What am I working on?
I'm working on Alonca's Quest, The Kergulen Series book 3, (woohoo)! I'd say I'm between 25 and 30% of the way done with the first draft, and it's going to be good, if I do say so myself.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
First, I have a non-white protagonist. When I made Rima a dark-skinned Banlunder I didn't think anything of it, but it turns out that non-white heroes are a rarity. Second, while the Kergulen Series is set in a fantasy world, much more attention is given to the characters than to the setting and world-building. I may spend a few paragraphs near the beginning giving a background setting for the story, but often fantasy novels have many paragraphs and even chapters dedicated to setting up the world and the characters' back stories. Third, while Rima does what needs to be done, she's not a 'kicking butts and taking names' kind of girl. She starts out being reluctant, but she develops confidence and ability without ever becoming a mercenary type.
Why do I write what I do?
Kergulen was on my mind and heart for almost twenty years before I ever published it, a story of standing against nationalism and racist hatred, as well as a tale of personal growth and courage. The series continues to show how intercultural and interracial relationships can be healthy and beneficial despite their challenges. These truths have been important to me for quite some time, and even more so now that I'm the mother of a child who doesn't 'match' me.
How does my writing process work?
I write by scene, usually in order, but not always. Sometimes I'll write several scenes from a particular perspective before moving on to insert scenes about other characters. It depends on what I can 'get into'. In Kings of the Red Shell I had written the ending and moved on to Alonca's Quest before going back and filling in the middle of 'Kings'. Several of my favorite scenes were added after I thought I was done, but when re-reading the second draft I realized that some important things were missing. When I think I'm done with the book, I give it to a few beta readers to go over, and then I edit/add/delete with their observations in mind. I wait quite a few weeks before going over it again to look for mistakes in Word, and then I read it on my Kindle once or twice, looking for errors again. When that looks good, I read the paperback version for one final edit. By that point, the book is about as clean as anything you'd get from Ballantine Books.
Following me next week on the mywritingprocess tour is Regina Shelley, who has a very different and interesting writing process, not to mention brave. I just don't think I could do what she does!
Check out her blog at: