Monday, July 7, 2014

Blog Roll! What I'm Working on...

I must admit that I have done this before. But, when an author I love asks me to participate in a blog roll, how can I say no? The incredibly talented and wonderful Janis Thomas, author of Something New and Sweet Nothings, has tagged me to answer the following questions. And not only did I say yes because she is amazing, but I am actually working on my third novel so my answers will be different. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post where I tag four fantastic authors.

1. WHAT AM I WORKING ON?

I am currently working on two novels. The first is now taking a break to breathe before my team of proofreaders and I do the final read. The other one is a big departure for me. Told in 3rd person, multiple POVs, it examines depression, loss, and what makes someone a mother. I don't want to give too much away, but when I write it, my heart pounds, which is the most wonderful feeling. It's also scary because I have to do a great deal of research and get in the minds of some very dark characters.

2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?

This is a hard question to answer because I think every writer's voice is unique. So, what makes my work different? My voice, even when the subject matter is quite serious and sad, has humor and levity. In even the darkest of times, there is lightness if you can manage to let it in. Oh, wow, that sounds so cheesy. 

3. WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?

I don't actually choose what I write. It chooses me, as crazy as that sounds. The idea for my latest novel came to me while waiting for a subway. I am drawn to women's stories, most recently in which motherhood is a central issue, and I am compelled to unfold the journey woman take in their thirties and forties as they navigate their professional and personal lives, family relationships, and the complex worlds in which they live.

4. HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?

Usually quite slowly. I try my hardest to get a story on paper (computer) first without going back to edit. But with my latest novel, when I was in the middle, the characters didn't know what they wanted to do next so I went back to the beginning and revised. Luckily, they found their groove and went in a direction I hadn't expected. I don't make detailed outlines, and I am the messiest/organized person you will meet. I have a whiteboard tacked up to my office wall with notes that would be completely confusing to anyone looking at them, but they make sense to me.

What will be different for this novel is that Lydia Laceby, my very good friend and an author I admire, and I are going to trade drafts and have dinner to tear them apart for each other. We are at the same spot in our manuscripts, and before our beta readers get the books, we are going to help each other make these drafts sing. I'm so excited and quite nervous.


5. AND THE OTHER PART OF THIS QUESTION, HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS NOT WORK?

This is an excellent question because I think almost every writer experiences self-doubt and has days when the writing isn't working. For me, I find it very difficult, impossible, really, to write when people I know are around. Like an actor embodies his/her role, I embody my characters, and if they are dark, gritty, and perhaps immoral, I can't get into their heads when my kids are home. Since it's summer, they are with me in the afternoons, which I so love, but I need to get my writing done in the mornings. I have been writing novels for more than ten years, and I can honestly say that I am still and will always be learning. I learn every time I read a great book and every time I put my fingers on the keyboard.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this! I am very lucky to have such amazing author friends, and I have tagged four hugely talented writers to answer these same questions.
Eileen Goudge is the  beloved NYT bestselling author of more books than I can count. She is a longtime idol of mine, and now a treasured friend. Her latest novel, Bones and Roses: Cypress Bay Mystery Book One, is a fantastic story that I am honored to have edited with Francine LaSala, and it will be  released on August 5th, 2014.
Meredith Schorr, the bestselling author of three hilarious and delicious chick lit novels, Just Friends with Benefits, A State of Jane, and Blogger Girl, co-founder of our BookBuzz event, one of my closest friends, and always one of my first readers.
Lydia Laceby, my friend, dinner partner at our monthly writers' meetups, co-organizer of BookBuzz Toronto, and the author of the spectacular novel, Redesigning Rose.
Francine LaSala, my soul sister, is my business parter, and together we have edited numerous manuscripts, including the fiction anthology, A Kind of Mad Courage, which is Francine's brainchild and to which we both contributed short stories, co-founder of our BookBuzz party, and the author of the quirky and brilliant, Rita Hayworth's Shoes and The Girl, The Gold Tooth, and Everything.
Be sure to check out these unbelievable authors and see who they tag!

12 comments:

  1. Very cool! :) I can't wait to read your next two books and hear what your tagged authors have to say!

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    1. Thank you! I wish I could have tagged more!

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  2. That's so interesting that you can't embody your darker characters when your children are home - it makes complete sense. Like you, I "become" my characters when I am writing. Thank you for sharing this and thanks for tagging me :)

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    1. I love your writing and your characters are always so real.

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  3. I love that you can't write darker characters when your children are home! That's one heck of a sign that you're deep into your writing and I can't wait to read some of your darker work. Thanks for tagging me! I'm looking forward to our swap! :)

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    1. I cannot wait for our swap! I want to read your book so much.

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  4. Beautifully expressed, as always! And thank you for tagging me. I am honored. And I hope other readers respond as well to my new one as you did.

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    1. It is such a fast-paced, smart, funny, and poignant read. Bones and Roses should be read by everyone.

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  5. Sam, will you remind me not to visit when you're writing as one of your darker characters? You're scaring me. :)

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  6. I could tell from reading this that if your WIP makes your own heart pound, then you must be onto something special. Thank you for sharing your process and challenges!

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    1. Thank you, Pauline, for being such a huge support. I admire your talent so much.

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