Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Writing Process

Aaron Paul Lazar, one of my favorite writers, tagged me for a Writing Process Blog Tour. If you haven’t tried his books, you’re missing something special. Aaron writes mysteries and more. One series features Gus LeGarde, a music professor, family man, gardener, and cook—a man you’ll want to know. Don’t Let the Wind Catch You, Tremolo: Cry of the Loon, and Double Forté are among his many books.
Now the blog about Ellis's writing process.
I’ll answer questions about my work and methods (or lack of) and will subsequently tag two wonderful writers to continue the topic.
 Q. What are you working on? 
I’m nearing the finish line with Prime Target, a suspense novel about a woman who becomes the target of a mob boss after witnessing her husband’s murder.
I’m also working on more stories about Will Porter’s Maleantes & More team (from Cold Comfort).  I think Will is up next—I have several chapters done and am in love with the characters, always a good thing. He’s assigned to protect Gwen Gordon (from Haunting Refrain) from a kidnap threat.
The next McGuire Women story is emerging from the psychic fog. Isobel (from Time of Death) will have a prominent role, but the main character is Aurelia’s child, who moves from the West to the Blue Ridge Mountains (home territory for me) looking for peace.
Q. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I’m something of a cross-genre writer. My stories are primarily suspense but all have some kind of love story. Some readers prefer pure genre material, but I write what feels right for my story and characters. And what I like to read. :-)
My stories are linked: minor characters in one book become protagonists in another book.  In the Maleantes & More books, Will Porter operates a security firm. Ben Riley (Cold Comfort) is one of his employees.
Another book lurking in my mind is about another of Will’s men, Austin Cutter. Cutter is stunned to see a newspaper article announcing his engagement to Allison Gilmore, a woman he hardly knows.
Each book of the McGuire Women series (Haunting Refrain and Time of Death) features a different character from a family with a psychic streak.
All my books have mild adult language and situations, which I include in the descriptions because some people prefer not to read such books. To me it’s realism, but we all live in our own small world.
Q. Why do you write what you do?
These are the stories that pop into my head and also what I like to read. I set them in places I’ve been or live near because I can research the details more easily and because I find them intriguing environments. The characters have to appeal to me, and I usually fall in love with the hero. Some are beautiful, some are not, but all have qualities that draw me—kindness, honor, integrity—and a dash of vengeance. You pay goodness forward, but bad acts you pay back. Works for me and for my main characters.
Q. How does your writing process work?
Mine is an iffy process. I need silence to concentrate, but I’m learning to listen to music to help shut out other things. Early mornings when the house is quiet, no radio or TV, phone, or conversation, suit me best. Then I can think, get in the “zone,” so to speak. The more I write, the easier it comes. Write, write, write.
I’m slow, can’t help editing as I go, and I sometimes write myself into blind canyons. That requires backtracking and taking a different path. I WILL outline my next book before I start. :-)
That's it! Thanks, Aaron Lazar, for asking me to participate in this fun blog hop!
I’m passing the baton to:
Polly Iyer, suspense/thrillers, including Threads, Mind Games, and Goddess of the Moon. Polly's blog is on Goodreads.
Linda Lovely, mystery/suspense, featuring the Marley Clark Mysteries No Wake Zone and Dear Killer.