Funny Nonviolence and Other Ramblings About My Writing Process

You may have seen many authors sharing their writing process on their blogs. I love hearing about how writers work, so I was happy to participate when asked by the talented Anne Lange. Be sure to check out her latest release:

And now to answer the questions.

Q. What am I working on?

I just submitted book three in my Hidden Lines series, and now I’m taking a break from that and playing around with other ideas. This boils down to starting various stories and tinkering with characters and plot lines. I’m leaning toward a light paranormal contemporary about a matchmaker who reads auras.

Q. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My books also closely resemble the contemporary world with a few paranormal twists. My goal is to make it feel as if my characters are everyday people, who just happen to also have extra abilities. I also hope that my books will make you laugh, both in what the characters say and some of the circumstances they find themselves in (especially in the bedroom).

In addition, a lot of paranormal stories, especially in the shape-shifter world, contain a lot of violence and/or characters who tend to be on the violent side. I write characters who eschew violence and seek other ways of dealing with their problems. They are still badass–they just fight a whole lot more with their brains than their brawn. Smart is sexy!

Q. Why do I write what I do?

There are several aspects of my past experience and beliefs that influence my writing. I have studied esoteric ideas from around the world, and some of these practices and concepts are reflected in my characters. I’m also an animal lover and veterinary technician, so it’s no surprise that you see animal characters (yes, the dogs and cats talk to the heroine, an animal psychic).

When it comes down to it, I am fascinated by the paranormal and extrasensory world. Even if I tried to write a non-paranormal, I wouldn’t be surprised if something snuck it’s way in. 🙂

Q. How does your writing process work?

I’m most definitely not a plotter, although as I write more books, I do find it helpful to spend time making bulleted lists of major plot points when I start, with revisions as I go along. I think the longest list I’ve made so far had about 15 points, each a sentence or two. For me, the story unfolds and coalesces as I write–and a fair amount while ruminating in bed at night. For each book, I tend to write about 30-60 pages, then I go back to the beginning, revise, and then add another 30-60 pages, etc. until I get a completed draft. Then I’ll go over the whole book to refine it a few times at least.

Q. Who will we meet next week?

1. Lynda Bailey. I snagged this bio from her website:I’ve always loved stories.  Especially love stories.  Growing up in the Midwest, I’d make up stories to my favorite TV shows – usually westerns.As I got older, the stories didn’t relent.  In fact, they only got stronger, the characters more insistent, until I had no choice but to put it all on paper.  It’s become an obsession for me.  One that I love.When not sitting at my computer, I spend my time working as a substitute teacher and fitness instructor.  Guess you could say I’m an equal opportunity “persuader” of the young and, ahem, not so young.

2. AJ Wiliams. From her blog: AJ grew up in a small southern town in Missouri. It was there that she discovered her love of writing. Having the ability to create a story from nothing into something, held her spell bound. She holds a bachelors degree, and will on occasion find it useful. Currently AJ lives in Kansas City Missouri with her husband and 2 small children and their small dog.Her very first story was a poem about the sun ending and the moon beginning which she wrote when she was ten. Since that time her stories have taken on their very own life. Her first published book is Bounty for Hunter, which is a twist on the normal take of a male role. She writes stories that make you think about real life, the what if this happened to me scenario. There is a story in all of us is a favorite saying of AJ’s.

3. Gioconda Lyss. From her book bio:“Heaven on Earth” is Gioconda Lyss’ first erotic romance novella. Born and raised in Romania, she now lives in Nevada with her husband, two wonderful children, and the world’s most spoiled cat and dog.

Wednesday Words: Tarot

Tarot plays a prominent role in my latest novel, To Growl or to Groan. The deck in the book is modeled on the Mary-El Tarot, which is one of the most fascinating, beautiful and haunting tarot decks I have come across. It brings in not only traditional tarot interpretations, but also draws from a rich comparative mythology background.

I used an integrative tarot method for the readings in my book. Much thanks goes to Letitia of Integrative Tarot, who introduced me to this method and the Mary-El Tarot.

I believe that serendipity is at work in the world. Shortly after I was introduced to the deck, I found it for sale at my local Half Price Books on a 40% off day. It was meant to be mine. It became integral to the path of my novel. I did not deliberately pick particular cards for the two readings that appear in the book. I actually did two separate three card readings for Chloe for two different points in her journey. You can read one of Chloe’s tarot readings for free at Amazon or BN.

Tarot, and oracle cards, are powerful tools for self-exploration. It is amazing to me how readings consistently give me insight into and different ways of contemplating various questions or issues in my life.

Have you used tarot or oracle cards for self development? If so, what has your experience been?