Writing Processes – 2014 Blog Hop

Writing Processes – a Meta Hop

My thanks to the lovely Jennifer Garcia for inviting me to join this blog hop! She also writes as Forbes Arnone, and I  reviewed her debut short story on my site last year: In My Mother’s Footsteps.

This blog hop is all about writers sharing about the hows as well as the whats and whys for each of us individually when it comes to our craft. It all comes down to words on a page or a screen, but the path to that end varies for each of us.

What am I working on right now?

32033613oetratipd8This is kind of a loaded question, because my desktop is kind of a loaded place.

I am working on the final book of my Éire’s Viking Trilogy: Éire’s Devil King. This is an historical fiction book focused on how a Viking became the High King of Ireland. Based in historical fact. 🙂

I am also working on a Regency – Georgian romance that has plagued me since 1997. Readers of my blogs have heard of In the Name of Duty and I know some of my readers are dying to get their hands on the hero. For one reason or another. This story deals with a wounded warrior who has to find a way to make his estate a home for himself. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder wasn’t something they knew about, back then…

I am ALSO working on a Young Adult series of romances. More on that if I can finish the first one.

Oh, and I’m working on putting out one of my self-published Christian romances in eBook format this summer.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Kells Bird

Well, in my Viking trilogy, I add a splash of the supernatural in my character Charis. Believed to be of the bhaen sidhe, she is not exactly human…and it shows!

Why do I write what I do?

storytellingHonestly, most of my work comes from one of two questions: One: Can I make this work? and Two: Should I? Then, I am challenged to make it entertaining to someone other than myself. I am happiest when I succeed in meeting my personal challenge as well as entertaining others.

Not perhaps the most noble thing, but I do always seek to entertain people. I figure if someone is spending time with me, I want to make that time interesting.

How does my writing process work?

I am a linear writer. I may see scenes in advance—in fact, I always do—but I don’t write them until I get there. My whole goal is to get to the Key Scene in my head and then to get away from it to the end. I pretty much always know where I’m ending a story when I start it. For me, it’s like a journey and I have to know where I’m going before I’m on the road.

I get to know my characters while I’m plotting the route, however. I give seminars on their backgrounds and motivations to my furniture, talk about them to myself while I cook, and so on.  During this process, I’m writing the first chapter or three, to get a feel for how they will reach the Key Scene and the end of the journey.

Once I have done so, I outline. And I write.

I’m not a playlist person, nor do I always need music when I write. For me, music is usually a distraction more than it is an inspiration. When I do listen, it’s often to medieval dance music, Weird Al Yankovic tunes, or some of my favorites from my teenage years. (Yes, ’80’s Pop!) I do, though, have what I call a Viking Writing playlist that I have used when writing my current protagonist. Sometimes, I have to get a beat in my head just for him.

I love to talk shop, so if you have any questions, please drop me a line! 


For next week, I’ve asked the following authors to participate:

New Lindsey GrayLindsey Gray dreamed of being several different things as a child such as a doctor, an actress, and a chef, but none held her attention like putting pen to paper and creating her own world through words. Those words led her to The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House and the rest, as they say, is history. Revisited, her third full-length novel, is the second in The Redemption Series, and she has no plans to slow her creations down any time soon. A mid-west native, Lindsey enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, reading on her new e-reader, and making life interesting at each and every turn. Website: http://lindsey-gray.blogspot.com 

Andrea Staum pic

Andrea L. Staum is the author of Blood of the Sire Book 1: Dragonchild Lore, The Attic’s Secret novella, and a several anthology contributions. She’s a trained motorcycle technician with an Associates in Supervisory Management, is an amateur home renovator, and somehow manages to find time to write. She lives in south central Wisconsin with her husband and three demanding cats. https://dragonchildlore.wordpress.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrea-L-Staum-Author/146878242143910

Roxie headshotRoxie Prince is a creative soul who turns her life into stories, poetry, and art.

She was born HIV+ and was orphaned by AIDS at the age of 10. She tells a story of survival through her works.

Her first publication, COMPENDIUM: A Horror Novelette, is available as an e-book download now for all e-readers and as a paperback available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and other major online retailers.



  1. Jennifer Garcia - itlnbrt · March 7, 2014

    Love this!! 🙂

    • Sandi · March 7, 2014

      Thank you! 🙂

  2. Warren C. Bennett · March 15, 2014

    I often ask myself if I can do this and if I should be doing this – but it isn’t a process that I really think about. Generally the “if” part is related more to self confidence than anything. When I get over that hurdle, I feel like I can take on the world.

    Should I write what i’m writing? I’ve asked myself that question a lot. It is mostly to do with aligning my own Christian beliefs with what i’m putting on page. There are somethings I’ve written that no one has ever read because of this. However, I’m not afraid to touch the hard subjects that other “Christian” writers might not want to talk about. I guess this is because I’ve grown up reading the Bible. There are some very hard subjects and racy scenes in this book.

    Ultimately I try to be realistic a nd truthful with myself while also entertaining people. My goal is (hopefully) to help someone out there. I know how much fiction has helped me in my life, maybe I can do the same for someone else.

    You, of course, have seen my evolution as a person and a writer in a much closer way than many. What I wrote above is what I think about after writing something – often I don’t really think that way while in the moment. Of course, when i’m writing a series of stories set in a brothel I do have to ask myself: What do I show and what do I keep back? On this one I had to make sure the whole situation isn’t shown in a positive light. I’m kind of getting tired of the sex trade and prostitution being shown as something that is glamorous…

    Anway. I’m ramblling so I’ll let you go. heh. I wonder sometimes if I over think things.

    • Sandi · March 15, 2014

      You do tend to think things through – perhaps overmuch, at times – but that isn’t always a bad thing.

      The “should I” question is something I had to consider after the first time I tried researching for Captive Irish Moon, back in the day. So I try to give that some thought when I undertake a major new project. However, I have been known to let my brain just go when it’s flash fiction or something quick and dirty. Sometimes, I just have to vent. lol

      • Warren C. Bennett · March 15, 2014

        Why did you think that about CIM? Because of the odd marriage she had at the beginning of the book?

        And yah – I love creating worlds and thinking things through before sitting down and writing something. I do push myself to write without thinking sometimes. I have a few stories I need to finish in that vein.

        • Sandi · March 15, 2014

          No. Originally, in the first incarnation of Cowan’s story, the heroine was going to be druid or the daughter of one, and it was set hundreds of years earlier. And God, in his infinite wisdom, refused to let me touch that one. So I didn’t. 🙂

        • Warren C. Bennett · March 15, 2014

          Good. I think it’s better how it turned out. Father knows best 😛

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