Sunday, April 13, 2014

It's a magical world! The Writing Process Blog Hop!

AboutMy friend Cat McMahon invited me to share my writing process and I jumped at the chance. How could I not? I met Cat online from her many wonderful posts about the Pacific Northwest and gluten-free menu ideas. Last year, one particularly compelling video on the Portland Zoo changed my weekend plans. I just had to pack up the family and head south to Oregon for the day. This summer I vow to go on a hike in her neck of the woods. Luckily she's written a couple wonderful road trip books. You can check out her Amazon author page HERE. And be sure to stop by her website, Cat's Stories.

So let's get started...

What am I working on?
I'm working on a few things, but really just one right now. I've been toiling over Soul Twister (Anna 3). My favorite part of this story is that it takes place in the middle of winter. Everything comes to a bloody violent head and I just love it! I'm planning the release date for late May.

I've also been tinkering with a short novella for my Maggie Lane series. I hope to release it this summer with Maggie 2 slated for the fall. Lofty goals, I tell you.

How does my work differ from others in the genre(s)?
As an artist, I'm naturally a visual person, and then add that I'm an avid TV and movie girl. Scenes whiz by in my mind like some show I just watched, but the artist in me notes the details. My stories reflect this odd combination of wanting to tell a story in an instant gratification way and yet slowed down so I can figure a way to paint the scene.

Why do I write paranormal romance?
Because it rocks the planet? The first book I ever wrote (that I greedily keep hidden in my computer) was a contemporary romance. I loved writing it and I love the characters, but the moment I dreamed up vampires, I couldn't stop playing in the land of make believe and coming up with my own type of vamps, shifters, witches, and angels. When my oldest son was in the grips of his autism even before he was diagnosed, I would sit and work through whatever terrible struggle he was having. I spent hours just thinking through a problem until I found my way to a theory/hypothesis. When I started doing this for magical creatures, I swear I was giddy. I wasn't trying to reduce screaming tantrums from two hours to something livable. I was deciding how many types of angels I would have. A lot just so you know.

How does my writing process work?
Usually I have a character hounding me for months before I know her story. It almost feels like the characters tell me their story after a while. But I guess before all that, I'm scouring my daily life for something magical. I don't carry a notebook with me yet (out of laziness), but I catalog life that goes on around me, little things that reach inside and make me smile to my this woman at Lenscrafters a couple years ago. I still think about her even though we never said a word to each other. She worked in the eyeglasses lab (whatever it's called) and had the most severe natural expression. To most people she looked like an unpleasant person, but I had a feeling about her, and then she caught me watching her and smiled. Oh my goodness, it was the warmest, sweetest smile. I instantly imagined her with her grandkids teasing them in a gentle cooing voice. She'll be a character one day for sure. That's my writing process...oh and reading as much as I can because the only thing better than writing a story is losing myself in someone else's story.

There you have it folks. My writing process. I'm very pleased to introduce you to a couple writers coming up next week on The Writing Process Hop, Athina and E.J. Wesley.

My PhotoAthina and I met in the crazy world that is the blogosphere. I remember one of the first things I learned about her was from a Feature and Follow post about guilty pleasures in stories. Athina mentioned loving it when characters die! That is not me at all and I was crazy about her on the spot. On her blog, Between My Lines, you'll find candid and beautiful pieces about the inner workings of a writer along with great book reviews that really take you into the story. I cannot wait for the release of her adventure-mystery novel Dazed and her YA dark fantasy trilogy, The Wandering Souls Series. She has a poetic style that spins my head, I tell you.
You can find Athina on her BlogGoodreads, and Twitter.

PictureE.J. Wesley, author of urban fantasy, connoisseur of  modestly priced wines, & general life enthusiast...

I found E.J. through a blog hop for his first serial, Blood Fugue (Moonsongs 1), which is free on Amazon...quick, one-click. I won the New Adult Urban Fantasy novelette and discovered a new favorite author. His colorful characters and descriptions of a tiny dusty Texas town blew me away and had me hooked. I'm still hooked. I'm not sure how E.J. manages it, but he also has a fantastic blog/website that is a must check out for any indie author, any fan of New Adult, any-one. He shares his crazy writer moments, shares other people's crazy writer moments, as well as supports the wild cast that is the new face of indie authors.
E.J.'s links: Facebook - Twitter - Blog - Website - G+


  1. Loved learning about your process, lady! I think I collect ideas very much like you do--through observing the world around me. I'm a total people watcher, and I'm always cataloguing mannerisms, etc. to put into my work. :) Happy to share mine on the 21st.

    I'll be sure to check out Ahtina, too! Any friend of yours is a friend of mine. :)

    1. You and Athina will hit it off. She has wonderful posts on being a writer.

      Isn't people watching the best way to pass the time? Choosing the slowest lane at the grocery store has never been so interesting. I'm crazy about the characters you create. Are you a notebook guy? I'm almost ready to go there and have one of those little spiral notebooks, but I'm not a purse girl so I haven't worked out the logistics. I look forward to your post on the 21st. Have a great rest of the week, E.J.

  2. What an amazing look inside your writing process (and mind), Robyn!! Of course, you know how much I love your writing. I adore your ability to paint every scene in my much so that I can smell the smells and hear the sounds. *sigh* I'm so anxious for your upcoming books! (hurry up already ;) I have to agree with you about vamps. :) And the world you've created for yours ROCKS! (even Iowa) Oh, and I love that you draw inspiration from the world around you. Sure wish I could go on that hike with you this summer. :)

    1. You make me smile, Brandee. I can just imagine us on a hike, driving the wilderness roads for a good trail sign, "Best hike voted 1996, 1997, 1998." We would have a blast! I haven't been on a hike since I went on a solo one (my bad), twisted my ankle at the top because I got dizzy and stumbled off the trail, and then hobbled very slowly to my car, that was all after a group of hikers warned me that there were a couple scary characters about. I figured I wasn't making good decisions and took a hiatus. I'm smarter now. Honest.

      I will hurry. I'm transforming into a total crazy book girl.

  3. Dear Robyn,

    Your talent for making the imaginary seem real is uncanny, especially how you make your characters come to life, starting with your writing process and getting inside the mind of your subjects. There is no doubt your success as a writer is assured! Thank you for the lovely introduction. Getting to know you, and to have you for a friend has been like a golden ray of sunshine this past year. By the way, when you do come back to my neck of the woods for that hike, let me know, perhaps we can meet. In the meantime, I wish you great success with your upcoming works.



    1. Thank you so much, Cat! Those are good words. I have a story taking place in Central Washington and I've watched a few youtube videos of actual drives through the countryside, but I have to get my feet on the ground. So that's one trip this summer for sure. I will definitely reach out. I look forward to your outdoor posts, they really celebrate getting out there and having fun. And your gluten free posts are inspiring. My son is on a GF/CF diet and I find all the cooking so overwhelming. Thank you for inviting me to join the hop! Have a purr-ific week (see what I did there-hehe).

  4. Wonderful post, Robyn! I've told you again how much I enjoy reading your posts and this one, about your writing process, is already one of my favorites.
    The way you talk about paranormal romance is addictive. I loved Maggie Lane and her gorgeous vampires and I look forward for more stories like this. Write about angels! Oh, I love angels. And please kill some it adds suspense. hehe.

    Thanks for the beautiful words. You make me smile. :)
    Have a great week.

    1. Yay for angels, Athina. I've been fascinated with them since my glass accident. I was (still am) convinced I had a team of guardian angels that day. Killing characters is soooo hard! I will admit I've done it. I killed two of my favorite characters in the beginning of Anna 1. I just wrote a scene about them today and cried! I'm glad I made you smile. Your posts have enriched my life. You have a great week too!!

  5. Hi Robyn,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate your lovely comment.

    What a wonderful post! I'm a visual person (and learner), too! I really connected with the way scenes flow in your mind. I'm glad to meet another person who has that kind of experience.

    The paranormal genre is one of my favourites. I've always been attracted to the metaphysical, the mystical, and mystery.

    I like your writing process, too. It's so fascinating the myriad ways in which we writers tick.

    Wishing you great success in all your projects and endeavours!

    ~ Nadine

    P.S. I'll start following you on Twitter.

    1. Isn't this a neat blog hop? I love reading about how other authors tick too. I bet a lot of writers are visual. We play movies in our heads all the times. I was in a class today doing my best to pay attention, but the scenes were at war with real time.

      Thank you for the kind words and for the follow! I followed back for sure!

  6. I don't carry a notebook with me either out of pure laziness, lol. We are definitely kindred souls. Highly anticipating Soul Twister! I love Anna so much. I'm looking forward to getting to know Maggie, too. I had planned on reading Shadow Town during my vacation, but I didn't plan on heading to bed every night closing my eyes "for just a moment" and the next thing I knew it was morning, lol.

    I'm looking forward to Athina and E.J. Wesley's posts. Love both of them!

    I always love finding out the process behind a writer's work. I find it interesting, and I always pick up some tips, too. Thanks for sharing, Robyn! x

    1. Ha! I did that too when I went to Iowa last summer. I was going to read and instead I went to bed at the same time as the boys...early! E.J.'s post is on hold, but Athina's post was awesome! I think my writing process is a fluid thing, at least I hope it is. I've decided to become a morning person...we'll see if it takes and if it helps me get more work done. I know you're a night owl. Have you always been?

  7. I never go to bed early, so vacays must really wear me out, lol. I sometimes wish I was a morning person, but I just never see that happening. Unfortunately, my daughter isn't a morning person, either, so I can only imagine what it's going to be like next year waking her up an hour earlier for school. >.<

    Oh yeah, I've always been a night owl. It's the only time I can read. No matter how exciting the book is, if I try to read during the day, I can't get farther than a few chapters before I pass out. I probably shouldn't snuggle up with a pillow and blanket, which is probably most of the problem. I see myself always being a night owl. My energy level goes up through the roof at night. It drives my husband crazy how I'd rather clean and do laundry and stuff at night. He's a morning person, so we clash at times.