Yes, I know it’s #ManCandyMonday and I promise you’ll get a hottie in just a little bit, but first, a promise I made to my friend Sylvia Mendoza!
Sylvia asked me to take part in a blog tour about “My Writing Process” and I warned her that it was a scary thing, but she just laughed and said, “Please do it anyway.” So Sylvia, my dearest friend, I’ll give it a shot. Before I get started, let me tell you a little bit about my friend, Sylvia Mendoza.
We met nearly 15 years ago when we were writing for the same publisher and have been friends ever since. Sylvia is a fabulous fiction writer and an award-winning journalist. She’s also a strong and amazing woman and I’m so glad we met and became friends. You can find out more about Sylvia and her writing process at www.sylvia-mendoza.com.
My Writing Process
And now a little bit about the My Writing Process blog tour. I have four questions to answer for you and I’ve tagged two friends – Sara Humphreys and Shelley Freydont – to answer these questions for you next week! So here goes:
#1 – What am I working on?
I’m one of those writers that’s always working on something. I really take to heart the advice that I received many years ago that you should always be working on your next book.
I had been working on FIGHT FOR LOVE, the next book in The Calling is Reborn Vampire Novel Series when some friends approached me about doing an anthology with them. I liked the idea for the anthology – namely one special night – and I like challenging myself by writing short and sexy. I sat down and started working on a story about what two people would do if they knew they only had one night together. My story, a New Adult erotic romance, JUST ONE NIGHT, will be in the ONE NIGHT ONLY Erotic Romance Anthology that releases on May 12.
So now it’s back to FIGHT FOR LOVE which is in the series of my heart. I just released a novella in this series, VAMPIRE REBORN, in March and now I’m delving deeper into the relationship between Ryder and Diana. I’m exploring how they are handling being married and having a child as well as dealing with the possibility that Ryder is becoming more human at a time when he needs to stay a vampire in order to protect Diana and their new baby.
I’m really loving the ability to handle how relationships change over time and how love adapts – or not — to new situations. Diana and Ryder are two characters that I love and I’ve always wanted to see where their romance would take them and whether it could survive the day-to-day struggles of being a kick-ass FBI Agent who is in love with a vampire.
Readers have responded well to this and I’m hopeful they’ll continue to love seeing how the relationship develop and how Diana and Ryder deal with new challenges.
#2 – How does my work differ from others of its genre?
That’s tough to say because I write in so many different genres. When it comes to my romantic suspense novels, I think that they differ in that what I offer is a solid romance with a healthy dose of suspense. My focus in those stories is how the romance can survive the challenge brought by the circumstances in which the hero and heroine are placed.
For The Calling is Reborn Vampire Novel Series, it’s different because it’s a cross-genre series, namely vampire romantic suspense. In these stories you still have a powerful and emotional romance, but you also have a bigger emphasis on the suspense and of course, on the paranormal elements. Readers who don’t normally like paranormals like this series because it is a mix of lots of elements they can enjoy.
As for my contemporary and erotic romances, what I bring to the table are very emotional stories with the kind of happily-ever-after that leaves you with a big smile on your face. I love that big happy ending and if some consider it corny, I’m okay with that. I’m a hopeful romantic and not ashamed to admit it or include it in my stories.
#3 – Why do I write what I do?
I’ve always been drawn to stories with romance and with strong men and women. I love presenting the characters with a challenge and seeing how they respond to it. It intrigues me to see them fall down, but struggle to get up because my characters are not quitters.
They are people who understand that nothing worthwhile is easy and are willing to accept that reality and work hard for the things that matter, including finding and keeping the one they love.
I think that’s why so many reviewers and readers say my work is full of emotion, because the emotions between the characters are always at the forefront of what I do no matter what genre of romance I write in.
#4 – How does your writing process work?
OMG, my process is a scary thing as I warned my good friend Sylvia.
It starts with a character screaming in my head, demanding attention. Crazy person that I am, I decide on the most difficult challenges I can provide that character to make them really really really appreciate their happy ending better.
Mwah ha ha. That involves exploring and understanding their psyche and the things that make them tick so that I can create the challenges they’ll face in the story line and their plausible reactions to those challenges.
For example, FBI Agent Diana Reyes is a woman who believes in rules, law and order and not getting emotionally involved with others. She watched her dad be gunned down by people who had already gone through the system and been released, so she’s determined not to let that happen to anyone else. She’s independent and the last thing she wants is someone who will try to protect her. Because she lost her dad, she’s afraid of losing anyone again, which is why she’s distant with people.
Worst person for Diana: Sexy Southern vampire Ryder Latimer, who is protective and can’t die (or at least not easily). He’s fascinated by Diana and sees another wounded soul which only makes him want to get closer to her, something he hasn’t done with anyone in a long time.
And so their story begins.
That’s the way a lot of my stories begin in my head. Strong character, usually female, and a counterpart who is going to challenge her to become a better person.
After that, I think about the story arc and the steps along their Journey to the happily-ever-after.
I want each step to show the reader another aspect of their character and push the relationship just a little farther.
I want the reader to really get to know the characters so that at the end of the story, they feel like real people and therefore enjoy the big happy ending even more.
I do most of this plotting and writing on the train coming and going to my full-time job in New York City. On the weekends, I spend many hours in the morning writing and working on my stories. Thanks to my buddy Nisha Sharma, I’ve tried to get a little more organized with my writing schedules, but it’s tough to do. Each second I spend organizing is a second away from writing. Ugh. But I’m trying to do it so my desk doesn’t always look like this:
If I have a deadline, I’ll work at night although I don’t normally like doing that because it’s just too tiring after a full day of work. I’d much rather recharge my batteries with a walk, visit to the gym and/or watching some television/movies.
You do need your downtime so as to not burnout. And that’s it. That’s who I am as a writer!
Man Candy Monday Dylan McDermott
Sexy Dylan McDermott has caught my eye in a number of movies and television shows. I even have American Horror Story a shot because he was in it, but I’m just not that much into horror. In fact, it downright scares me so much that I avoid horror movies, etc. when I can.
My two favorite movies with Dylan are STEEL MAGNOLIAS and IN THE LINE OF FIRE. How about you? Are you a Dylan fan?
Photo Credit: Bettycrocker@enwikipedia.com