Oddly, I don’t know very many other writers, but I was honored to recently become friends with the fabulous YA author Ann Hunter (though I know her under her real name, which I shall never ever reveal, unless you give me a gluten-free cookie).
Anyway. Ann recently participated in a author blog chain hop and tagged me as one of the next in line. Whereupon you, dear reader, most likely went Huh? What’s an author blog chain hop? I think my grandma used to dance to that back in the 40’s….
Well, she had to explain it to me too. Apparently an author blog chain hop is a sophisticated, particularly nerdy kind of chain letter. The idea is to answer a few questions about your writing and then tag some other authors, who will do the same and tag more authors, and on and on until we either run out of authors or until the destitute Nigerian princes get involved and ruin it for all of us. In the meantime, it’s good writerly fun.
Without further ado, here are my A’s to the Q’s.
What am I working on?
This has two answers. One of them, perhaps most accurately, is “nothing.” I write cyclically: I’ll write like a crazy person (and I mean craaaazy) for a week or a month, and then I’ll abruptly stop, for a week or a month or a year – and then I’ll sit down again and write a 30,000 word story in two days. When I was young and dumb enough to listen to other writers, I thought the downtime was “writer’s block,” and I was freaked out by it. It’s not. It’s fermentation, and it’s the way I work. Right now I’m in downtime and am happily obsessed by the other side of the writer’s life – marketing and promotion. And I’m catching up on my reading.
When I return to my writing – and I can feel it simmering, but it’s not there yet – I’ll be finishing up an unnamed fantasy novel. It’s about ninety percent done. I have a big battle scene I need to write, and I mangled a major scene near the beginning when I cut some things to tighten it up: so that needs to be fixed. Both are pretty onerous tasks that I’m not looking forward to, but when I get inspired, I know I’ll get them done quickly. After that, it will have to sit for a bit before I send it to my first readers for input. But generally, since I edit while I go, my first draft is fairly close to my final draft.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
HA. My work differs from my own work, from story to story. This makes marketing difficult (if you like this one, well, you might not like this one) but at least it keeps me from getting bored.
Why do I write what I do?
Because it more accurately represents my dreams than does real life.
How does my writing process work?
Partially answered above. But on a more specific level, I usually start with a very clear image of a character in a scene (which often comes from a dream). Then I start asking questions about how that person got to be where they are, and what happens afterwards, until the story grows fractally from both sides. For longer pieces I will write the ending fairly early because I have to know where I’m going.
Writing one-and-a-half novels pantser-style (pantser: someone who writes by the seat of their pants, without pre-planning) has turned me firmly into a plotter – no scene-by-scene synopsis for me, mind you, but I want at least a skeleton of a plot that I can add layers on to as I go. I know there are pantsers who turn out well-formed books on a steady schedule, but God, how? When pantsering, I end up writing about four to ten times as much material as I end up using, and that’s just a waste of my time. I think as a pantser I used to spend way more time worrying about plotting than I do as a plotter. How ironic!
Thanks for reading! If you choose to continue the chain, here’s my bio:
E. M. Epps
E. M. Epps writes science fiction and fantasy. When not writing, she sells other people’s books at Pegasus Book Exchange in West Seattle. She hates writing bios about herself.
So far she has three works published: To Hell and Back Again…With a Little White Dog, a humorous novella with influences from Greek mythology; The Portrait of Géraldine Germaine, a feel-good romance novelette about a female author in 1890’s Paris (with a touch of magic as well, of course!); and You Made My Heart a Hunter, a fantasy novella with a focus on spirituality, nature, and the conflict between an individual and society’s expectations. All three stories are available on Amazon. She is currently at work on a novel.
Now passing along the chain to my two writer/blogger friends:
Pam Summa graduated from Massachusetts College of Art with a BFA in printmaking in 1981. She has been a data entry peon, a waitress, a housepainter, a muralist, and a fake-blood wrangler, among other things. Single parenting convinced her to go after the long-held storytelling dream. She became an editor while working as a “temporary indefinite” at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a writing coach after handing out advice in the Harvard anthropology department.
Her first novel, Groping for Luna, is a comedy of manners about artists and musicians, a story of foolish love, friendship and betrayal, and making art anyway. It was published as an original trade paperback by Mystic River Ink, and is available at Pegasus Book Exchange in West Seattle and from www.pamsumma.com. It is also available on Kindle at Amazon.com. Her second novel, The Night Trippers, a sequel to Groping for Luna, is available on Kindle.
Check out her blog next week to see how she answered the four writing questions.
Ann Hunter wrote her first multi-award winning story before age 13. She is the author of the young adult fantasy novels The Subtle Beauty, Moonlight, Fallen, The Rose In The Briar, and Ashes. She likes cherry soda with chocolate ice cream, is a mom first and a writer second, has a secret identity, and thinks the Twilight movies are cheesier than cheez whiz (which is why they are her guilty pleasure!)
She lives in a cozy Utah home with her two awesome kids and epic husband.
She is the author of The Subtle Beauty & Moonlight, with Fallen expected in May, and The Rose in the Briar in July, and two others by January 2015.
Amazon URL: http://amzn.com/e/B00HNL6K3K
Blog URL: http://annhunter.blogspot.com
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/authorannhunter
Twitter URL: https://twitter.com/AnnHunter82
Goodreads URL: https://www.goodreads.com/annhunter
She answered the four questions last week on her blog.
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