Monday, July 14, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Hop

The Writing Process

(Connie gets to blog hop. Yay!)

One of my besties (and co-board member), Carmen Bydalek @ the GothRom RWA tagged me to participate in this month’s event.

1.     What am I working on right now?
I work on multiple projects at once.  Is this a good thing?  Probably not—but I do it anyway.  I’m finishing up the last Act in my novella, Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow and I’m half-way through my anthology: Gumbo Ya Ya (for who like romance Cajun & men HOT & SPICY). And I’m outlining Rand, Book 3 in my Rodeo Romance Series.

2.    How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I write in multiple genres and each of genres have a different “tone and focus”—in other words, a different ‘voice’.  My YA novel, Whisper upon the Water (Dream Award Winner, Nat’l Book Award nominee), is told in the 1st person.  The novel is complex; not only a coming-of-age but a transformation of society as a whole (Tay is Apache, Nde). My heroine begins as a girl on the verge of womanhood, a member of her band, speaking her native tongue. She is kidnapped, held hostage, and escapes. Taken to a Native American boarding school, she learns a new language, skills, and encounters prejudice but also kindness.  Later, she must make a very difficult choice.  Her decision will impact her life, as well as the lives of others.  The novel is written for YA level and is reading selection for the G.A.T.E. program in numerous SoCal schools, but the subject matter is not light, however, it is historical accurate.

In my Rodeo Romance Series: Lynx, Book 1, is a contemporary western romance and set in Montana and Texas. This book is lively.  Rachel is spirited and Lynx is hot and sexy—but both have had hardships in life.  My secondary characters add elements of comedy and unexpected plot twists. (Winner of the Award of Excellence, Finalist: H.O.L.T. Medallion, Orange Rose and Rocky Mt. Gold).  Brede, Book 2, is a western romantic suspense, set in New Mexico.  Since the novel is romantic suspense, I do not wish create a spoiler in this blog.  I will say everyone one loves old Caldwell, the ornery old cook, and his cohorts.  Brede is strong-willed and caring; Amberlynn is beautiful and in mortal danger.  Rand, Book 3, is told in the 1st person: ChickLit meets the Wild West and goes Hollywood. Lights, Camera, and a boot-full of Action! I am having, fun, fun with this novel!

My stories are different, because I am different.  My stories take place in places I have lived, or where I have vacationed. I know my subject matter--my father rodeoed while in high school; I have been involved in Native America culture and education programs; my husband is a Louisiana country boy; and, finally, I live in SoCal—of course I have met several Hollywood television stars (and facilitated workshops), actors are often spotted at local SoCal tourist spots, and preform in local theater.

3.    Why do I write what I do?
The story calls to me, it is really that simple.  I have a feeling of time and place.  Then I begin hearing snatches of dialogue (like when you are sitting in a coffee shop and you over hear snippets of conversation).  The story invades my life (well it does, just ask my husband).  At the moment, I’m listening to Zydeco music and I have gumbo in my crockpot.  He’s complaining (only half kiddingly) that I brought bayou weather to our house (92 degrees, 50% humidity with full cloud cover and rain at 3PM).  I am compelled to complete the story.  Native American culture says, “The story comes to the Story Teller to bring it to life.”  And this is what I, as are all writers, tellers of stories.

4.    How does my writing process work?
For short stories, novellas and anthologies, I utilize the basic W-plot with extra twists and pivotal points.  When I am writing a novel, or a novel series, I plot in acts and work with three chapters at a time (1-3, 4-6, etc.).  With the exception of short stories, I compile detailed backgrounds, motivation, and personality traits. I also conduct interviews, research, and immerse myself in the ‘culture/environment I am creating.  It is then I begin the first draft of my novel.  This will change as my characters begin to take over the book.  Any writer will agree with me, under no circumstances can you force you characters to act against his/her will.  You can, however, place huge obstacles in the way and see what happens.

Is my first draft perfect? No.  Is my third draft publishable? It’s probably close.  At this point in the writing process, I have writer friend (usually Geeta Kakade) read my novel. She will give her opinion and suggestions—which I may, or may not follow.  Writing, after all, is subjective—as is a reader’s preference for one novel over another. 

To read the first chapter teasers or to purchase one (or all J) of my novels please follow this link:
Or visit my website: 

Remember to watch my book trailers!

Thank you for stopping by.

TAG!  Next on the Blog Hop:  C. G. Williams  

Connie Vines


C.G. Williams said...

Awesome, I love cajun cooking. Thanks for participating.

Connie Vines said...

Loved every second of the event! Thanks for the invite.