Monday, May 5, 2014

My Writing Process

Thanks to Melanie Conklin for tagging me in this super-fun blog hop about the writing process. If you don’t know Mel, you’re missing out. Her brilliant debut COUNTING THYME comes out in early 2016 from Putnam. Check her out HERE.
Now, onto the Q&A...
What am I working on?

Right now, I’m working on my second novel for SIMON & SCHUSTER/ALADDIN. I could tell you more, but then I'd have to swear you to secrecy until Summer 2016 when the book is scheduled to come out, and really... who among us can keep a secret for that long?

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write middle grade, and while my stories tend to be on the light side, I always add poignant undertones. I hope to make you simultaneously laugh and weep (but only a little). My voice naturally gravitates toward authentic tween (probably because my brain thinks like a 12-year-old, which would explain my utter confusion of anything above a 6th grade math curriculum), and, like most real-life tweens, my characters are multi-dimensional, complicated, and vulnerable. I never dumb down my writing thinking that middle-graders won’t get it. They always get it.

Here's what you might look like while reading one of my books:

Why do I write what I do?

I think I may have a few unresolved issues from my middle-school years! Although I’m all grown up now, I still remember what it feels like to be that age. The insecurities, the loneliness, the anticipation of a better life and the excitement to go live it. I think it also helps that I have kids in that age group, and in creating stories I’m also relating to my children. Plus, I stalk them when they’re with their friends so I can truly know what makes tweens tick these days.

How does your writing process work?

I’m pretty much a go-with-the-flow kind of gal. I’m not particularly organized, and most of what I do in life is based on gut instinct. My writing is no different. I often write on the couch rather than at my desk, and although I have a general idea of my plot, conflict, and resolution, I don’t outline. My characters usually have minds of their own and even if I think I know what state they’re supposed to be in, they sometimes wind up on a completely different continent altogether. When I'm in the writing groove, I look a little like this:

But since I have a day job and a family, I don't always look like that. Sometimes I look like this:

I write as often as I can, and when too much time goes by I truly miss my characters and yearn to tell their stories. Plus, since my kids read my chapters as I write them, they prod me to write faster. I’m working on that!

For more on my writing process, please visit my Greenhouse Literary Agency’s Author Q&A page!
Now, please join me in welcoming the following fabulous writers, who will share their writing process with you on Monday, May 12...

Karen Lee Hallam

Karen writes whenever and what ever she can-can. So far: MG, YA, and presently drafting a possible NA. Karen created and hosts the weekly Open Vocal Jazz Jam Session at Zinc Bar in NYC. She's a singer/songwriter, the mother of two teen-age boys, an illustrator, a member of SCBWI, and a contributor to The Kidliterati Blog. And. . . she eats dark chocolate EVERY DAY!

Visit Karen's blog HERE.

Dana Edwards
Wife, mother, school counselor, teacher, and lover of baseball. Dana spends her days as a school counselor to 4th-8th graders and her nights writing books she hopes they'll someday read and enjoy. She's represented by Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Visit Dana's blog HERE.

Rachel Simon
Rachel is a 25-year-old YA writer. When she's not writing or reading, she enjoys going to the movies and traveling. She writes super dark YA, but unlike her characters she's never committed a crime or slept with her sister's boyfriend. She lives in Boston and runs a monthly writers/agents meet up. 

Visit Rachel's blog HERE.