Not only because it’s an excuse to dig around for cute, fuzzy, little gifs like the one above, but because the wonderful Elsie Elmore (there she is ) asked me to and I was so freaking excited, I said, “YES!” right away.
See, when she invited me to participate, I had no idea what a “blog hop” was. To tell you the truth, I’m still not sure. But I’m not letting that stop me.
Just a few years ago, I didn’t know I wanted to write. Now, here I am, shamelessly self-promoting my very first novel (Between Octobers, due out June 17th, 2014) and loving every second of it.
Enough goofing around.
Let’s get down to business!
1) What are you working on?
I’m actively working on two projects. With my first book, Between Octobers, I’m working on final edits and will be choosing a cover soon. Octobers is a romance, but it’s also filled with suspense, danger, and a surprising plot twist that I hope readers will enjoy. I’m also writing my first YA thriller, tentatively titled Angels Song. It’s the story of a disturbed young girl stalking her favorite indie rock band.
2) How does your work differ from others in its genre?
This is a tough question. I’m not sure how Angels Song will be different from others its’ genre because I don’t read a ton of young adult novels and the story is still in the early stages. The plot for this novel was inspired by a song about obsession and that is the theme, but the main character, Angel…she’s turning out to be far more complex than I anticipated.
I think ,my upcoming novel, Between Octobers, is different than most Womens Fiction because my protagonist, Grace, was inspired by Queen Esther. I like to think of her as a modern day version of the legendary queen. And the love interest, Evan, he’s her King. Since Americans have no royalty, Evan is from England and he is an actor who’s massive success sabotages his personal relationships. I have not come across any women’s fiction or romance that was inspired by the strongest, most famous female character in the history of literature. (That I know of.)
3) Why do you write what you do?
I write because I am very grumpy if I don’t get the words inside my heart onto a page.
It’s funny because I didn’t realize until about 8 or 9 years ago that writing was something I was capable of doing. Now, it feels as if I’ve discovered the world’s greatest invention—the ballpoint pen. And I cannot go back.
4) How does your writing process work?
I’ve blogged a little about this before, but my process is so much hair-pulling fun, it bears repeating.
I start with The End. Which begins as an image in my head, or a feeling about a situation or story, usually sparked by an event I read about or see taking place in the world around me.
Then, I jot down all the ideas about my ending: how it might have been reached and by whom. Each idea, each plot, and character that graces the pages of my books gets their portion in a binder. From there, I work my way back.
Yes, I move forward by going back. Because I really dislike when I pick up a book, or watch a movie, and a third of the way through, I can guess how it’s going to end.–into a spiral notebook which then finds it’s way into my bedside table until I am free to explore the idea more thoroughly.
By this point, I still may not know my characters as well as I’d like. So, I begin another inquisition: What events must happen for the story to reach it’s ending? What motivates the characters to make the choices they make? What type of person makes those choices? A psychopath, a lonely girl, a guy who’s strapped for cash…the possibilities are endless.
Who do I want my character to be? What age and/or gender would fit best with the situations presented? What traits do they have that I can relate to? What type of upbringing would they have that might influence their choices?
I try to jot down the questions, even if I know I’ll remember them. Something about setting pen to page helps me remember. Having these for reference can also be helpful, in case I hit a wall and can’t decide what the character should do next. I can go back to these questions and find my answers.
Once I’m near a half-way point, I stop with all the ending nonsense and begin free-writing from the beginning.
This weirdo process helps to “turn on” the voice in my head, which flows to the page. And by doing this, I find out who these characters really are, beneath the choices.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for hopping by!
A little about Vicki: Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. She is a member of SCBWI, a co-founder of The Writer Diaries, and her short story, PRINCESS UNAWARE, placed fifty-sixth in the 80thAnnual Writer’s Digest Competition in Children’s/Young Adult. Vicki is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. Her fabulous blog is found here
UP NEXT WEEK is the very cute, very talented Mishka Jenkins:
Mishka is an avid writer of romance and a reader of anything! She spends most of her time dreaming of new ways to get characters to fall for each other in a variety of settings. Dreaming is her life, writing is her passion and she has now begun an exciting career in self-publishing her works. She resides in the busy city of Bristol in the UK, hoping one day to move to her ideal writing pad which would include lots of nature and very little noise.
The following week, you’ll hear from Kristi Strong…
Fixing broken computers, wrangling a very spirited little toddler, and creating a world with a tyrant king, are all parts of the average day for Kristi Strong. While she has called Virginia her home for two decades, her head has rested in two countries, three states, and far too many houses to count. She was more than happy to give up her nomadic lifestyle and settle down with her husband, daughter, cat and chinchilla.
While attending James Madison University, she was given the rare opportunity to work as part of an archaeological team on a variety of dig sites in Virginia, including the homes of former Presidents, James Madison and George Washington, civil war sites such as The Steven’s House and Fort Evan’s Mississippian Encampment, and a variety of pre-historic hunting sites and camps.
Kristi now uses her extensive studies in human cultures (aka, Anthropology degree), to create her own world in her fantasy novels, beginning with her debut novel, The Lady of Steinbrekka, and continuing with Heart of Kylassame and Soul of Asimina.
Connect with Kristi