Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog in the Round - 4 Questions and Pass It On

I’m honored that award winning author Karla K.L. Brady (Karla's blog link), who wrote one of my favorite books, The Bum Magnet, has asked me to participate in the Blog in the Round - 4 questions and pass it on. She was asked by bestselling author Trice Hickman (Trice's blog link), one of the most warm spirits in the business. In the Blog in the Round, one author invites two authors, and so on, with each answering the following four questions about their writing life. It’s a great way for readers, and other authors, to get to know us better, and it demonstrates the amazing author camaraderie and support that we have for each other. I have chosen to invite my friend, busy author, playwright and filmmaker Nina Foxx (Nina's blog link), and mainstream, literary and speculative fiction author, Liane Spicer (Liane's blog link), one of the founders of this Novel Spaces blog. You can check out their interview answers when they post on July 28, 2014.

So here goes:

What am I working on/ writing?

Right now I'm wrapping up production on my first non-fiction title called The Mind of a Woman: 365 Relationship Scenario Discussion Questions, which is set to release in September of this year. I enjoy discussing relationships, and this is a collection of questions I've posted on social media over the years. Also, I'm 90% through my full-length novel about tough breakups titled Never Breathe Again. So many women have a hard time with breakups. Through fiction, I want to show what can happen when a husband arrives home after church with his wife and announces that after seven years of marriage, he is leaving her for a longtime friend. Plus, by November I'll complete two IR (interracial) novellas that I started earlier this year; The Swirl, and Tall White & Handsome. I'm very excited about these new genres, and I look forward to more non-fiction and IR titles. I'm also taking on ghostwriting projects.

How is my writing/work different from others in its genre?

Each book out there has something to offer. What makes novels different is the way the author has crafted each story, how well they've developed their story and characters, and how they choose to translate the vision of what they see, hear and feel onto paper. My titles are based on topics like infidelity, cancer, best friend betrayal, abusive wives, fatherly abandonment, that one kiss a wife has with someone and how her husband handles it. I work hard to make sure that my stories have emotion and surprises, and I do a lot of research. I enjoy throwing in friction and seeing how the characters deal, or don't deal with it. It helps to keep my characters interesting, and it keeps me interested in writing about them.

Why do I write what I do?

My junior high English teacher encouraged me to be a writer (a zillion years ago). My greatest skill in every job I've had was my ability to write, whether it was news stories, my bosses' speeches, or corporate policy and procedure. I love words. Writing is my passion. I believe that if I ever stopped writing books, I'd write greeting cards or the nutritional facts on the back of a cereal box. I do what I do because I love it.

How does my writing process work?

At this point in my career, it is critical that I start with 1) character resumes, and 2) an outline. I try to write one chapter of mainly dialogue each time I sit down. After thirty chapters, I have my first rough draft. Then I go back, starting with chapter one, and add in the dialogue tags, narration, movement, visuals, setting, etc. That adds a lot of word count. Once I'm done with that, I rewrite the chapters again which is now the third draft. I'll print it out and while reading it aloud, write my changes directly onto the pages. Afterwards, I'll enter those, then read and edit again. Whew! While I'm writing that story, I live with those characters in my head day and night until: THE END.  

Thanks again, Karla, for including me. I can’t wait to read each author’s blog as they travel in the round, a unique and inspiring circle of writer love!


Jewel Amethyst said...

This is a really nice way to expose other authors to audiences that they may not have had exposure to before.

In this current publishing climate, authors helping authors has to be a way of life.

Liane Spicer said...

Interesting the way you're transitioning to new genres/subgenres, Marissa. IR fiction seems to be thriving right now, so with your back list and reader network it should go well for you.

All the best as you go forth in new directions!

Thank you for asking me to join Blog in the Round!

K.L. Brady said...

Thanks so much for participating, Sis! This is really great because you learn things you never knew before -- I didn't know you were a plotter. Had you pegged for a Pantser. :) Good Stuff.

Charles Gramlich said...

I got linked to this too but haven't done mine yet. I'm bad. Or maybe just lazy

Marissa Monteilh said...

Jewel, I agree. Fellow author support has to be the norm, not the exception!

Liane, thanks for agreeing to join in. Yes, I have great expectations for the IR titles. Excited!!

K.L., asking me to participate meant so much. Thanks. I was a seat of my pants gal, but I got out of those pants fast!!! LOL!

Charles, lol, do it, cheering you on. And one thing I'll bet you are not, is lazy! :)

Sunny Frazier said...

This is a great idea and I've been tagged for a future post. Here's the thing: I feel you've become a "real" person to me now, not just a head shot.