanny’s Revenge is about seventy five per cent done – in terms of a first draft. So there’s still lots of work to do on it but luckily I have a few months before I have to deliver 🙂
Things have a habit of going wrong for Zoe Harper. So when she returns to the UK after five long years away, she has a simple to do list, with some platinum plated rules to follow;
1. Repair her relationship with her younger sister Melody, who she abandoned in order to follow the love of her life – who turned out to be the not so faithful type.
Rule: Never put a man before family
2. Recover from the break-up of her engagement
Rule: Never rely on a man to make you happy.
3. Rebuild her life; get a job, reunite with old friends, settle down.
Rule: Never forget that home is where you make it.
But when Zoe lands at the airport, instead of the cosy catch up she’d imagined, she finds her sister jobless, homeless, dumped and desperate at the hands of the Reilly brothers.
Confronting the arrogant Matthew Reilly, and with his younger brother abroad, Zoe decides to get even with the famous but reclusive music producer… by moving in with him as his nanny and dishing the dirt on him to the gossip rags. But he’s not quite as bad as she thought…
And suddenly simple… becomes complicated.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I hope, as any writer does, that my voice is unique and will engage readers while they’re reading the story but also stay with them after they’re finished it. I’d like to think my style is fresh, modern, upbeat and with a hint of wit. I like to experiment with a range of POV’s and tenses but it’s really dependent on the story. My first Harper Impulse book Crazy, Undercover, Love, due out this April, is written in first person and from only the heroine’s point of view. The Nanny’s Revenge – unless it changes – is written in third person and includes both Zoe and Matt’s viewpoints. I also like to turn things on their head, go against stereotype and do something a bit different. I also like to write about strong, feisty, modern women.
Why do I write what I do?
Easy – because I love reading romantic fiction and watching rom-coms. There’s nothing better than a good old fashioned love story with heaps of hot sex thrown in so writing books along those lines is pretty fantastic. In short, I love writing about love!
Love can be exciting, painful, enduring, moving, at times funny… but it’s always what makes us human. Shakespeare was right. ‘To be wise and love, exceeds man’s might.’
How does my writing process work?
The main character, usually the female protagonist, tends to come to me first. Then I have a think about the man who would be perfect for her – the guy she’s going to go on this amazing adventure with. From them, from their hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, springs the conflict and the story.
I tend to have an idea in my head of what the beginning, middle and end of the story will be and I’ll create a general outline of the book from there, including major plot points and scenes. However then it’s quite organic and I’m pretty flexible. A lot of the time the characters take me by surprise, and there are unexpected twists I didn’t see coming.
I’m a very visual person and when I write I ‘see’ the scene playing out in my head and just write it down. There’s a distinct possibility I may be a little unhinged… or have drunk too much wine 🙂
Finishing the first draft can be exceptionally painful and requires a lot of discipline, even though I adore writing, but I can write ridiculously fast when I need or want to and for hours at a time. I can also write anywhere and any time – a crowded train, in a corner of a cafe, during my lunch break at work, sat on the sofa, lying in bed with my laptop at midnight…
I’m a perfectionist so a story will go through at least six rewrites / redrafts / sets of tweaks before I’m satisfied with it. And then I’ll probably go at it again. Then my editor will make some suggestions and I will give it another pass. I know it’s done when I’m utterly sick of it and never want to see / talk / think about it again!
So that’s me. Hope you’ve enjoyed a peep behind the scenes…
Next Monday 17th February it’ll be the turn of some of my writerly pals to fill you in. Please do go and have a look:-
USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera is a two-time Maggie winner who has written more than 60 books. A Florida native who grew up to travel the globe, Katherine now makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature dachshund. Visit her on the web at http://www.katherinegarbera.com, connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @katheringarbera.
Zara Stoneley has been writing stories for just about as long as she’s been reading them. She is multi-published and her books include ‘Summer of Surrender’ (Harper Collins), the bestselling ‘Good Enough to Share’, ‘Forfeit’ (Xcite Books) and she has new releases imminent with SourceBooks and HarperImpulse.
She live in a country cottage in the UK and loves her family, sexy high heels, sunshine, good food and wine, coffee, cats, horses, dogs, music, writing and reading – but not necessarily in that order! She likes her heroes just how she likes her coffee – hot, strong and moreish.
She will be blogging at http://zarastoneley.blogspot.co.uk/ and you can follow her on Twitter too @ZaraStoneley
Before I go… a couple of shameless plugs!
Loving New Year, Love Romance – get your amazing free e-book sampler of first chapters here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Loving-Year-Love-Romance-HarperImpulse-ebook/dp/B00GWG5EEI
And why not treat yourself to a a gorgeous collection of short stories about love in all it’s forms for only 99p? Be My Valentine isn’t out until 13th Feb but is available for pre-order and has spent several days in the Top 10 of the Hot New Releases on Amazon! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Be-My-Valentine-HarperImpulse-Collection-ebook/dp/B00I0GYSFO or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/be-my-valentine-harperimpulse/id806177169
Happy reading and writing, Nikki x