The Writing Process Blog Hop

Calgarian Garry Ryan, author of the Detective Lane mystery series and the Blackbirds Trilogy, asked me to be part of the blog hop. Of course I said yes to Garry. You may have heard of the Crime Writers of Canada. When Garry was the president, I was lucky enough to have him as my mentor as part of the CWC mentorship program. Garry worked by my on my Manuscript, Burnt, which has since been nominated for the Debut Dagger by the Crime Writers Association in the UK. How could I not be excited to follow Garry in the blog hop?

This is your chance to get a looking inside a writer’s  mind, or in this case many minds if you follow the blog hop.

I have tagged two author friends to take part in the blog hop. The bio’s are listed below. Please check out their blogs too 🙂

Now to the reason for the blog hop:

What Am I Working On?

I read somewhere that life as a writer means having homework for the rest of your life. There is aways something to work on, whether it is writing, researching, social networking, learning, editing or proofreading. Then there is the query letter, blurb or synopsis to be written. Now add in my blog. All are part of being a writer and all can be very engaging tasks.

On the writing scene, I currently drafting the fourth novel in the Stone Mountain mystery series. The series takes place in a fictitious ski resort located in the depth of the Purcell Mountain Range in British Columbia, Canada.  The protagonist, Kalin Thompson, is the director of security and human resources at the resort in continually finds herself torn between running investigations and her friends who live in the small community. She can’t look for suspects without looking at one of her friends.

For editing, I am working on Look the Other Way. The novel takes place in the Bahamas and is a spin off from the Stone Mountain mystery series.

How Does My Work Differ From Others in It’s Genre?

Drugs and the drug industry gets a lot of focus in the BC press. i try to stay away from the topic. There are many great books by BC novelists that delve into this area. I’ve chosen other crimes, typically the type committed by an every day individual who has been pushed beyond their limits. I try to make wilderness living and wildlife interaction a character within my books.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

One night, while I was living in Germany, I tried to go to bed early. A company driver was to pick me up at 4 a.m. to take me to the airport. I was nervous about a presentation I was to make in London, England and wanted a good night sleep. Here’s where a small decision I made changed my future path. I picked up a novel, Moonlight Becomes You, by Marry Higgins Clark. It starts out with a woman trapped in a coffin. Now how could I put that down before finding out how she got out of the coffin. I read through the night until my car arrived. Exhausted, but excited, I knew I wanted to write something that would keep a person from going to sleep, even when they knew they needed to be their best for the coming day.

I write about the Purcell Mountain range because it’s a magical place. I write about human resources and security at a ski resort because I have experience in the field. My job at a ski resort was the best job of my life and writing about the industry is a way for me to keep it with me.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

Variety. That’s the key for me. Morning’s are usually better for me if I want to get more words on the page. By the end of the day, I’m better at researching or working on my online platform. I like to write without interruption, as I’m sure most of us do, but I’m pretty good a tuning out the world around me if I can’t find a quiet place. Mostly I write on a computer, but sometimes a pen a paper get my creativity moving.

To create a first draft, I decide on a crime and start writing. I develop my characters as I go. By the end of the first draft, I usually know who committed the crime, but that might change in a later draft. Once the draft is done, I create a spreadsheet and start a detailed analysis of each scene. This is where I look for the empty stage, errors in timing, too much or too little of something and so on. Once I’ve written several, okay many, drafts, I send the manuscript to my favourite readers. At this stage I ask for them for notes on when they think they know who committed the crime, if they skim any sections, if something is unclear, and if they feel connected to the characters. i don’t ask for proofreading at this stage. That comes later before I’m about to submit to my agent.

As soon as I submit to my agent, I start on my next novel. The writing business is slow, and this is a good time to focus on new work and not agonize about the words I’ve sent out.

 

Fellow author friends are:

Charlotte Morganti will post on July 28th:

Charlotte Morganti has been a burger flipper, beer slinger, lawyer, and seasonal chef de tourtière. And, always, a stringer-together-of-words. Her first novel, The Snow Job, was a finalist for Crime Writers of Canada’s Unhanged Arthur award in 2014 for the best unpublished crime novel. You can find out more about Charlotte’s fiction at www.charlottemorganti.com.

Brenda Chapman will post on August 11th.

Brenda Chapman began her writing career with the Jennifer Bannon mysteries for young adults. More recently, she writes the Stonechild and Rouleau police procedural series – Cold Mourning was released from Dundurn in 2014 and Butterfly Kills will be on the shelves in early 2015. Brenda also writes the Anna Sweet mystery novellas for Grass Roots Press, with My Sister’s Keeper shortlisted for a 2014 Arthur Ellis Award. Brenda is a former teacher and currently works as a senior communciations advisor in Ottawa.
Brenda’s blog link:  http://brendachapman.blogspot.ca/

Thanks for reading . . .

 

 

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8 thoughts on “The Writing Process Blog Hop

  1. Some interesting information here about your writing, Kristina, and I am looking forward to reading your stories. It was great meeting you at Bloody Words last month and I was thrilled to read your name in the list of finalists for the CWA Debut Dagger award. I wish you the best of luck!

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  2. I never get tired of reading about how other writers work! I think it was Toni Morrison who said we must write the book we want to read, and it’s great to see you doing exactly that. 🙂

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  3. Wow. Just wow! I love that you had a CWC mentor. I did not know they had a mentorship program.

    Please tell me (us, your fans and readers) more about that. I’m also stoked full of excitement that your manuscript, Burnt, has been nominated for the Debut Dagger by the Crime Writers Association in the UK. 😀

    So wonderful for you to have had Gary Ryan guiding your first novel.

    CWC in the USA stands for the California Writers Club, the second oldest in our nation. Looks like in our northern neighbor, CWC means Crime Writers of Canada.

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    1. Thanks for the lovely comments. The mentorship program was an incredible experience. Having a professional work with me though a novel gave me some new insights into my work. It also helps me as I continue to write. I’ve kept every comment Garry made and summarized them into a document that I use when I’m editing a story. It’s a great way to learn!

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      1. Triple wow! I love these details. For over ten years I was in a writers’ critique group, toward the end we got a year and a half with a sharp MFA grad writing serious literary fiction (Magical Realism in short form).

        Heavens! I learned so much over the span of work, but even more with our “star” professional. He also wrote creative nonfiction and had been blogging 7 years. Now he’s got a book out (nonfiction), and is the editor and top contributor to Rate Beer, USA high ranking craft beer magazine & blog.

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