I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about #mywritingprocess, so I’m super excited that the talented, Amy Jarecki invited me to participate in the My Writing Process blog tour.
1) What am I working on?
I have two answers to this question since I’m also a professional ghost when I’m not working on my own stuff. June is super exciting because I’m starting a ghostwriting project for my highest-profile client to date and wow — it’s just amazing to be writing at this level knowing my words are going to have some serious shoes to fill. Aaaaaaand that’s all I can say about that project *devilish grin*
As for my own work, I have the next book in the Wunderland Series, UNDERTOW, that releases later this Fall.
Six women. One bachelor.
Six weeks. One boat.
What could possibly go wrong?
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I love everything about NA and the sheer diversity of such a new genre makes it easy to stand out. I think the biggest difference (that makes me the proudest) is that readers love that my heroines come in curvaceous shapes. I write normal women who don’t focus on what they look like because they’re too busy saving the world. Some are literally saving it in the case of my time-traveling heroine, Evy, and others are doing their part, like my tree-hugging hippy, Cassidy.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I want to give women characters that I never had growing up. I didn’t look like any of the heroines in my favorite books (I still don’t!). I’m olive-skinned with dark hair and an attitude… that was tough to come by growing up. While I don’t go in planning to write these curvalicous, strong-willed babes, as the characters come to life, they’re anything but ordinary.
4) How does my writing process work?
AH, my favorite question! First, I’m a complete pantster, so I never have any idea what my characters are going to run into and it’s as much fun for me to write as (hopefully!) it is to read. A few of my mentors are big fans of dictation, and while I’ve given it a few half-hearted tries over the years, with my current workload (that aren’t my books) I needed a way to get more words in with my limited hours (who doesn’t), so I got serious about dictating.
I use several different systems.
I have the Mavericks OS on my Macbook Pro and THE. BEST. feature is the dictation. I can either dictate right into a word doc, or blog post (like I’m doing right now!) Or, if I’m running the little boys around to school or errands, I can dictate into a voice recorder app on my phone, and then play it for my computer to record. Either way, when I dictate, I triple my word count. On average, I type between 1000 and 1200 words an hour. Using dictation, I can do that same amount in 20 minutes!
Let’s say that again, just in case you know how crappy I am at math.
I CAN DICTATE ALMOST 3000 WORDS AN HOUR. EVERY HOUR. WHILE I’M DRIVING. OR WAITING IN THE CARPOOL LANE. 3000 WORDS. THREE. THOUSAND.
UPDATE: I’ve been fielding a lot of questions on this, so here’s a tiny Q & A:
Q: Is it hard?
A: I can’t recommend dictation enough and it’s totally worth any bumps along the way! I will say that it takes a couple times to get used to speaking instead of typing, but the learning curve isn’t very steep at all, you just have to dive in and give it a try. And really, your brain is having to translate to your fingers so it can push the buttons, how much easier is it just to speak the words as your imagination comes up with them. AND — I can’t ever keep up with my brain unless I’m speaking.
Q: What if I don’t have a mac.
A: *smack you about the head and shoulders* Get one! (Sorry, I’m kinda passionate about the brilliance that is Mac–not apple mind you, I have a Samsung phone :P but there’s no better system in the world for the average writer who just wants to yank open their laptop the second inspiration hits and get to typing instead of waiting 20 minutes for the bloody PC to warm up! /rantover)
There are quite a few other products on the market that I’ve had success with. Dragon is fabulous and even though it takes a bit of training (the Mavericks dictation did too) it’s a great system. I’m not sure if you could do the “Record, then play” method like I do with my phone app, but it’s possible.
Also, if you have an iPhone, iDragon is a fantastic app that will email you the dictated file that you can then just cut and paste into your manuscript.
Those are the only systems I’ve used so far, please please let me know in the comments if you’ve found other apps and programs that work as well. Also, I’d love to hear if you’ve given dictation and a try and what you think. (ALSO, what’s the weirdest dictation mess-up your computer has come up with?) Apparently I say tits a lot… mostly everything that sounds even remotely close gets dictated to that. *note to self when emailing Grammie*
Hope that was fun for you, now go buy my books and see how many accidental tits you can find :)
Here’s why I participated in this cool #mywritingprocess hop (and why you care :)
We writers share these things, but informally during workshops and at conferences (and, for a handful of established writers, in printed interviews), but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions. How long it takes one to write a novel, why romance is a fitting genre for another, how one’s playlist grows as the draft grows, why one’s poems are often sparked by distress over news headlines or oddball facts learned on Facebook…