This is cool: I’ve been asked to participate in the “My Writing Process” blog tour by my friend and fellow author, Moore Bowen. Please check out her blog. Thank you, Moore, for inviting me to jump onto the #MyWritingProcess blog tour.
The questions are the same for everyone on this tour.
What am I working on?
I am working on my Cantabria American School series, and am about to publish the second book, Sinco, which will come out in early May—just a couple of weeks from now! I am also putting the finishing touches on my third novel, Brujas, which will be released in early September. As an Indie Publisher, I spend a lot of time and energy disseminating my works, getting my books into libraries and bookstores, entering them in contests, and encouraging everyone who reads them to recommend them to friends. It’s an excruciatingly slow and sometimes discouraging process, but I’m trying to stay optimistic, knowing that it may take a long time for people to notice what I’m doing. Occasionally I still write blog posts, although these are coming more infrequently now as I concentrate on getting my novels out.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Several different readers have told me that my story is original, which is difficult to do nowadays with the huge volume of novels already on the market. Like all good fiction, the novels in the Cantabria American School series have unforgettable characters that have actually “come alive” for me, often surprising me as I finish writing a scene or a chapter and realize that what happened was not at all what I had expected to happen. I have had several readers tell me that they felt like they really got to know the characters and want to know what will happen next in their lives. It’s funny because I often feel the same way–I want to write so I can find out what’s going to happen to them!
I think my work is also unique because of its setting, which is in Spain. I lived there for a long time as an adult, and got to the point where the average person on the street could not tell, after speaking to me, that I was not from Spain. This ability to sink into the role of someone with a different cultural paradigm has allowed me to infuse my novels with authentically “foreign” characters, full of the idiosyncrasies and surprises that we associate with those from another culture. It also allows me to examine my American characters and see them with different lenses.
Why do I write what I do?
Although writing is arduous, I am finding that I really love the creative process, and I’m really drawn to writing multicultural fiction. I’ve had the good fortune to have lived and travelled to so many places, and thus writing is a way for me to process all that I have learned and experienced. I am amazed to see that I have many more stories in my brain than I ever realized. Overall, it’s very rewarding to write and I’m so glad to have the opportunity to do so.
How does your writing process work?
My writing process has taken many turns and twists and I will sometimes go for extended periods without touching the story, although I’m still thinking about the characters all of the time. That’s why it took nearly 6 years to produce these three novels. When I consistently dedicate time to my work, I find that I make a lot of progress. But as a mother of 4, and with another part-time job, it can get really difficult to sustain the effort. I find that I write better in the morning, when I’m fresh. I write a scene and then end up editing and re-writing it dozens of times until I get it to where I want it.
If I’m struggling with a particular plot twist, I will often think about it for several days, and then one morning I’ll wake up and find that I know what I need to write, or at least have a clearer idea of which way to go.
I also read some blogs that are for writers, like Lauren Sapala’s blog, and these inspire me and help keep me going.
When I’ve finished writing, I ask my husband to read my work, and I’m very fortunate that he gives me insightful and honest feedback which makes my work stronger.