Rob was the second author that I really touched base with, before and after buying his book (which is a good read for the horror fan, by the way). You can discover more about the friendly Texan at his website, and maybe even grab yourself a copy of his work.
So what is this Writing Process Blog Tour? I hear you asking the question, maybe with a quizzical furrow of the brow as you sip your lukewarm coffee. It’s nothing convoluted, but rather simple. Authors are invited to participate and continue the cycle of the blog tour in hope of introducing new authors to the reader, like yourself. In this day and age with an aggressive expansion into the cyber world, talent can still go amiss without someone to point them in the right direction. The authors have four questions to answer and other authors to introduce, to continue the blog cycle.
So without rambling and digressing any further, welcome to my chapter in The Writing Process Blog Tour, where you get to discover what makes a crazy girl like myself, write the dark things I write…
What am I working on?
When I first wrote The Uninvited, it was titled Watchers and was a book of 140K words. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe this to be a series of novels, rather than one book. Now I have three Chronicles, with Chronicle 4 on the way.
It sounds like I have a baby on the way with the description, but in a way, Chronicle 4 will be the baby of them all. It’s the book in the JRC series that will evolve the series into something bigger. I’m not sure how – that’s for the characters to tell me – but it’s the turning point in the series structure. So yes, I’m working on Chronicle 4, a dystopian novel with a touch of the urban fantasies about it.
I’m also working on script for the development of a game based around the books. It’ll be released initially as an app, but it’s intended for bigger things too. I’m in collaboration with a Canadian games developer by the name of Mike Wutherwick (@gekido on twitter). We’re in the story board and design phase at the moment, with more fun times ahead. It’ll be interesting to see how this all unfolds, as the game is the prequel to the books. So in a way, I’m working backwards with the Chronicle series and learning more about the characters than I anticipated. Now I have to envisage the roads they take, their mindset when they make decisions, and what really, really, makes them tick. Like I didn’t delve in deeper in the past, now they’re dragging me into their personal battles as well...Geez, this makes me sound like I suffer with multiple personality disorder…but then, I’ve never claimed to be normal.
The other project I’m working on is a dystopian novel with the working title “2020.” You can read the opening draft prologue on my website here, but essentially it’s my thoughts and theory put into a fictional story about the movement across the world that some of us know as the elusive New World Order. In it you’ll find topics about nano technology, big brother, vaccination programs and internment camps. People get sick and die, while others march on to fight the good fight
against the bad guy (the new government). There is no “super-flu” epidemic. It’s far worse than that, but I’ll be giving away too much if I say anymore. From there, the new government ends up in ruin as the “real” government rears its
ugly head, thanks them for showing up, and pretends to clean up the mess. Sounds
confusing? I’m just trying to base it on a futuristic life that I fear is coming to fruition. Nothing about our world is simple, right?
Amidst all this, I’ve embarked on a semi-autobiographical work, more for cathartic reasons, but I’m sure some of you will enjoy this equally dark and disturbing book due for release in 2015. No rainbows and unicorns in that one.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Even though I incorporate “mystical” characters into my Julianna Rae Chronicles, they are not the focus of my urban fantasy / dystopian series. I try to be realistic with my reader. I refuse to spoon feed them or fabricate a war situation until it becomes nothing more than a shadow of a fight with a romance involved. No thanks, not for me. My work is honest and brutal. War is brutal. There isn’t a darned good thing about the situation, so I write what I see in my mind – how a war is fought on the ground with minimal technology. I show the reader the brutality of humanity and make no apologies for it. I show the casualties, the war crimes and the hideous nature of the two legged creature that has taken over this world. Some people complain about it; others love the honesty. This is a common theme in my work coming soon, and all the work that’s already out there.
So if you like “brutal and gritty” with a touch of suspended disbelief, this is for you.
Why do I write what I do?
Is it possible to really answer that question? Writers are attracted to a genre because it’s what they are compelled to write. It really isn’t a blatant choice on my part. The genre chose me. I didn’t get a say in it, even from an early age. Honest.
My first ever writing piece was about a girl running through a graveyard with hands reaching through the dirt. They clawed at her ankles, they tripped her up, but she managed to escape. The moon was cliché full and the night was dark. Physically, she was unharmed, mentally she was a mess. I wrote those four pages in primary school in my first class of Process Writing. My mind went nuts and I’ve never looked back. This is why I say the genre chose me. The horror, terror an dystopian genres all go hand in hand. They all involve the dark elements that provoke most of us into tucking our legs safely into our beds of a night, away from the sides. If we can’t see them, if our feet don’t dangle over the edge then they can’t grab us…but then again, is it the truth of the whole matter? This is the question I like to explore in my work.
How does my writing process work?
Step One: Turn the music on (the louder the better), find the theme, sing and rock it until I can’t sing anymore.
Step Two: Stop procrastinating.
Step Three: Write the f$%^!n story!
My usual day of writing consists of an early morning to rise and a late night to bed. Writers can keep odd hours; my bedtime since writing the Chronicles is around the 2am mark. I don’t outline much; I wait for my muse to talk (my characters). Simple huh? Not really. Sometimes I delete entire chapters because it just doesn’t work, and sometimes I get 5k of words down a day because I’m on a roll. It’s the luck of the draw, and I work really hard too.
On average, I can churn out a draft in three to four months, dependent on the “muse” playing ball. Following that, I move into the “stick-it-in-a-draw-for-8-weeks” phase, where I focus on a completely different writing or photography project. Once the time is up, I pull the manuscript out, dust it off and re-read. Editing will come in next, and can take as long as a month of back-to-back days, crossing out lines of work, rearranging chapters, killing off characters, and sometimes rewriting entire chapters – if I don’t *delete them first. Grammar and spelling, structure, pacing, plot…it’s all revised for the beta readers before they get their critical mitts on it. From the input and notes I get from the beta readers, more editing follows, more time in a draw and a third lot of editing where I read it aloud. If I’m happy, I publish it. If I’m not, I give my muse a verbal beating and revisit the manuscript after some time off and lots of coffee in between. There is always lots of coffee…and chocolate…and music…but that’s another story in itself.
*(And when I say delete, I print them up and file them away in a box for future work).
Thank you for taking a moment to keep me company, but it’s time to introduce you to more talent in the writing arena. Now to pass the writing torch to my good friend and email “pen pal”, Jake Devlin, or JD as I affectionately call him. This man will have you scratching your head and wanting more with his books. He is a talent when it comes to writing between the lines, and his characters are equally intriguing.
So now, to pass the torch onto a great buddy of mine, meet Jake Devlin...
Just between you, me, him and that lamppost behind you (the one with the hidden camera and microphone; shh), he uses a pseudonym so that when the CIA, FBI, NSA or Interpol come prowling, he wants them looking for some guy named Jake Devlin, not his real name (and he's only half joking about that). If and when they DO come, he hopes they'll have at least read his books; the interrogations will go much more quickly.
So without further ado (or ah don't), click on this link to give him a visit: http://www.jakedevlin.com/MWP.html
I'm a writer, a reader and a frequenter of the more charming sites in town, namely pubs.
I was born and raised in Southern California, somehow got my BS from Penn State and left to explore the world courtesy of the U.S. Navy. I've lived in San Francisco, New York and Norfolk, Virginia, but prefer to call San Diego home these days.
My husband is the cog that keeps the asylum running (that's kind of a mixed metaphor, isn't it?) and the real Charlie is a terrorist. When not fixing ships (yes, the big gray ones owned by Uncle Sam), I can be found running after my grandchildren, my dog and my sanity.
I will defend unto death the belief that a well-rounded diet consists of coffee, scotch, chocolate, popcorn and Luna Bars - in that order – and have been accused of violating grammar and etiquette rules in at least seven countries. My Muse is a Valkyrie named Prue, so look out.
Joe Humphrey is an American writer living in Canada and the author of the serialized horror story Bloodletting: A Vampire Story. It's a passion project that's been in development for over fifteen years. Through a series of short stories and novellas, Bloodletting follows the individual paths of a group of vampires as their stories overlap and intertwine over more than a century. Each volume of the series is meant to stand alone as well as act as a piece of a larger story.
Bloodletting is available at Amazon, Kobo and iTunes. For more information, please visit bloodlettingbook.com