My good friend and critique partner, Carolyn Menke tagged me to participate in "The Writing Process Blog Tour." Carolyn is an amazingly talented writer who blogs at www.carolynmenke.com, and she is also an author. Her first novel, Return to Me is historical women's fiction, and I can't wait to see it on e-shelves and in stores. Carolyn is fiercely committed, and incredibly skilled. Her blog posts are both insightful and funny and leave you feeling glad you took the time to read them. Check out her website after you read about my writing process. I fear my post may be lagging a few days behind schedule, but I'll still share it in the hopes of reaching out!
What Am I Working On?
I just wrote the last words of my new novel, currently titled Beautiful Secret. It is women's fiction and romance and its story spans two generations. The book spins two tales that are interwoven by love and family. It is set partly in France and Italy, in places where I've spent the most amazing moments of my life. Beautiful Secret has been on my "to write" wish list for twenty years. It's been both my dream and my obsession, and I'm thrilled to have finally completed one of my greatest accomplishments. Now, onto the editing and querying stages...
Next I will jump right back into the Whisper Trilogy, my young adult series. Books one and two Whisper and Wake are available for purchase through Amazon and also at Gifted Hands gift shop in Wexford. My readers are waiting patiently for book three, and it is coming! Below are the links to where you can buy my books.
Gifted Hands gift shop : 3000 Village Run Rd. #105. Wexford, PA 15090
How Does My Work Differ From Others In Its Genre?
The Whisper Series is different from other YA Paranormal Romances out there because it leaves the reader with an overwhelming sense of the light, the good, rather than the darkness. I find that so much in this genre focuses on the Hollywood-esque aspects of evil, and Whisper really doesn't do this. My angel characters are vastly different from anything else that's out there. Their personality traits and flaws are even a little controversial in some circles, but I had a purpose in writing them this way. Callie, my main character is your typical angst-ridden, drama-driven teenage girl at the beginning of the series. By the end, she matures and grows into what she was created for but not without tripping over her flaws as well - jealousy, lust, competitiveness, lack of self-confidence. The love story is unique, because it is told from both the female and male point of view, giving the reader another layer of understanding about the characters.
Beautiful Secret tells a forbidden love story that I've yet to see unfold in other novels. At first, it shocks some readers with the absolute scandal. Quickly, though, readers become so engulfed in the steamy passion and stark emotion of the characters, that the lines of propriety cloud, and they can't help but cheer the lovers on.
Why do I Write What I do?
Since the time of my pre-adolescence, writing has been a lifesaver for me. My father often calls me an emotion with a body attached. This metaphor of his was spot on. At times in my life, my feelings were just too much for me to handle. I carried a poetry notebook with me everywhere I went when I was in high school, writing because I needed to, writing because it was the only way I could deal with the tumultuous drama of those tender days.
Most of my blog posts are emotionally-inspired. My novels most definitely are. Whisper is my reaction to the seemingly growing stories of teenage suicides in today's society, especially locally. I am overwhelmed with sadness at the life-altering bad decisions, the strangling depression, the bullying that exists on the teenage social scene. It haunts me, and so I came up with the idea of demons whispering into the psyches of young people, urging them to do all of the self-destructive things that they do.
Beautiful Secret was a tribute to my Italian heritage, my intense love for every aspect of Italian culture, especially family, commitment and passion.
How Does My Writing Process Work?
First, I feel something. Strongly. Next, my emotions swirl and bubble to the surface and finally spill out of me onto paper. The end.
In all seriousness, I am the type of writer who tends to sit and let the story take me somewhere. I don't really outline formally, although I do have a plan - beginning, middle, end, themes. I write notes to myself about details or things I know I need to go back and change, but, rather than spending tons of time mapping out plot points, I like to shimmy myself between the pages and get into the mood of the story. This is where magic happens, and I find myself creating something that is so much better than anything I could have planned for.
Thanks for reading a little about my works and my writing "process." I'd like to give a shout out to a couple of other writers I've gotten to know in this crazy fun business.
~ Carolyn Menke -
Carolyn writes everything from flash fiction to novels to children's books. She's an incredible author, and I'm lucky to have had a sneak peek at her debut novel, Return to Me. Read more about Carolyn at her website - www.carolynmenke.com
"...I am a veteran Children’s Reading Specialist, teacher, book reviewer and author. After years of reading with children and knowing what they crave gave me the inspiration to write for them. I wanted to inspire middle grades through high school and beyond. I have loved ghost stories since I was a child and with that was my inspiration to write Paranormal and Mystery stories."
Find out more about Lorraine's books at http://lorrainecarey.com/
Chris's newest novel, Palace of Twelve Pillars is one of her exciting YA Christian fantasy series. Visit her website below to learn more about her books!