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Monday, April 14, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour (and 2 MG titles you don’t want to miss!)


Pirate Pens: Essential for Drafting

This blog tour is where writers/authors answer questions about their writing process. Anna Schumacher, author of END TIMES (out from Penguin in May) posted hers last week and tagged me to participate. You can check out her writing process HERE.

What am I working on?
I’m working on edits for NOOKS & CRANNIES (coming summer 2015 from Simon & Schuster), a middle grade novel set in the Lake District of England that was pitched as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Clue.  With lots of characters and a mystery-in-a-manor-house vibe, it’s been a fun one to work on. I’m also drafting a new idea set in 1830s Ireland.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I love all genres of middle grade and have to assume that all those voices/stories/plots have seeped into my writing approach over the years, so I wouldn't necessarily say that my writing differs distinctly from what’s been written in the past or what’s out there now. In terms of historical fiction (my stories so far tend to be set in the past), I think I try to straddle the line between straight historical and something more playful—my ideas are set during specific times and I do research to add certain details, but then I end up having a somewhat exaggerated  bent to it. There’s no real fantasy or magic in my writing (yet!), but I think it generally borders on something that could garner reader responses of “Hey, this isn't realistic!” to which I might respond, “You’re right! That’s what’s so nice about writing fiction~ sometimes you get to break rules and be a little bit ridiculous or fantastical, even when writing within a historical time/place.”

Why do I write what I do?
I write middle grade because those are the books that initially solidified a love of reading for me and I’m nostalgic for that time in my life. As for why I write in the genres I do (mainly historical time periods), I don’t know. Though contemporary and fantasy MG books are among my favorites, I can’t seem to follow through with writing ideas in those genres (at least not yet, but I’ll keep trying).

How does your writing process work? 
Come up with query-style summary paragraphs for an idea, draft most of a novel, get stuck, resort to actual outlining, finish/polish draft, send to critique partners, revise, send to CPs again, revise again. 
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And now, here are two middle grade debut authors who've written novels that I love. Please stop by their blogs and become a follower (they may be posting about their writing process next week and you won’t want to miss any stellar advice they have).



Louise Galveston-
 Louise Galveston is the author of BY THE GRACE OF TODD (Penguin/Razorbill Feb. 27, 2014). She and her husband live in the Midwest with their eleven kids and a parrot. When Louise isn't writing or folding laundry, she directs her local children’s theater, where she’s playwright in residence.

Check out her blog:
http://www.louisegalveston.blogspot.com/





Tara Dairman- Tara Dairman 
is a novelist, playwright, and survivor of the world’s longest honeymoon (2 years, 74 countries!). Thanks to her travels, parts of her debut middle-grade novel ALL FOUR STARS (Penguin/Putnam, July 10, 2014) were written in a mall in Brazil, a guesthouse in Morocco, and coffeehouses in Argentina, Cameroon, Gabon, and Tanzania. Revisions took place in the slightly less exotic locale of her parents’ basement in New York.

Check out her blog:
http://taradairman.com/blog/


27 comments:

  1. Thanks for the shout out, Jess! I can't wait to read your WIP! When I saw "Lake District," the Jane Austen addict in me squealed! And another set in Ireland? Be still my heart! Next year my husband and I plan to travel to both those places for our 25th anniversary.
    Your writing process sounds very similar to mine. I'm trying to make myself outline BEFORE I start drafting, but the people in my head start talking, and I have to get it down while it's flowing.

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    1. I am intensely jealous of your future travels. We never had a honeymoon, so hubby and I are going to do it up right one of these years. And yes, those pesky characters only chatter at certain times, so it's very important to get down the words while they're available :)

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  2. Love this post - I love what your response to "Hey, this isn't realistic!" I'm guessing that's a response you've only ever gotten from adults. :-)

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  3. It's always great learning more about writers and their writing process.

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  4. Heh, heh, heh ... love the draft most of it, get stuck, then outline part. That sounds a lot like me!

    I saw By the Grace of Todd somewhere else recently. It looks really cute! Love the cover!

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  5. Oooh- Nookies & Crannies sounds fantastic!

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  6. Excited to hear about your new project. It sounds so good.

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  7. I like how you don't go to outlining until after you have gotten stuck. I think an author has to know themselves. Some work better with lots of structure, while others respond more creatively when there is little structure.

    Congrats on your new project due out next summer.

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    1. I WISH I could outline ahead of time. To be honest, I think I probably outline a little in my head as I go along, but the idea of doing it formally before I start writing just doesn't work for me right now. Thanks for the congrats!

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  8. Congrats on Nooks and Crannies! It sounds awesome and fun. I usually make a lot of notes before I start. :) These books looks really great - love the By the Grace of Todd cover.

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    1. I wish I was more of a note taker (well, I guess I am if you count randomly scribbling plot ideas/bits of dialogue on post-it notes and then losing them) :)

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  9. What a great reason to write MG! Both books look like fun reads.

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  10. Nooks and Crannies sounds absolutely charming. I can't wait until it's released!

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  11. Jess, your book sounds fantastic! I can't wait to read it!! :-)

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  12. Nooks and Crannies sounds fabulous! I loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Clue. Good luck with edits!

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    1. Thanks, Kirsten! Hopefully the edits will go smoothly :)

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  13. 11 kids and a parrot!??! A 2-year-honeymoon!??! Both authors sound fascinating :) And good luck with your own edits.

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    1. Oh they ARE~ they are both fascinating and impressive ladies :) Thanks for the good luck nod!

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