A big thanks to Molli Moran for asking me to share my writing process! You can read Molli’s writing process post, and she also invited our mutual friend Jessica Sankiewicz to share her writing process, which you can read here.
1) What am I working on?
This isn’t something I’ve told many people, but I’m currently in the process of rewriting my debut novel, Blue Sky Days. That book was definitely a labour of love for me; I wrote it when I was 20, then about 7 years later decided I wanted it to be my debut novel, so I pulled it out and rewrote it. My life experiences and writing experience helped me fix all the issues I had with it originally (mainly the fact it was only about 40,000 words and I knew that wasn’t long enough).
I’m extremely proud of that book for a variety of reasons, but over the last year or so there have been things I wished I could add or change. I didn’t feel like Emma and Nicholas’s story was complete. Now I’m going with the ‘third time’s the charm’ theory and I’m planning to relaunch the book in June. The story has a cancer storyline, and since this year is the 20th anniversary of my dad’s death from leukemia, I’ll be doing the relaunch around that time with a big book blitz and a portion of proceeds from the book going to the Canadian Cancer Society. I’ll be talking more about that and having sign-ups soon, so keep an eye on the blog!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, I suppose I could start with the fact my readers never know what to expect, since I’ve written young adult, new adult, and adult books. All my books are basically the same genre - contemporary - but the age ranges hop around. I also write books that are pretty heavy on the feels, and those feels are rooted in real life issues. I didn’t set out to write books that were ‘different’ or that packed in life lessons/messages, but several readers have told me they love how I’m not afraid to shy away from issues like cancer, depression, grief, bullying, underage drinking, sex, etc. I’m glad people have been able to connect to my stories and see themselves or people they know in my characters.
I also have a few books with a very strong emphasis on healthy female friendships, which is something I love reading and writing about since there’s a lot of portrayals of friendship that concentrate on cattiness, backstabbing, etc.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I love reading contemporary in every age range, so I guess it’s just natural for me to write contemporary, too. I love stories that explore real emotions and real issues, as well as love in its many forms - between lovers, friends, family, etc.
4) How does your writing process work?My writing process is different for each book. Sometimes I start with a tiny germ of an idea, sometimes it’s a character, sometimes it’s the book's title or a specific scene, and sometimes it’s this lightning-strike feeling of having my brain flooded with ideas. Once I have an idea, I open a document with my characters’ names, appearances, and main personality traits/facts about them, and then I write out whatever ideas I have for plot and dialogue. Then I just start writing. I refer to and add to my notes, but I don’t have an ‘outline’ per se, since my characters tend to take over and the story almost always takes a different direction than what I originally thought.
So, that's a look into my writing process. If you're a writer, what is your process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you have any writing quirks/habits?