I was invited to take part in this blog tour by cosy crime writer D S Nelson. You will find her post on her own writing process Here.
I have to answer four questions and then pass the baton on to some other lucky writers to answer the same questions, linking back to this blog post. And so it goes on.
So, here are my answers to the following four questions:
At the moment I’m working on the second book in the Hannah Robbins series while the first is out on submission with my agent, Kate. It’s in the first draft stage which is not my favourite place to be and is when I can be most easily found procrastinating. I see the first draft as the skeleton of the story and after that I have something I can work with, but building that skeleton feels pretty much like building a 90,000 piece 3D jigsaw while blindfolded, without having first seen what it looks like.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I find this question really difficult. It’s like asking a parent, what sets your baby apart from every other baby in this newborn maternity wing? They are all babies certainly, but each one is unique in their own special way but finding a way to define and voice that so early on when all we want to do is parent/write, is difficult. Yes, to grab an agents/editors and readers attention, you need to be able to sell it to them, but I’m writing a novel, not selling a car. But ok, let me try…
I write from first person point of view for my female DI protagonist, which I understand is not often done, so a reader has a real insight into what she is not only seeing at a crime scene and in the incident room, but what she’s thinking and feeling and that not only goes for the crime related stuff but her personal life, which isn’t as catastrophic as some out there, but seeing what these people see day in day out, does have an impact on who they are. It’s a fact of life. So you get to feel it with her.
Why do you write what you do?
From a young age, when I started reading alone, the books I was picking up were initially the Enid Blyton, Secret Seven, Famous Five books, then Nancy Drew. I progressed to Agatha Christie. I mixed it up with some other genres, but was always drawn back to crime. It fascinates me. People fascinate me, their motivations and reactions, and crime is such a great genre to explore the human psyche in. And within the crime genre there are so many sub-genres that you can explore those human layers that you just have the world at your feet. So when I decided it was time to do something about that long time urge to write a novel (you know the one everyone has) it just had to be crime.
How does your writing process work?
With Hannah Robbins book one I started at the beginning. I knew the end and other than that, I sat down and I typed. It took a huge amount of work to pull it together afterwards.
This time around I wanted to see if I could be a bit more organised so I wrote a synopsis (OK, I admit, agent Kate asked for one!) and I liked that I had an outline, so I expanded that synopsis into several more pages and I’ve gone from there.
I’ve gone from not knowing anything about writing and sitting down and just doing it, to now trying it another way and I’ll see what comes out the other end when book two appears. From the feel of it, I’m already liking the feel of how I’m working now.
One thing that I do need though is a clean working space. My desk has to keep getting tidied. I’m not good at keeping it tidy, but I can’t work well in the mess, so I have to keep tidying up. And that includes my email inbox as well. I can’t have “stuff” hanging about. I work in silence, no music or radio noise. A clean space to work and I’m happy.