Welcome to the Writing Process Blog Tour.
Author Charles Stubbs recently took part in this unique blog tour on writing, and invited me to take it forward. I met Charles online and discovered that he writes mystery thriller novels set in North Wales! I can highly recommend Charles’ first two novels in the Travis Web of Deceit series, as I was very impressed with the situations he presented and his ability to “trick me” as the reader. This series of mystery thrillers deals with issues about how the media can manipulate public opinion and influence events. You can visit Charles’ website at http://webofdeceit.org/blogs to find out more about his writing process and learn more about his books. You can also visit other authors on this tour by following the links on Charles’ blog post and working back in time.
To continue the tour, I’ll be answering four questions:
1. What are you working on?
I’m currently working on Isle of Apples, the third and final book of my young adult fantasy trilogy. The book is in its final stages of editing and will be released next month. I’m very excited! Here’s the synopsis:
Bridget and Celena have shared a painful connection with Paul for thousands of years due to a tragedy in the ancient world – a crime that Bridget is still paying for today. What’s done is done; she doesn’t know how to erase the injustice. She does know that with magic stemming from the Isle of Apples, she can somehow change time, create a new future and fulfill a promise she made to the Goddess. The girls use an otherworldly portal to delve deep into the past for answers of exactly what to do. What is “The Forever Tree” and what do mysterious clay tablets reveal about their quest? How can they convince Paul to journey with them to the Isle to set things right when he’s bent only on making them suffer? Bridget learns that sometimes answers are found in the most unexpected ways – and from the most unexpected people. In an uncharted realm governed by different rules, she witnesses trust, magic and faith overcome adversity as a painful history draws to a close.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
It’s rare to see a Welsh-themed trilogy (although there are a few out there), but even stranger to see one written by an American who’s never been to Wales. So I would say this is what sets my work apart from others the most. Isle of Apples is by far the “Welshest” of the three books. It was quite an adventure putting my own spin on many well-known Welsh creatures and legends.
Another main subject of the series is reincarnation and how events in the characters’ distant past have come back to haunt them in the present. Not everyone believes that we have lived before this lifetime of course, but whether readers do or not, the concept makes for a very unusual and entertaining story.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I believe that I don’t necessarily get to pick and choose what inspires me. If I am “inspired” to write about a certain thing, then I feel compelled to write about it as though I really don’t have a choice. I’ve been interested in Wales ever since I read about it in a few books when I was a teenager. Several years ago when I had the idea for my first book, I kept visualizing the characters in ancient Wales, even though I hadn’t read about that country in almost twenty years. I started researching, found Bryn Cader Faner (a Bronze Age cairn circle) that could be a “portal” to journey back in time, and I became so inspired and intrigued by this part of the world that I couldn’t have written about anything else if my life depended on it!
That said, the learning curve while writing these books was tough at times and there is definitely something to be said for the maxim “write what you know.” But now that this project is nearly completed I’m glad that I persisted. It’s been a humbling and satisfying experience that I could not have done without help from authors and readers in the United Kingdom.
4. How does your writing process work?
It starts with a concept of the tale I want to tell and the imagery and emotions I want to create in the reader’s mind. The inspiration and the story idea are of course linked in some way, which goes without saying. Muses play a big part in this. I view a muse as a sort of specialized compartment of inspiration – a person (or sometimes, people) who inspires me. And muses affect me the same way as general inspiration does. I really don’t pick my muses, they pick me. I have no control over who inspires me and who doesn’t, all I can say is that my affinity and admiration do play a big part in it.
I haven’t often been able to work out much of the story in my mind before writing it – maybe only about 25%, which is usually the beginning, ending, and the general idea of what happens. On rare occasions when I have written a chapter outline for the entire book, I usually come up with something better mid writing the novel and wind up changing it anyway. So most of the time, once I get my initial ideas, I have to start getting them down on paper and go from there. Each time I work on the book I discover a little more of the imaginary world in which the characters find themselves. It’s a journey which allows me a lot of freedom to create and surprise myself with twists and turns in the plot. This may not be the best way to write, but it’s the most enjoyable and allows me to grow as an author. One day I may do it differently.
For this series, I wrote the chapters of each book consecutively, from beginning to end. Once a book is complete, I go through it probably 5 – 10 times myself, picking up as many errors as I can, and rewriting parts I’m not satisfied with. Then I have other authors, readers and friends read the book and provide their feedback. I make any corrections needed and then I self-publish the book to Amazon for Kindle, to CreateSpace in paperback, and also on Smashwords, which converts the book into all eReader formats and PDF.
The three books of my Welsh-themed trilogy are Lake Caerwych, The Space Between Worlds and Isle of Apples.
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My post completes this leg of the blog tour, but it isn’t finished yet!
The next stop on the Writing Process Blog Tour you’ll be visiting is author Stephen Jennison-Smith on June 30th.
Stephen had written a couple of books about 20 years ago and realised that with the advent of the Kindle he could publish them himself. So he wrote two more and self-published them three years ago. Since then he has written another 12 novellas and 20 short stories.
You’ll find Stephen’s Writing Process Tour post on his blog here:
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I hope you’re enjoying the tour so far and that you’ll find new authors to add to your reading list. Thank you for visiting!