1. What are you working on?
I’m currently writing a small town romance with elements of humour and suspense. My heroine, Charlie, owns an animal welfare centre and has been contracted to host a pilot program for an animal cruelty investigation unit. Brad, my hero, is overseeing the trial and his final report will determine if Charlie gets to keep the contract.
Their investigation into a suspected dog fighting ring is dangerous and threatens not only their safety, but the program's success when Charlie's brother emerges as the number one suspect.
2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?
My work includes elements of a few different genres including romance, comedy and suspense. For the most part my stories are fun and humorous, however, they also have a darker crime or suspense element woven in. This is probably a result of my lifelong love of thrillers (and horror movies), but don’t worry, there are no masked serial killers or evil spirits in my books!
3. Why do you write what you write?
As a reader, I’ve always gravitated towards small town romances, so it was natural for me to write them. I love being able to enhance the main story with a cast of loveable and eccentric townspeople. I also love to laugh, so I can’t resist adding a touch of quirkiness to my characters.
Also, I grew up surrounded by animals, from dogs and cats to sheep, cows and horses, so my stories always include an adorable pet... or five.
4. How does your writing process work?
In all honestly, I’m still working that out!
It feels like I’ve tried every possible way to make my novels magically write themselves... but I haven’t found the secret to that yet. It has taken me a long time to find out what feels comfortable and what works for me.
I now write for myself. After a long time worrying that my stories weren't targeted to a specific publisher or line, I removed the pressure of trying to fit certain guidelines and the process has become much easier. Hopefully the result is a more natural, authentic story.
Knowing how easily I fall into the trap of trying to make everything perfect, I have a rule for myself - finish the first draft. No editing. My first drafts are dirty. I mean, really, really rough with lots notes. If I can't think of the name of something, or someone, I will leave a note to add it later. If I go off to the magical world of Google to start searching, someone had better send a search and rescue team for me 'cause I ain't comin' back any time soon!
I tend to be a little impulsive at times, especially when I'm feeling inspired. I’m also a pantser, so when I get an idea for a story I want to jump right in and start writing the most amazing novel the world has ever seen. But after many discarded scenes resulting in the odd hair-pulling tantrum, I’ve learned that I need to really get to know my characters and their backgrounds, as well as produce at least a rough structure, or I’ll get lost in a mess of randomness.
Probably the most essential part of my process is utilising the amazing network of writers I have met. Having a good critique partner/s is priceless and I would probably be a mess without mine.
I’m supposed to tag others to participate next, but it seems that many people have already done it recently. Anyone can feel free to participate :)