Why I write
Welcome to the Writing Process Blog Tour.
Those of you who follow my blog posts regularly will know that I usually comment on how the media is influencing and shaping our lives.
So, this is something different for me. I hope that regular followers will find the post interesting, and that new readers might take a peek at some of my previous posts, and maybe even sign up!
Author Sandra Nikolai recently took part in this unique blog tour on writing, and invited me to take it forward. I met Sandra online and discovered she writes mystery novels involving a female PI and a male investigative reporter. I have given high-star reviews to Sandra’s first two novels in the series, and can heartily recommend them. You can visit Sandra’s website at http://sandranikolai.com/blog/ to find out more about her writing process and learn more about her books. You can also visit other authors on this tour by following the links on Sandra’s blog post and working back in time.
To continue the tour, I’ll be answering four questions:
1. What are you working on?
I’m currently plotting The House that Jack Built, the third novel in the series involving my ‘anti-hero’ Travis. In a departure from Web of Deceit and Retribution, which were set in North Wales, the bulk of the action of this new novel takes place on the island of Corfu in Greece. Once again, Travis finds himself embroiled in dangerous activities that are not of his own making. And, as in Retribution, acquaintances and murky figures from his past turn up.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Readers of my first two novels will know that I relish the ability to mislead through the use of language. I want my readers to be puzzled, confounded and surprised. This doesn’t suit all tastes, but I generally receive very good reviews.
What I believe makes my work different is that the ‘mystery’ element of my ‘mystery thrillers’ is centred on and takes its inspiration from the reader’s own predicament. I want the reader to ‘misunderstand’ what is going on in the story and reach conclusions that are shown to be false. My hope is that the reader will then pay more attention to the information he or she encounters in the ‘real world’.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I am genuinely disheartened by and feel passionately about the way in which many branches of the media have reneged on their responsibility to inform their readership. I would suggest that most, if not all, modern day media outlets are working to an agenda (political, religious, or motivated by profit), that is purposely presenting entertainment, opinion and dogma as fact, and innuendo, supposition and hypothesis as the ‘truth’.
Many people will say that this has always been the case. While possibly correct, this doesn’t make it right. Presenting bias or lies as statements of fact should not be condoned. I hope that after reading my novels, a few more people will feel as passionately as I do about this daily brainwashing we are all subject to. They might also question the veracity of comments passed on to them by others.
4. How does your writing process work?
I think for many months; maybe a year or more. I start with the ‘trick’ I shall be playing on the reader, then work a story line around that. I don’t start typing until I have about 80% of the story in my head, leaving much of the detail to be worked out as the story unfolds.
I work sequentially, writing the chapters in the order they will appear in the novel. All the time I am putting myself in the position of the reader, deciding carefully how to reveal the story through the actions of the characters. I have clear images of the central characters and feel that I know them. Sometimes they take me in directions I wasn’t expecting. All the time, though, they are leading me towards the conclusion I want.
Through the primary character of Travis, I try to reflect the everyday struggle we all have to understand what is going on in the world. We are bombarded with information, much of which is misleading, distorted by bias, incorrect, or just plain fabrication. My blog deals with ‘real world’ instances where the media has influenced events. My novels put ordinary people into situations where misunderstanding results in chaotic and potentially serious consequences. Yet I also explore the resilience of the characters and their ability to respond innovatively to the predicaments they find themselves in. These considerations influence the plot detail, which I develop and refine in ‘real time’, as I type.
After finishing, I read through and edit my own work at least three times, before handing the text over to independent readers/reviewers, who are mainly other authors. These people pick up any additional errors and might make suggestions on how to improve certain passages of text. I always take these comments on board.
When I am confident that there are no remaining errors or unclear passages, I self-publish my Travis #WebOfDeceit novels as Kindle eBooks on Amazon. You can find them by searching in Amazon Books for ‘#webofdeceit stubbs’.
My post completes this leg of the blog tour, but it isn’t finished yet!
The next two stops on the Writing Process Blog Tour you’ll be visiting are authors Jaime Conrad and James J. Murray on June 23rd.
Jaime writes young adult fantasy. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, she now lives in Cedar Park, Texas with her husband John Michael. Jaime believes in freedom of speech, thought and religion. Three years ago she had the idea for a Welsh-themed trilogy. She has currently published the first two books: Lake Caerwych and The Space Between Worlds, with Isle of Apples to be released later this summer. You can find Jaime on Twitter as @j_a_conrad.
You’ll find Jaime’s Writing Process Tour post on her blog here: http://jconradfantasy.com.
James J. Murray
With experience in both pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical patient management, James J. Murray’s expertise has been medications and their impact on a patient’s quality of life. His secret passion for murder and mayhem, however, is a whole other matter. James’s obsession with reading murder mysteries and thrillers left him longing to weave such tales of his own. Drawing on past clinical expertise as a pharmacist and an infatuation with the lethal effects of drugs, James creates short stories and novels of Murder, Mayhem and Medicine that will have you looking over your shoulder and suspicious of anything in your medicine cabinet.
You’ll find James’s Writing Process Tour post here: http://jamesjmurray.wordpress.com.
I hope you’re enjoying the tour so far and that you’ll find new authors to add to your reading list. While you’re here, feel free to browse my blog and read the articles dealing with topics that inspired my first two novels.