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I was invited by Courtney Hall to participate in this continuous blog hop. You can check out her post (and other fun articles) here. The idea is for each author on the hop to answer the same four questions about his/her work in progress and they way in which s/he writes. Readers can then get insight into their favorite authors’ minds, and even compare the thoughts of different authors.

Pretty cool, right? Here’s my contribution:

Photo Credit: Antonio Litterio

Photo Credit: Antonio Litterio

1. What am I working on? I have several stories going, but at the moment two are getting the most attention: the Christmas novella you lovely readers helped me out with earlier this year, and the second chance romance I’ve been slowly writing for the past two years now. They’re both Regency romances, tangentially related to each other, but not in the same series.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? There are all kinds of Regencies out there, and both of mine seem to take a little from a couple of categories. They’re a little bit sweet (lighter on the sex content) and a little bit traditional (no spies or kidnappings or mysteries here, but lots of good character development). But romances tend to stick to two points of view (the hero’s and the heroine’s), which gives you a certain feel that’s common to them all. My two stories are still told from two points of view, but I grew up reading so many third-person novels that some of that style creeps in. That’s what makes me unique–you get a solid, lovely Regency atmosphere but it doesn’t feel like every other Regency you’ve read 🙂

3. Why do I write what I do? I write because I have to. Literally. I’ve tried to stop several times, because my life would be so much less complicated if I could just stick to teaching. But every time I put writing aside, I find myself going a little crazy–the characters and stories start piling up in my head, and I write to get them out. I started writing romance because I read quite a few bad ones and thought I could do better. Luckily I also found a multitude of great ones, so I have lots of wonderful role models as I work!

Title_page_of_OUR_HOME_CYCLOPEDIA,_printed_18894. How does my writing process work? It’s strange because my writing process is a lot like my lesson planning process when I’m teaching. Once I get an idea in my head (for a story, a chapter, a scene, a character), I throw myself headfirst into research. No matter how much I know about the Regency period (or any other era in history), there is always a bucket of details I need to figure out. When I can start imagining the story/chapter/scene in my mind, I write notes down in my trusty 3-ring binder (yes, I like plain notebook paper for notes and scribbles–I can draw arrows, use different colors, underline/circle/box certain words or phrases much faster than on a computer). When the outline feels solid, the words usually start to flow and I park myself in front of the computer. When I get stuck, I have found that housework actually helps me work out issues in the manuscript. Keeping my hands occupied while I talk out a problem has helped me untangle many a fictional knot over the years!

There you go–that’s my writer’s life in a nutshell. Minus all the complications, of course…those are a different story for a different post 😉