Bit of a diversion from history here, except that it involves talking about the writing of historical fiction. I have been blog tagged, meaning another writer (specifically, Marva Dasef, host of the Cellophane Queen blog (http://mgddasef.blogspot.com/) has tagged me to answer questions about writing. So, here goes:
What am I working on/writing?
I have just finished The Spirit Rose, Book Three of my Time Rose series, set in both England and the Okanagan Valley, B.C., Canada. I will now ‘store it’ for a couple of months so I can go back to edit/change things with a fresher perspective. And in the meantime? Onto the next book, which will be set in pre-WW II Germany and does not yet have a set title. One of my favourite steps in the creative process is immersing myself in another time and place and letting it spark ideas. (Translation: research).
How does my writing/work differ from others in its genre?
The main characters in my Time Rose series come from a very history-oriented family, and are the last in a long, long line of family members to use the mysterious medallion that transports them through time. Because of this, adult family members play a more significant role than they do in some kids’ time travel stories. As regards my YA sci-fi novel, Side Trip (coming out later this year), it is less sci-fi and more futuristic travel, as it has three young girls hopping from planet to planet in much the way present-day youth travels around Europe or the Far East. (Pursued, of course, by the baddies they inadvertently get mixed up with.)
Why do I write what I do?
I do sometimes write for adults (like now) but prefer to write for children and young adults, with whom I have worked for over forty years. Although I have written several contemporary short stories and humour pieces, my own favourite genres to read are history, science fiction, and fantasy, so when it comes to books, that’s what I write. And I now mostly write books because, being semi-retired, I have more time to devote to that, and I enjoy getting more involved with my characters than is possible with shorter pieces.
How does my writing process work?
For each new book, I have to know the names of all the main characters in it and have assimilated all of the research. Upon actually starting to write, I have a general idea of what I want to do, and have prewritten several possible scenes to insert at various stages in the book, but these might not all be used as I also like to let things ’come as I write’, drawing on the research and the characters of my characters to make it all work. My work hours vary. I write at all hours, and if things aren’t going well, I can look down at the computer clock and say to myself: “How can it possibly still be eleven a.m.? It’s been eleven a.m. for hours.” Or alternatively: “I’ve been working all day, and what do I have? Nothing! Not one line!” If it is going well, however, I can look at the clock ant say, “Oh, look it’s half past four in the morning. And it was nine o’clock at night just a minute ago.”
I am theoretically now supposed to tag another writer in return, but my circle of writing acquaintances have either already been tagged or are unable to participate at this time, so I have to end with me. Which is pretty much how it was in real childhood games of tag or, to employ the sexist name of the game in the area of England in which I lived, ‘He’. (We covered the Duke children’s athletic abilities in an earlier post.)
My tagger, Marva Dasef, will be here later this month to discuss the summer solstice.