Friday, September 05, 2014

Just another blog hop...

So this lil blog hop keeps on a-hopping.

It's not quite a month since I did the "Fabulous Five Blog Hop", which was actually my last post, because I'm far too busy to write blog posts. So, when Hans Hirschi asked me if I would like to be the next hop from his own post, and the questions were exactly the same, I said, "I'll give it a go."

That might seem a bit of a contradiction - no time to post, but offering to do so anyway. But the thing is, you make time. Like now. It's almost two in the morning, and I'm writing this.

The other part of it is the challenge. "What's the point if you've just done it?" Hans asked. So I told him. Four weeks ago I was working on something different, and that's not the only thing that's changed. My thoughts on my responses to the other three questions have also changed.

I'm a thinker. I'm also a doer (hence time has moved on and so have I), but when it comes to quickfire questions, I'm rubbish. I need time to think, to consider all the possibilities. 

So, without further ado, here are my updated (but not overwriting my previous) responses to the blog hop questions.

 

What are you working on?

I've been working on a few different projects. First and foremost, I'm working on a Beaten Track Publishing anthology of holidays stories that are diverse and positive. I'm not saying there won't be any heartache along the way, but there will be plenty of happy-ever-afters.

I've also been writing a story for the holidays anthology myself, but it's slow-going with everything else.

Note: here was where I finally relented and went to bed, because the other thing I've been working on, or with, is the Goodreads MM Romance Group's Love's Landscapes Anthology, which is heading for its climactic finish :). At the time of writing, I was waiting on a story I'd edited to finalise. The stories become available as they're published, and can be downloaded from the MM Romance Group Website.

In my Fabulous Five Blog Hop post, I explained that I was working on Crying in the Rain - a stand-alone novel/novella that features one of the main characters from Hiding Behind The Couch about to embark on a new relationship. That's currently on hold for the anthology. As well as Crying in the Rain, I'm half done with a second short story for the series, working title: Ruminations. Again, it's written to be completely stand-alone, and takes the reader on a journey back to university with Josh and Sean.

Finally, in my down-time, where I'm waiting on things to happen that are beyond my control but I'm too mentally exhausted to work on anything cerebral, I've been playing with 3D people. I have quite an old computer, and it doesn't cope well with the software (Daz 3D), which makes for ingenious solutions involving Photoshop paintbrushes and wasting hours on choosing background images that kind of work.

Without going "too geek", here is a 2D render of a 3D characterisation of Andy Jeffries, from Hiding Behind The Couch. Andy's the middle brother of three, and is into extreme sports, travel and other adventures. At the beginning of Book One, he's in hospital following a near-fatal car crash that occurred whilst racing against a friend in fast cars on country lanes. He used to be something of an idiot, but the story follows him as he finally starts to "grow up" and become more responsible.


Andy Jeffries from Hiding Behind The Couch - created using Daz 3D.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

The million dollar question, but I know how it differs now. Hiding Behind The Couch is a series that is not easy to pin down to one specific genre, and the reason for that is...life. Think about where you live, the people you live with, what's happening in your local community, the events that make the local press - if we were to attempt to 'genrify' real life, it would be contemporary (obviously) with elements of history (the older members of our community sharing their rich and wonderful experiences), thriller, romance...

In short, life doesn't fit one specific genre, and whilst at certain times it might be predominantly governed by family, or romance, or there may be a terrible crime in the community, at other times it will be about illness, or celebration.

Hiding Behind The Couch is about life. If you want to stick it in a category, it's literary soap, or kitchen-sink drama, but it's such a lot more than that. It's nine friends, living in a relatively small town, going about their daily lives, facing the challenges of mental and physical illness, caring for the young and the old, walking the dog, doing the shopping, going to work. And then there are the murder mysteries, the hidden pasts - the more exciting highlights of our existence.

 

Why do you write what you do?

I had a conversation with another author/publisher about this very thing just this morning. There are those authors who have a daily schedule - start work at nine, write for two hours, coffee break, Twitter for half an hour, Facebook for half an hour...and so on. If this works for you, then great. But, well, I never ever want writing to become a chore. Indeed, as I told Martin Belk this morning, I would rather be a bum living on the beach, writing on leaves (or rocks, but I was ranting at the time, so I went with leaves) than reach a point where I hate writing.

It is my therapy. Hiding Behind The Couch came into existence for that reason. As I've written elsewhere, I wrote my own therapist in Josh Sandison and his friends. Josh decided to break free, and the series became what it is.

 

How does your writing process work?

The creative process of getting the words down works in much the same way for me as is explained in  Hans' blog hop post. It just kind of pours out (from across the incursion). Nor is there any real conscious effort to push the story in a certain direction once it's flowing (sometimes I try, but the characters won't let me). So I just get the first draft down, and then rewrite and refine until it resembles something like an organised plot with a beginning, middle and end.

Finally...
As Hans noted, this blog hop has been doing the rounds, so I'm not tagging anyone, as most have already done it, but you can find out more about the anthology authors, design and editorial team by clicking on their names below.

Thanks for reading. :)

 

Boughs of Evergreen - A Holiday Anthology

Alexis Woods
Amelia Mann
Amy Spector
Ava Penn
Claire Davis
Debbie McGowan
Hans M Hirschi
Hunter Frost
J.P. Walker
Jonathan Penn
K.C. Faelan
Kathleen Hayes
L.L. Bucknor
L.M. Steel
Larry Benjamin
Laura Susan Johnson
Matthias Williamson
Ofelia Grand
Raine O'Tierney
Rick Bettencourt
S.H. Allan
Shayla Mist
Tami Veldura
Andrea Harding