Goin’ To the Blog Hop

So I’m participating in a “blog hop,” which is a thing bouncing around various writer’s blogs where we all answer the same four questions about how we approach the process of writing. I was tagged by Rhonda Parrish:

Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the forthcoming World Weaver Press anthology Fae.

In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Mythic Delirium.

Her website, updated weekly, is at http://www.rhondaparrish.com

You can read her answers to the questions here. And here’s mine!

1) What am I working on?

Right now I’m actually working on collage illustrations for my next kids’ book, If You Meet A Dinosaur. This is new territory for me because visual arts aren’t really my medium. However, I have a clear idea of how I want the pictures to look and it doesn’t actually seem to be beyond my technical capabilities, so I’m plugging away at it.

On the writing front I have a couple of different manuscripts that I’m about 10,000 words into—one’s fantasy and the other’s sci-fi. I actually can’t tell at this point if either of them are really going to “work,” though.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hm, that’s a tricky one. Most of what I write is urban fantasy, although I do also dip into sci-fi or pre-industrial fantasy settings. In urban fantasy, I would set myself apart from the glut of “shifter” books and their ubiquitous love triangles and align myself more with what Neil Gaiman calls “magical city” books—works that are set in real places and aim to tell you something about the character of that place by spinning fairy tales around it.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Because it’s what I like to read! I have always been hugely drawn to fairy tales and mythology—from lots of cultures, but Irish folklore forms a particularly large part of my imaginative landscape. I love everything from the Táin Bó Cúailnge to Lady Wilde, and I love modern writers who draw from that well in their own stories. In modern literature I am almost exclusively an SFF genre reader, so that is the natural shape that my narratives take.

4) How does my writing process work?

Well, currently, it works poorly. In theory I subscribe to the “just put your butt in the chair and bang out a thousand words a day” school, but in practice I cannot do this while I’ve got small children at home. So instead what happens is that I’m only writing when I’m gripped with a fever of inspiration—and inspiration strikes rarely.

Recently I’ve gotten a couple of short stories written, because I can get those down on paper before the first rush of excitement fades. But novel-length projects require discipline, structure, and long-term commitment. Right now writing isn’t and can’t be my first priority, so my novel manuscripts are languishing.

I am pretty much okay with this. For the next year I’ll keep doing what I’m doing—short stories, maybe kid’s books, and whatever slow progress I can manage to make on the novels. And year after next I’ll have one morning a week where there’s no kids at home, so hopefully that can be my writing day.

To keep the blog hop going, I’m tagging two of my favorite writers: Zen Cho and Mary Borsellino. Here are their bios:

Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia and currently lives in England. She mostly writes speculative fiction, with the occasional foray into romance. She has published short stories and novelettes and has a novel forthcoming. Her novella, The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo, is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Mary Borsellino is an indie punk writer from Australia. She has a bunch of tattoos and a tendency to get passionately involved with things she believes in and loves. Her latest book, Ruby Coral Carnelian, is a rich, engrossing fairy tale following three students on the run from cruel sorcerers.

I totally look forward to seeing their answers!

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