1. What am I working on?
Right now I have two projects battling for space in my brain: a short story that wants to grow up to be a novel and a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) book that's demanding a rewrite. The short story involves a bottle containing water from the Fountain of Youth; the NaNoWriMo novel takes a woman from a small town in Texas to the neon lights of Miami's South Beach. The Fountain of Youth story is the lead contender for my imagination.
But before I can fully concentrate on either one, my focus is on the release by Secret Cravings Publishing of Bluebonnets for Elly in just a few weeks.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I like to include strong older women in my stories, so not all of my characters are gorgeous twenty-somethings. Although the title character in Bluebonnets for Elly is in her mid-twenties, an important person in the story is Elly's grandmother, a woman in her seventies. I believe Granny adds warmth, wisdom, and humor to the love story, and I had a lot of fun writing about her and her senior-citizen friends. In my first novel, I.O.U. Sex, all three main characters are Baby Boomers.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I enjoy reading women's fiction and romance novels, and that's one reason I write that genre. It seems those are the kinds of stories that rattle around in my brain. Also, there's the whole "write what you know" thing. I like to set my stories in Texas because that's where I grew up and spent a huge portion of my life, and I go back to North Texas to visit friends and family often. The saying "once a Texan, always a Texan" is true in my case. Lots of interesting characters have been a part of my life so there's a wealth of personalities to draw on.
4. How does your writing process work?
I'm not sure I have a "process." Basically, I'll get an idea and start thinking "what if." For example, I've seen lots of people around my town who seem to use mobility scooters as their main form of transportation - tooling down the sidewalk, braving traffic at pedestrian crosswalks, zipping around the outlet mall - and I started wondering, What if that's how I had to get around? What would that be like? And since I have a friend who lives in a mobile home community for senior citizens, I wondered what it would be like to live in such a place. Do some of those folks get around by scooter? Are there rules that apply to the residents? Those questions led to Bluebonnets for Elly. I changed the scooter to a tricked-out golf cart, and although there are golf carts and scooters in the story, they're not central to it. They're just what got me started!
|I actually saw a tricked-out golf cart that looked|
almost identical to the one I'd imagined in Bluebonnets for Elly.
So, back to my process. Generally, an idea percolates for a while, and then I start writing. After I get into the story a little bit and get to know my characters better, I fill out an interview checklist for each one (physical appearance, flaws, beliefs, personality, background, goals, etc.) and also write down what I expect will happen in the story. Not a formal outline; more like a list. Of course, that isn't necessarily the way the plot works out! As I get deeper into my characters, they may take off in unexpected directions. This is probably the least efficient way to write a book, but it's the way my brain operates.
For more insight into the way writers work, on January 27 please follow the MY WRITING PROCESS blog hop over to posts by the following three authors and read how they answer the four questions:
Delinda is the author of Lies That Bind; Something About Maudy; M'TK Sewer Rat - Birth of a Nation; and M'TK Sewer Rat - End of Empire. She is a Social Psychologist with many years of field work and an organic flower farmer. Delinda always has something interesting to say! You can find all of Delinda's books on her website:
Delinda's Gardens, Books & Advocacy
James Secor is the author of Det. Lupee: The Impossible Cases. A long time social activist, playwright/director and short story writer, James began work as a pin spotter in a bowling alley on the way to completing college--the only family member to do so. And he did it with a flourish. Or a florish. He lived and worked in Japan for five years, studying at the National Puppet Theatre; lived and worked in China for seven years teaching literature, writing and drama, staging plays regularly. Published in two languages. He's now retired from "working." James is at Linkedin and has an irregular blog at http://labelleotero.
Salvatore Buttaci was the 2007 recipient of the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award. His poems, stories, articles, and letters have appeared widely in publications that include New York Times, U.S.A. Today, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, Cats Magazine, The National Enquirer, Christian Science Monitor, Thinking Ten, Pen 10, and Six Sentences.
Look for Sal's latest collection of short-short fiction in 200 Shorts; Flashing My Shorts, his collection of flash stories; and A Family of Sicilians, a collection of his poems, letters, and stories.
Sal lives with his wife Sharon in West Virginia. You'll find his blog HERE.