Monday, July 28, 2014

#MyWritingProcess Blog Hop

Today I am participating in the #My Writing Process Blog Hop.  This  is an ongoing blog hop where authors discuss what we do and how.  We take four simple questions about our process, and we pass the word to two other authors.  Sarah Winter invited me.  You can read her excellent blog at  http://www.sarahjwinter.com/                              . 

Her book, Snowbound, is out and available.  Another, I am glad to say, is in the works.

And now for the questions:
1. What am I working on? 
The Orphan's Tale 1: Assassination
At the moment I am working on three separate novels.  The first, The Orphan's Tale, Book II, Vengeance, is a continuation of the First volume in its trilogy, The Orphan's Tale, Book I, Assassination.  The series is set in 1834 Paris, with a main character who grew up in a prison and walked away from the life of a ruler of the criminal world to join the Police of France.  The stories involve romance, action and, always, a mystery.

 
The Memphis Cycle
I am also working on a story set in ancient Egypt, part of a series called The Memphis Cycle.  The Cycle follows a family over the course of a century.  Mystery, romance, revenge, intrigue all make for a wonderful subject, and writing these stories had been enjoyable.  Currently, I am working on Kadesh, which tells the story of a famous battle, a clash between two of that age's super powers,  which led to the first international treaty.  The novel follows a main character who had been three years old in the prior story.
30 Cubit Crocodile

I am also picking away at a fable for children, which I have named The Thirty Cubit Crocodile.  A poor fisherman encounters a huge crocodile, which follows him home.  A cubit being 18", this beast is huge.  …And he isn't quite like other crocs.  Why do the children love him?  Why does he take a dim view of tax collectors?  And why does he follow the fisherman around like a dog and catch fish for him?  The mystery has been a fun one, and I love writing about children. 
You can see more about them at my website, www.dianawilderauthor.com

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I notice that people tend to like to pigeonhole things.  Life is easier when you can put things in categories and know what you will be dealing with.  The genre of 'historical fiction', however, is one of those chameleon-like things.  Basically, it is a story set in the past.  You can have Historical Horror, Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Hardboiled Detectives (The Marcus Falco series, for example).  That gives a great deal of leeway to a writer.  My stories differ, to the degree that they do, because while my stories occur in historical times, they tell of people like any of us, with the concerns of people through time – the need for love, for shelter, for success and admiration.  I try to convey this reality in my stories.  One of them, Mourningtide, deals with a man, a soldier who became a great  king, who has lost his son unexpectedly and received the news late.  The story follows him as he comes to terms with his grief in anonymity.  It also tells of his second son and the heartaches and challenges he must face and deal with.  Can I tell that story in such a way that the common humanity of the characters is expressed even as the fascinating setting  serves to enhance the story?

3. Why do I write what I do?
I write what I do because I am a people-watcher, in the present and in the past.  There are so many stories to be discovered and shared, born of our common humanity, touching us in ways that are familiar.  We have brothers and sisters in history, people who felt our fears and shared our joys.  It brings a wonderful feeling of sharing and unity, and to convey that is both a joy and a challenge.

4. How does my writing process work?
I get a picture in my mind.  People in a situation.  Something I read, something I observed.  I jot it down, think about it, and as ideas come to me in the course of my daily work, I jot them down.  Sometimes they come to me in a torrent, and capturing them is crucial.  I carry notebooks with me, grab envelopes – anything. to remember the thoughts, insights, scenes.   I caught myself once  walking down a main street in a large city mulling over the best way for a villain to get his comeuppance.  I began to giggle when I thought how surprised people might be if they could read my mind.

As others have said, getting the thoughts down is crucial, however disjointed they may be.  Editing, polishing, thinking things through – all follow from that initial notion.  Which is most important?  I can't say, but I have to do something every day.

And now I refer you to…
 
ARRRRGH!!!
Well…  I am supposed to pass on the baton to two other writers, but at the last moment they did not materialize.  I suspect I did not beg hard enough.  And so I am going to list the blogs of some wonderful writers (and great people) who can show in their works what they do.

Nancy LaRonda Johnson is a well-rounded person and excellent writer who deals with Christian Horror, among other things.  She is a delightful presence in the blogosphere, multi-talented and articulate: http://nancylarondajohnson.blogspot.com

Cathy Oliffe-Webster  http://muskokariver.blogspot.com/ has written flash fiction and a novel.  Both reflect her sense of humor, her observations and a humorous outlook on life, even when it is hard.
 
C. Lee McKenzie at http://writegame.blogspot.com is one of those observant, humorous people who touch difficult issues with a deft hand, and makes the reading enjoyable.

M. J. Fifield at http://mjfifield.blogspot.com/ has published Effigy, her first novel (check out its blog hop). 

The other participant on this blog is Jerrie Brock, author of Something Taken and Something Returned. Jerrie never finds life dull. Working, writing, landscaping, creating model railroads, building projects on her large lot, reading, and restoring old equipment keep her well occupied. Using her less than normal path through life, Jerrie draws on her own experiences to create her stories.

You can see more at www.JerrieBrock.com


1 comment: