At The Hop

My writing partner Lisa Godfrees talked me into participating in a blog hop on my writing style. If you read her post, you’ll see I’ve paired this post with a song title, albeit I went outside of the 80s for my inspiration.

So here it goes.

What am I working on?

A few weeks ago, my first story was published. It’s an installment of a science fiction series created by Mike Lynch called No Revolution Is Too Big. It’s about a time-traveling, shape-shifter named Stelfson. Mine is called “Neatly Arranged” and is available on Amazon (shameless plug). It’s the story of Arianne, a corporate lawyer whose parents want her to enter an arranged marriage with a not-so noble earl. I describe it as “Downton Abbey” meets King of Torts with hover cars.

I’m editing my first manuscript, Acid. It’s a speculative YA story that examines the idea of the fountain of youth, panacea, and the concept of going to mineral baths to “take the cure”. I’ve made good progress in the first draft of the sequel, Catalyst as well.

My tagline is Spec Fiction GEKE- Everything from steam punk Elves to the dystopia of high school. Acid covers the dystopia of high school.

As for the steam punk Elves, I’ve written two short stories, and I’m working on a third that are set in a Victorian-Edwardian world of Elves. For NaNoWriMo 2013, I worked on a full-length novel within this time-frame and story world.

 How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I describe my brand of speculative fiction as real-world setting with a supernatural twist.

In “Neatly Arranged”, it’s set 200 years in the future but the technology is identifiable with those of us in the 21st century, except for the hover cars. My steam punk Elves are pretty much humans with pointed ears although some have enhanced hearing or eyesight. Their world is similar to other steam punk worlds with early 20th century (I write on the Edwardian end of the steam punk era) technology stretched to its limits. Acid is set in the real world.

Why do I write what I do?

Here’s the deal. I hated, loathed, and despised science fiction and fantasy until a couple of things happened in my 20s. Our church put on a play of this book called The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The same title that I’d been running from since fifth grade. Well, I saw the play and was hooked. About the same time a series of books about this boy named Harry Potter were released. A speculative fiction fan was born.

My reluctance to embrace the genre influences my writing. I want to write stories to convert others to speculative fiction. My reader is the girl I was from about 15-25 (and still am). The one who knows what she believes but is also a bit cynical. She might read Christian fiction, but her preference is the latest and greatest in YA. She likes stories that stretch who she is but is frustrated by the way Christianity and it values are often mocked.

I’m a chemical engineer and my characters tend to be engineers, scientists, or medical professionals. Character is king with me so don’t expect pocket protector wielding Trekkies who captain the Math Counts team. There might be one or two minor characters like that but the main characters are actors, athletes, and artists who set the curve in chemistry or calculus.

Because my stories are aimed at someone with faith, I write to deepen faith and paint realistic characters. Struggles they face include ethics, fighting perfectionism, and learning to depend on God not themselves. Rather than avoid denominations, I embrace them with various church types represented.

How does your writing process work?

I try to write or edit a little bit each day. I don’t take Sundays off as a day of rest because to me writing isn’t work. Also, I’m more likely to have time. Like today. The weather was windy, and I had an afternoon where one child was at a friend’s and the other played by herself while my husband watched March Madness.

I wrote my first manuscript in a crazy frenzy pretty much spending all of my free time writing completely by the seat of my pants. In the strictest sense, I’m a pantser because I don’t write down plots. However, I have it all in my head. Like dumping a jigsaw puzzle on the floor, I have to write out the story then tweak it.

Short stories have been beneficial to me because I tend to overwrite. Whether it’s a 1,000 or 8,000-word limit, those boundaries help me hone my stories.

So that’s a little about my writing style. And I’m sharing the wealth with two of my writing partners and one of the duo behind my favorite hero-centric site.

Linda Samaritoni – I love why she calls her site “My Second Nature” because it reminds us to be more like Christ. If character is king, then Linda is the queen mother. She creates amazing characters and captures the subtleties of her settings. I find myself smiling and saying “spot-on”.

TJ Akers – His story Chocolate Eyes was a well-deserved 2013 Genesis Award finalist. One of the founding members of The Scriblerians I squeed when he invited me to the newly formed group. TJ makes me laugh with oh-so-awkward middle school characters who manage to get into humorous situations. Do not read his work with a mouthful of food. You’ve been warned.

Joy Doering – She joined Nancy Kimball as the second face behind Fiction Hero Features. This is my go-to spot to find my next hero fix. She has a solo blog at More Than Words where she does more great book reviews.

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