Author Rue Allyn tagged me for this chain blog. I’ve known Rue for a number of years through MVRWA. The past couple of years she’s written and published with a vengeance. I guess it’s easy for her to write romance when she’s married to a man who still makes her heart flutter crazily when he walks into a room. To learn more about Rue, go to http://www.rueallyn.com/.
1. What am I working on?
I’m working on my erotic fantasy romance I lovingly call “The Beast.” It began life as a short story that my Ellora’s Cave editor asked me to turn into a novel and series. It’s been a challenge expanding a small story I loved into a much larger story with my editor’s suggested changes. Almost as challenging as this winter has been!
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I believe strongly in gender equality. In my novels it’s not just the man who has a cool, fulfilling job. The woman does too. And she keeps it. I’ve read many contemporary romances where the heroine gives up the greatest job to do things like raise the hero’s brothers and sisters. My heroines wouldn’t do that.
I’m into smashing gender stereotypes. My female characters have brains, they sometimes rescue themselves, they’re not helpless, and they’re never the secretary who marries the billionaire boss. I can’t recall ever writing a scene where a heroine went outside naked (or wearing a towel) to investigate a noise after she’d been told a vicious killer was on the loose.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Sometimes I have to crusade about something, some perceived wrong. My stories give me a soapbox to do that. My stories help me deal with my emotions, such as when my mother-in-law got dementia. When I have questions, I create worlds in which I find answers. And I write because crazy story ideas chase me down and attack me. They want out into the light of day so other people can see their craziness.
4. How does my writing process work?
A kernel of an idea pops into my head. In “Hero Needed” it was the unprotected railroad tracks in the midst of heavy tourist foot traffic. I think about the idea and it grows. I’m mostly a pantser, which means I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t plot a novel in advance. I don’t know what’s going to happen until I get there, so most of the story is a surprise to me, although I can usually see the ending even before I begin to write. Well, I write romance, so it’s got to be a happily ever after.
But as I write chapter one, chapter two may begin to unfold in my mind. I’m pulling the story events out of the dark abyss of my brain. I may have “Aha!” moments later in the novel, which fill in gaps early in the novel. But I don’t go back to fill in those gaps. I scribble some notes and continue where I was. I need the momentum to keep the ideas flowing. I don’t edit on my first pass either for the same reason. I know my first draft is flawed. I also know I’ll fix it during editing.
I write by hand. I’ve tried to compose on the computer, but it takes 4x as long for me. My brain isn’t hard-wired to create on the computer. But I type 80 words per minute, so it takes about a week to type a 70,000 word novel. And as I type, I edit. Once my story is completely transferred to the computer, I begin a series of edits. After it’s polished and magnificent, I send it off to an editor or query a publisher.
I have tagged Constance Phillips for next Monday, March 24. Please check her out next week!
Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, and four canine kids. Her son, now on his own, is planning a wedding, reconfirming that romance still lives and breathes.
When not writing stories of finding and rediscovering love, Constance and her husband spend the hours planning a cross-country motorcycle trip for the not-so-distant future…if they can find a sidecar big enough for the pups.
Fairyproof and Resurrecting Harry are available now through Crescent Moon Press. The Novella sequel to Fairyproof, Council Courtship is also out now.
Her first Contemporary Romance, All That’s Unspoken is now available through Turquoise Morning Press.
One Lucky Night will be released May 7, 2014 and The Ultimate Catch will be released in August 2014 from Whiskey Creek Press.
You can also follow her on Twitter or friend her on Facebook.