I’ve been tapped by Vikki VanSickle, a most excellent fellow Torontonian YA author, to participate in the writing process blog tour that’s been making the rounds. I will attempt to make this the start of a more active blog, now that the little guy is not quite so little.
1. What am I working on?
Right now I’m just finishing up the first draft of the third book in my new SF YA trilogy (time travel! space ships! aliens!) and putting together a website for the trilogy so you all can learn more about it.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, I’m not arrogant enough to suggest my books are doing something no one else in the world does! Heh. But how I think my work differs from a lot of of YA speculative fiction out there… The romances in my books are usually secondary to the main plot, which is something separate from the romance. Not that I don’t enjoy reading or writing romance, I do, I just prefer it as a side dish. Related to that, I try to highlight friendships and other non-romantic relationships alongside the romances. It makes me sad to see a strong teen girl protagonist who seems to have no female friends and no significant interaction with anyone who isn’t a potential love interest or an enemy.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I write YA because I think the teen years are a fascinating time in a character’s life to explore, with so many firsts and all that goes into discovering what sort of person you want to be. And also because teens are awesome readers to write for, with their enthusiasm and openness to thinking outside the box.
I write speculative fiction because I find exploring “what if”s related to magic, the supernatural, the future, and so on more engaging than sticking the the boundaries of reality as we know it. And because sometimes it’s easier to examine what’s happening in our reality through metaphor and parallels than looking at it literally.
4. How does my writing process work?
I’ve found my writing process continues to evolve even now that I have several sold books under my belt. The things that have stayed the same since I first started writing novels in my teens: I always outline, scene by scene, from beginning to end, before I start the actual drafting. (The detail of the outlines varies from book to book.) I draft quickly, usually writing 10-20 pages a day. After I finish a draft, I let it sit for at least a month before going back to it. After the first or second draft (depending), I get critique partners to read over the book and let me know what’s working and what’s not. And when I revise, I retype the entire book from beginning to end, even the parts I’m not changing (because even if I don’t think a part needs changing, when I have to write it out again anyway, I often find ways to strengthen it. And also because this helps me stay in the flow of the book).
I have not been able to tag anyone else, but if you’d like to join in the blog tour and haven’t been invited yet, consider this an open invitation to carry it on!