When my editor, Caroline Kaiser, approached me to participate in a blog hop not only had I never heard the term, but I had some reservations. I was already blogging on my website and blogging takes time. However, given the opportunity to talk about writing, especially about what I am currently working on, was hard to pass up.
1. What are you working on/writing?
At the moment, I am dividing my time between wrapping up edit corrections to Gadgets, the second novel in my Darcy McClain thriller series, and fleshing out the details for my fourth Darcy novel, which is set in Texas where I live.
In my thriller series, Darcy, my main character, owns a giant schnauzer named Bullet. In real life, I too have a giant as my constant companion. While walking him one day on the trails in Keller (the town I lived in then), he came across a trashbag floating in a nearby stream. I made the mistake of opening the bag. Horrified, when I discovered the putrid remains of something, I contacted the police. They informed me that someone had shot a deer out of season, butchered it, then discarded the carcass. Of course, my imagination ran wild and this is how my fourth novel came about.
2. How does your work/writing differ from others in its genre?
The Darcy McClain Series can best be described as a techno-thriller series since the backbone of my novels are centered on technology and science. The twist? On occasion, I do crossover into the science fiction genre if I feel that a certain element will enhance the storyline. For instance, in Brainwash, Darcy must face an army of telepathic humanoids and attempt to outsmart them or be killed.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I began my literary career writing romance, but soon discovered I wasn’t good at it, so I decided to write about what I did know. For years, I worked in the health care and aerospace industries, so technology and I were a good fit. A friend suggested I write a series. She loved following a “continuing character,” so I took her suggestion.
4. How does your writing process work?
I grew up overseas. When it came time to attend high school I lived in Liberia and the country didn’t have a good school system, so I enrolled in correspondence courses from the University of Nebraska. I would have my father wake me at 5 a.m. when he woke to get ready for work. I’d start my studies at 6 a.m. while my brain was fresh and worked until noon. During the afternoons I wrote poetry and short stories. I didn’t feel I had a book in me. Not then. This regimen has stuck with me until this day. The only difference, my normal quitting time is around five p.m., not noon.
My main focus before I begin any book is to nail down my technical subject: nanotechnology, genetics, cloning, etc.. I outlined my first novel, but as I polished my craft, I abandoned this idea. I felt it served no real purpose. After I write each chapter, I stop to edit the chapter. I have never written an entire book without reading and rereading prior chapters. This method, I feel, helps to move the story along, at least for me.
Sometimes, I have a clear view of a beginning and an end. Other times I do not know how I will end the book, but leave it up to my character to resolve. In one Darcy McClain novel I fell in love with a title, then wrote the book around the title. In every case, so far, the storylines in the series have come from real life experiences. In Brainwash, Bullet discovers a USB in an arroyo in Taos. A similar incident occurred in real life, but the USB was a floppy disk. From there, I let my imagination run the gamut until the entire book unfolds.
Rather than outline, I found synopses to be more helpful in locating the deficiencies in my storylines. While I hate writing them, they can be invaluable to a sound manuscript and excellent material to draw upon for back cover copy and other promotional materials.
Next week: “Ceres Earthquake / South Africa.”