Monday, 17 February 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Morning all
Hope you all had a good weekend. The sun was out and stayed out for a good while, so we can't complain ( I mean, we will, but we shouldn't!)
Anyway, I was invited a few weeks ago by Margaret K Johnson to participate in this blog tour. I've found it fun finding out a little more about authors I've known of, but not known a great deal about. So, now it's my turn. Thanks again to Margaret for the invite - you can visit her blog at
I was amazed at just how many different genres this lady had written in. Very accomplished!

As a participant on the tour, I have to post my answers to 4 questions.
1. What am I working on.
Well, it kind of feels like what am I not working on? And very little of it feels to be my fourth book right now. I've been doing a lot of blogging and article writing because of the three week long Valentine's promotion for The Dating Game, plus I am in the midst of setting up a proofreading, editing, and translation company (watch this space!)
When I am not doing that, I continue work on my fourth novel, What If. It's the story of Cameron, a mid-forties loveable Casanova who wakes up one morning, having had an epiphany and realises that his until now shallow existence is no longer enough for him. He then delves into his past and examines his relationship history to see how he can put right his future. I've only edited a little of the first third of the book in the past few months, as I stopped writing it to write The Christmas Spirit. I started it last January when I was pregnant. However, I expect it to be ready for launch in September, but I best crack on writing the last two thirds, then, hadn't I?!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, to be honest, none of my three books are in exactly the same genre. Sign of the Times is by far the book which stands out the most. I wrote it as I had never seen anything close to it and I still maintain that to be the case. I have never come across a book with 12 main characters, let alone them denoting the signs of the zodiac. It's contemporary fiction, so drama, relationships etc.
The Dating Game is probably the most mainstream and I am happy to have it lumped into the chicklit genre, although it's not 100% chicklit as many interpret the term. It's not all handbags, PR companies and Jimmy Choo shoes. Instead it's almost a Glaswegian Sex and the City in some respects, but more importantly, it's very realistic. What happens to Gill could actually happen to anyone and I know many readers have felt that, too. So I think the fact that my books reflect realistic situations and not just sheer escapism and definite happy endings. Neither The Dating Game nor Sign of the Times has a traditional ending. There are always twists in my books. I think the fact that I always incorporate a travel theme into my books, as I have travelled a lot, sets the books apart a little from others of their ilk.

3. Why do I write what I do?
Well, currently because those are the ideas that come to me. I am way backed up with ideas; post-it notes, envelopes, and scraps of paper all stuffed into two box files, emails sent to myself and texts, plus messages to myself on both whiteboards in the house. But I only have a finite amount of time to write. I think it would be fair to say that each of my books is fairly different and that isn't set to change. The only nod I will give to past style is when I write the continuation to Sign of the Times, and if I ever bow to the pressure of writing continuations to my other books. It's so tempting, but I have so many other completely new stories to tell!
Also, I am a total wimp. I'd write crime fiction, as I think I'd be good at all the twists and stuff, but I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. Seriously if I watch a scary movie, I have to watch a cartoon, for example, Gummi Bears, before I go to bed! I would like to write children's books and travel books in the future, too.

4. How does my writing process work?
Hmm, well sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't and that's mainly down to the presence of a baby girl called Antonia, who is 10 and a half months old and demands a lot of my time (quite rightly so!)
But, when it works, it really works. Fingers crossed I never get writer's block. Generally speaking once I start writing, ideas flow from me and it's all I can do to keep up with the speed of my thoughts. Each of my books has been written with a different process and I think that's the way it should be, because as writers I think we should be constantly refining and improving our processes.  I write, then do approximately seven redrafts, even of a much shorter book like The Christmas Spirit. I edit for very specific things, including issues I might have encountered in the past and had brought to my attention by friends/other authors. Now, I write first thing in the morning, when possible, in the evening, and when baby Antonia is napping.
I write character plans and I sketch out a chapter plan for each novel, so I can get a feel for how long it has to be and to ensure I don't go over the word count - well, by much!
It took me 10 years to write and publish Sign of the Times, 6 years in total to write and redraft it. The Dating Game took me about 6 months to write and The Christmas Spirit took about 6 weeks.
Sometimes I have an idea and sometimes I have the title and the interesting thing is I wasn't sure if I would release The Christmas Spirit in time for Christmas 2013. However, as soon as I saw the cover my designer, Brad Covey, had created for it, it spurred me on and I decided there was absolutely no way that book wasn't seeing the light of day in 2013!

Well, I hope it has been useful to learn a little bit more about my way of working. For now, I'm going to point you in the direction of two people who are very close to my heart and who have given me such support, both as friends and writers. They will be continuing the My Writing Process blog tour next Monday

Maria Savva
Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. Her most recent novel is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller. You can find out more about her work at her official website:"

Samantha Stroh-Bailey
Writing and reading (and editing) are my passions, and I am so lucky to be able to live my dream every day. Publishing my first novel, Finding Lucas, made me bawl like a baby, and the euphoria has never worn off.
I’ve been a writer ever since I could pick up a pen and sent my first manuscript, Freddy the Flame, to publishers when I was ten years old. Sadly, it was rejected, but I was not to be deterred. Though Freddy the Flame has long been shelved, a lifelong passion to write was born.
I’m a mom, author, journalist and professional writer/editor with my business, Perfect Pen Communications. I love everything to do with the written word and wanted to be around more for my kids so after fifteen years of teaching grammar and writing to adults, I decided to work from home. And I’ve been busy! My work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers and on several websites, such as Now Magazine, The Village Post, Oxford University Press, Abilities Magazine, Kobo Writing Life and many other publications. And I’ve edited countless manuscripts, academic papers, web content, business materials and so much more.
I’m the co-founder of BookBuzz, an interactive author/reader/blogger event that has been held in New York City and Toronto, and I have a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics that looks great on my wall. Okay, in a box in my basement. But it’s a lovely box.
I love reading as much as I love writing so if I’m not tapping away at my computer, I’m probably curled up on my couch with a book. In between all of that, I’m a sucker for reality TV, love dancing (still trying to figure out that twerking thing) and listening in on other people’s conversations.

You can catch up with Samantha Stroh-Bailey on her new website -

Tune in later for my article on Valentine's or Schmalentine's!


  1. Thanks for tagging me in this, Sooz! I've scheduled my post for next week :) It was great to find out a bit more about your writing process! I'm looking forward to your 4th book, it sounds just my sort of thing! x

  2. Very interesting, Susan! It's great that as indie writers we have the freedom to write what we want, isn't it? Hurrah!

  3. Thanks, Sooz, for including me in this. I loved reading about your process, and I cannot wait for book #4!

  4. The above information is very helpful ion case off Applied Process. This is a great stuff and give us fine ideas.