Blog Hop – Creating an Author

I was tagged by my co-author, Tamara McHatton, for this author blog hop/stop event. The purpose of the hop is to introduce people to new authors (she was tagged by our friend, boss lady, and owner of Gemina‘s publishing house, Gail Delaney) and get some of us back into the habit of blogging something. We’re all guilty of not finding something to post about because we think we’re boring or so wrapped up in our writing/editing that we don’t think outside the box. I’m thinking that I should start at least blogging about things that strike my interest, not just posts that relate to our writing. Big ideas right there!

Alright, so a little about me. When I told Tamara that I had no clue what to write, I wasn’t kidding. I’ve been thinking about ways to introduce myself for this hop for days now. Anyone else ever feel torn between thinking that you’re either too boring to be interesting to other people or just too weird/oddball that you’re going to scare people away? Yeah. Me, too.

Currently, I’m in my last four classes before completing my Bachelors of Arts in English Literature. Go me! My associate’s degree is filled with literature, writing, and anthropology electives. When I’m not writing Gemina book 2 (set to be released Spring 2015), studying for my classes, working on my space Sci-Fi series, or editing, then I’m going to ren faires. (See, Tamara, I got that in there!) Soon I’ll be going to my first ever Comic Con, not the huge San Diego one or for author reasons but it’ll still be fun to go check out what’s there. Looking forward to seeing Greyston Holt and Steve Lund from the TV show Bitten.

So, onto the four questions that we’re supposed to answer for the hop!

1. What are you working on?

I have a few projects in the works. It’s nice to be able to hop between them, but only two are ones with deadlines. There’s wiggle room for the others to be completed.

Tamara and I are actually working on a sequel to Gemina: The Lost Legionnaires and figured out that we could get a third out of it to make it a trilogy. It’s still set in Ancient Rome and the German forests with soldiers and gladiator type heroes and heroines. My partner is used to writing military fiction with her Call of Duty series but this is a fun first step into being an author for me. It pulls in the research skills of being a student, the interest in history, and who can’t pass up a few gladiators? Yes, Spartacus and Pompeii got moved to my research shelf. Not for usage but if you’re going to relax with a movie, why not keep the muse on track?

My other project with a deadline is editing in my favorite genre, science fiction.

The projects with no deadlines? I’m working on a space Sci-Fi series that started with one book and now the plot has evolved, happily, to being four books, a prequel, and a short story anthology. I also have another standalone Sci-Fi set on Earth that isn’t related to the space series. Tamara is working on a couple paranormal ideas which I’m helping with and considering for more co-writing. One of my best friends is also in the middle of plotting out two books so I’m repaying the favor of her listening to my Sci-Fi ideas as a soundboard and being hers. We bounce ideas off each other all the time to find out what works and what should be changed.

2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

If Tamara doesn’t mind, I’m going to steal her answer for this one. I don’t read historical military fiction, I stick with modern military/special ops, so I can’t exactly say how ours differs just yet.

Although I write under the military romance genre, my works (contemporary and historical) have a tendency to be more women’s fiction, more realistic.

We all know that we can be living a great love story but then life intrudes, especially when the military is involved, and even though you want it to work, you know it probably won’t because of said reality. Doesn’t mean that there’s no love story for the duration of the book, but may not necessarily work out for the readers that want the “happily ever after” at the end. But my stories always end on a note of … maybe it could work out later, when their responsibilities are taken care of, so there’s always that hope. And that’s what drives my different series. Reality with our soldiers. The people you meet, the responsibilities you take on, what life doles out.

3. Why do you write what you write?

Well, Gemina started out because our Editor-in-Chief asked Tamara to craft a story with a specific image in mind. She asked if she could have a co-author, got a yes, and she pulled me in. The reason why I write historical military fiction is because of my friend. She and I work well together and this was a fun challenge for both of us to expand our comfort level.

The reason why I write science fiction is because I’ve loved the genre since I was a kid. From television shows to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series in the fifth grade, I’ve been hooked. A look at my bookshelves, movies, and video games will give you a glimpse into the wide range of Sci-Fi and fantasy that I love. Write what you love as your start and move beyond it.

4. How does your process work?

This is going to be broken down into two sections because each process is slightly different depending on the people involved. I know, that sounds so devious!

Writing with a co-author is an amazing process when you have the right partner. Tamara and I start by IMing each other (I’m in Texas, she’s in Florida) and working on the plot. It starts with the general idea and then we work in the main characters. In the course of a week, we end up with various files shared between each other with a loose plot outline, characters and secondary characters, and initial research. Details and items get added as we start to work on it. Our actual writing process itself ends up with each of us trying to write 1000-2500 words a day in a scene and then we’ll send it to the other. The next person will then read over what was written, add or change things, and work on finishing the scene or starting the next. This allows us minor self-editing and blending our voices before we do our final first draft overall edit. Sometimes it takes a few days to send it back and forth with everything that goes on in life but we keep with a couple exchanges a week. Tamara also edits for DBP while being an author.

My personal process is detailing a bunch of ideas first and then work on a plot with various scenes that I want to make sure get included for each arc of the story. Then I’ll create character sheets, landscape, and research notes. The follow-up is sending my ideas to my best friend, another Sci-Fi lover, to bounce them off her. Of course, she’s a troublemaker. She sometimes makes graphics or will send me a facecast image to tempt the muse with.

Tada!

Now, the next part of the hop is the challenge part. I’m supposed to challenge three authors that I know to do the same thing… Ooops, I don’t personally know many authors just yet and many are unpublished/upcoming authors. So, if you’re an author and you want to take part, here’s my challenge:

Write a bio in a comment introducing yourself! Make sure to include links to your blog, Facebook page, and/or website.

For the readers, check out the authors that post in the comments and find someone’s world to dive into.

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