Monday, May 12, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

A week ago Miss Molly Galler of PopBopShop asked me if I'd like to be a stop on the My Writing Process Blog Tour. By now you know from reading my blog that Molly is an intricate part of my life (how many times have I linked to her blog over the years?) so of course I said yes. As a quick aside, I am puppy sitting this weekend for this adorable dog:

OMG, stop being so adorable. Anyways, Molly joined me for a long afternoon stroll in Cambridge. We spent probably half of the walk discussing characters, plot and dialogue on this adult trilogy I am currently working on. It is so appreciated to have someone I can bounce ideas off of who is so genuinely excited to read what I write next.

But back to the point of this post...

Question 1. What am I currently working on? I started writing this blog (Admission: I just went back and reread my first post because I couldn't actually remember why I started this blog, embarrassing.) to coincide with my writing journey. When I started the blog in December 2009 I had just finished writing my second YA novel (which I never ended up publishing) and I thought I'd chronicle the success of that book, however that never really happened since agents didn't seem particularly interested in it. But I also wrote about the books I was reading, as a form of suggestion to other avid readers. And then more recently I've been posting about my constant baking because this winter I fell into a really bad slump I like to refer to as "Stephanie Is Lazy/Obsessed with Castle".

At the beginning of last Fall I began the first draft of the first book in a trilogy that has been marinating in my head for the better part of six years. I'd been talking about it, and thinking about it enough that Molly practically begged me to just write it already so she could actually read it. So I started. But then I got sucked into Castle marathons, traveling, holidays, snowboarding and any other excuse I could possibly come up with and the writing was put on a really long pause. But I am back at it with a vengeance and about 80% done with the first draft. As a result, the baking has sadly been put on pause.

Question 2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I'm all over the place that I don't think my writing (books or blog) can fall into one category. This isn't a food blog, but I do post a fair amount of recipes (generally of the sweet variety) and it's not just a book blog but I have posted a fair amount of book reviews. And then I also have a scattering of posts about how my writing or querying is going. So I don't know that I can compare this blog to others since I'm all over the place (which is true of my life as well).

Question 3. Why do I write what I do?
In regards to my books, I write because it is a compulsion, an obsession that takes over my thoughts and develops (much like rising bread dough; I just can't get away from food) until I have to write it just to get it out of me. And the reason I publish them is because I hope other people will love the characters and stories as much as I do.

In regards to the blog... I'm always looking for book recommendations and I share a lot of books with friends. I'm sure other people consume as much or more books than I do and I feel like those of us (man, there are so many of us) who are obsessed with books have this compulsion to tell everyone around us about that book we just read that was so darn good. Example: I was in the Harvard Coop a few weekends ago and I passed two teen girls standing by a table and one of them was thumbing a copy of John Green's "The Fault In Our Stars" and I overheard her say, "I feel like now that there's a movie I should probably read this book." Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not likely to interrupt a stranger's conversation but I felt this force go through me and I stopped her and said, "Yes, you absolutely need to read that book. Right now." Good writing and stories need to be shared and discussed and even if you don't normally read children's books I am going to recommend R.J. Palacio's "Wonder" to you because seriously, you should read it. Everyone should read it.

And why do I write about food, and usually the kind that can give you cavities (considering my mother is a dental hygienist)? Because I want an excuse not to write or edit and after consuming more servings than is suggested for a single person I figure I should share my delectable creation with others. Or just make you drool from my pictures.

Questions 4. How does your writing process work?
Well this is the easiest question ever. I don't have a writing process. When I decide to write a blog post I just sit down and do it, much like a writing prompt we'd have in college where you were given a topic and just wrote without removing your pen from the paper for however many minutes were given. When blogging it often just comes off the cuff and I don't think too much about it.

Now for a book, that's a whole other can of worms. I thought about this current series I'm writing for six years before I even started writing. I created characters, remolded them, got rid of others and it was all in my head. My best thinking is done in the shower or lying in bed trying desperately to fall asleep. I used to get up, turn on the light and write bits of it down so I wouldn't forget it but now I'm at the point where I think that if it's meant to be remembered and put in a book then when I wake up in the morning it'll still be tucked away in my brain. Perhaps that's risky but I really cherish my sleep. I once had coffee very late in the afternoon and was wide awake at eleven to I lay in bed having the most fantastical two hours of creating this elaborate day dream which was still so good the next morning when I thought back on it that I spent the next night writing it down. And then I realized how perfectly it would fit into the third book of the series I'm working on.

99% of the time I write in my bed, usually with a cat on my lap, but other than that I have no process per se.

Now we come to the part where I'm supposed to pass the My Writing Process Blog baton on to three other bloggers for next week. I kind of feel like Kirsten Dunst in that scene in "Bring It On" where she drops the spirit stick. I tried to find fellow bloggers to pass the torch to but came up empty-handed.

Guys, do I have cooties?

While I might not have three successors, I do have three blogs I love reading and suggest you check out.

First up, Kaitlin -
Kaitlin and I met through Molly last Summer at the JT/Jay-Z concert at Fenway and I knew within minutes of meeting her that we were destined to be friends. On her blog she reviews books, comments on pop culture, posts delicious recipes, and has music suggestions. Plus, she's the biggest Friday Night Lights fan I know (she's met and interviewed most of the cast) and I mean, Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose, right? You can follow her on twitter: @KEMattison

Carrie - The Writing Wonderland
I found Carrie's blog when I was searching for bloggers to query about reviewing "I Want To Hold Your Hand". I started following her on twitter and now I read her tweets concurrent with whatever show I'm watching because we basically have the same taste in TV and last week's Vampire Diaries... I did NOT see that ending coming and it needed to be discussed. She's also an avid reader and reviews books. Basically she's fantastic and you should follow her twitter: @CaryCheyenneXO

Kelli - I'd So Rather Be Reading
I also discovered Kelli in my search for bloggers to review my book. The genres she typically reads and reviews are: Fiction: Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary, Christian, Limited acceptance: Paranormal and Historical fiction. I am so very, very thankful for her agreeing to read my book even though it was technically outside her reading preferences. She reviews a LOT of books and hosts author interviews and giveaways so if you're an avid reader you should definitely be reading the blog she shares with her friend Madi. The blog's twitter is: @SoRatherRead

So there you have it, my stop on the My Writing Process Blog Tour. If you're reading this and have your own blog consider this my invitation to you to write your own post next Monday regarding your writing process.

Happy Reading (or writing)!

1 comment

  1. So happy you agreed to join the tour with me! Despite knowing you incredibly well, I did learn some new things in this post. You continue to surprise me.

    I cannot wait for you to finish the current manuscript. Everyone who reads your blog should be excited for this next book.

    Also, your "Bring It On" reference made my day. I got the door, Tor.


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