I’ve been tagged…

Fortunately, not with anything permanent!

No, this kind of tagging is for a blog hop.  Which is a lot like Chinese whispers as I remember it in primary school.  You come up with something to say, whisper it in the next person’s ear and end with ‘pass it on!’  Except, I suppose, one hopes that this version of passing it on results in something a little more coherent than the primary school version!

My friend Gabrielle was the one who tapped me on the shoulder.  She is a writer (which probably comes as no great surprise) but she is also a film maker who makes trailers for books, which hits me right two of my favourite things, books and films.  I like her a lot and I’m really looking forward to reading her novels, when they eventuate! (Hint, Gab. 😉 ) If you would like to catch up with her, you can find her writing blog at http://gabbawrites.blogspot.com.au/ (on which she answers the same questions as I’m about to below) and her fabulous trailers for books are at http://www.trailermadeproduction.com/.  I suspect I might be in the market for one of them one day soon! (And just because I love a video link, here’s her promo video for the trailers.)

So, onto the questions:  There are only four, but some are doozies!

1 What am I working on?

What am I NOT working on might be a shorter answer!  I have decided that this is the year of productivity, and I have decided that one way to achieve that is to make a start on several things at once.  That way, if I get stuck on one, I can at least do something useful on one of the others.  Currently I am planning and/or working on one full-length romance and one novella (although knowing me, it might not stay a novella), two young-adult books and one book which, for want of a better term, I’ll call women’s fiction, with a splash of danger, a dash of romance and a lot of friends getting each other out of trouble.  I figure that should keep me busy for a few months!  I’d also like to finish the short story I started last year for the Scarlet Stiletto, Malice Domestic division.  It appeals to a gruesome side of me that I haven’t explored in fiction before…

2 How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Ooh, tough one.  I think I’d have to say first, in the humour.  I like to have a laugh where possible, even when dealing with serious subjects – in fact, especially then.  I know I can improve at combining the serious and the silly but I hope my books are always fun to read.  Of course, there are plenty of other writers who use humour too, but I can’t seem to help myself.  If there’s a laugh, I’m going after it.  Also, my romances vary from some in that I like to write about people I can imagine knowing.  I’m not especially interested in the super-rich and glamorous and bossy alpha heroes give me a pain.  I like male characters I can imagine actually having a drink with, without wanting to strangle them.  The most exciting one isn’t really about me, but I’m the only writer I know of who has had works of art made, inspired by the books.  You can find them here and here and they are a source of constant joy and encouragement to me. (Hi Resa!)

3 Whey do I write what I do?

The short answer is because I have stories to tell.  I am interested in people.  I want to know why we do the things we do and especially why we are so often sad, lonely and broken.  Writing stories helps me answer those questions, at least for those characters!  (It also makes me realise that I will never get to a definitive answer, but that just means I need to write more stories, to explore more angles.)  I have said before that I write romance because its values appeal to me and that is true.  But I think part of it is wanting to give everyone a happy ending – or at least the hope of one.  My little romances probably won’t change anyone’s life, but they might bring some light into it for a few hours and that seems a worthwhile goal to me.  The other things I write come from a similar urge to entertain and to share the way I see the world.

4 How does my writing process work?

It’s still a work in progress!  I started out a complete panster (as in, start at the beginning and write by the seat of your pants until you get to the end) but I’m moving towards more prior planning, as I get less scared of it and more interested in getting the job done a bit faster.  I like to do my ‘thinking’ with a pen and paper.  That includes character and setting notes, plot ideas and even snippets of scenes, but when I start writing the story in earnest, I move to the computer, because I can type faster than I write.  I’m trying to be more disciplined about getting work done every day, which means starting early in the morning whenever I can, so that if the day gets complicated (as they often do) I haven’t lost my writing time.  And that’s about as much process as I have!

And those are my answers!  I hope they’ve been a bit interesting.

a-basic-renovation_finalAnd now I would like to tag another friend.  Sandra Antonelli is a pocket rocket who I met at a Romance Writers of Australia conference and immediately fell in love with.  She writes, by her own description, ‘quirky romance novels for grown-ups… and smart asses’.  She is whip-smart (she has a PhD!) she’s got a smart mouth (and pen) and her stories of lovers who are no longer in the first flush of youth but still have plenty of living and loving to do are a delight.  You can find her at her website and blog and I highly recommend that you do and that you check out her books while you’re there.  She’ll be answering the questions next Monday, so if she takes your fancy, bookmark the page!

Now I must away, as I’m only just going to get this in technically still on Monday as it is!  Hope your week is treating you well!