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Monday, December 9, 2013

The Writing Process

Writers supporting writers… I am always happy to help my writing colleagues and one particular friend, Anita Davison, my partner in crime (quite literally as we are both tinkering around with Cosy Mysteries at the moment) and fellow 17th century passionista, has invited me to join a blog tour with a difference. A fabulous way to get to understand the way writers work (or don’t…) and to meet some "new to you" authors. Welcome to the WRITING PROCESS BLOG TOUR.

Anita Davison… whose blog is, also writes as Anita Seymour and I am currently reading her wonderful fictionalisation of the life of Elizabeth Murray - ROYALIST REBEL. Loving it!

Here goes:

1)     What am I working on?

Start with the hard one! Right at this very moment I am in the middle of edits for  an English Civil War set historical romance, CLAIMING THE REBEL’S HEART, for which I am very happy to do the "Cover Reveal" today. 
For more information and to read an excerpt, visit my WEBSITE:  click HERE.
Release date:  January 22, 2014.

With Christmas looming I am allowing myself the luxury of a short break while I mull over my next project - which is an English Civil War set historical romantic suspense - THE BRIDE IN THE BOX.

Sitting on the backburner is the long awaited sequel to my “King’s Men” series (BY THE SWORD and THE KING’S MAN) and I am also planning two other stories to link to CLAIMING THE REBEL’S HEART. One day the English Civil War will be the “new Regency” and I will be there!

Also on the back burner is the aforementioned “cosy mystery”, Harriet Gordon and the Burmese Ruby - set in Singapore in 1910.

So many ideas…so little time!

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write across genres. Back in the dark past when I actually had an agent he sat me down in a cafe in New York (yes… really!) fed me coffee and doughnuts and told me I had to make up my mind as to whether I was writing romance or historicals because I couldn’t do both. I have mulled over that piece of advice for many years and have gone on completely disregarding it.

In today’s publishing world, that distinction is less important than it was back in New York in 1999. In those days it mattered that a publishing house could put a label on a book that could distinguish it clearly…Romance, Historical, Crime. What the epublishing world has done is blur those boundaries and made it acceptable to write across genres.

3)     Why do I write what I do?

I like to write the books I like to read - historicals with a romantic theme and if I also want to add a ghost or two or a mystery to be solved or even a bit of time travel…I do. I need action and adventure in my tales. Straight romances are just not my thing and while I love a good historical, I still need two characters I can engage with and who have at least got the promise of a HEA. Sad endings are just not too sad…

4)     How does my writing process work?

Let me start by saying I am an “organic” writer (or “pantser” if you prefer). My stories begin with characters and an inciting incident, a good strong setting and a piece of history and, of course (because I do write romance!) a Happy Ever After…all of these ingredients form the basic skeleton of the story and it is up to my characters to make the story happen. This is a method fraught with difficulty… you go up dead ends, you suffer sagging middles… but that magic moment when your characters start talking back to you and you are walking their journey with them makes it all worthwhile.

Writing mysteries presents more of a challenge than a straight historical romance because you do need to have a compelling mystery to solve and that requires a little thinking about….! I am discovering ways to manage the need to plot with the pantsing method of writing and getting a little more efficient about the process. My husband is aghast as I arrive at the dinner table with the announcement “I know who did it!”. Being an engineer he just rolls his eyes. It is absolutely beyond his comprehension that I could write books without plotting every nuance. Tried that once… got bored…

Next week (15th December) watch out for two special writing friends. If you love historical romances these are the writers for you.

JOANNA LLOYD Born in Papua New Guinea, like many other ex-pats, Joanna was sent to boarding school in Australia. Having always had a voyeuristic fascination with human behaviour, she studied psychology and spent twenty years conducting workplace and family law mediations. This exposed her to the very best and worst of human behaviours. After the degenerative process of muscular dystrophy caused her to be wheelchair bound, she transferred her fascination to the written word. She is the author of two historical romance novels – Beyond Innocence, and Shadow Beneath the Sea. She lives and writes in tropical Far North Queensland – her version of paradise.

You will find her blog at:
(Joanna will be taking tea with Ms. Stuart on December 20).

MAGGI ANDERSEN Maggi Andersen lives in the countryside outside Sydney, Australia, with her lawyer husband. After gaining a BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing, and raising three children, Maggi now indulges her passion for writing. She writes in several genres, contemporary and historical romances and young adult novels. You’ll find adventure and elements of danger in everyone.
You will find her blog at:

FINALLY... As my little Christmas present to my readers, my time travel romance (with an English Civil War setting), SECRETS IN TIME, is on sale on Amazon only from 9-14 December for $0.99c! Good, quick holiday reading!  To go directly to AMAZON click HERE