I heard about Ana Hays McCracken’s “blog-in-the-round” from Tracy Guzeman, who invited me to join in. During the blog hop, writers are asked to answer four questions, then pass the torch the following week to two or three other writers (who then answer the same four questions). My answers are below. Thank you Ana and Tracy!
What am I working on/writing?
I started a new novel a couple of months ago, but it’s so new I’m not sure of the entire story, and I’m barely getting to know the characters.
Whenever I start a new project it feels as if I’m taking teeny tiny baby steps toward the story and characters, and the characters and story are taking small steps toward me. At a certain point, we start walking toward each other with a little more trust.
How does my writing/work differ from others in its genre?
I often read books where all the characters are of the same race, except for the occasional minor character. My characters tend to be all over the place as far as race and sexual orientation. I also like to write with humor. My characters might go to dark places at times, but humor will always play a part in their stories in one way or another.
Why do I write what I do?
I can’t write poetry or short stories so I guess I’m stuck with novels! When I first started I had no idea I’d love writing novels as much as I do. I like staying with a story as long as it takes and discovering the people and their world. Usually one character will come to mind along with snippets of a story, and I’ll be curious enough and excited enough to follow the woman on her journey. I also write what I do because I want to connect. I love reading a book and falling in love with the story, and I hope I can give that feeling to others.
How does my writing process work?
I consider the time when I’m starting something new playtime. I don’t try to write for too long, and I don’t push myself too much. I do try to show up more days than not, but I see no point in trying to force anything when I don’t know the characters. You can have an outline, but if you don’t know the characters—their inner emotional lives, especially–your scenes are going to be flat, regardless. I just play until the story begins to unfold and the characters start to come alive. The more I show up, the more the story starts to unfold, and this allows me to sit for longer and longer stretches. Once I’m really into it, I try to put in 1 – 2 hours before I go to work and longer hours on weekends. But that’s after I’ve found my groove with whatever I’m working on.
Next week’s Blog Hop – Meet two fabulous authors who will answer the same questions I did: Trisha R. Thomas and Jacqueline Luckett
In 1999 Jacqueline Luckett left the corporate world to kickstart her writing career with classes she took on a dare—from herself. People Magazine (February 2012) described Luckett’s sophomore novel, Passing Love as “beautifully written and filled with vibrant scenes of Paris in its Jazz Age and today.” Essence Magazine selected Searching for Tina Turner as the January 2010 book-of-the-month selection. The novel follows a divorced woman’s journey to self by way of France. What comes through for the main character is the inspiration of Tina Turner’s personal story: everything we need to move forward in our lives is already within us. Learn more at jacquelineluckett.com
Trisha R. Thomas is the author of Nappily in Bloom, Nappily Faithful, and Nappily Ever After, which was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Her debut novel was optioned by Halle Berry and Universal Pictures for adaptation to film. Her latest novel, Nappily Entangled, is available now. Trisha lives in Riverside, California. Visit Trisha at www.nappilyseries.com/blog