Thank you to Lana Williams for inviting me to join this blog tour on writing process. HER blog post or this tour is here, at LoveHistoricals.com. Lana is a consummate historical romance writer, and her blog posts are always a crackup of weird historical facts. Her latest is a Victorian romance called Unraveling Secrets.
As for me…
1. What am I working on?
I have a couple of ghostwriting projects I can’t say much about, other than that one’s a middle-grade and another’s a YA.
But because I have to write my own fiction from time to time, I’m also working on a pulp dystopian novel called The Sirens of Titan about a man who suspects he may have destroyed the world before he lost his memories…and who may have to do it again. There are Nazis, alternate dimensions, trees out to destroy what little remains of civilization, weird paranormal powers, and extraterrestial nanotechnology that threatens to invade the Amazon jungle. Because I said so.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I feel like a lot of SF/F/H has become fairly rigid, with SF in one box and F in another, and H in a more gelatinous third (horror seems to cross genres more easily than either of the other two). I wanted to write something just for the pure fun of it: recklessly over the top. Ironically, it turns out that writing recklessly over the top pulp fiction is much, much harder than writing within a box, and this is probably my sixth major restart of trying to write Sirens.
Otherwise, most of what I write is set apart by my focus on issues of bullying (in my kids’ middle-grade fiction, under my pen name De Kenyon) and on disparities of power (in my adult fiction, under my own name, DeAnna Knippling). Lately I’ve been dwelling on the issue of how we invest our belief, and what happens when we hand over our personal strengths in the name of the greater good.
3. Why do I write what I do?
The simple answer is that I was bullied as a kid, and was able to save myself from even worse damage by finding answers in books: I want to write books that help people find answers to the same kinds of questions I had. We don’t have to be corralled into the same boxes that our parents and families were. We do have to accept personal responsibility for our strengths–we can’t just live as victims, even though taking on agency for our own lives makes things far more complicated. We can forgive; we can fight to keep a cycle of violence from recurring, for example, by observing how calling ourselves weak makes us act in horrible ways toward others. We can choose not to get caught up in other people’s cycles of hatred and violence.
Of course, a lot of the time I do this by throwing the reader right into the middle of those cycles. I’m not a gentle writer.
4. How does your writing process work?
Usually I sit down and figure out what’s been on my mind a lot lately, then start brainstorming. I try not to go with the first thing that crosses my mind, which is difficult sometimes. Then I start writing. Lately I’ve been drifting away from my long-standing outlining fetish. I find it pretty interesting to see where my imagination takes me. I’ve overanalyzed pretty much any given aspect of stories for a long time, so it’s refreshing to just let go of all that. Sometimes it means I end up making extra work for myself, but I’ve accepted that risk.
5. Who’s next?
Please join Becky Clark: She writes funny novels. Her new cozy mystery is BANANA BAMBOOZLE, in which drunken Cassidy Dunne sees a girl she’s convinced is her niece. Problem is, her niece has been dead for fourteen years. Sit back, relax, and drink in this cocktail of fun!
My latest release is Alice’s Adventures in Underland: The Queen of Stilled Hearts, a serial set in a Victorian London in which the zombies have been civilized…mostly. It’s a historical dark fantasy about a little girl trapped in her society, and the man who tried to give her the key for getting the better of it.