I am happy to say that one of my favorite bloggers, Mr. 23 Thorns, himself, nominated me for the World Blog Hop a short time ago. (Okay, it’s perilously close to being a long time ago, now, but it’s not my fault. I swear. All right, mostly it IS my fault, but I couldn’t help it.) For those who have never read 23 Thorns, all I can say to you is that you don’t know what you’re missing. 23 (I have permission to call him by his first name) is one of the funniest people out there, and I highly recommend you check out his blog. Maybe you can encourage him to get back into the habit of posting more often. He’s been on a wee break, but I have it on good authority that he’s weakening, and could be coerced into brightening our days with his droll observations once again.
The first thing the World Blog Hop asks for his a quote. Where someone who shall go nameless, but whose first name is a two-digit number, has trouble with being a non-quoty sort of person, I have just the opposite problem. I have quotes on my desktop, pinned to my bulletin boards, and stuck in my brain. I love them. Picking one would be terribly hard, because I don’t know whether to go with the truly meaningful, or the truly hilarious. Since I can’t make up my mind, I’m going to go for the one that keeps me truckin’ along, even though it’s a comparatively recent addition to my collection. It’s from the 2000 movie, Cast Away, with Tom Hanks, and it’s what his entire experience alone on the island taught him: “I gotta keep breathing, because tomorrow the sun will rise, and who knows what the tide could bring?” And that, folks, is the secret to a long life. Just keep on breathin’, and check to see what’s washed up each morning.
BTW, my runner up would be just this: “If you really want to be happy, NOBODY can stop you.” Choose happy. It’s so much better than the alternative.
Now for the questions.
Why Do I Create What I Do?
I’ve created many things over the years, from afghans to zinnia beds, and I can’t honestly tell you the reason for any of them, except that it makes me happy to do it. I like to garden, I like to crochet, I liked having and raising my children, I like painting. I don’t like creating dinner. When I create something, I want to shellac it and hang it on the wall, or wear it for a few years, or watch it turn into an interesting human being. I don’t want it gone in ten minutes. So, cooking is work, not creating, for me.
Of all the things I’ve ever created (except for my kids, of course), nothing has made me happier than writing. I don’t care that I’m not writing anything of astonishing literary merit. I care that I have stories I want to tell, and I’m finally telling them, after all these years. And people seem to be enjoying reading them. It’s far more satisfying than any painting I ever sold, and certainly makes me happier than any afghan I ever crocheted. So that’s it, I guess…it makes me feel good.
How Does My Creative Process Work?
In fits and starts, with scowling and laughing, and lots of repetitive stress syndrome from typing too long. There might be swearing involved, too. I’m VERY creative when it comes to that. I am at my computer within ten minutes of arising every day. I answer my email, check my blogs, and then open either Word, or lately, Scrivener, and start making notes of what I want my next chapter or scene to accomplish. Once I’m clear on what I need to do to move the story along just that far, I start typing. Six or eight hours later, I stop to fix dinner. In the evenings, I sit back down and do some more. Unless there’s dancing on the tv. I love dancing. It makes me happy, and it’s just about the only tv I watch any more, except for the Olympics, which also make me happy. And that’s how I do it. Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, words appearing in front of me…rinse and repeat.
How Does My Work Differ From Others of Its Genre?
This implies I actually know what my genre is, when I’m really still guessing at this point. For want of a better idea, I’ve ended up in Romantic Suspense, which does fit, but which is a hugely broad category. When Wake-Robin Ridge made amazon’s Top 100 best seller list last month (and stayed there for several weeks, yay), it was in the Fiction/Ghosts category, though I wouldn’t call it a traditional ghost story, myself.
What I think makes my work different from most in the basic genre is that I’m not interested in writing graphic sex or violence, even though I do want plenty of love and passion, and violently evil characters in my books. Just not the gratuitously graphic bits. I took a hard look and found lots and lots of romance novels out there of the rather tame sort that didn’t work for me. I found even more of the sort currently called Mommy Porn. That didn’t interest me, either. I think there is an audience for both of those types of book, believe me, and I in no way fault anyone who writes them. I just wanted to find something for myself that fell in between both extremes. More passion and mayhem, including true evil, than the sweet little romance novels that have been around forever contain. But less anatomical references and/or torturous gore than so much of today’s fiction has. So…maybe the answer to this question is that I’m trying to forge a middle of the road kind of path. My grandmother would say being neither fish nor fowl is a pretty boring way to go, but I hope in this case, it’s not. We’ll see.
What Am I Presently Working On?
I had no sooner finished Wake-Robin Ridge than people were asking if there would be a sequel. My intention was to set several more books in Darcy’s Corner, but to have them each about other people. I thought Sarah and Mac’s story was done. Little did I know. Sarah whispered in my ear one night that there was a little boy lost on the mountain, and I needed to tell his story, so that’s the first thing I’m working on. A Boy Named Rabbit is the sequel to Wake-Robin Ridge, and I hope to have it out this fall. It involves a ten-year old boy who has been raised in the wilderness with no interaction with any humans, other than his grandparents, and no knowledge of the world at all. When he finds himself alone, his journey down out of the wilderness brings him straight to Wake-Robin Ridge, and Sarah and Mac find their lives in turmoil, yet again. So. A more traditional sequel than what I had planned, yes, but you just don’t ignore those voices that whisper in your ear in the dead of night.
I’m also writing the sequel to Swamp Ghosts, my second novel. This one is keeping more in line with my original concept. Maggie and Gunn’s story is over, and their friends, Hunter Painter and Willow Greene, are the focus of Book 2. The book is called Hunter, and should be published shortly after the first of the year.
The third thing I’m working on is not a book, but my newest blog, which is called The Write Stuff, and is going to be focused on writing and writers, allowing Bookin’ It to resume its original intent of being primarily focused on reading. The Write Stuff just went live yesterday, and I hope some of you will check it out. I have a lot of fun ideas for this blog, and hope it will appeal to writers everywhere, and their readers, as well. It will be a good place to get updates on my work, as well as lots of other authors, as well.
And now it’s time to nominate some folks I think would enjoy taking part in the World Blog Hop. A caveat, here…I nominate blogs/bloggers I find interesting and would love to hear from. BUT. I understand that not every enjoys taking part in these types of things, for various reasons. If you don’t care for the idea, or if you just don’t have time, simply ignore the nomination. The worst that can happen by my mentioning your blog here is that you might get some new visitors, and that’s a good thing. There is no need to participate if it’s not your thing!
Here are my nominees.