Blog Tour on the Writing Process

Posted on Aug 15, 2014 |

versailles vitomanzari creative commonsVersailles: Photo by flickr user:
(Creative commons)


I’ve been tagged by Alexandria Peary to do a post on my writing process. Alex is an incredibly talented poet…occasionally, words or images from poems of hers I read 25 years ago will come to my mind. Click the hyperlink above to read her responses.

And here are mine:


1. What are you working on?

I’m working on the detailed outline for BETRAYED: Book Two of the Arnaud Legacy. I’m someone who believes steadfastly in outlining a book before you write. I know this is necessary work to do (and it’s actually required by my publisher, Kensington Books), so I’m hammering out the details in each chapter before I invest time in writing them. And it’s a good thing too: I’m already changing things dramatically because they aren’t working. I removed a character. I changed another character’s demeanor and motivation.

It will be such a relief when I have the outline figured out… writing the book itself will be a breeze after that. Plotting is the hardest part for me.

I just realized I didn’t really answer the question. What I’m working on: BETRAYED is the sequel to HAUNTED, and takes place both in England in the Arnaud Manor which figured so prominently in Book One, and also in Versailles, the French palace where Marie Antoinette last reigned. Phoebe, my main character, has more work to do to keep her family safe and learn more about her own role in the family’s lineage.


2. How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?

That’s a tough one to answer. It invites bragging, because we certainly wouldn’t make unfavorable comparisons to other people’s work, right? That’d be foolish and hurt our careers. Right now this question feels like the equivalent of “Tell us why you are so much more beautiful than everyone else.” So I’ll pass.


3. Why do you write what you do?

Because I love what I write about. I remember reading once that a famous author said, “Write the book you’d like to read,” and that’s what I try to do. A haunted, splendid mansion in England, overgrown and abandoned? A shy teen protagonist who tries to do the right thing and is valiant in the face of terror? Hints and overtones of the French Revolution? I’m all in. It’s so fun to be able to incorporate my research directly into a book, and permit myself the luxury of sinking into these ideas and images so compelling to me.


4. How does your writing process work?

Well, I mentioned earlier that I believe in outlining before writing. So that’s a huge part of my prewriting practice. But when I actually sit down to write, really anything works. I’ve written scenes at a noisy cafe. I’ve scrawled snatches of dialogue on the backs of envelopes while mid-conversation with actual family members. I do have an office in my house and surround my desk with images and touchstones to help inspire me, but I don’t have to be at my desk to work. If everything is in my favor, I can write for hours and produce about 10-12 pages. Usually, though, I get half that output thanks to other obligations and demands on my time.


I’m next going to tag two wonderful writers to continue the Blog Tour on the Writing Process.

One is Christina Mercer. She is an award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults. Honored titles include Tween Fantasy ARROW OF THE MIST and its sequel ARMS OF ANU, and YA Fantasy/Romance HONEY QUEEN. Christina enjoys life in the foothills of Northern California with her husband and sons, a pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees. For more about her and her writing, visit

The other is Jordan Rosenfeld. She is the author of the novel of suspense Forged in Grace, Night Oracle (as J.P. Rose) and the writing guides Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time, and, with Rebecca Lawton, Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life. Jordan’s freelance articles have appeared in such publications as, Boutique Design, Hospitality Style, Marin Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly,  San Francisco Chronicle, Whole Life Times, The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazine. Her book commentaries have appeared on The California Report, a news-magazine produced by NPR-affiliate KQED radio. For more, visit