Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vegas Performance & Conference Panel

Inspire Theater in Las Vegas
I have some very exciting upcoming events to announce! First of all, my fantastic agent, Josh Adams, is coming to Utah for LDStorymakers (April 24-26), a large annual writers' conference, and I've been asked to be on a panel with him and my agent sister and friend, Sara B. Larson. Our topic is the author-agent relationship. If you're coming to Storymakers, I hope to see you there! (Registration closes April 20th, so hurry!)

The next weekend I will be in Las Vegas for my friend Jessie Humphrie's mega two-day book launch/literacy awareness event. (Her book, Killing Ruby Rose, is debuting.) She's asked me to take part in the Saturday night (May 3rd) ceremony/concert, which will take place at the new Inspire Theater. I'll be one of a handful of musicians/authors who will be performing a couple songs and speaking a little about how music influences our writing. I'm absolutely thrilled to be involved in this event and have had my guitar attached to my hip for the last few weeks in preparation for my little moment in the limelight.

Many other exciting things are happening that weekend in Vegas in conjunction with Jessie's book launch, so be sure to stay up on reading her blog for all the latest details. And here's her blog post mentioning me and my upcoming performance. *cues giddy freakout*

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Writing Process

My critique partner and wonderful friend, Ilima Todd, tagged me for this bloghop, in which I answer a few questions about my writing process. I was supposed to have this post up 'n' ready a few days ago, but I experienced a nasty bout of unexpected cholingitis and appendicitis and had my gallbladder and appendix removed. So here I am with this post--better late than never!

What am I working on?
I'm in the plotting/researching phase of a new fantasy trilogy. It's all hush-hush right now. (I have to keep the magic going!)

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write YA fantasy that's usually epic in scope and very romantic. The plots are complex, and I'm drawn to tackling high concepts (not having a name, the inability to feel the sense of touch, falling in love with someone invisible, time-travel through dreams), and my style has a lyrical and literary bent while still being commercial.

Why do I write what I do?

An idea will take hold of me and won't let go. I'll wake up in the night with inspiration about it, songs will remind me of it--basically, it just consumes all my thoughts. Sometimes that initial spark of an idea is a character, sometimes it's a myth I want to play with, and sometimes it's a image that grips me.

So far my stories involve time periods in the past. I love history, mythology, and classical plays and novels, and I'm an actress who's done a lot of Shakespeare. So I naturally like to delve into writing novels involving the past, though I have some fun contemporary novel ideas I'd love to explore one day.

How does my writing process work?

For a few months, I let the idea percolate in my mind. Once I have a more tangible hold on it, I start researching. I read lots of non-fiction books, make a big binder with copies from library book pages (setting, customs, costumes, food, religion, etc.), and I watch films (mostly classics) that have elements in them that remind me of my story. Once I feel my brain will explode from research (a very frustrating feeling), I crack down and outline the book. This is usually a blend of the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet and some of James Scott Bells methods (I've done brainstorming scenes on notecards and then arranging them into a linear story, for example). I don't outline extensively, but I jot down a nutshell of what happens in the major scenes. Then I write! I'm not the fastest writer, but usually in about four months, I've completed my first draft (better than the first draft of my first novel, which took 1.5 years--ouch!). Then I revise, which goes quicker than the drafting for me. The slowest part is mincing words, since I tend to be an overwriter, but I've gotten really good at it. I cut 50,000 off my first novel. (Yeah.) Then I send my manuscript to beta readers and do more revising, and then send to my agent and do more revising if he sees fit. Finally, it's submissions time--and time for me to quickly get my mind onto something else!

If you write, tell me a little about your process. I've learned no way is the "wrong way." And for the bloghop, I'm tagging Emily R. King and Rosalyn Collings Eves. :-)