Monday, April 28, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour

Thanks to Lisa Goll for inviting me to take part in this Writing Process Blog Tour. You can read her post here.

What am I working on?

I am currently writing a novel called Beverly, about two best friends who live together in London. One needs a favour from the other and in return she is asked to give something up. The exchange of favours changes their dynamic and a theme running through the story is how hidden parts of our character can surprise us in extreme circumstances and a question is whether or not friendship can last forever. But it’s beginning to develop as a love story too as one of the subplots is becoming more dominant.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure what genre I fit into - women's fiction / commercial fiction - but I am attracted to original stories. For example, my first book, Orla’s Code, is about a woman who works in I.T. Mostly set in her workplace, we see the I.T. world through the eyes of a female programmer and I think it might be the first of its kind! Beverly is also original in a certain way but I don’t want to give away what that is yet.

Why do I write what I do?

I think the desire to write about a subject that hasn't yet been written about is what drives me. I am a software programmer so Orla’s Code was close to my own experiences. The plot formed without my trying to think about it and that’s when I caught the bug. But before Orla’s Code and again, before Beverly, I didn't think I would write – until the plot came to me and then there was no escape!

Unlike a lot of writers, I didn't write when I was young or even dream of writing. In fact I hated essay time in school! However I did a creative writing course many years ago just to try something new and although that still didn't spark any writing ambition, I remembered how much I enjoyed it and thought every now and then that I'd like to try writing again in earnest. Finally the idea for Orla's Code came and suddenly I had to get it out of my system.

So basically sabotage is what makes me write.

How does my writing process work?

Working full-time, I have to fit writing around my schedule. I tend to try to save a weekend day or at least a morning for writing. I also do a bit of editing on the week evenings if I’m not too tired. During the week, usually on my work commute, I make notes and try to resolve issues in my head. Actually something that worked very well for me in the late stages of Orla’s Code was printing out a chapter each week, editing it on the way to work, then typing up the changes at the weekend and printing out the next chapter. 

I took last week off work to concentrate on writing and actually was surprised at how demotivated I was. With all the free time I found myself restless and distracted. I am beginning to wonder if the slow pace of dipping into what I am writing every now and then actually suits me better - I like leaving sections for a while and then coming back to them with fresh eyes. So maybe I don't want to give up the day job after all. This is a surprise to me!

One of the things that distracted me last week - thankfully - was answering these questions. So I would now like to introduce the three people I am passing the baton to....

Matt Bone lives and writes in Bath, UK, where he is steadily working through the city's supply of caffeine. He has degrees in both Astrophysics and English Literature, supporting his ambition to be entirely unemployable. His debut novel is Endless, the first in the Crescent fantasy series. His website can be found at

Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan... not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. "Best. Year. Ever!!" She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book came out in February 2014 - True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.

"I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love."

Dave Higgins has worked in law and IT for both public and private sector organisations. When not pursuing these hobbies, he writes poetry and speculative fiction.
He was born in Wiltshire, England. Raised by a librarian, he started reading shortly after birth and has not stopped since. He currently lives in Bristol with his wife, Nicola, his cats, Jasper and Una, and many shelves of books.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Full-Time Writer

I have discovered something shocking. I don't think I would like to be a full-time writer. I have always assumed that's what I would do, if my job wasn't in the way. But I took this week off work to write and I'm going a little stir crazy. I'm also watching a lot of daytime T.V. and I've washed nearly every stitch of clothing that I own - I'm actually quite excited about that. I'm also writing a blog post as part of a blog tour - my turn is next Monday. And now I'm writing this post. 

In between all that I am progressing with Beverly, and I'm quite happy with it and really enjoying it. But, I am not utilising this time the way I thought I would. When I have an evening here and a morning there to write I actually make much more use out of it. Could it be, feeling my time is limited helps me to focus?

Maybe it's down to the nature of how I write. I do short sections and then I like to leave them for a while before coming back to them. If dipping in and out is my natural pace then perhaps I would never be suited to full-time writing.

And another thing: I would like to do a bit more marketing for Orla's Code except I have been putting it to one side in order to progress with Beverly. I could have gone away this week or visited home. Why am I in such a rush? Of course there's the desire to complete the novel but I don't have an agent imposing deadlines. I can set my own targets. 

On the other hand, maybe I'm just suffering from a lack of discipline. I hear writers talking about it all the time and I'm like: I don't suffer from that. But that's because I don't usually have enough time to write. Maybe I just have to do what everyone does: turn off the T.V., log out and get on with it!