Monday, May 5, 2014

My Writing Process

My author friend Cathy Perkins asked me to participate in this blog tour by answering four questions about my writing process. How could I say “no?”

What am I working on?

I’m currently working on an adult novel titled, Affliction. My protagonist, twenty-two-year old Honor Melanie Sullivan (Mel), has been diagnosed with a form of autism—Aspergers—due to her lack of social skills and reluctance to make eye contact. However, her true affliction is something quite different. After a childhood trauma, she develops the ability to look into a person’s eyes and read his soul.
 Quite often, she doesn’t like what she sees, hence her social awkwardness. A series of unfortunate events result in Mel leaving her home in southern California. She travels to Bend, Oregon to stay with her best friend, Dani, but finds Dani in a coma. According to Dani’s husband, she fell from a ladder. When Dani dies, Mel becomes deeply suspicious. She decides to stay in Bend, determined to find out what happened to her friend. That decision leads to a relationship with an ex military cop. Together, they unravel the mystery around Dani's death, a twisted trail involving human trafficking and baby selling.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s difficult for me to answer that question, however a number of reviewers use the word different when describing my books. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing. Maybe it’s because I don’t seem to be able to write a book without throwing in some humor, even if it’s a deadly serious plot. Maybe my mind just looks at things from a different perspective from that of most people’s and it emerges in my voice.

Why do I write what I do?

Probably because I’m easily bored. I didn’t intend to write young adult fiction until an editor encouraged me to do so. Previously, I’d written a medieval romance and a contemporary romantic suspense. After writing six books in the YA fantasy genre, I’m ready to get back to writing for adults.

How does my writing process work? 

I’ll use a popcorn analogy. The process begins with a few cold unpopped kernels rattling around in my head. This is followed by a gestation period. As I spend time thinking about the story and the characters I want to create, my brain heats up and the popcorn kernels begin to jiggle and dance. Pop,pop, pop! Yes! I know how to start my book. Let’s call this Point A. A few more kernels burst and the ending appears. Point B. When I start writing, I rarely know what will transpire between Point A and Point B. But I’ve learned not to stress over it. Once I embark on my writing journey, the creative juices begin to flow. New plot twists arise. New characters are born. I have learned to trust the process, especially when I remind myself, “It’s not in stone.”

Next week, be sure to see how Sue Roebuck, Skye Taylor and Regina Scott answer the same four questions. Scroll down for more about these writers.
Sue Roebuck lives by the sea in Portugal with her husband but was born and brought up in the UK. Her published books are Perfect Score, a suspense novel, and a dark fantasy, Hewhay Hall. She is waiting to publish her third book, Rising Tide, the first book in a series about a Portuguese fishing village that time (and most of Portugal) has forgotten.

Skye Taylor lives in a bungalow on a barrier island in Florida where she divides her time between writing novels, walking the beach, and trying to keep her to-be-read pile from taking over the house. She considers life an adventure and after all of her kids were on their own, she spent two years in the South Pacific with the Peace Corps. Skye has five grown children and fourteen grandchildren. She's a member of Florida Writer's Asssociation,  RWA,  and Ancient City Romance Authors. 

 Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade.  Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t actually sell her first novel until she learned a bit more about writing.  Since her first book was published in 1998, her more than 25 published works have traveled the globe, with translations in many languages including Dutch, German, Italian and Portuguese.  She and her husband reside in southeast Washington State with their overactive Irish terrier. 

She’ll be posting at


  1. I like the popcorn imagery. It's also nice to know there's someone else out there who starts with a beginning and an end and lets the characters fill in the middle. I'll be back next week to click on those links to Sue and Regina.

  2. Thank you Marilee! Affliction sounds just like my kind of book - looking forward to it (and I've been to Bend in Oregon - ah ha!). My process is like yours - if I know the beginning and the end, then the middle sort of just fits in.

  3. Skye and Sue,
    Wow, didn't think anybody else was as random as me!! Now, I feel better.

  4. Yeah, Bend, Oregon! That plot sounds great, btw, even without the awesome location. I love to hear other author's writing process. Thanks for sharing.

  5. We love Bend as well. Beautiful part of the world. I hope the nasty people in my book that live in Bend are truly fictitious - LOL.

  6. I can definitely relate to your "popcorn" writing process! Great post!