I was invited by Marie Lavender to take part in the Writing Process blog tour. Its purpose is to showcase different author methods all over the world. Marie is an amazing person and a prolific romance writer. If you get an opportunity, check out her books.
MY TOUR QUESTIONS
Hi Stefan What am I working on?
My current project is a political drama/thriller Proportional Response, involving several old characters from my previous contemporary novels. I am just about half way, and after stumbling into a mental pothole, I am now keen to get on with it. The problem was, I didn’t fully develop my outline and I got stuck. A case of not following my own advice!
Without getting into details, a foreign power induces a natural catastrophe designed to cripple America, leaving that power in control of the world’s economic and political landscape. Of course, like with all grand plans, things don’t always work out.
As with my other contemporary novels, this one required a lot of background research, and most of it will not be included in the novel. However, the research has produced a tapestry against which I can write confidently, confident I won’t be making a major blooper.
How does my work differ from others of the same genre?
Simple…no one has thought of the approach I am using. I need to correct that somewhat. I haven’t read or heard of a book with such a theme, but given the millions of novels available out there, somebody might have thought of it! Everybody is telling writers to be original, but that’s hard, given how many authors publish these days.
Why do I write what I do?
Having spent many years writing hard science fiction, which resulted in eight books in the Shadow Gods Saga, I decided to break into the contemporary drama/thriller market. One of my drivers was the idea that this genre would have a better chance landing me an agent and a traditional publisher contract. I’m still waiting.
The other and obvious reason was that I had ideas and plots that haven’t been explored by other writers. The four books I have written were a voyage of discovery and further expansion of my horizons. Three of the books have won an award, which means that somebody likes them!
How does your writing process work?
Well, I am mostly a morning person, a habit of having to get up early while I was still a professional in IT. Although I am retired now, devoting all my time to writing, editing and book reviewing, I am still to shake off the need to wake early. I don’t mind, as I usually produce my best writing in the morning.
I use the old-fashioned pen and writing pad, having found that composing directly into the computer doesn’t work for me. Once I have a block of writing done, I transcribe it into the computer, editing lightly along the way. The process is repeated until I get a chapter or two written, then I edit them more thoroughly. I also print out my material and edit the hard copy. I am always amazed what I capture that way. I guess staring at the computer screen, the mind automatically corrects some things.
When I want a break, I review a book or two or amuse myself with normal household chores and outdoor activities. Sometimes the words won’t come, but I never try to force them. Eventually, it all falls into place.