I was very excited to be invited to participate in Blog in the Round - 4 Questions and Pass It On by Montlake Romance author Liane Spicer. She and I have traveled some of the same ups and downs in our writing journey and she’s been a wonderful colleague and faraway friend in my writing world. I’m honored that she thought of me. Liane was asked to participate by the fabulous Marissa Monteilh. Blog in the Round is a great way for readers, and other authors, to get to know us better, and it demonstrates the amazing author camaraderie and support that we have for each other.
So, here goes:
What am I working on/writing?
I am about 25,000 words from the end of my
latest fantasy romance that features a pretty awful villainess. I have to say
that she’s a blast to write. There’s something about her having no sense of
remorse that allows the words to flow. She’s easy to define, which makes the
heroine – her opposite – easy to define and write as well. When I finish this
WIP, I plan to take a break and write a novella or two before diving into the
How is my writing/work different from others in its genre?
When I published Where Souls Collide seven
years ago, African American authors who wrote paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi,
seemed hard to find. Over the years, I’ve found that’s not really the case. We’re
out there, but more importantly (to me), I don’t want my work to be defined by
My characters are diverse and their everyday problems
– from finding love, to unemployment, to the threat of divorce – are universal.
I always work around a theme of second chances because I believe every person
and every character deserves another chance to get it right. I just happen to
find that so much easier to ensure with a little supernatural intervention.
Why do I write what I do?
My kids have heard the story of how I loved
Mio My Son (by Astrid Lindgren) over and over and over. I read it in the fourth
grade and I still remember how devastated I was by the idea of eating
subtraction soup: the more you ate, the hungrier you got! Who would think of
something like that? I guess it got my mind going because I gravitated to
stories depicting fantasy worlds. Eventually my fascination spread to my TV
viewing because Outer Limits, Twilight Zone and the Night Stalker became my
favorite shows. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Toni Morrison and, later, Anne Rice
became my favorite authors.
Not to mention that my mother was an AVID
romance reader! I’d go behind her and read as many of her paperbacks as I
could. I practically inhaled those books as a teen. It would be many years
later before I merged my two reading loves – romance and the supernatural, but once
it happened I haven’t really thought of writing anything else.
How does my writing process work?
I sit down and I start writing. Not true. I
sit at the computer and usually waste a good 20 or 30 minutes online. I do. But
I keep a writing journal and at the start of each month I list 4-5
writing-related goals for the month. They include a target word count, a social
network action, something related to industry memberships or craft workshops, and
web site tweaks. It’s the word count that gets me offline and on to writing.
When I look at the clock and see how much
sleep I can get after two hours of writing (I do have a day job), I pull up my
iTunes and start my WIP’s playlist. Music is an integral part of writing for
me. My current playlist includes movie soundtrack music (from Inception, Looper
and Thor, for example), along with alternative songs from groups like Muse,
rock from Evanescence, and pop from Bruno Mars. It’s eclectic but the overall
list works together to set a desired mood while specific songs help direct the
I write until I either fall asleep, surpass
the word goal or the characters stop talking for the night. Then, I log my word
count and words written for the day in my journal, make a few notes for the
next day and shut off the computer. (But there are always sticky notes nearby
because the mind never stops!)
Thanks for dropping in. You can always visit
me here or on Facebook or Twitter as well. And be sure to stop by Liane’s page,
‘Til next time, happy reading!