Once again, I’ve been tagged in a writing related blog hop — this time by the lovely author, editor, and publisher of Niteblade, Rhonda Parrish. Rhonda recently participated in this blog herself and you should definitely go check out her post should you get the time. You can find it here.
Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the forthcoming World Weaver Press anthology Fae.
In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Mythic Delirium.
Now! On to the question/answer part of this blog hop. Are you ready?
1.) What am I working on?
I have just finished the first draft of a science fantasy YA (Young Adult) novel. As a short story writer, I find novel writing and editing distinctly intimidating. However, last year a story plot sprang to mind and it was just too large to fit into a short story. I plotted the novel out last fall and finished drafting the story over the course of 44 days. It finished up at about 93,000 words. I haven’t really spoken ‘publicly’ in detail about the novel, but just for fun I’ll share my “logline” as it currently stands:
A bitter, dying sister must seek a cure in the very religion she despises or risk leaving her young siblings alone and defenseless after her death.
Of course that logline speaks nothing of the sci-fi and fantasy aspects of the story, but I don’t want to give too much away yet!
2.) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
For the first time, I can actually answer this. Again, as a short story writer, I’m normally not focusing long enough on one work for this question to be relevant. I feel my novel differs from others in its genre, firstly because it is a sort of unique subgenre. It’s a science fantasy novel. So it’s a science fiction setting (far-future) and a fantasy plot. That in and of itself is a sort of genre mashup which is a lot of fun to me personally. Second, it may be different in some ways because it explores both the harm and the healing which religion can offer. I hesitate to tout this as a difference though as I don’t read enough YA or novels in general to say that one hundred percent. And third — while it is a YA novel, there is absolutely no romance and no love triangle. I was determined about that aspect of it!
3.) Why do I write what I do?
In relation to the novel, I wrote this
, in a way, to explore my own issues with faith and religion, my own doubts and troubles. What actually started the whole inspiration for this novel was the sterling silver wing-ring I wear constantly. Again, I’m not going to give too much away, but suffice it to say, wings and feathers have a lot to do with this novel.
In terms of short stories, I tend to write really dark, bleak stories. Fantastical stories exploring the farthest reaches of my imagination — pregnant cellos and women that burst into dozens of birds and AI that fall in love with humans. I love seeing how far I can take a story, what unique things I can dredge up from my mind. As for my love of dark fiction and bleak story endings? I’m not really sure why I love them so much, but I do. To illustrate that point, I thought Cormac McCarthy’s The Road had too hopeful of an ending and that’s about the bleakest book I’ve ever read.
4.) How does my writing process work?
I often draw inspiration for my work from photo prompts. For example, my story “A Fairfolk Promise” — forthcoming in World Weaver Press‘s Fae anthology — was inspired by one of many photographs on my writing prompt Pinterest board. I love looking at a photo, especially really fantastic, speculative related photos, and filling in the details, seeing what stories spring to mind.
After I’ve got a story idea in mind, I usually don’t outline. I just jump straight in, draft the story in one sitting and move on to edits. I usually have headphones and a writing playlist pulled up as well. As for longer stories or the novel I’m working on, those tend to be heavily outlined. I wrote out every scene of my novel on index cards and adopted a scene-a-day method, which I talked about recently (here).
So, that’s it, folks. That’s the end of my blog hop — almost! As a part of the process, I was supposed to tag three authors to follow me next week. I only managed to wrangle in two, but I know you’ll enjoy hearing from them, so please check them out next Monday! Here’s a little mini intro, in case you’re not familiar with these very talented authors.
Jeff Suwak lives and writes in the magnificence of the Pacific Northwest. He is the author of the dark fantasy novella Beyond the Tempest Gate. He is also a regular contributor to The Prague Revue and songplaces.com. Some of his recent short fiction publication credits include The Colored Lens, Plasma Frequency Magazine, and The Writers Tribe Revue. He enjoys being berated on Twitter.
You can read his blog-hop participating post here!
B. L. Draper
B L Draper lives in northern Australia where she is a sustainability teacher by day, and a writer by night. She has had stories published in Youth Imagination Magazine and Spellbound, amongst others, and hopes to one day publish her novel before she’s too old and senile to enjoy it. Her blog can be found at http://bldraper.com