Monday 18 November 2013

'My Writing Process' Blog Tour

Many thanks to Adam Haviaras, a writer who shares my enjoyment of exploring and recreating the past, for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. You can see his answers to this blog tour here and visit his Eagles and Dragons Facebook page to experience the ancient world. 

Here are my answers below:

What am I working on? 

I'm waiting for edits from my publishers, Siren-Bookstrand and Muse it Up Publishing. I'm also working on a companion novella to my medieval historical romance 'Mistress Angel.' A strong secondary character within the novella, the spice seller Amice, intrigued me so much that I wanted to write her story. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write about tender, realistic, developing relationships, set in the past. People in past times did fall in love and that's what I like to show. I also strive to show the non-noble, non-royal sides of history - how it felt to be a spear carrier, a slave, a medieval house-wife, a medieval hedge-witch or a serf. I like to explore the vital  role women played in history and how ancient and medieval women are different from people today because of the demands of biology (no reliable birth control) custom and religion. 

I write romance and adventure as do other writers in the historical romance genre, but these points: the celebration and evocation of the non-royal, the revelation of the true role of women, the way beliefs impacted on relationships, are, I think, what makes my work different.

Why do I write what I do?

I have always been fascinated by the medieval and ancient worlds. I like the 'epic' scope of the history and the great differences in beliefs between then and now. I enjoy transporting my readers back into the past with me and to take them on an exotic, exciting journey.

How does your writing process work?

 I tend to start with a picture or scene in my head and often a snippet of conversation. That’s where my latest, “A Summer Bewitchment”, came from—a scrap of dialogue, “I am the troll king of this land and you owe me a forfeit” and the picture that gave me.

For my other latest, “Dark Maiden,” I had a mental picture of a tall dark woman with a bow and the idea of scent—that my heroine Yolande could smell the restless dead. That seemed apt, too, because of the medieval idea of the odor of sanctity—that the bodies of saints could give off a sweet perfume. I took that belief and developed it in a different way, so Yolande could also smell less saintly souls.

From those initial ideas I usually work to a rough outline. I jot down the stakes of the story and the romantic themes , conflicts and arcs I want to explore. Sometimes before I begin a scene I note down the time of day, weather, mood, what I want the scene to do in terms of moving the plot and the relationships forward.
I don’t tend to work to a detailed plan. For my historicals I often find that the research will give me ideas that are relevant to the story. In “Dark Maiden” the threat of the Black Death, with the natural fears that people had during that time that the end of the world was surely coming, gave me a powerful driver for the final conflict and climax of the novel. In “A Summer Bewitchment” I use medieval beliefs of magic and witchcraft to shape my story.

My romantic suspense and historical mystery books are a little different in that I do plan those out in detail. They are whodunits, so I need to have clues and mystery and suspects, and  some way of keeping track of them all.

I find with all my writing that I can often use aspects that I put into the story earlier and thread these  through and out later.

Sometimes the setting itself can give me wonderful plot ideas. I have used the city of Bath twice in my stories—once as the ancient Romano-British city with its shrine of Aquae Sulis in my historical romance “Flavia’s Secret” and once as the medieval spa town  in my historical mystery “An Older Evil.” I used the idea of the bleak landscape of marshes and fens in both “Dark Maiden” and “A Knight’s Captive”—there’s something about the mix of water and big skies that I find intriguing and appealing.

Next week, on Monday November 25th, please visit the following authors to see their part of the Writing Process Blog Tour.

Rose Anderson
Rose is multi-published, award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and learning interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of America's upper mid-west.
Rose's blog is here:

Rose Anderson
Love Waits in Unexpected Places

Linda Acaster
Linda Acaster – Linda’s print-published short fiction skirmishes through Horror, Crime, Historical, Fantasy, Mainstream and Romance, some of which she’s used as the basis for her Reading A Writer’s Mind: Exploring Short Fiction. Her Historical novels include a Native American romance – she used to be a re-enactor – but her current love is for the pagan history of the British Isles. After regaining the rights to her Paranormal Thriller Torc of Moonlight, she’s in the process of turning it into the trilogy it was always destined to be.
Linda's blog is here:

Jen Black.
Jen Black writes historicals. Seven are published, four of them with online publishers and three through Amazon Kindle's self-publishing programme. She hasn't quite decided on her favourite time period, so some of her books are about Vikings  in the eleventh century, some are set in sixteenth century Northumberland, where she lives, and others are set more recently in Regency and Victorian England. Only one is set in this century, and even then there is a ghost haunting the seventeenth century mill in France where the young couple spend a holiday!
Jen's blog link is:

1 comment:

Linda Acaster said...

Having read some of Lindsay's historicals I can say it is the non-courtly lives of her characters that draw me to her books! It's so interesting to read how she glides from idea to finished book. I look forward to doing the same next week.