Writers of all stripes walk on the wild side, though wordscapes teeming with python wranglers, Confederate spies, medieval siege weapons and even the occasional Ferrari. This blog celebrates all the weirdly wonderful facts and confabulations that flavor both our stories and our lives.
Thanks to Holly McClure for tagging me in this blog hop (you can read her answers to these questions at her website). Holly says of herself, "I've been many things in my life and if I'm lucky I hope to become many more things before I leave the world. Today, I'm a priest, an author, a literary agent, and mentor among other things." Holly has several books out –you can read about them here –including The Vessel of Scion, which is getting amazing reviews. Plus, you can learn about three more awesome writers at the end of this post.
1. What are you working on
The fifth book in the Tai
Randolph/Trey Seaver series, a contemporary traditional mystery series set in
Atlanta. It features amateur sleuth Tai, owner of a Confederate-themed gun shop,
and Trey, a former SWAT corporate security agent. And a Great White Shark named Mary Lee.
2. How does my work differ
from other authors in the genre?
For one, I have
co-protagonists. Tai is my narrator, but Trey is her partner in both romance
and crime solving. Their issues with trust and commitment and what it means to
care about someone provide lots of practice in the kind of skills that make
them excellent detectives. Tai is emotional, intuitive, quick off the starting
line. Trey is rational, analytical, more inclined to take things slow. Their
respective strengths and weaknesses complement as often as they conflict.
Another unique aspect of my
series is that I write a character in recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury (a
TBI in the medical parlance). Trey suffered damage to his frontal lobes – the seat
of executive judgment, decision making, language processing, and emotional
intelligence – and his challenges to recover his sense of purpose and identity
help me think about larger thematic issues.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I enjoy exploring identity, the
ways we create our personas to keep our real selves safe and protected. My
characters allow me to do that in multiple ways – through Trey, whose sense of
self was literally scrambled, and Tai, who has spent a lifetime rebelling
against other people’s constructions of who she is. And I get to do it through one
of the brain’s most natural function – story-telling.
4. How does my writing
It’s taken me years to figure
this out. I am a pantser all the way (one of those people who just starts
writing and seeing where the story goes). It’s messy and inefficient, and when
I wrote my second book, I swore I’d do it differently. It was a nightmare!
Outlines do not feed my creative engine. I have to jump in and get messy. I’ve
discovered it may not be the easiest or fastest way, but it’s my way, and now
that I’ve accepted that, I’m becoming better at streamlining the process.
Scrivener – a word processing program for writers – helps a lot because it
allows me to write and organize simultaneously, saving me tons of rewrites. Also get to know: Susanna Ives Tammy Kaehler Bernadette Pajer