I’m participating in a blog hop with other writers in which we answer questions about what and how we write. Before I answer these questions, I’d like to thank Rosemary Claire Smith for inviting me to participate. As part of her writing group, I’ve had the privilege of reading in advance her stories about time traveler adventure and romance in the Age of the Dinosaurs (the first of which has been published in Analog) as well as her fantasy novel in progress. Check out her blog at rosemaryclairesmith.wordpress.com/blogging-the-paleozoic/
So, here’s what’s going on behind the curtain:
1) What am I working on? I’ve been writing a contemporary fantasy series with military intrigue for Tor. It’s about soldier-mages and psychic spies known as “craftsmen.” The craft families have been serving the country since colonial times; Poe and Hawthorne wrote thinly veiled nonfiction about them. The first book, American Craftsmen, will be released next week on May 6th. While I’m waiting for edits on the second book, The Left-Hand Way, I’ve started on the third book, tentatively titled The Master Craftsmen. It’s an odd artifact of the publishing process that these three things are happening at once, making for one of the busiest times in my life.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? Military fantasy, along with military SF, has been doing well lately. I think my books differ from many of the others in those genres because mine have a stronger than usual sense of literary and real-world history.
3) Why do I write what I do? I write many types of stories with different artistic agendas. I started American Craftsmen with the idea of confining myself to this country’s mythos for my magical world. I originally intended a broad look at the American magical scene, but when Stephanie Dray saw the first military-related section, she advised me to focus on that storyline. I’ve very grateful to her for that advice.
4) How does my writing process work? On the macro level, I’m a member of a local writing group. When I’m working on a novel, I try to get a new draft section of the book to the group for each monthly meeting. At the end of draft zero, I stitch together all the sections and address the group’s comments, then revise further as needed. On a daily basis, I write mostly in the afternoons and evenings. In the morning, I run, which ensures that I’ll be fully awake the rest of the day, and I take care of any other necessary tasks.
Now, to introduce you to the next runners in this relay race:
First is my Harvard classmate, Lisa Peers. I became a big fan of her acting in college. After graduating with a degree in American History & Literature, Lisa has acted professionally and worked as a speechwriter and a TV/radio producer for companies in San Francisco and metro Detroit. Her first novel, Love and Other B-Sides, is available on Amazon. She blogs about rock music and pop culture at LPon45.wordpress.com–her blog gives a good jolt to my interest in seeing live music, both old and new.
Second is L. Kris Gowen, PhD, EdM, who was at Stanford for undergrad while I was in law school (I starred in one of her student films). Kris has written two non-fiction books geared toward teens: Sexual Decisions, and Image and Identity: Becoming the Person You Are. She conducts research related to youth mental well-being and healthy relationships in an Ivory Tower. Recently, she’s been living in South Korea, having previously traveled to New Zealand and on her way soon to Vietnam. She blogs about her expat life at semester9minute.wordpress.com–her blog makes me nostalgic for my time in Japan.
Third is Erik B. Scott, whom I just met for the first time this year at a reading at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Erik lives in Philadelphia PA and is an avid writer, reader, watcher and critic of all things sci fi. His fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction (we both read DSF stories at the BSFS) and Apokrupha’s Vignettes from the End of the World, and will appear in an upcoming issue of Ares Magazine. His blog is at steampunk-rocker.blogspot.com–among the topics covered are writing, science and tech, and all things SF.