Writing Process Blog Tour!
Lo, these many moons ago, I was wont to post here. I'm glad to be back, and glad to prompted to post by the wonderful Chrissy Kolaya, who asked me to be part of this blog tour. You should go grab a copy of her new book, Any Anxious Body, which is available from Broadstone Media. The idea here is to answer four questions about your writing, and then tag three other writers to do the same, a week from now. You can read Chrissy's post from last week at the link above, or read an interview with her over at Sophisticated Dorkiness. Okay, here we go!
1) What am I working on?
As is typical with me, I am working on two projects at the moment. The one taking most of my time is deep revisions of my novel Charley Cross and the London Dead. I have been shopping a third draft of this novel for quite a few months, and have had interest from an agent who invited me to resubmit after further revisions. Her suggestions were good--I think they will result in a much better novel. So I'm doing a round with two beta-readers/critique partners while I rework the book. I'm shooting for mid-to-late May to resubmit. Charley Cross is a YA supernatural mystery set in Victorian London, chock full of walking corpses, mad scientists, and quirky, quasi-Dickensian characters. I quite like it, or else I wouldn't still be tinkering with it.
The other project I'm working on is a new play, which is still in the planning stages. It deals with an aging and difficult rock star and the young, rather idealistic writer sent to interview him. This will be my summer project. It's non-supernatural, which is something newish for me.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I hope that Charley Cross departs from typical living dead novels in a few ways. I have tried very hard to avoid stereotypical zombie paraphernalia, at least as the genre has developed post-Romero. These aren't Day of the Dead zombies in Victorian dress, and they certainly aren't Pride and Prejudice and Zombies monsters. My dead men (and a few women) are sort of a hybrid of the original Haitian zombie and Mary Shelley's creature. I've also tried to develop a pair of main characters--a girl and a boy, both sixteen--who have a relationship that matters, but isn't the primary purpose of the narrative. Actually, lots of YA does this (see the Holly Black, Kendare Blake, the amazing Courtney Summers), but public perception is sometimes otherwise.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write work that engages with popular culture and history, that tries to be funny and dark, that combines disparate elements of things I love in new and interesting ways. I like ghosts, because they're cool, and because that's one way we can talk about the way we're haunted by the past or by themes and ideas that won't stay dead.
My mom and I watched horror movies together when I was a kid. That's the real reason.
4) How does my writing process work?
Depends on what else is going on. This semester, I've been committed to quite a lot of non-writing things, some work-related and some connected to creative projects by other family members. I try to carve out revision and brainstorming time in the early mornings and on weekends.
During intensive writing times, like what I will embark on this summer, I get up early (5am) and write for an hour and a half or two hours until the rest of the family gets up. In the summer I get in four or five hours a day, divided between early morning and afternoon. If I have more than one project going, I work on one in the morning and another in the afternoon, often switching them up so that the one I go to bed thinking a out is the one I start on fresh the next day.
If that doesn't sound messy, I haven't explained it correctly.
Here are the three writers I've asked to write entries for next week. They are good folks, stalwart and true, who I'm excited for you to meet. Look for their posts next Monday, April 21st.
Amy Carol Reeves has a PhD in 19thcentury British Literature and a master’s degree in British Literature from the University of South Carolina. She became entranced by the idea forRipper, her debut novel, after meeting Donald Rumbelow, a world-recognized expert on Jack the Ripper. Reeves is currently an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, and lives with her husband and two children in Columbia, S.C.
Ed Madden is president of the American Conference of Irish Studies, Southern Region. He has written several critical articles on modern British and Irish poetry and has completed a book on representations of Tiresian liminality in modernist poetry (Tiresian Poetics: Modernism, Sexuality, Voice, 1888-2001 from Fairleigh Dickinson University Press). He co-edited (with Marti Lee) Irish Studies: Geographies and Genders, also co-edited an anthology of essays and poems on male experience, The Emergence of Man into the 21st Century, and wrote "An Open Letter to My Christian Friends," which appears in various textbooks, including Everything's an Argument.
In addition to his literary criticism, he also publishes on issues involving sexuality and spirituality. He has published "Gospels of Inversion: Literature, Scripture, Sexology" in a collection of essays entitled Divine Aporia: Postmodern Conversation About the Other (edited by John C. Hawley). Another intervention in the intersection of religion, literature, and sex came in the essay "'The Well of Loneliness', or the Gospel According to Radclyffe Hall," published in Reclaiming the Sacred: The Bible in Gay and Lesbian Culture (edited by Raymond-Jean Frontain).
Ray McManus is the author of four books of poetry: Punch. (Hub City Press, forthcoming) Red Dirt Jesus (Marick Press, 2011), Left Behind (Steeping Stones Press, 2008), and Driving through the country before you are born (USC Press, 2007). His poetry has appeared in numerous journals. Ray is an Assistant Professor of English in the Division of Arts and Letters at University of South Carolina Sumter where he teaches creative writing, Irish literature, and Southern literature.
Thanks again to Chrissy Kolaya for inviting to be part of this. Have a swell week, y'all.