What Possesses a Person to Spend Hours Alone Stringing Words Together?

Writing is a solitary endeavor. It requires many hours alone wracking one’s brain over what best words to use when stringing a story together.  I love the art of writing.   A blog tour is going around in which authors describe their particular process for creating a story.

One of my favorite authors, Ann McMan, tagged me to participate. If you haven’t read any of Ann’s books, stop reading this blog right now, and go to her website at http://annmcman.com. Ann’s work, whether it’s writing or graphic design, is like fine food. You bite into it and instantly love it. Yet, the real fun is trying to figure out why it’s so good. What are those nuances and special ingredients all perfectly put together into delectable goodness? Layers of subtle complexity mixed with Ann’s humor and intelligence make her one of the best of the best. Once you’ve read a book or two of Ann’s, then come back to this blog. Below are my answers to the questions of the tour.

What am I working on?  I’m not one who easily multitasks.  My thinking is very linear which means I like to start one thing and finish it before moving onto the next project.  Notwithstanding, I have two writing irons in the fire at present.  Actually, three now that I think about it.  Maybe that’s why I’ve been feeling a bit scattered lately.  My next novel, Blowback, will be out in the coming months.  It’s currently in the editing process, and I’ll be putting the finishing touches on it soon.  To sum it up, it’s a story about guns, family and gritty fishermen of Maine.  I’ve put together a playlist for Blowback that can be found at Spotify under playlists by Bev Prescott.

In the meantime, I’m working on a nonfiction collection of essays and photographs about the trip that I recently went on to Antarctica. It’s been great fun revisiting the memories from such a life changing adventure. I look forward to sharing some of those memories in a book. Finally, I’m in the beginning stages of working on an outline for my fourth novel. I’ll tell you more about it as the idea comes into full shape. Think dystopian story about the future when climate change has fully manifested itself on the human race.

How does my work differ from others of this genre?  I’ve always been a fan of lesbian romance.  I started reading it during a time in my life when I was still very much in “the closet.”  It offered stories in which I could relate in a positive way to the main characters.  But, as society has become more accepting, I’ve wanted to read and write stories where it’s more matter of fact that the main characters are lesbians.  Instead of focusing on the romance, I focus on the complex issues of society that affect all of us.  The romance is secondary to broader issues that I think are important and in need of talking about in society.  Things like war, bullying, guns and the environment.

Why do I write what I do?  Writing forces me to sit down and really think about things.  To research, consider and understand issues that I care about.  I write stories about topics that I want to learn about and share with others.  For example, the idea for Blowback was born out of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I wanted to learn about why and how guns played a role in something so awful.  I needed to learn the truth, instead of being placated by the rhetoric from both sides of the gun debate.

How does my writing process work?  Because of my day job and many outdoor pursuits, I don’t have a lot of time to write.  Therefore, I have to be disciplined about making the time.  I typically bring my laptop with me to work so that I can write during my train rides to and from Boston.  Since I don’t work on Fridays, I spend at least 3-4 hours writing on that day.  I also get up around 5am on the weekends to write before my spouse gets up in the morning.  Finally, I always carry a notebook with me so that I can capture any ideas as they present themselves.  Some of the best ideas that have come to me were when I was on top of a mountain, riding my bike, running or kayaking.  Being outdoors settles my mind in such a way that the ideas for stories make their way to the surface.

Next up, I’m tagging authors Ruth Perkinson and Renee Mackenzie.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and become friends with Ruth Perkinson over this past year.  She worked with me as my writing coach for Blowback.  She’s a brilliant author with a writing voice not to be missed.  She’s written five published novels and has a degree in English Education from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. In addition, Ruth worked as a technical writer for an educational testing company and developed manuals for a large telecom firm. She resides in Richmond, Virginia and is a dog enthusiast.  To learn more about Ruth and to find out about her books, visit her website at http://ruthperkinsonwritingservices.com.

I met Renee Mackenzie a couple of years ago at one of the Golden Crown Literary Conferences.  She is a total sweetheart who takes the best photographs of birds.  I’m privileged to call her my friend, and her stories are not to be missed.  Renee is the author of Confined Spaces, Flight, and Nesting, all published by Blue Feather Books. To learn more about Renee, check out her blog at reneemackenzie.wordpress.com.

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