So Caroline Green tagged me in a bloggy challenge thing which gets writers talking about their writing process. There was no threat of violence if I refused, no promise that curses would be visited upon me, so I almost declined but Caroline was so nice about it all and . . . well, why not?
First, a little something about Caroline – who I met not long ago when I spent World Book Day at Wirral Grammar School for Boys . . .
Caroline Green’s first YA novel, Dark Ride won the RONA Young Adult Book of the Year. Cracks and Hold Your Breath have been shortlisted for nine awards, and she is currently the Writer in Residence at East Barnet School in north London. Her latest book, Fragments, was launched in March. Follow her on Twitter @carolinesgreen or check out www.carolinegreen.net.
And now my bit . . .
What am I working on?
Recovering my sanity. The past few months have been so busy! I’ve just finished a copyedit sprint on the US edition of Big Game which will be out around Christmas time, My Brother’s Secret is coming out in just over a week, and The Darkest Heart is due in July. Every time I sit down to work on my next novel something else seems to come along. This book going to be an interesting one, though . . . murderous serial killing families and . . . well, I’d better stop there. If I say any more, I’ll have to find a way to keep you silent.
How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I’m not really sure what genre I’m in. My adult books are thrillers, maybe a bit of crime, but they’re certainly not your typical crime novel. They tend to be quite dark, with unusual settings and maybe a bit of foreign history/culture thrown, a little of the macabre, and I always put my characters in difficult settings as well as difficult situations. My books for younger readers are usually listed as ‘9-12’ which isn’t really a genre at all, and I especially like that. Genre can be too defining and steer people away from things that they might otherwise enjoy. I suppose My Friend The Enemy and My Brother’s Secret (due May) would be dropped into a genre with The Machine Gunners and Carrie’s War, but I like to think that they look at WW2 events with a more modern eye.
Why do I write what I do?
I write whatever stories come into my head. I don’t restrict myself to anything in particular, but write the kind of stories I like to read.
How does my writing process work?
On bad days, I wonder if it works at all! I’m not one for making detailed plans; I tend to get an idea and just start writing. Once I have a rough draft, I can identify where my research is lacking and where I need to patch plot holes and develop characters – I never really understand my characters until I’ve written a first draft.
So there you go. Tag challenge answered. Now I’m supposed to tag another author so . . . I’ll introduce you to Mr Niel Bushnell. Yes, that’s Niel, not Neil, because that’s the way he likes to roll.
Niel’s first book, Sorrowline was published in the UK by Andersen Press in January 2013, with the sequel, Timesmith, recently published in March 2014. Find out more about Niel’s books and watch his fantastic trailers here – and learn all about his writing process, of course!