My friend Giselle Leeb who also happens to be a very talented writer has nominated me to continue with the Blog Tour Monday. Check out Giselle’s answers from last week here: http://giselleleeb.cielo.net/2014/03/blog-tour-monday/
What am I working on?
I’m working on two very different stories at the moment. Season’s Meetings is a lesbian romance with a festive setting. I’m shortly going to start editing it. It’s due out in December 2014 by Bold Strokes Books.
The Renegade: Book One of the Rapture Series is speculative fiction. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where only a few survivors remain. This is tentatively due for release in Spring 2015. I’m in the process of writing it at the moment.
Both stories are set in the UK and star lesbian protagonists.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My debut novel Secret Lies was published by Bold Stokes Books in December 2013. It’s a young adult novel. This novel differs form others in the genre because it’s set in the UK and deals with dark/gritty themes such as self-harm and abuse. I wanted to give an honest portrayal of what life can be like for some LGBTQ youth and not shy away from the issues that really affect them. There is also the exploration of first love. Many YA books often don’t discuss sex and I felt it was important to include this in the story. I plan to write another YA book in the not so distant future.
The genres of both Season’s Meetings and The Renegade are drastically different from each other and Secret Lies. I’m new to writing. There are so many different stories, characters, and settings that fill my mind and refuse to leave me alone until I write them. I’m passionate about writing them even though they differ from the genres I’ve written before. There’s a huge unknown and risk that comes with trying to write something different. It’s daunting and exhilarating all at the same time. I accept that some genres may not work quite as well as others, but that’s not enough of a reason to deter me from trying.
Why do I write what I do?
I write lesbian fiction because it’s what I enjoy doing and that’s who the characters demand to be. I read anything and everything, but lesfic always has and will have a special place in my heart. It’s wonderful to be able to read a story and feel represented in the pages. When I was in a dark place and unsure of myself, lesfic opened my world up. It offered solidarity and hope. It enabled me to accept my sexuality and source the courage to live the way I wanted to. As dramatic as it sounds, it really did impact tremendously on my life. It’s always been my ambition to provide stories that do the same thing. It’s a privilege to be doing just that.
As I mentioned above, the genres of my books differ greatly but the main characters in my stories are lesbians.
How does my writing process work?
When I wrote Secret Lies I didn’t have a clue about anything to do with writing a novel. I had an idea for a story. That was it. The process was to sit down each night and write for a few hours. My biggest difficulty was my lack of knowledge. It took a number of years for me to finally learn the basics and edit the manuscript so I could submit it to a publisher. Even then it was rejected the first time.
Now I’m published, the process is very different. Thank goodness! I come up with the entire story and detailed character profiles including their physical, emotional, and psychological attributes. I send a proposal to my publisher and wait to see if they think the story is viable.
This has been the process for Season’s Meetings and The Renegade. It’s nice knowing what’s going to happen and not solely relying on making it all up as I go along. Don’t get me wrong, many things change during the writing process and nothing is set it stone, but I still find it comforting to have a plan of action. It takes some of the pressure off.
My biggest difficulty at the moment is self-doubt. It plagues me all the time. Each time I sit and open my manuscript up to write, I find it a challenge. Will I write anything remotely interesting? Will I let down the publisher and readers? What if I was just lucky to get the first book published and the dream of being a writer is ludicrous? And so on. Eventually the words begin to flow and my doubts are pushed from the forefront of my mind for a little while. I hope with time it’ll eventually ease up.
I’m incredibly fortunate to work an awesome publisher and two fabulous editors. They take my manuscripts and help me to make them better than I ever envisioned. I’ve learnt so much in such a small space of time and feel an immense amount of gratitude to the time and patience they show me.
Writing is a craft. You can have natural ability, but in the end you still have to work hard to hone those skills and improve. I love learning new things and developing my writing.
Without a doubt writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the most rewarding. I truly believe I’ll never take it for granted.
Next Monday the very talented author Andrea Bramhall will be answering the same questions. Check out her blog here:https://andreabramhall.wordpress.com/
Interviewer extraordinaire and writer, Liz McMullen will also be answering these questions on her website: http://www.thelizmcmullenshow.com