As little as possible. No, really! I tend to sketch out the basics when I'm planning a new series, but the rest grows more organically as I write. I love being able to make stuff up as I go and add it to my "world notes" for future reference/consistency. It's part of what keeps the world, and the … [Read more...] about How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?
Plot, generally. But they go hand in hand. Obviously, if I'm writing a book in a series that's already established, I have a basic cast of characters to work with already. But when it comes to a new series or a short story that's independent of a series, I tend to start with a scenario or … [Read more...] about What comes first, the plot or characters?
Sort of. I don't usually write more than one thing at a time, because I don't want to run my well dry. But I'm often brainstorming & outlining other things while I'm writing or editing something else. That way, I can dive right into first drafting when I finish the current … [Read more...] about Do you work on more than one project at a time?
My family is quite supportive of my writing. My husband is one of my alpha readers, and his feedback has been invaluable over the years. My mother and grandmother both read my books once they're published (which I try not to think about while I'm writing them), and one of my aunts is a fan too. I'm … [Read more...] about What does your family think of your writing?
A couple of years ago, I took a trip to New Orleans with a few fellow authors, and while I was there I was introduced to the concept of mind mapping by one of my cohorts. What is a mind map? You've probably seen one before, you just didn't realize what it was. According to mindmapping.com, "A … [Read more...] about Mind Mapping
Nope! They are completely different worlds. However... I wrote the first draft of Null Witch one year before Early Grave, and it was rattling around in my mind that Emily and Emma might be the same person while I was writing Early Grave. The worlds quickly diverged, both in my mind and on the … [Read more...] about Is Secondhand Magic set in the Grant Wolves world?
I am not one of those write every day writers. When I'm working on a first draft, I write 5-6 days per week for 1-2 hours, more if I'm in a really good flow. I schedule writing sessions on my calendar, and I often employ a sprint strategy, breaking the allotted time down into smaller chunks, to … [Read more...] about How many hours a day do you write?
How didn't publishing my first book change my process of writing? Ha! Before I started publishing, I wrote on a very laissez-faire schedule. If I wanted to write, I did. If I didn't, I didn't. That meant not much writing outside of November (NaNoWriMo season), honestly. I started a weekly … [Read more...] about How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I do not. But as worried as I get about offending people, maybe I should! I try to be respectful when writing about races, genders, and cultures beyond my personal experience, and do the best I can when it comes to research. I think I would probably consider a sensitivity reader or two if I wrote … [Read more...] about Do you use sensitivity readers?
Naming characters can be hard, even when they're one-off side characters. This is even more true when you're writing in a series, because every name you use... you can't use again. Or, at least, you shouldn't. Hell, even using the same first letter too often can create confusion for readers. Ask … [Read more...] about What’s in a name?
Don't quit writing. In fact, write more. Keep going until you finish the story; don't let it languish unfinished on your hard drive. Don't be afraid to let others read what you've written—no one improves in a vacuum. … [Read more...] about If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
They're not all a piece of cake, that's for sure. But I think the one that stands out for me on an emotional level was a eulogy I had to write for Grant Wolves #4. (No spoilers here!) I'm blessed in that I have yet to experience the loss of someone incredibly close to me, so the scene was hard … [Read more...] about What was your hardest scene to write?
Counting works in progress for current series (as of April 2020)... four. One is the first novel I ever wrote, which may never see the light of day. It's about a man searching for his missing wife. The fact that she's a vampire and he's not just makes things all the more complicated. The other … [Read more...] about How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
On average, it takes me about 2 months for the first draft. With that said, every book is a little bit different, and some take more or less time than others. The Grant Wolves books often take a little more time because they trend longer, with most clocking in the 80-90k range, and because they … [Read more...] about How long does it take you to write a book?
I've been thinking a lot about cliffhangers lately. As a reader, I used to hate them. But over time I came to realize that I didn't really hate them. If I could gleefully dive into the next book to find out what happened next, I was okay. What I hated was the long wait between books if I reached the … [Read more...] about Cliffhangers