Today is Blog Tour Day, where authors talk about their writing process, and I have been invited to take part by my fellow Rethink Press New Novels Competition winner, James Ferron Anderson.
James won the overall best new novel prize for The River and The Sea, a tale of love and hate set in Canada in the early twentieth century. He is currently working on his new novel, Terminal City, and is also one of the judges for the Rethink Press New Novels 2014 Competition, which closes Friday.
Thank you to James for giving me this opportunity and if you would like to know more about his work, please follow him here. http://jamesferronanderson.com
So, today (well, technically tomorrow, since I’m sneaking in 50 minutes early due to work commitments) it is all about me, and here are my answers to the blog tour questions.
What am I working on?
I have recently completed the sequel to my award-winning thriller, Dead Letter Day, and am now working with my publisher on the edit ahead of the book’s release in March. Dead Write has been a challenge, albeit a very enjoyable one, as it falls into the category of ‘the second difficult book’ and has a lot to live up to. I hope my fans will find it as exciting a read as Dead Letter Day.
As well as editing, I am spending time working on a few new plot ideas. I am hoping to start the third book in the series shortly and may also release a couple of novellas in between.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It would be arrogant to say my work differs from other thrillers when there are so many good books available to read, each offering something different. With my own writing I have tried to take all of the elements I like in a story – fast paced twisty plotline, interesting likeable characters and the right balance of humour and thrills. I am a fan of books you literally cannot put down, because you need to know what is going to happen next, and I try very hard to make sure the stories I write give the same experience to my readers.
The best advice I have ever been given is to ‘write stories you would want to read yourself, as if you’re not enjoying them, no one else is going to’. I can’t for the life of me remember who said those words, but they have stuck with me.
Why do I write what I do?
Because I enjoy it. I love telling stories and I’d still be doing it even if it was just for me. The fact other people want to read them and I now get paid to write is a huge bonus.
I have always loved well-crafted thrillers, both in book and on screen, and there was never another genre I wanted to write. Comedy would be the closest second, but although I enjoy reading them, I’ve never had the inclination to write a lighthearted book. It just doesn’t appeal. Having said that, there are definitely moments of humour to be found in both Dead Letter Day and Dead Write.
How does your writing process work?
Usually I start with an acorn. It can be a tiny part of a plot or a nuance of a character. Gradually the story develops around the acorn in my head. I build on the plot, I flesh out my cast, figure out how who they are, what they look like and how they talk and act, and I have a lot of conversations with them.
Eventually, when I feel I have gotten to know everyone well enough I start to write. I don’t use storyboards, as I find them too clinical, and I prefer to work from a series of notes I’ve made along the way. Once my characters start to come alive in words, they tend to go off on their own tangent. I indulge them to a certain extent and while I start off with an A and a Z and a rough idea of how I am going to get from one to the other, I always end up with a few plot deviations along the way.
Next week on Blog Tour, talking about their own writing process, are three very talented authors I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the past year.
Tara is the new name in humorous contemporary women’s fiction and her first novel, Calling All Services was released in July 2013, garnering great reviews. The follow up book, Calling All Dentists is due for release shortly and I look forward to reading it.
Please find Tara’s website at http://taraford.weebly.com/
Having your debut novel shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize is a good way to make your entry into the publishing industry and that is just what happened to Paul Beaumont for his provocative and witty tale, A Brief Eternity.
Paul’s website is http://paulbeaumont.org/
And you can also follow him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/paulbeaumontauthor?fref=ts and Twitter https://twitter.com/beaumont_paul
My final chosen author is CA Shilton, who took inspiration from Les Miserable for her first novel, Barricades. This clever story tells the tale of Javert, offering fresh insight into a complex character and, while it weaves in and out of Victor Hugo’s classic, it is a brilliant book in its own right.
And you can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BarricadesByCaShilton?fref=ts and Twitter at https://twitter.com/CAShilton1