Sunday, March 09, 2014

My Writing Process Alentejo - setting for my new novel

There’s a new meme doing the rounds and this is it. I was tagged by talented children's author Kate Kelly (author of Red Rock, a cli-fi thriller for age 10+). She challenged me to answer a few questions about my writing. So here goes…

1. What am I working on?

I have my new completed women's/commercial fiction novel out on submission at the moment so this is a nervous time, wondering if I'm going to be accepted. In the hope that this will be the first in a series of books set in a fictional fishing village on the east coast of Portugal, I'm plotting out a sequel. However, if I'm advised that this wouldn't be a good idea, I'll scrap that idea and go for something else (my head's always full of projects).

2. How does my work differ from others?

I tend to genre-jump (m/m romance/suspense; dark fantasy; and now commercial fiction). I know this is considered to be a fault, but I believe it's my writing voice that is common to each of my novels and any reader would recognise it. I also have common themes: overcoming injustice and corruption, and how apparently weak characters are far stronger than the reader initially believes. I also live in Portugal, so writing about this country from a British point of view is quite different from many others.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I write what I want to; whatever comes into my head. I think that if I want to write about how two lonely men find true love in 1960s America, or how a British fireman beats the devil, or how an overprotected 20 year old girl survives her 'coming of age', then that's exactly what I'll do. One day I'll write a novel set in poverty-stricken Victorian London, Dickens-style.

4. How does my writing process work?
This third novel (out on submission) is one I've been meaning to write for years, but other 'plot bunnies' kept leaping into my mind demanding to be written first (Perfect Score and Hewhay Hall). Now I have the seed of a possible sequel to my third novel. I'll ponder this for a while, write down a very vague outline - and I'll keep it vague because I know my stories often take me in other directions as I'm writing. But I'll know the beginning, middle and end. What happens in between usually occurs to me when I'm having a shower.

And now it is my turn to tag someone – I tag….


  1. I think it's cool you write in so many genres. I think that's a plus.

  2. I don't see anything wrong in writing in a number of genres. Susan Hill's made a highly successful career doing just that! She's always said she won't be hidebound by genre. After all, there are comparatively few readers (surely) who only read books in one genre I loved both Perfect Score and Hewhay Hall and your next book sounds great, Sue. I shall look forward to it!

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