Blogging it forward, I will invite 3 other authors on to answer questions about their process in writing the dirty deeds they commit to paper. I will ask the same four questions of myself here of them:
What are you currently working on?
I have been working slowly on a new crime novel entitled The Fear Collector, but progress has been slowed by life problems for one, but also due the fact I am engaged currently in putting up my previous 55 titles now on Kindle onto audio book format via acx.com and consequently Audible.com and iTunes for sale. I currently have completed nearly 20 titles ready and selling, but am in various stages of producing 27 other titles. This means I am a busy fellow along with teaching four classes....sigh. Thusly, my work in progress has had to take a back burner. Still it is halfway completed.
I have a warped, sick sense of things such as life and death, I suppose. While I write in a variety of genres from strictly horror with monsters abounding, I also write psychological suspense thrilers, forensics files, young adult, alternate history, history-horror, and paranormal detectives. I do add touches of science fiction and romance into some titles, and some I call Hystery Mystery. As a child, I was reared on One Step Beyond and such as The Twilight Zone. Look at it this way, heroes are Rod Serling and Mark Twain, so I blend dark humor in with the frights and high praise for me is when a reader tells me she literally threw my book across the room, hit the cat, cat leaped and landed on sleeping hubby, woke him...then she with flash light in hand goes to retrieve the offending book to finish it off.
How are your books different from others in your category?
My novels are shockers no matter the genre I am writing in, and as I have said above, I delve into many categories of fiction. I have seen other authors triangulate a few of the five senses in a scene, which is good, but I go for all five whenever, wherever possible, and when I cannot legitimately scare a reader with psychological frights, I will go for the jugular every time. Mine are filled with action, a sizable seismograph and no straight line story is going to come out of me. Twists and turns are my watchword along with making the reader the main character. By that, I mean for the duration of the novel, I want to hold the reader complete enthralled. To that end, I pull out all the stops to the locomotive of the forward moving dynamo of the plot built around memorable characters.
How Precisely do you worm a book out of your head?
One scene at a time. Start with a character's hands busily at something...you are already in action and in the middle of things. Build this scene out of which the next will flow. Trust your story and your establishing opening shots. If they are good and true, a second scene will organically suggest itself to you from your own reading of scene one. When young, my approach was to get the book entirely out of my head, finished, kaput so that I would have a product on paper to then go in and WRITE for real - rewrite, painstakingly so. My process has however evolved so to speak, as now I do a couple few chapters, go back, reread up till what I have completed, and then carry on to the next few scenes, then go back, re-read and re-edit again as I go, rearranging as I go in much more an ocean wave, parabola fashion. Comes with experience, I suspect
For more detail on all my process and method and tools, get hold of my How-To for the Dysfunctional Writer in Us All entitled DEAD ON WRITING, an ebook soon to be an audio book.
I am going to attempt to get 3 additional guests authors to speak to these same concerns/questions. I will attempt to get as my guests Les Robert, John Everson, and a surprise guest #3 - if I can get him....Ed Gorman, and if not Harry Shannon.