Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blog Tag Tour - My Writing Process

I’m always up for playing a game, especially if it is a word game! Author Laurie WJN invited me to join fellow Authors and Bloggers in a game of Blog Tag. Yes, I could probably use physical exercise, but the temptation to write is too great. My promise to myself is that after writing this, I will run a couple miles… or eat some chocolate.

I had the pleasure or reading and reviewing Author Laurie WJN’s book, The Misadventures of Me and My Uterus. Make sure to visit her site, where you can appreciate more of her writing and great sense of humor.

The game is afoot, er, ahand!
What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on Kathleen’s Undressed. This is a sequel to my first book Charlotte’s Restrained. After I finished writing Charlotte’s Restrained I realized that Kathleen, one of the five main characters in the book, had a very elusive nature, and there is much to explore here.

These two books, though primarily lighthearted comedies, are very much about the bonds of friendship between women. In leaving Kathleen’s nature a little more abstract, I realized that I could build a story that would allow these five lovely ladies to once again come together in real hotels, restaurants, and other locations in London, Paris, Seattle, and Rome. We continue to explore their evolution via their witty banter, brutal candor, and admirable lives.

How does your writing process work?

I studied Landscape Architecture, and in my very first design studio a professor asked, “Why should a client hire you?” To be honest, being only two weeks into the program, I was stumped. One rainy November afternoon, a few months later, I found out what my process is: a cup of coffee, a molasses cookie, and a cloudy Pacific Northwest sky. The perfect cozy atmosphere to ponder solutions from as many perspectives as possible! …while doodling! Doodling keeps my brain in a foggy state, letting the right and left sides hammer out a solution that is unique, and meets the needs of the client.

I apply the same process to writing that I apply to landscape design. It might seem odd, but the old saying, “write what you know,” relates. Do what works for you in other aspects of your life. If you figure out how to solve a problem while doing yoga, do yoga. If you need listen to music and dance, crank the radio and do your dance!

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

In my own life I have found that laughter, candor, commitment to love and friendship, good food and wine, as well as the opportunity to travel, consume me. An urgency for them all co-exists. When one dips off the radar, all of me gets out of whack.

In women’s literature, I think the Damsel in Distress concept exists because readers want to be consumed by the heart thumping passion that true love or new lovers possess. Life doesn’t end after the declaration of eternal love! All parts of life get woven together; we introduce our lover to our friends and family. We have first, second, and third arguments. We run out of toilet paper.

How our love grows and changes can be just as heart stopping. That’s the stuff of life, what I want to write about.

Why do you write what you do?

“Because I must,” seems so cliché, but it is the honest truth. Years ago, long before I found any of the passions of my life, I was talking to a friend about his passion, physics. Hours could pass and he wouldn’t notice. I wanted that.

One rainy day, in March 1990, I watched a landscaper planting pansies in the rain and I thought, “I’d rather do that.” So I quit my job at Microsoft, and signed up for classes at the local community college and found art history, which lead to Interior Design, which lead me to the University of Washington to study Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

All these areas of design have a lot in common with writing. They all tell stories about a period of time, a place, and the people who occupy the space. They are life. It all just… captivates me.

Who's up next?

Authors Mary Ann Bernal and Lorrie Farrelly.  Mary Ann, and is the author of The Briton and Dane Collection of novels as well as several short stories. Make sure you swing by her blog.

Thanks for Reading!