The Process of Writing and Becoming an Author

When Diane Tatummy friend and marketing partner with the John 316 network, so graciously requested that I take part in the world blog tour I was intrigued by the sound of it. I am so glad I went on to accept the invitation. It is an honor to be considered and to reach out to my fellow earth dwellers through this blog tour.There’s little I enjoy more than cuddling up with a good book, so hopefully this tour will open up more avenues for newer books you’d never known existed before.

 First for some admin stuff: To follow the tour backwards as it were, click on the link for Diane’s Blog, and if you wish, follow her nominations as well as the writer, Marion , who tagged Diane. I can promise you a wonderful and stimulating afternoon exploring the writerly stratosphere of online blogging and reading about authors from all over.

 Before I answer the questions posed by the tour, I thought I’d say a little of myself. I wish I could say I am a full-time author and do nothing but write, write and write some more—wooohoo! But sorry to disappoint. Truth be told, I am many other things first before I can claim to be an author. I am a Christian mother to five, and have been homeschooling my children for the last eighteen years. My eldest has graduated and is working but I still have four who take up a major part of my time. I guess you can call me a stay at home and drive the kids everywhere type of mom. Oh, and I mustn’t forget our many pets… and also stray children I tend to attract!

 One of the most common questions I get asked is usually not writing related. It goes something like this: when do you have the time to write?

 But today, the questions have been laid out for me and it’s the writing process that I will deal with.

 1) What am I working on?

My friends always accuse me of having my hands in too many pots at the same time and this translates into my writing too. Prisoner of Reign, the second in the Reign Fantasy series, is being edited right now. An epic fantasy the book is scheduled to be available in the summer of 2014. It follows the story from the first book, Keeper of Reign, which is an award winning juvenile fantasy and an Amazon best seller. I am also finishing the final touches for Dead Dreams, Book 2 before I send it out to be edited by two different editors. Again, this is a second in a series, this time of a psychological suspense thriller meant for young adults. Dead Dreams, Book1, is available on Amazon.

I am also working on a set of books for girls 6-10 years of age who love princess-type books (Princesses of Chadwick Castle series). It will have color illustrations and will be available as eBooks and paperbacks. I hope to have this series in its entirety ready for Christmas.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I write in three different genres—Middle Grade epic fantasy, Young Adult thriller mystery, and Children’s historical fantasy–but all my books are meant for the Juvenile fiction market. And because I believe in multi-tasking, my fiction reflects a little of what I am. I try to impart a message no matter how subtle to my young readers. I pride myself in taking young people on a thrilling ride without the swearing and the adult themes children are so quickly exposed to in this day and age. And I hope they get something of life’s lessons besides the thrill from the fiction, too.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write books to empower children and hope for them to learn some of life’s lessons in the world of fiction where they can see the consequences of actions and decisions of the main characters in the novels I write. Why make mistakes when you can learn from others—even fictional personalities? So why don’t I write a “how-to” for young people? Because growing up I would read nothing but fiction and I feel that while non-fiction coaxes the mind, fiction deals with the heart, and to me that’s more impactful. 

4) How does my writing process work?

I am what some people would call a “pantser”.

Pantsers write from the seat of their pants charging ahead until they reach the end. They don’t start with a draft or an outline. So the events that surprise the characters also surprise the writer! One day, aA reader disappointed with the outcome in a book hotly asked a famous author, “Why did you kill off Mrs. XYZ?” And the author responded, “I never killed her? I found her dead!”

I’ve been trying to train myself to be a “drafter”—one who would outline everything from beginning to the end and fill in the flesh of the story once they get the bones of the novel in.

I can see that a drafter would work his time more efficiently. In some ways I have become a little bit of a drafter, but still, I can only do a tiny bit of plotting because once I start pounding at the keyboard I may just find the person I like so much actually dead! Or gone away for a long trip—until the next book. These fictional characters can be so hard to control. Not unlike my children.

I find editing to be the most tedious aspect of writing. Not surprisingly. One famous author, a NY Times best seller, said he edited his work 17 times before it was published. So fiction writing is not so much a sprint but a marathon. In fact, make that a triathlon, because writing a book covers so many different aspects you’d never think was associated with fiction writing. It’s like being a juggler—and doing the triathlon.

Most days I write in my car while waiting for my kids, snatching any time I can, or on my bed late into the night—in fact nights and mornings usually blend for me. I write best when I am alone. In fact it can be quite dangerous for the person interrupting me while I am deep in a scene. Alas, these interruptions happen too many times a day. Some days I only have ten minutes, other days a couple of hours. Mostly, I write with the voices of my children in the background. Still, their voices can be music to my ears (mostly!)

 So before we depart and go our way, my dear readers, I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful trio of intrepid writers, William BurtLorilyn Roberts and Kara Howell. We three share something in common besides being authors—we write for the juvenile market. Each one of these writers is a storyteller beyond compare. They will be sharing their writing processes next week, May 17. They are all novelists writing magical stories, spinning tales of mystery and excitement, using words and images which sparkle like dew drops falling through the sun drenched mist. Indulge yourself in a little spoiling by running right now to your local bookshop and picking up a novel or three. William is an avid Tolkien fan and his magical fantasy unfolds in the King of Trees series; Lorilyn Roberts started her writing career with Children of Dreams and have gone on to pen such best-selling tomes like The Seventh Dimension and its devotional companion, and Kara is an up and coming fantasy writer with her first in a series, titled, The Chronicles of Kings and Dragons.

You can read a short blurb about William, Lorilyn and Kara below. Feel free to visit me again at my site where I blog whenever time permits.  I’d love it if you would leave a comment or two. Also, my trio of author friends below will blog on their writing process on May 17. 

 William Burt

Having spent most of his teenage years adventuring in Middle Earth, the author is an avid fantasy fan. His first allegorical fantasy title, The King of the Trees (first edition), came out in 1998. Bowing to reader demand, he has expanded the series to include a total of seven titles to date, with more to follow. His interests include reading, foreign languages and mycology. He is married with two grown children.

Lorilyn Roberts

Lorilyn Roberts graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama in 1991. Her studies included spending two weeks in Israel at the start of the Gulf War and touring England, Australia, New Zealand, and several countries in Europe. She later attended the Institute of Children’s Literature and earned her master of arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College.


Kara Howell

Kara Howell lives in Aurora, Colorado with her husband and four children. She home schools three of her children. Most of her day is spent teaching, or shuttling her kids to various activities.

She is a Bible believing Christian and is very involved in her church. Writing started as a hobby, just to see if “she could” write, but has taken on a life of its own. She has found that she loves writing stories and creating new creatures and worlds.

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About The Author

emma right

Multiple award-winning author and copywriter. Children young adult fiction best sellers.

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