Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hopping Down the Bloggy Trail (with apologies to the Easter Bunny)

I've been selected to do a Blog Hop with fellow authors Bobby Nash, Lee Houston Jr., and Ralph Angelo Jr. Be sure to go back and check out their entries if you just popped in.

What am I working on?

The easier question would be "What are you not working on?" Currently I'm trying to put to bed my new Rick Ruby story, along with a secret project for a popular pulp publisher of comics and prose. After that, I'll be knee deep in two novellas, one featuring my favorite hook-handed drunkard, Armless O'Neil, and the other featuring an early heroine called Senorita Scorpion. After that, I'm still booked pretty solid, and I'll be finishing up my first novel, a lurid 60's noir about dead hookers, regret-filled private eyes, and dirty cops tentatively called You Never Forget Your First.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Well, there's a loaded question that just welcomes a little vanity, doesn't it? But I'll dive in anyway since anyone who knows me knows that I've never let the risk of a little (or a lot of) vanity stop me from talking about my work.

Anyway, I think (or maybe I just like to think) that because I got my start as a literary writer that I've brought a bit of that sensibility over to my genre work. I'm a firm believer that the line between literary and genre is fading in the minds of readers, and that both benefit from getting to know each other better and picking up each other's habits. Good fiction is good fiction, period. And hopefully, that's what I'm creating.

Why do I write what I do?

Because it's what I like to read. I want to write stories that I'll want to go back and read. I compare it to songwriters who write songs they'll want to go back and listen to, rather than get so annoyed and tired of a song that they want to turn the station.

I love more than about anything to be able to go back to a story I've written and find that it says something new to me that I didn't intend (at least intentionally) when I wrote it.

How does your writing process work?

I write best at Starbucks. Period. Don't know why. I used to write in the wee hours of the morning or in the late hours of the night -- mostly because that was the only time I had to write. But lately, I prefer to write during "office hours." And I find that I do it best in a place when I can balance and entertain both the intravert and extravert sides of my personality. I can seal my "coccoon" at the table and work, then when I need to interact with others, I can take a break and go flirt and cut up with the baristas. It's the best of both worlds.

As for the pre-writing process, I've learned that I write best and most efficiently when I take the time to write out a plot document first. I'm always free to divert from it as the characters dictate, but at least I have a road map that leaves me free to focus on the writing and not the plotting while I work. That way I can listen to the important stuff like the sounds of the words and the voices of the characters rather than wondering where I need to go next.

Hope everyone enjoyed the blog hop! Well, time to get back to work.