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Monday, July 7, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour Q&A

Jackie Clark Mancuso, the uber-talented author and illustrator of Paris-Chien, Adventures of an Expat Dog and the upcoming Hudson’s French Vacation: Paris-Chien in Provence invited me to join the Writing Process Blog Tour. It’s my turn this week, next week you can check out another mega-talented friend and author Amy Kathleen Ryan (the Sky Chasers trilogy—Glow, Spark, and Flame—as well as Vibes, Zen and Xander Undone, and other books), on her blog, amykathleenryan.blogspot.com.

Since I’m still reading book #29 (it’s 800 pages, thank you very much, and I’ve had a lot of company lately) (thank goodness I built in some extra days), I’m glad to have something to write about in between booking and cooking posts. Stay tuned for the recipe for the super-simple and super-delicious clams with escarole and bacon that I made a couple of nights ago. And another book soon, I promise.

What am I currently working on?
I think it’s a jinx to talk about anything I’m working on, so I won’t be specific. Also, since it took me 10 years to get my first book written and published, I’ve got a rather loose definition of “upcoming.” Suffice it to say that I write occasional poetry (which no one but me reads), blog posts, and I’m working on a novel loosely based on real life.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Jessica Lost, my memoir, differs greatly from most of its genre because it is two stories, intertwined, by two authors. Written in alternating chapters by my birth mother and me, the book tells her story of how she found herself at 20, alone and frightened, pregnant with a baby she could not keep. It also tells my story of finding her four decades later, and what it meant to both of us to lose and then regain these missing pieces of ourselves.

Why do I write what I write?
I have to give an answer appropriate to a blog about books. I write what I write for the same reason I read what I read: to understand the world and learn how to live in it better. I choose books based mainly on strong, compelling, well-crafted characters, and that is what I hope to write. I also like to be moved—to laughter, tears, anger, any emotion, really—and look for vivid emotions in books I read and books I write.

How does my writing process work?
Slowly. There are always so many better, more interesting things to do, like reading, or Candy Crush, or washing my hair. I struggle with narrative, with character development, and with endings. Beginnings are easy, middles somewhat less so. But endings…endings are misery. I try to write every day, even if just a diary entry, but I don’t always achieve it. The world calls…I must answer. 

Remember to visit Amy's website next week for her responses to the questions at amykathleenryan.blogspot.com. And check out her terrifically entertaining books. 

The Sky Chasers trilogy by Amy Kathleen Ryan

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