1. What am I working on?
Currently working on a book about the Curator of Earth (a lofty title for one of the lowest positions in the Museum of Worlds) and the human girl who is helping him figure out why magical curses keep popping up all over the place.
2. How does my work differ from other works in the same genre?
In the case of my new WIP, I think one of the major differences is that the main characters are in a boy-girl friendship that doesn't involve any romance. I know that's unusual for YA and may even be a bit of a risk, but I think it's important to allow boys and girls just to be friends sometimes.
It's also a very whimsical adventure story, whereas I think a lot of YA books now strive for "dark" or "edgy."
3. Why do I write what I write?
To read what I want to read!
Sometimes I get ideas from dreams, but a lot of my ideas are driven by what I find myself wishing I could read. When I came up with The Never Silent, I thought of all my favorite elements of fantasy and fiction and combined them into one book.
Currently I'm in a very lighthearted phase of life, so my WIP is much more humorous and fun-loving.
Alternate answer: To make other people feel the way my favorite authors have made me feel after reading their books.
4. How does my writing process work?
My Big Idea for each book usually involves one or two key scenes or elements. This is my daydreaming (or sometimes even night dreaming) phase. I start with a spark.
Then comes research. Sometimes this is a massive time-suck. And then other times there's almost nothing to research at all.
Plot always comes next. I outline before I start writing anything, keeping my focus on story structure. The scenes I've been imagining find homes within the outline, and then I build up the rest to give the story a complete beginning, middle and end.
Next is character and voice. For The Never Silent this was a long process since I had to do a lot of research on the language. With my new WIP I'm still figuring out the voice as I work through the first draft.
And then, finally, comes the writing! Usually my first draft is very short. I put in the bare bones on the first draft, then by the final draft I've often got twice the word count I started out with.
That's it! Thanks, Marshall, for passing it my way!
And now I will tag Charlie, my agency sister, to work on if she gets a chance between baby and moving. (And best of luck on the move, Charlie!)