The Writing Process Blog Hop

IMG_9660Hop, bloggy hop!

As a change of pace, today is a day for the hopping of blogs! I have been tagged by the talented Heidi Garrett to tell you a little bit more about what is going on inside my writerly head.

For those of you are who are unfamiliar with her, here is a brief introduction to her work.

Heidi Garrett is the author of the contemporary fairy tale novella collection, Once Upon a Time Today. In these stand-alone retellings of popular and obscure fairy tales, adult characters navigate the deep woods of the modern landscape to find their Happily Ever Afters.

She’s also the author of the Daughter of Light series, a fantasy about a young half-faerie, half-mortal searching for her place in the Whole. Heidi’s latest project is a collaboration with B. J. Limpin. They’re cooking up a yummy paranormal romance!

Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso. She now lives in Eastern Washington state with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle.

Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow.

You can find her at:

www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com

www.twitter.com/heidigwrites

Seriously, go check her out!

As for me, I have put on my thinking cap and put together some answers to the pressing question of what exactly it is that I do when I am not writing posts with pretty pictures and cryptic poetry.

My Writing Process

1. What am I working on?

In contrast to the thousand different things going through my mind at any one time, I am very focused in my writing projects. Right now, I am working on the second book in the “Tales from the Virtue Inn” series, With Honor Intact. I am having so much fun finishing this story. It has action, deep friendships, live squid, and naked glassblowers. These are all things that are tremendously fun to write.

Besides its fluffier components, With Honor Intact deepens the mystery surrounding the Virtue Inn and its inhabitants. I love creating and solving puzzles. I have high hopes that my readers will be as fascinated as I am with the little pieces that fit together in the larger plot. Everything is well on track to the story being released at the end of June/beginning of July and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to share it with everyone else.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I didn’t have a television or a non-work-based computer as a kid. If we wanted entertainment that didn’t come from playing “The Ground is Lava and So Are the Walls”, we had to read.

So I read.

A lot.

There are very few genres I haven’t at least touched on in my lengthy reading career and I have favourites that I read and re-read in most of them.

The thing that all of my favourite books had in common was that they made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up at some point in the story. Other things were negotiable, but that was not.

I wanted to write that.

More specifically, I wanted to write stories that drew inspiration from, as one reviewer put it, “‘The Wizard of Oz’, C.S. Lewis, Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Dr. Seuss, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and Aesop”. I’d add to that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, T.S. Eliot, Sun Tzu, Agatha Christie, and a massive dose of world history and mythology.

In spite of what looks like a Frankenstein monster of influences, the core of my writing is very simple.

I want you to care.

I want you to care about my characters, about my world, and about the sad, funny, strange things that weave my stories together.

In the end, my stories are about people. They are about family and friends and the ways we come together and move apart.

They just have a hundred percent more sentient household objects and naked glassblowers than anything else in the genre.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I’ve partially answered this question, but I’m going to dig a little deeper here than the previous answer.

It’s no great secret if you look at my list of influences that I am a deep lover of classic children’s fantasy. One of the saddest moments for me as a grown-up was the difficulty of finding books for adults that gave me that same sense of wonder I experienced when I read good children’s fantasy.

I thought about it for a while and I realized that my problem was that I wanted to read contemporary fantasy adventures that were, at their core, joyous. There are tragedies and trials in those classics and in my own story as well.

But there is also a breathless sense of discovery, of wonder, of determination, that I wanted to try and capture in some small part.

I don’t know if I have succeeded, but the pleasure that the writing has brought me has helped me to recapture some of that joy in my own life.

4. How does my writing process work?

I dreamed.

In my dream, a woman with a golden, mechanical bird on her shoulder and a fox in her arms stood in front of a strange-looking inn.

She looked straight at me and said, “Tell my story.”

I listened.

 

***

 

It is my pleasure to tag two other talented writers that I hope you will go visit.

 

First up another fantasy writer with a sense of humour:

William D. Richards discovered writing at an early age thanks to a writing exercise by his fourth grade teacher and since has been bewildering people with his wild flights of fantasy. Yet, it was only recently that he began writing in earnest when the Great Recession forced him into making an involuntary career move. He splits his time between writing, promoting, and coaching others how to take the leap into publishing for themselves. His book, Aggadeh Chronicles Book 1: Nobody, is available through most ebook retail channels.

He can be found at:

http://blog.williamdrichards.com/

 

Secondly, a science fiction writer tackling some of the more intriguing possibilities for our near-future dystopias:

Michael Patrick Hicks has worked as a probation officer, a comic book reviewer, news writer and photographer, and, now, author. His work has appeared in various newspapers in Michigan, as well as several The University of Michigan publications, and websites, such as Graphic Novel Reporter and Leelanau.com. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from The University of Michigan in Journalism & Screen Studies and Behavioral Science. His first novel is CONVERGENCE.

He can be found here:

http://michaelpatrickhicks.com

 


 

If you have reached this far in my blog post and you are interested in checking out my own stories, my first fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor is available here.

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9 thoughts on “The Writing Process Blog Hop

  1. I love that you dreamed your story… and listened. And as a reader, I too find I crave great fantasy stories for adults. Can’t wait to read The Guests of Honor. You have me totally intrigued. AND… thank you for participating in the Writing Process Blog Tour. It’s been wonderful to meet you.

    • Thank you so much! I am eagerly waiting for your collaborative story because it sounds like exactly the kind of thing I want to read.

      I have found in my life that when you are told to listen, it is often wise to do so. I am certainly grateful that I listened this time.

      I hope that somehow the idea of writing fantasy stories for adults that hit all of those discovery buttons will resurge. If not, there will be a few of us poking away at the creation process. 😉

      I am so glad that I had the opportunity to meet you through this. It has been one of the nicest parts of having done this tour.

  2. Pingback: The Writing Process Blog Tour | Michael Patrick Hicks

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