Hi friends! Happy randomly late afternoon Monday!
I’ve been tagged by the lovely Michelle Hauk of Michelle4Laughs in the Writing Process series, so sit back and prepare for the secrets of the universe*.
1) What are you currently working on?
I’m currently writing a contemporary YA set in Florida:
Ruby Torrez’s mom has lost her marbles, and Ruby’s dad is nowhere to be found. But no one asks Ruby what to do. Instead, Ruby finds herself living at her grandparents home in their sunny Florida retirement community- where no one under eighteen is allowed.
It’s bad enough living like a fugitive, but when Ruby encounters a cautious boy whose home is nowhere and a wizened old man with an eagle eye, her summer turns even stranger than it already was. Ruby has always prided herself on being a survivor…but she never planned on having to save someone else too.
2) How does your work differ from others in its genre?
I like to build harsh realities as background, with the focus being on new adventures and on the resiliency and hope people find within themselves. I try not to shy away from showing the world as it is – homelessness, mental illness, prejudice, loss of loved ones- but also on friendship, trust, and a single courageous moment, the series of those single moments that eventually becomes a life of courage. All of us have failings and go through difficult experiences, but it’s how we come out on the other side that defines us, and all books, including kid lit, can show this.
3) Why do you write what you write?
I write for the ages I write for – MG, YA, and NA- because each age has such a unique set of impacting circumstances. There are specific journeys to undertake and lessons to learn, and it is fascinating to dive into the various stages of finding yourself, setting yourself apart, and sharing yourself with the world. I write diverse characters from all socioeconomic backgrounds and with all kinds of hurts and hangups because I believe any kid should be able to pick up a book and find themselves in it, and because I love the fact that the world is big,colorful, and filled with magic if we open our eyes to it.
4) How does your writing process work?
I’m a very haphazard writer. I tend to start with a snippet- usually a character and one particular scene or setting- and sometimes I come up with a general idea of where the story is going. I tend to draft half to two thirds of the book largely in order,occasionally stopping to note a scene further along if I get a very clear picture of it. When i reach tha half to two thirds point, I start drafting out of order, often by writing the last scene and then see sawing middle and end until I meet them together somewhere in the middle. This is also usually when I stop and do some outlining to make sure all the pieces get plugged in.
I tend to write about six days a week, and I average approximately 2k a day. If I’m very busy, tired, or stuck I just ask myself for 1k, if it’s a low homework week or I’m inspired, I’ll write 5-10k in a day. I write at my desk, or on the couch, or on the floor, or in a coffee shop, or on the train. I write to my playlist whenever possible, but in silence or in the middle of noise and conversation if needed. I write with paper and pen, or on my iPad, or on my computer.
When it comes to revisions, I let my book sit for one to two weeks, and then I do a simple revision, making sure all the scenes exist, are tied into each other, and have a decent beginning with a logical end. Then it’s off to readers, and when their comments come in I do a bigger revisions, incorporating their ideas and any new insights I’ve had. Another round of readers, more changes, and polishing complete the process**!
**process also includes copious amounts of candy and coffee and a not insignificant number of naps
And there you are- a delightful mash up of crazy, whimsy, diversity, and candy. I’ve chosen to tag my fabulous friend Holly Faur, so be sure to visit her next Monday for her answers to the above questions. Happy Monday!