Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour


Dora Machado

We at MB4 love to be part of the writing community at large. When our dear friend, the talented Maria De Vivo, author of The Coal Elf, passed me the baton for the Writing Process Blog Tour, I thought: Why not share it with everybody over at MB4?

In turn, I passed the baton to three writers who I think you might enjoy meeting, and our very own Kim Smith. This means all of us get to answer four questions about our work. Score! Don't you just love writer talk?

Let's get started. These are the questions I had to answer:

What are you working on?

Oh, my! And I thought these would be easy questions. I have several projects going. I'm about halfway into a contemporary urban fantasy novel with a Latin twist. I'm also in the research stage of three different projects, one of them a fantasy/time travel adventure. And of course, I'm also in the process of writing the companion novel to The Curse Giver, a fantasy epic adventure with a hint of romance tentatively entitled The Soul Chaser.

How does your work differ from others in its genre?

I think I bring a different perspective to the fantasy genre. I grew up in Latin America and I've seen and experienced the advantages and disadvantages of living in a developing nation. My stories are usually nuanced by issues of poverty, inequality, corruption and injustice. I like a complex plot with flawed, multidimensional characters engaged in passionate and meaningful relationships at many different levels. I write characters that are a product of changing environments and yet have to evolve with the circumstances.

I don't mind a little length if it allows me the chance to ramp up the journey's intensity and explore the richness of diverse and innovative worlds. My style is a little different too. I like to tell an epic story with lyrical flare. Finally, I bring some gritty realism to my fantasy worlds, a taste of the world we live in.

Why do you write what you write?

I straddle many worlds in real life, so fantasy is a perfect fit for me. I love the freedom of creating my own worlds. In many ways, fantasy is a reinterpretation of the human experience, as current and enduring as the world we live in. To me, fantasy is the most interactive of all the genres, the most flexible. I get to play and experiment with concepts, settings and ideas in all kinds of different frameworks. Who wouldn't love that? I write fantasy because it's fun.

What is your writing process?

It usually begins with an idea that gives birth to a character. Then that character takes over. I'm quite obsessive when I'm writing. I write all the time, wherever I am. The bulk of my writing takes place late at night. I write best during those uninterrupted times and I write for as long as I can. Sleep deprivation is usually a challenge. I can typically churn out a draft in three or four months. After that, I go into a compulsive editing phase, where I might be writing something new while editing the draft. It's a grueling process and yet I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way!

 There you have it. My writing process in a nutshell. Would you like to know about other writers processes? Read on. I'm passing the baton to:

My friend Jerry Hatchett writes thrillers you can't put down. He's the author of several Amazon bestsellers, including Seven Unholy Days, The Pawnbroker and the upcoming Unallocated Space.

My friend Linda Au is a novelist, a humor writer and the funniest woman I know. She's the author of several humor books, including Head in the Sand and the award nominated Fork in the Road.  
My friend Eleanor Khuns is a writer of historical mysteries, winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel competition and author of A Simple Murder, Death of a Dyer and Craddle to Grave.

And of course, MB4's very own, the amazing Kim Smith, talented author of the YA fantasy An Unexpected Performance and hosts one of the most popular writer podcasts in the field of writers and books, Writer Groupie.  Kim picked up the baton and answered her questions right here!

Go Kim!

Kim Smith's Writing Process

My sweet, wonderful, amazing, astounding, marvelous, magnificent writer friend Dora Machado, author of The Curse Giver, passed me the baton for the Writing Process Blog Tour. (And yes, she is ALL of those things and more :) This means I have to answer four questions about my work. Here are my answers: 

What are you working on?

At the moment, I am working on getting Loran Rudder and the Secret Key finished up and ready to publish. I have pre-release reviews coming in and am working on a final edit and polish of the cover and manuscript.

How does your work differ from others in its genre?

I would like to think that all authors no matter what their chosen field are different from one another. No one person can have my voice. It's mine. I think most everyone can write within the guidelines of their chosen field, ie. space matter for sci-fi, unicorns etc. for fantasy, couple in love for romance, but no one can write it with my voice.

Why do you write what you write?

It is important to me to write what I love. I have always loved fantasy. My voice is very youthful and true to the YA reader, so I have been told. I just want to entertain with the same sort of books that entertain me.

What is your writing process?

I am so scattered these days this is a hard question. I write at night these days. I pull my laptop onto my lap and go at it for an hour or so. I can usually turn out about three to five pages in an hour of good writing time. My favorite place to write is at my local Panera Bread. I love to be able to drink coffee and eat and enjoy the ambiance there, but it's hard to make myself get up and take all the gear there. 

Thanks Kim, Jerry, Linda, Eleanor and all of the amazing writers who shared their writing processes in this blog tour. And if you'd like to share your writing process with us, by all means. We'd love to hear how you write. 

Coming up, we are also passing the baton to our dear colleague Aaron Paul Lazar, who will answer his writing process questions in his upcoming blog on Friday.

Don't miss it!


Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. When she is not writing fiction, Dora also writes features for Murder By Four, an award winning blog for readers and writers and Savvy Authors, where writers help writers. She lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and three very opinionated cats.

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