Today is my day for this and I am still not sure why I agreed to do it. Prolific author Douglas Quinn invited me to follow his effort last week here. Douglas is writing books for multiple series for readers of all ages. If you are not familiar with his stuff, you really need to check his books out.
What are you working on?
I should be working on my murder mystery novel or something for the many market calls I see in various places. I have not been working on my own fiction for quite some time due to various events here in recent years. It is now four years since I got sick with whatever this thing is that has me in its grip. Thanksgiving will mark three years since cancer was first diagnosed in Sandi. My father passed away, my mom is not doing well, and there have been major health issues and other things with the boys, and much, much more. In short--life happened and it has been very hard. To say the last few years have not been kind would be an understatement. Other than reviews and blog pieces about various things I have not been writing much at all--let alone my fiction.
Occasionally I look back over a published short story of mine and it is like I never saw it before. I’m amazed that I ever wrote that piece and can’t contemplate being that good ever again. It is very difficult to put into words how empty I feel inside or how that creative person seems to be gone.
Sandi blames the constant stress we have been under and says it will come back. She just wants me writing again. She could be right. Even so, on some level, it feels very selfish to wander off by myself and try to fill the blank page when we all know her time is short.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t know that it does. In a sense nobody’s work really differs from others in the genre. Everybody is writing using the same basic ideas and themes. It is how those are spun toegtehr that makes some works stand out.
Why do I write what I do?
Part catharsis, part inspiration, and part something else that isn’t easy to define or explain. I have never been one of those writers who could write for a specific market or age group. Instead, something triggers a thought, an image, or whatever and the result gradually spills out. Sometimes it comes really fast and I can fly along putting the words out there and other times it just barely flows or not at all.
How does your writing process work?
I can’t outline at all. I am pantser. No matter what I am writing, I write out longhand first and then type things into the computer. Either Sandi or Scott type my reviews for me while making guesses at what my handwriting was intended to mean, but the fiction stuff I have always done myself.
Next week -- Earl Staggs. You may have heard of him. If not, Earl Staggs earned a long list of Five Star reviews for his novels MEMORY OF A MURDER and JUSTIFIED ACTION and has twice received a Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine, as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com