Last week my awesome author pal Kate Robbins tagged me to do a blog hop. Now as you know, I'm not a great blogger in terms of consistency. Perhaps she did it to make me blog? Who knows. Anyhow, I have to answer the following questions about how I write. This should be fun!
What am I working on?
Right now I'm trying to finish the fourth book in my Heart's Ease series. Books two and three are with my editor, and I can smell the ending to book four, 21st Century Rake, I'm that close. I'm launching all three novels at once, so there's a fair bit of crazy work happening these days.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
To the best of my knowledge I'm the only one writing contemporary romances set in Newfoundland, which is different. Stylistically, I'm not sure. I'm sure I have my own voice, and I try to keep the stories moving with humour and real characters. I also like to have the sexy bits be sexy. But I don't think that's very different that what others are doing. So let's go with setting, shall we?
Why do I write what I do?
I write romance because I believe in the stories. I also believe people want to escape from the reality of life sometimes and there's no better way to do that than in the pages of a book. When my grandmother died, romance novels are what helped me come back to the real world. I joke that I read my way out of grief one duke at a time. I write contemporary because I think it's easy for us to forget that romance is possible in our world, and romance isn't a time of the past. It's around us every day if we are lucky enough to have the right person there beside us.
How does your writing process work?
Ha. If only I knew! I'm what the writing world calls a pantser. As in I write by the seat of my pants. When I sit down to write I know nothing other than the book with end with the thing all romances need—a happily ever after. Against Her Rules began with Cam being a roughneck in my head. He was going to work in oil. And then boom. He showed up on the page and all of sudden I just knew he was an artist. So imagine writing sixty thousand words that way, never knowing for sure where it's all going. Of course I have a general idea that starts to form, but nothing is for certain until the words come out. Now that I'm smack-dab in the middle of a series there is a bit more planning, but I'm always surprised with what comes out.
Now for the practical side of the process. I write when I can. With a toddler around, it's difficult sometimes to stay on track. I'm completely at the mercy of my hubby, my family and some awesome mom friends who watch out for baby Bam-Bam. I write in my car, in my bed, on my sofa, in restaurants, at the museum. I write whenever I can get a chance. The problem is that it really takes me a while to get revved up. When I'm in my grove it's nothing to bang out a thousand words an hour. But when I'm trying to find the groove, it's more like three hundred an hour. So you can see it really depends.
Getting that draft done is always the hard part. After that it goes to my editor, the fabulous A.E. Cummings (who will no doubt read this post and tell me to go back in and edit something because there are bound to be typos and mistakes and she's very keen that I come off all professional, God bless her woollen tights!). I also send it to my crit partner, the awesome Debbie a.k.a Kate Robbins. Once I edit after their feedback I then send the books out to some beta readers who tell me if it sucks or if I'm good to go. From there I format, proof, proof, edit, proof, reformat, read, proof, go blind from starting at the screen, and then upload. Phew. Maybe that's the hardest part?
So there you have it. Blog hop almost complete. Except for the tagging, of course. I now tag...
Fern Ronay authors the ChicagoNow.com blog Stop and Blog the Roses, which was a finalist for CBS Chicago's Most Valuable Blogger Award and a Babble 100 nominee. She has contributed to other sites such as The Chicago Reporter, ChiTownDailyNews.org, Zootoo.com, ChicksInTheHuddle.com, and ChickLitShorties.com, where she won the August 2010 Extra Shorty Contest and also served as a judge for the October 2010 contest. Her fiction has appeared in the literary magazine Killing the Angel (Issue 1 – 2012). Fern is also an on-camera reporter for the online news website Chicago3Media.com and co-hosts a local legal talk show titled Ms. Esquire as well as a show titled Behind the Book that serves as an homage to Oprah's book club. She holds a B.S. in Accounting from Lehigh University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. She has finished her first novel and is currently working on her second. She describes herself as a Manhattanite, originally from the great state of New Jersey, now living in Chicago with her husband and fat cat, Magoo, as well as an avid reader, eater and runner.