I’m so excited to be a part of the “My Writing Process” Blog Hop. I was invited by my new author friend Eileen Palma, author of the romantic comedy novel Worth the Weight. She and I will be talking and selling books as part of the Moms Night Out Author Event at Athleta in Scarsdale, NY on Thursday night, May 8 from 7-9pm (more details below). For this Blog Hop, an author answers four questions and then passes the torch to the next author(s). Here goes…
1. What am I working on?
My debut novel On Grace just launched a couple weeks ago so I’m still focused on promoting that book. But there will hopefully be a next book. I’ve had lots of ideas since I finished On Grace but I’ve narrowed them down to four contenders: a historical fiction idea, two women’s fiction ideas, and one nonfiction idea. I’m hoping to pick a winner early this summer and then start writing! I’m also actively working on The Balance Project: every Friday on my site I feature a fun, brief, relevant, informative and refreshingly candid interview with an inspiring and accomplished woman who is in the midst of trying to balance work, life, and family. My goal is to show how women who we think are doing “it all,” really aren’t. Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. I want the conversation to be steered more toward that reality than toward the myth that we should try—or even want to try—to perfectly do “it all.” Oh, and I’m also working on raising my three boys to be good citizens of the world (and to put away their clothes!).
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think by nature of it being in a genre, On Grace is pretty similar to its (her?) peers. I like to think of it as smart women’s fiction/chick lit because it’s not silly nor is it focused only on shoes and getting the guy. It’s based on real issues women face and the transformations we go through as we reach new stages in our lives. Not that there’s anything wrong with shoes!
3. Why do I write what I do?
Because I love it! It’s really as simple as that. My career always involved writing, but mostly corporate and reported/journalistic pieces. Those styles of writing didn’t light me up. On the other hand, I’ve always known I wanted to write a book—I just never knew what I wanted to write about. When I decided to finally go for it, I chose the women’s fiction/chick lit genre because the topic—women’s lives—was most familiar to me. My father, who is a writer and editor, always told me, “Write what you know.” So I did.
4. How does my writing process work?
I’m an outliner. At least I was for On Grace and it worked well for me, so I imagine I’ll outline the next book as well. For each chapter, I wrote a one-page summary of what was going to happen. I also did a separate character study for each of my main characters showing his or her arc throughout the story. Of course I allowed myself to make adjustments once I actually started writing, but I loved having the blueprint to keep me focused. Then, once I actually started writing, I tried to write every day for at least 3-4 hours. I work in my home office with lots of munchies and hot tea. I wish I could listen to music but it distracts me. (The photo of the desk to the left with a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower is, unfortunately, not my desk. But it’s one of my dream writing desks! Check out others on my Pinterest page “Perfect Writing Perches.”)
The Blog Hop continues next Monday, 4/28 when authors Annabel Monaghan (author of A Girl Named Digit and Double Digit) and Suzanne Palmieri (author of The Witch of Little Italy and The Witch of Belladonna Bay) will post about their writing processes. Please check them out and help us keep this going!
Plus! If you love Blog Hops, here’s another: Hop along the Hump Day Blog Hop on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog. Click here to return to the Hump Day Blog Hop.
And be sure to come see Eileen, Annabel and me—along with amazing authors Beatriz Williams and Emily Liebert—at the Athleta event. RSVP to email@example.com.
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They Gave The Oscar To The Wrong Woman
Ode to Dani Shapiro
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 3: Emily Liebert, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 7: Annabel Monaghan, Author
It sounds as though your dad is a very wise man.
Susie, I really enjoyed reading about your writing process. My process is a lot like yours. I outline, plan characters, use index cards, check for the timing of plot turns, etc. It helps keep me on track. And I write with a cup of tea and a completely silent house, too. If the phone rings I’m like, “WHAT?! Are you kidding me?”
Love the photo of the writing perch, too. Going to check that Pinterest board out now and probably drool, drool, drool.
Thanks for hopping along on the Hump Day Blog Hop! Last Wednesday of every month. Cheers!