Thursday, April 3, 2014

What, Why, and How I Write...

Marianne Wheelaghan
Scottish writer, teacher, and entrepreneur extraordinaire Marianne Wheelaghan invited me to participate in the blog tour What, Why, and How I write. Marianne runs the online writing school, which offers classes in creative writing to students from all over the world. Besides teaching and running a school, she's also written two books (The Blue Suitcase and Food of Ghosts) and is working on sequels to both!
Here's Marianne's contribution from earlier this week:

And here are my answers:
What am I working on?
Right now, I'm working on several different projects – a novel for 12+ year-olds that I hope to publish this summer, an ebook about self publishing, and an online course about epublishing for the writing school My long-term goal is to start a micro-press based in North Carolina, which will focus on educational and children's books.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?
Well, I have a hard time conforming to “genres”! My middle-grade novel started out as a murder mystery for adults, and I decided that because the main character is 13, it might work better as a book for kids. Changing “genres” really freed me up because I felt less pressure to be “literary”! I think writers tend to be very hard on themselves, and writing for kids (who I believe are more open minded) helped me just focus on the story and characters and not worry so much about literary devices or how “smart” I sounded!

I love writing mysteries, but my stories don't really fit into the “cozy” genre or the “hard boiled.” I think my work falls somewhere in the middle – not cutesy enough to be a cozy mystery, but not dark enough to be noir!

Why do I write?
To be honest, I'm not sure! I just know that I like the way I feel when I write – sort of out of time, not constrained by stereotypes and pressures to be and act a certain way. I'm pretty shy by nature, and writing lets me speak my mind in a “safe” way, through metaphor and characters, who can do whatever they want! I also love reading, and I love stories – so, all these things sort of go together, don't they!

How does my writing process work?
It changes, depending on the circumstances. When I was a kid and young adult, I wrote in notebooks and later retyped things on the computer. It took me a long time to actually get to the point where I typed my stories first. Now, I don't have the patience to write long-hand!

When I was younger, I was much more romantic about the writing process – besides writing on paper (which I thought was “better” than on the computer), I only wrote when I felt inspired, etc... But now that I have two children, I know that I must force the inspiration and write whenever I have the opportunity! Otherwise, chores, walking the dog, laundry, and everything else gets in the way!

My nominee for the next "stop" on the tour is Lisa Logan, who co-authored Publishing and Selling Your Ebook on Kindle with me! And she's also written a great paranormal thriller, House of Mirrors, and an excellent collection of short stories called Of The People.


Marianne Wheelaghan said...

Brilliant post, Louisa. Really enjoyed it. I too have a hard time conforming to genres and neither of my books are typical of the crime or historic fiction genres. But it is something I worry less and less about. As long as readers like our books, they'll keep coming back for more :)

Louisa said...

Thanks for your support, Marianne! I agree -- what's most important is what we writers and our readers enjoy!