Hey, it’s Monday! So why am I writing a blog today? Because I’ve been invited to be part of a blog hop. This is a fun, social engagement with writers and authors around the Internet and a chance for you to browse for your next read. Is this cool or what? Please check out the links today because I’m hoping you’ll find enjoyment with two author-friends of mine, and they have links to other writers. Good luck and happy author-hunting!
P.S. This post will take the place of my normal Wednesday edition this week.
FROM CATHERINE DILTS
I met Cathy at a Left Coast Crime book convention a couple of years ago. We became instant friends over lunch at a fast food place and have never looked back. I hope to have Catherine Dilts as a guest blogger later this fall. She writes a rock-shop mystery set for those who enjoy a little fossil hunting and a nice chill up your spine. Stone Cold Dead came out last winter and she’s just had her second novel, Stone Cold Case, accepted for publication. Cathy has also had several stories published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. I think hers is a name that will continue to grow in the publishing industry. Thanks, Cathy, for inviting me to be part of this hop.
HEADING OVER TO PAMELA NOWAK’S SITE
Pam Nowak is a historical romance writer who is focusing on the wild west. I loved reading Choices from this award-winning novelist. Pam is one of the “big names” from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and each time we meet, she shares a great smile and a totally fun spirit. But I’m rattling. Here’s Pam’s official bio:
Pamela Nowak writes historical romance set in the American West. In addition to widespread critical acclaim, her books have won multiple national awards. Her most recent book, CHANGES, won the Colorado Book Award for Genre Fiction. In love with history and rich characters for most of her life, Pam has a B.A. in history, has taught prison inmates, managed the Fort Yuma National Historic Site and run a homeless shelter. She was named the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year in 2010, chaired three conferences, and now serves as president. Pam and her life partner, Ken, live in Denver. Their combined families include six daughters and several grand-children. Together, they parent a dog and a cat. Pam loves hearing from readers and invites them to visit her on her website (www.pamelanowak.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/pamela.nowak.142), or Twitter (www.twitter.com/readpamelanowak).
Be sure to check out her newest offering, Changes, when you can.
THE QUESTIONS WE ALL ANSWER
Part of this hop, is to answer the same four questions in order for new readers to get a chance to know you, so here goes:
What am I working on?
For me, it’s always best to be working on a bunch of things at a time, even though I try to focus on one big project. I try to keep an ideas notebook, and have lists, character ideas, settings and more organized into a nice bright binder.
Right now, my big project is the third Daisy Arthur mystery, called Pot Shots. Colorado is acting as one of the experimental states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana. But with the federal government holding firm on not legalizing the drug, marijuana stores work one hundred per cent in cash. That was just too much temptation for a writer like me to keep away from. Now, how is a nice romance writer edging into her golden years going to get involved? Lots of fun here, I hope.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Anyone who writes has their own voice and is therefore, by definition, different from others. Still, I like the way Daisy has no pretense about being an amateur detective. She’s simply someone who makes the most of what life throws her, and that, I hope, is a positive message for us all.
Why do I write what I do?
They say you should write what you know. Given that, I always thought you had to have actual police experience to be able to write a mystery. Then I started reading cozies and fell in love. When I saw a book on how to write mysteries, it helped solidify a vision I was working on already, and Daisy was created. I think a lot of cozy mystery solving comes from being intrigued by the puzzle-solving aspect of it all. And I love (though am not very good at) puzzle play—sudoku, spider solitaire, name that celebrity, logic problems and more. At last! My penchant for play is rewarded in writing. How cool is that?
How does my writing process work?
Ooh. That’s a hard one. Believe it or not, I usually start with a flash that makes me giggle. That flash can be a scene in my head or, even more likely, the title of a book. I play with that flash until I think I have a real idea. Then I start gathering thoughts and ideas for a few months. I’m not really sure what’s taking hold in my subconscious at this point. The idea is to talk with people who may be involved or passionate about a subject and listen to them. Then I have to noodle around what sort of motive might be around that subject that would cause someone to commit murder. If I’ve been sitting around for six months or more, the guilt gets to me. I stop trying to find the perfect plot and start scolding myself for being so lazy. Once that puzzle is solved the play begins.
I write the story from a few different perspectives. I do this long hand, as I believe it’s easier for my subconscious to come out to play when I write long hand.
When I have four or five perspectives complete, I copy them paragraph by paragraph onto three by five cards. I suppose it would be smarter to type them up, print them and cut them apart, but I love index cards. The cards have been a real friend for keeping me organized throughout my adulthood.
When the cards are complete, I mix them up, shuffle them about and spread them all over my dining room table. Then I number them, stack them up and essentially have the outline for my next book. From there it’s a simple matter of discipline (which sometimes I have in abundance, and sometimes I don’t). At this point I try to set a deadline for sending the work into beta readers and the publisher, all in hopes the next book will be something they want. Fingers crossed.
Hope you’ve enjoyed your visit. If you’re new to this blog, please drop me a line and let me know what you like to read about. If you’re a returning friend, thanks for spending time with me today. There will not be a post on Wednesday.
Make a great week, my friends!