I hope your summer is treating you well, and yes, according to my last blog post it really has been six months since my last visit, and not only have I missed you, but so much has happened since then!
Like...I recently signed a three-book deal for a new YA series, UNRIVALED, with Harper Collins that I'm super excited about!
Me celebrating at Harper Collins Headquarters with the only things you really need for an epic celebration: Snarkles & Sparkling Cider!
And since I hope to get this blog going again, I figured what better way to begin than by taking part in a blog roll?!
The amazing author of HUSH LITTLE BABY, Suzanne Redfearn, invited me to join this blog roll in progress that's all about the writing process. I don't know about you, but I'm always interested in reading about other writer's creative processes, so without further delay, here's mine:
1. WHAT AM I WORKING ON –
I’m currently working on the first book in my upcoming YA series, UNRIVALED (in stores early 2016!). It’s a bit of a departure from more recent works as it takes place in the fast-paced world of LA nightclubs, where three teens get caught up in a high-stakes competition and the desperate measures they take to win that make them suspects in a mysterious crime. It’s glamorous, edgy, suspenseful, sexy, and of course, there are loads of cute boys and romance! After writing 14 paranormals over the last 5 years, I’m having a blast returning to my contemporary roots!
2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
I don’t necessarily set out to make my books different, as I’m not really thinking about anyone else’s books while I’m writing. I just try to write about subjects that are either deeply personal, or deeply interesting to me, and then I create a cast of characters with varying perspectives and try to tell the absolute truth of their journey until ultimately (hopefully!) arriving at some sort of greater, more universal truth by the conclusion.
3. WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
Nearly all of my books are either reflective of some aspect of my life experience—feeling lost and failing myself miserably back in high school (FAKING 19), dealing with the soul-crushing grief of losing a loved one (SAVING ZOË and THE IMMORTALS series), or sometimes it’s a question or an idea that I’m grappling with—is there life after death? (THE RILEY BLOOM series), destiny vs freewill (THE SOUL SEEKERS series). Sometimes I start out merely exploring an idea, sometimes I’m actively looking for answers, but I’m always changed for having taken the journey alongside the characters.
4. HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
I’m currently working on my 23rd novel and I can honestly say that my writing process continues to be a work in progress. I went from having no process with my first book (FAKING 19) to evolving to a sort-of three part process that works pretty well by now, but I’m always looking for ways of improving!
It’s basically part ritual—green tea, scented candles, a carefully curated playlist, part process—Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat Beat Sheet that I use as an outline, and a whole lot of discipline—not just the usual Butt In Chair, but rather, Butt Stays In Chair Until The daily Word Count Is In! I find that by doing that repeatedly for several consecutive months, by the end, I have a book!
5. HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS NOT WORK?
If my writing process isn't working it’s usually because something in my story isn't working. There’s no magic in the process, it’s merely a tool to get from Chapter 1 to the end. When I’m stuck, I either return to my outline and try to figure out why it isn’t working and where to go next, or I do more research into my characters and their world, or both—it never fails to get the story moving again!
So now I get to tag 3 more authors and trust me, you won't want to miss them!
Up next- the amazing Mary Pearson , author of the incredible JENNA FOX CHRONICLES TRILOGY and THE KISS OF DECEPTION (July 8)-- a book that took my breath away and left me begging for the sequel!
The incredible Kimberly Derting who writes books that I love, love, love like the awesome BODY FINDER series, and more recently, THE TAKING--an amazing book that I was luck enough to blurb!
And, the Fabulous Melissa de la Cruz who writes so many awesome books, it's hard to keep track! Most recently I loved The RING & THE CROWN, and FROZEN--book 1 in the Heart of Dread Series. Her books explore so many interesting worlds--witches, princess, vampires--I can't wait to get a glimpse at her process to see how she does it!