Hello, Everyone! Author Jane Risdon (http://janerisdon.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/the-writing-process-blog-tour-today-it-is-my-turn/) has very kindly included me in the popular Writing Process Blog Tour. Thanks so much for thinking of me! She has asked me to answer some questions about my writing, and she would like me to pass the baton on to four other authors.
Here are the questions and my answers:
What are you currently working on?
I’ve just completed the first book in an exciting new series called Project Chameleon. The book, Liars’ Games, is a novel that, unlike my mystery novels, is set in the U.S.—at least for this first book. I’m working on the blurb that will appear on the back cover. Also, a graphic designer is working on the book cover design. I expect the book will be published in mid-July.
Here is my original description to give you an idea of what the book is about:
A genius college professor who hates lying is stuck in witness protection, along with her three-and-a-half-year-old son. Through a political maneuver, she ends up working as a principal at a high school full of gangs, drug dealers, and disgruntled employees. She’s in over her head and terrified, especially when she finds out a stranger is watching her and her son, but her handler can’t or won’t move her. She must figure out how to survive in a world where everyone seems out to get her. It’s a book that on the surface deals with school violence and fear, but at the heart of it is a woman’s struggle with lying and deception, trust, self-identity, and what at times feels like the moral decline of society.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Up until recently I was undecided what genre this book fit into, and that worried me. It has a romance in it, as well as a lot of suspense. But it doesn’t follow the genre rules for romance, suspense, or romantic suspense.
Many writing reference books tell authors to pick one genre and make their book conform to that genre’s rules. But I had something very specific that I wanted to write about, and that meant not following a formula. I was tempted to completely change my plans, and I did to some extent make some plot changes, but the overall story is still the story that I wanted to write. I wouldn’t budge on that. Only recently did I find a writing reference book that says genre-bending is a good thing. I guess Liars’ Games could be called a genre-bending novel, and I believe that it falls into a blend of literary-mainstream, suspense, and romantic suspense.
Liars’ Games is about a dangerous school that is out of control, and about a woman who wants to fix the school’s problems. The suspense comes from the dangers she faces within the school and as a result of being a witness in a big crime case. But on a deeper level, it’s about the woman’s internal struggles, about her guilt and her fears, about her conflicts, and her fractured self-identity. I believe it’s that emotional content that puts it into the literary-mainstream category.
Why do you write what you do?
That’s a good question, and I’m not sure I know the answer. I suppose that I am looking for ways to understand people. Why do they behave the way they do? Why do some people lie easily and others have difficulty lying? How do people form their self-identities? And so on . . . .
The first two books in my Outsiders mystery series are In the Shadows and Where Secrets Reside. Both books also deal with some of those same questions. They are already available on Amazon. I hope you’ll check them out.
That is my writing process. Thanks again to Jane Risdon for asking me to share this with you. And thanks to Gev Sweeney and Sophie E. Tallis who also invited me to this blog tour. Now I want to ask everyone reading this to visit their blogs and find out about their work and also the blogs and work of the writers I’ve invited to follow on from me.
Please check out and support:
Jane Risdon, http://janerisdon.wordpress.com/
Sophie E. Tallis, http://sophieetallis.wordpress.com/
Katrina Jack, http://kateannejack.wordpress.com/
Gev Sweeney, http://gevsweeney.wordpress.com/
Jane Dougherty, http://janedougherty.wordpress.com/
Joanne Hall, http://hierath.wordpress.com/
I would like to invite Authors Marsha Norris Knudsen, Sara Stinson, April Kempler, Tami Carter, and Hadena James to participate in this blog tour.