Saturday, April 12, 2014

My writing process

Holly Gilliatt, one of my favorite authors, tagged me in a blog hop where we're supposed to write about our writing process and tag four others authors. So far I've only found two willing to participate, and I almost didn't write tonight. It's late, I've been in the kitchen all evening--making a cucumber salad and the filling for spanakopita. The latter is a great adventure for me, because I've never ever worked with phyllo. Tempted many times, but I always shied away. This time I'm going to do it.
First let me tell you about Holly, because she's one of my special people. She writes women's fiction--not romance novels, but novels with a lot of love and sentiment in them. I've been editing those novels, and I'm pretty rough on her about overwrought passages, etc. But the more I read, the more I like her work. She may be a sentimentalist, but she's got a knack for capturing women in their glory and their bitchiness. And she's funny. Much more mod than I am--well, she's almost half my age. But what I consider bad words tumble easily onto her pages, and she's always citing music and musicians I've never heard of. Holly has two books in print--Love in Sight and Til St. Patrick's Day, with a third coming soon. Read them and enjoy. Find Holly at
Now to my writing process. I'm afraid the answers will be brief and not what you expect.
1. What am I working on? The sixth Kelly O'Connell novel. I have 30,000 words on paper and wish to heaven I knew what's going to happen next.
2. How does your work differ from others in the genre? Big disappointment here, folks. I don't think it does much. The parameters, guidelines, whatever for cozies are pretty well set, and I think for eight books I've been following them. So if you like cozies with amateur female sleuths, you should like my Kelly O'Connell and Blue Plate Café mystery series. That is not to say I may not break out of the mold soon but I'm cutting my teeth on what for me is a new genre.
3. Why do you write what you write? Ah, easy! Because I've read cozies all my life and wanted to write mysteries after a career writing about women of the American West. In breaking into a new genre, I followed the conventions. But watch my dust soon!
4. How does your writing process work? My instant answer is "Not well." I have no set schedule. Though retired and single, I have such a busy life that sometimes writing gets shoved to a secondary burner no matter my good intentions. There are grandchildren, exercise, cooking for company, errands and doctors--and not enough hours in the day. If I could write a thousand words a day, I'd be a happy camper. But that doesn't always happen. Neither does my yoga
So there is yes, folks--my rather writing process. Hope it turns out okay.
I'm tagging Michele Drier and Maya Corrigan. Maybe two more volunteers will come forward.


Carol Montague said...

1. I'm working on Crystal Staff, Crystal Sword, the second of three books.The first book, The Master and the Fighter, is available as a "print on demand". I've written more than 90k words in book two, but considering M&F has close to 130k, I'm not as close to finishing as it sounds.
2. So what makes my story different? Every author has to do some "world building," Sci-fi and fantasy authors by far the most. Sure, a lot of my elements are familiar, but I sure hope I've mixed it up in a new and refreshing way. Every author does.
3. I love to read fantasies and mysteries. But solving a mystery is very different from creating one. That's why I'm sticking with fantasy.
4. As I'm not the main bread winner, I take my own sweet time when I really sudden. But life has interrupted an awful lot lately. I'm lucky to write a chapter a month lately. If you want to be a serious writer, don't follow that example. At the same time, after completing the first draft of The Master and the Fighter, I stuck with. I learned more and more and edited it using that new knowledge. Thirteen years of editing before I got my contract. Tenacity. That's a good trait for

Carol Montague

Unknown said...

Interesting post, Judy! Always interesting to hear how other authors write. And thank you for all the kind words. :) Means a lot to me!

Gigi Pandian said...

I love hearing about what works for other writers! Thanks for sharing this, Judy.