I am a terrible athlete; you would never want to rely on me in a foot race. I am well trained in networking though. I was raised by two natural sales people and worked as a “staffing specialist” i.e. corporate recruiter for years. I learned a long time ago that “I am not as important as what I can do for you.” I love to connect people with other people, then stand back. That is why I agreed to participate in the Pass The Baton blog hop.
I was tagged by the talented J M Filipowicz. Learn what she is working on these days here.
J M Filipowicz lives in a quiet condo on the surface of the moon, with a beautiful view of the cosmos through her geodesic dome. She spends her time imagining new worlds and writing stories by Earthlight. When she has to come down to Earth, she resides in Burlington, Ontario, Canada with her husband, two children and her dog, Worf. Her first novel, Wardroids, pits female military droids against the men who enslaved them, while Commander Black and his fix-it chick Emily struggle with their feelings for each other. This entertaining twist on the classic sci fi genre is told in three distinct first person view points. Available now from Double Dragon Publishing.
So here are my answers to the usual questions:
What am I working on? – I know I have been prattling on about my forthcoming book, How To Climb The Eiffel Tower, non-stop lately, but I have also been making steady progress on my next book. The working title is The House largely because an abandoned mansion is one of the main characters. It is the story of Gem Hast, a woman in her late forties, who discovers upon her father’s death that she is an heiress and has inherited a mansion in Massachusetts. As Gem slowly renovates the house, she discovers things about the lives of her mother, her aunt, her grandmother, and the first Mrs. Hast.
This novel is a bit of a departure for me. It is my first foray into historical fiction. It is also the first time I am playing with multiple first person points of view, as well as parallel story lines taking place in different time periods. Unlike my first two novels, a friendship is not the primary relationship in the novel. Gem’s relationship with her self-image is first and foremost, with a romance coming in later on.
How does my work differ from others in this genre? – This project differs from many other examples of women’s fiction in that the main character is not young and naive. Gem is 47 years old, has a law degree, and has experienced enough disappointment in life to make her suspicious of people’s motives. Also, the romance is not a typical romance. The character of Billy is significantly younger than Gem, not traditionally handsome, and has unresolved issues of his own. Another way I hope this novel is unique is the way I employ the lives of the deceased Hast women to echo the events in Gem’s life.
Why do I write what I write? – I write about seemingly average women going through extraordinary times. I am drawn to the difficult subjects – infidelity, cancer, abuse, betrayal – and try to make them accessible on a human level.
How does your writing process work? – I am getting more and more organized with each new project. I write in Scrivener and use Aeon Timeline to keep track of my story lines. The two programs sync with each other so I can move an event in Aeon, and it will move in Scrivener – very cool.
My process starts with a couple of loose characters and plot points. I free write my ideas in spiral notebooks until the story runs out of steam, comes to a conclusion, or somewhere in between. I hand write this step because I am freer with my ideas when they are not in type. If I still like the story idea at the end of this process, I move on to the character interview phase. I ask my main characters a series of questions about themselves and sketch out their back stories. This step usually spawns all sorts of plot twists and details. Once I know who my characters are, I make a loose outline of the story so I know the major plot points along the way. I like to give my characters some freedom to tell me how the story evolve, but I need to know where they are going in the end. Unlike some other authors, I do research concurrently with the writing. I sometimes have to go back and fix things I got wrong, but I don’t want to spend a ton of time researching something that ends up not being in the book. My current WIP is much more research intensive. I took copious notes on cancer and child abuse for How To Climb The Eiffel Tower, but that was still relatively focused research. This new project will require research on different time periods and actually historical events that happened in Central Massachusetts over the last century. Luckily, my family has lived there for the last century so I can use them as a jumping off point.
Although I have been talking about The House WIP today, I have several other works-in-progress. Go to the WIP’s tab at the top of this page for info on what I am working on and to keep track of my progress.
The best part of participating in a relay, is the chance to pass the baton on to the next runner. Let me introduce you to N.A. Granger and Luccia Gray. Please check out their blogs and keep your eyes open for their books.
N.A.Granger is the author of Death In A Read Canvas Chair and the forthcoming Death In A White Dacron Sail.
After forty years of research, teaching anatomy to undergraduates, medical students and residents as a Professor Emerita at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and raising a family, she decided to turn her hand and her knowledge of clinical anatomy to mystery writing.
Dr. Granger grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in a century-old house facing the sea. Descended from a family that settled in Maine in the 1700s, she spent her childhood summers on and in New England waters, some of the best times sailing off the coast of Maine. Her time in New England led to the creation of Pequod, Maine, and her protagonist, Rhe Brewster.
In addition to Death in a Red Canvas Chair, Dr. Granger has written for the Deep South Magazine, Sea Level Magazine, Coastal Living and the Bella Online Literary Review.Her work can be read on her blog: saylingaway.wordpress.com and she can be visited on Facebook (Noelle A. Granger and Death in a Red Canvas Chair) or on twitter @rhebrewster.
Luccia Gray started writing fiction and blogging on the subject of Victorian literature last year, when she decided it was about time her life-long dream of being a writer became a reality. As a result of her fascination with Victorian fiction she felt the need to express her creativity by writing historical fiction from a contemporary perspective. Luccia is just about to publish All Hallows at Eyre Hall, the first volume of the Eyre Hall Trilogy, which is a neo-Victorian gothic romance. Her trilogy challenges traditional readings of Victorian fiction by writing both a sequel and a fusion of Jane Eyre and its 20th century prequel Wide Sargasso Sea. You can visit her blog at http://lucciagray.wordpress.com/ and her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/LucciaGray