I bet you woke up this morning and thought, damn – I really want to know more about Beth’s writing process (humor me, okay?). This interview was originally published three years ago, exactly one year before I published my first novel, although I couldn’t have known that at the time. It was part of a series on a blog that no longer exists, but I decided to keep it because a) I like it and I crack myself up, and b) it’s cool to catch a glimpse from when I was first starting out as a new writer, broaching the intimidating world of Indie authoring and all that entails. So here’s a backstage pass into my writerly world, which frankly hasn’t changed an iota since I published Order of Seven. *waves you through the secret door* Come on back. Help yourself to a drink while you peruse my inner workings. Don’t touch the oils…that’s for later. If you behave yourself. *wink-wink*
What am I working on? Right now I’m finishing up revisions on my novel, which I’m 99% sure will be marketed under YA Urban Fantasy. I’m about to begin work on the cover design, as well as about 100 other details that must happen before it’s an actual living, breathing thing you can hold in your hands (or in your ereader). It’s not my first novel, but it’s the first one I chose to polish and publish first.
How does my work differ from others in its genre? This novel stands alone because (although listed as fantasy) it’s about nothing you’ve come to expect from this genre, while at the same time being about people who could easily be your friends or neighbors. It’s a knuckle-biting drama, while being a romance, while being a mystery, while being a journey of self-discovery. The characters may be the heart of the story, but science drives the plot, specifically archaeology, physics, and astronomy.
Why do I write what I do? I’m restless in the mundane, so I strive to make my work inexorably captivating by taking you places you’d never expect. I want you to walk on the edge of your comfort zone. I want you to gasp. I want you to feel. I want you to freeze in your seat. I want you to squirm. I want you to be so invested you get chills when my characters do.
How does my writing process work? My muse tends to perform best when I drive; when I vacuum; when I run; when I shop…basically, whenever I’m doing mindless activities. I might find an interesting trinket in an antique store that spurs an entire plot. Or I’ll watch an old man drink coffee in a diner, and just his wrinkled hands and the way he smokes a cigarette will inspire a character.
I’ve always considered myself a “burst writer”. I stew with a set of characters for a while before bursting into a writing fever that lasts weeks and sometimes months. I pile everything onto the pages like an enormous heap of sand. When I’m satisfied I have all the sand I need, I begin carving and sculpting it into the castle it was meant to be.
Wallah. It’s just that simple. And just that infuriatingly unpredictable.
Passing The Baton
Next up in the tour: Mandi Castle. She’s not only an author bud of mine, but a close personal friend in real life as well. In fact, we met through our sons who had a preschool class together and begged for a playdate, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I probably wouldn’t have ever published a book had I not met her. She’s cool as shit, funny, wicked talented, and more supportive of me than I deserve. This interview took place one year prior to her publishing her first novel, Dear Stephanie, as well (cough-award-winning-cough). Go read her interview HERE or be a douche purse. For reals.