18 August 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop

Toni Mari, author of And We Danced and the newly released Join the Dance, invited me to participate in an author's blog hop and I'm thrilled to be chosen! I connected with Toni while networking with other authors in the same genre as Headed for the Win and have loved getting to know her better via email correspondence, her website and reading And We Danced, a charming, exciting look at what it takes to compete in the upper levels of dressage as a youth, mixed perfectly with a dashing cowboy who's got his own issues, a mortal enemy who makes me cringe and all the fun and confusion of teenage life. Please visit Toni's site here to read how she formulates her writing.
Now, to answer the four given questions!

1. What am I currently working on?
I've got a solid start on Nadia and Winny's return in the sequel to Headed for the Win. They'll be up against stiffer competition, cheating and some romantic drama...and of course trying to figure out how to deal with it all while being stuck in one another's bodies in the middle of an international horse show.

But, as usual, I can't seem to put all my eggs in one basket. I'm also working on a dystopian book with a different approach and a romantic comedy featuring a rock star and a rocket scientist. Never a dull moment in my mind.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Every author is going to create something different by virtue of the fact that they are a different person than anyone else. I think one of my strengths is presenting stories from a different point of view. There's almost always something to learn by removing yourself from your comfort zone and experiencing it from another person's shoes.

3. Why do I write what I do?
While I've got several book ideas swarming in my head, almost all of them incorporate horses in one way or another. I've always loved horses and have enjoyed sharing the thrill of riding (which so many people unfortunately haven't experienced, it seems). Some of my writing is based on my own real life situations, others on dreams I have for the future. Writing is a great way to satiate my desire to ride, even though I don't get as much time in the saddle as I would like with three little girls keeping me busy.

I also love the challenge of creating books for people that avoid salacious, vulgar, crude, profane, overly violent or otherwise demoralizing while still being funny, witty, adventurous and gently romantic. Those are the kinds of books I enjoy reading too!

4. How does your writing process work?
I am an early bird so I've been trying to harness that into my writing. I get up about an hour or so before everyone else so I can have quiet time to full-on write. I haven't found any particular methods (sticky notes, note cards, outlines, etc) that are my go-to, but I do keep some notes on my phone or computer if it's an idea I want to make sure to incorporate into a novel (I love checklists, and that's what those notes become). Mostly, though, I ponder and think. A lot. With being so busy between children, fixing up a house, a fairly demanding church calling and other responsibilities, I find myself using driving time, naps or standing atop a ladder painting as a great time to brainstorm and work out the details of a story.

Now, to pass the blog hop on to another author, Brittney Joy, who I also met while networking. She's written Lucy's Chance, first of the Red Rock Ranch series. If you've ever seen Wild Horse, Wild Ride, you'll love her sweet novel about building relationships of trust between horse and rider, overcoming insurmountable odds and one particularly handsome cowboy.
Cowboy Boots or Muck Boots ... always have been Brittney's shoe of choice. An animal lover to the core, her parents didn't know what they were signing up for when they put Brittney in a summer horse camp at the age of ten. She was hooked.
Horses quickly became her true passion in life. At twelve Brittney started working at a local stable - cleaning stalls and leading trail rides. At thirteen her parents finally broke down and bought Brittney her first horse, Austie, who was a spunky bay Quarter Horse/Saddlebred cross with a perfect white heart on her forehead. Brittney grew up on Austie's back and, when it came time to go to college, she packed her mare along too.
Brittney and her family and now live in their own little piece of heaven in the Oregon countryside. They stay busy taking care of their two horses, two cows, ten sheep, fifteen chickens, and one very naughty goat.
Read more about Brittney by visiting her website here and look for her continuing the blog hop the week of August 25th!

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