Monday, April 21, 2014

Answering Four Questions on the How I Write Blog Tour

Susie Klein, a friend and fellow writer, decided she wanted to know about my writing process. I think that alone shows how she's riding the line of sanity.

I rarely blog anymore, simply because I don't have the time to think of blogs, grab the gifs, and advertise. Most days if it wasn't for my driver's license, I wouldn't know what my name is.

However, after reading Susie's blog, I had to join in the fun. Susie also had Wendy talk about hers, and frankly, I'm not sure I can measure up to either. But here goes:

1. What am I working on?

Too many things at once, to be honest. I'm working on Twisted Iron, from the Imperfect Metal Series. I also have about 12% of Dark Storms completed, from Reign of the Braiders, and Unlucky Number Four,  from The Fortune Cookie Diaries, is up next.

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

Fractured Steel, for instance, is different from almost all thrillers/crime/mysteries, women's fiction and commercial fiction. Why? Yes, like everyone else, I put the characters through the ringer ... but I took it further and showed what happens after the trauma. In most, the problem is solved, and the characters are happy! Yeah ... no. Karen (main character) shows what happens to many when the horrors of the trauma are over. And readers seem to love that.

Going Thru Hell is different from other Urban Fantasies because Kylie, the main character, isn't a warrior ninja, she loses fights, she makes bad decisions. I have a few people who still haven't forgiven me because of the ending.

Most of the time, my work is different because I show the other side - people who aren't ninjas, people who are weak, flawed, and vulnerable. And the endings aren't Happily Ever After.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I stopped reading for a long time, because I knew how every book was going to end. They all reached for the HEA (Happily Ever After). Life is rarely HEA ... it's messy, it's traumatic, it's filled with elation, and depression. Joy and anger. I wanted something that would take me out of my world, and put me somewhere else, a character as flawed as me, and who would understand strength isn't just of the body, but the heart and the soul. Hence, my writings reflect that.

4. How does my writing process work?

It isn't always the same. But most often, it is seeing one little thing, and a story comes to mind. Over time, it turns into a movie that won't stop playing.

I need music, my dogs, drinks, snacks, and time to myself. I've written as little as 200 in a session, and once wrote an 80k word book over a weekend (it's being rewritten this fall). If the movie is clear, I can power write and finish.

Stress throws my writing out the door. I have frequent writer's block. I've always managed to get to 30k in the book, only to throw it all out and start over. Fractured Steel was rewritten four times before I finally finished and sent it to the editor. I can't write an outline and stick to it. More often than not, an outline will throw up a road block.

But mostly, I need that story, that thought I'm trying to impart, know what I'm trying to prove. It isn't always easy, and often I want to give up. I write horribly in the rough draft.

Above all else, I don't give up - even when I scream, "I hate writing!!" Because I don't, not really. I hate the road blocks.

And that's my answers.

I'm going to tag Ashley Maker and Lara Schiffbauer - two wonderful authors who need to blog a little more for people like me that stalk them.


  1. Yeah, about those roadblocks... ;)
    Cool that you write the movies that play in your head. I see what I write as movies, too. Sometimes, though, in starting out, I just get the trailer. Sometimes, in the middle somewhere, the film breaks. Or I'm writing merrily along (well, maybe not so merrily) and a fairly main character unexpectedly dies. Now what? But I just can't outline (yet, anyway) beyond basic bones, so those unexpected turns can throw up roadblocks that take a while to drive around, or through. But ya gotta keep driving, or you never get there, right?

  2. LOVE this response to the 4 questions TJ. I remain entirely impressed by you and how you do this artwork. I think I need to lose a bit more sanity to get to your level...working on it. Susie

  3. Thanks, Tonya! I know what you mean about the "I hate writing!" moments.

  4. This was so fun to read. I love reading about your writing process, Tonya. You're an inspiration to me.

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