Many authors have been taking part in the #MyWritingProcess blog tour. J. E. Knowles was kind enough to tag me. Check out her novels, The Trees of the Field and Arusha, at her website.
Every writer is answering the same four questions. Some of them really made me think. Here are my answers:
What am I working on?
At the moment I’m doing more thinking than actual writing. I have, however, been working on a couple of short stories and a novel based on my grandmother’s memoirs.
How does my work differ from others in the same genre?
This is not an easy question to answer, so I am going to come at it through the back door. My three novels are mysteries, and they happen to have a lesbian protagonist. That having been said, I try to move beyond what could be the narrow confines of either label. What I am really trying to do in each of the three novels is examine what I consider to be important social issues such as homophobia, gambling and illegal international adoption. At the same time, through the relationship between Calli and Jess, I am chronicling the forward movement of and the attitudes to LGBTQ rights in Canada. I try to achieve these goals through the use of comedy, suspense and personal tragedy.
Why do I write what I do?
If an issue or and idea interests me to the point where I spend time thinking about it in depth, chances are I will eventually write about it. I happen to enjoy crime/mystery stories, so my first three novels took that form, although as I have explained in #2, the mystery aspect was really more of a framework within which I could explore other things.
How does my writing process work?
I am a member of the “iceberg school of writing,” as I suspect many people are. Ninety-nine percent of my writing process takes place in my head, and much of that is unstructured and unbidden. Even when I am visibly working on something, I am not disciplined. I don’t have a routine, I don’t have a specific place to write, I seldom use outlines, and I hate deadlines even though I never miss one. I usually have a vague idea for subject matter. I begin on page one and see where the actual act of writing takes me. I love to be surprised. I also enjoy revising my work 100 per cent more than I enjoy initially writing it, and if my editor didn’t yank a manuscript from my hands, I would probably continue to revise it forever.
As part of this blog tour I get to tag one or two more authors. I have chosen Lisa de Nikolits, a fellow Toronto-based mystery writer.