Today I’m participating in a blog tour where authors discuss their writing process. My friend, the talented T.L. Smith, posted last week. You can learn about her writing process here: http://tlsmith-sfauthor.blogspot.com/
Without further ado, allow me to give you a peek at how my mind works along with a couple of forthcoming projects!
What am I working on?
I have two major projects in process. I’m nearly finished with revisions to my wild west steampunk adventure, Lightning Wolves, which is scheduled for publication later this year. In the novel, Russia has invaded America and the only man who can help is an inventor exiled from Mexico who has disappeared into Apache country to hunt ghosts. Shown here is the wonderful cover by Laura Givens.
I’m also working on a horror novel entitled The Astronomer’s Crypt. It tells the story of an electrical engineer fired from the remote astronomical observatory where he worked for drinking on the job. To keep from losing everything he has, he makes deal with the devil and unwittingly unleashes demonic forces on the observatory.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My work often features a meeting of the spiritual and the technical. Technical and scientifically minded people are often forced to acknowledge there may be forces at work in the universe they don’t understand. Likewise, spiritual people often learn the value of science and technology in solving problems.
I’m also told that my work often features “non-traditional” characters. In fact, I love writing stories set in the Southwestern United States and I try to represent the gender and cultural diversity I see around me as realistically as possible. I work at an observatory on the Tohono O’Odham Nation in Southern Arizona. We have Native American and Latino technicians and engineers, so of course, I’ll have them in my novels as well.
Why do I write what I do?
In short, I write what I enjoy reading. I love science fiction, horror, and steampunk and so I use those genres as backdrops for the stories I want to tell. As I said, I like to explore the meeting of the spiritual and the technical. I do that because it’s something I’ve experienced. Even though I have a degree in physics and operate telescopes at a National Observatory, I’ve experienced things that I can’t easily explain and my own life experience tells me there’s a spiritual nature to the world. My fiction is a way for me to explore that and try to understand just what that means.
How does your writing process work?
I spend a lot of time in the early stages of a project just visualizing settings, getting to know characters, and letting story play out in my mind even before I sit down to write. Each week, I have a five-hour commute to the observatory where I work, so I take advantage of that time to do this visualization. This part of the process means that when I sit down at the keyboard to write, I often feel like a storyteller relating incidents I know well.
For longer projects, I create an outline. My “day” job at the observatory often imposes long breaks in a project. The outline serves as an important road map, so I can pick up the novel where I left off on my next writing day. What’s more, every now and then when I’m at the observatory, I have a few minutes to write. The outline also allows me to pick a scene to write, which may be plugged into a novel later.
My regular writing days usually start around 7am. I go into my office and write for a couple of hours. Then I go for a walk, clear my head, and get some sunshine. After that, I’ll usually write for a couple more hours until lunch. Depending on what other jobs I have to do, I’ll either move on to those after lunch, or I’ll write for a couple more hours if life permits.
I often do plot edits as I work on a project, cleaning up things I realize don’t work and fixing discrepancies when I can. Language edits generally wait until the whole project is complete and I go through and clean it up over the course of a few days. Once that’s done, it’s time to unleash the manuscript on beta readers!
Thanks for stopping by. If you have a question about my process, feel free to ask down in the comments!
On Monday, March 24, please visit the following blogs to learn about these wonderful authors.
Emily Guido – Emily is a paranormal romance author. She has written five novels in the Light-Bearer Series including Charmeine, Mactus, and Accendo. Emily works at a college full-time and pursues her Master of Business Administration full-time also. Work, school, writing, book promotion, and taking care of her home make Emily Guido one very busy woman! She runs on STRONG COFFEE and determination.
J Alan Erwine – J is a science-fiction writer, editor, and game designer. He has sold more than 40 short stories to a variety of markets, as well as three short story collections, and three novels. He is the co-designer of the Ephemeris Science Fiction Role Playing Game and the creator of the Battle for Turtle Island RPG. He has edited for ProMart Writing Lab, Sam’s Dot Publishing, and Nomadic Delirium Press, and he edits the magazines, The Fifth Di… and The Martian Wave for Nomadic Delirium Press. When not writing and such, J loves to spend time with his amazing wife, Rebecca, and their three lovely daughters, Eryn, Juliah, and Alexis.
Paige Addams – Writing paranormal romance under her pen name, Paige Addams, she is currently preparing to release her first self-published book – Tales of Ejoma: Book One. “I love world-building – piecing together magic, history, and language – to try and create a fantasy world I hope readers will enjoy exploring.”