Blog Tour–My Writing Life

Welcome to this blog tour!

I had no idea what a “blog tour” was until my friend and fellow author, D.R. Meredith ( http://highwatermysteries.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/blog-tour-my-writing-habits/ ) invited me to join this one, but after she patiently explained it to me (several times) I thought it was kind a nice thing to do, so here I am.

Basically, a blog tour is where an author writes a blog in which she answers several questions about her own writing life, then mentions some other authors and provides a link to those authors’ blogs. It’s that simple, and it’s a great way to let you know some things about me you maybe didn’t know, and also a chance to point you in the direction of some authors you might not have known about.

Here are the questions I’m supposed to answer.

(1.) What am I working on?

Yikes. That should be a simple question, but for me it’s not. The truth is, I’m not really working on a book at the moment, although I certainly SHOULD be. I have a contract, and am more than two years behind schedule on it. My excuse is that a few years ago my husband died after a long and horrible battle with lung cancer, and I subsequently left the home we had built together in South Carolina and moved back to California to care for my ailing mom. Mom is okay now–she just celebrated her 93rd birthday–but I still live with her part time and take care of her affairs in addition to my own. Needless to say, this doesn’t leave me much time for writing. However, I have known many writers who have managed to write through tougher stuff than this. So…it’s not really an excuse at all.

What I WAS–strike that–AM working on, is a five-book series of romantic suspense books called “The Scandals of Sierra Malone” which is about an eccentric multi-billionaire attempting to reconnect with his four granddaughters before he dies. The first two books–”SHERIFF’S RUNAWAY WITNESS” and “THE PRETENDER”–have been completed and published, and are currently available in digital versions for e-readers of various kinds. The third, tentatively titled “A SOLDIER’S SECRET” is still a work in progress, but I hope to finish it SOON. There will be two more books in the series, and if you’re wondering how come it’s a five-book series when there are only four granddaughters, you will just have to read the series to solve that mystery.

I’m also working hard to bring out in digital format my entire backlist of books written before digital rights were written into contracts. So far, I have released ten titles, including six originally published as Bantam Loveswept Classics, two Christmas stories, my one and only Harlequin American Romance, and my very first book for Silhouette Intimate Moments. More information on all of these titles is available here on my website.

(2.) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I really hate this question. My first reaction is to say, How the heck do I know?

The truth is, I suppose, that it differs from others because it is written by ME, Kathleen Creighton. Like other authors, I draw on my life’s experiences in order to create my stories and characters, and since my life’s experiences are like no other person’s, it follows that my stories and characters will be like no other author’s. Make sense? I hope so, because that’s all I’ve got.

(3.) Why do I write what I do?

I write what is known as “romantic suspense,” although I prefer to call it “relationship fiction.” I write about relationships because that is where my talents lie. I love to read mysteries, but I lack the kind of mind it takes to come up with intricate and complex plots. However, I have always had a great deal of empathy and insight into what makes people tick, and the complexities of developing relationships intrigue me greatly. I consider the suspense of watching two people begin at places far apart from each other, then move gradually, slowly, with great difficulty closer and closer together…well, for me, that is the best mystery of all.

And, to be honest, I write contemporary fiction because I am simply too lazy to do the vast amounts of research required to write historicals. For the same reason, I also tend to write about places and lifestyles with which I am familiar. There have been exceptions, of course; I have never been to Sumatra, for example, the setting for “TIGER DAWN,” or to Baja California, the setting for “DEMON LOVER.” (For more on the latter, see another blog.)

(4.) How does my writing process work?

Ah. Sometimes I wish I knew. Because then maybe I could work my way out of my current state of creative constipation.

But…I seem to recall it went something like this: An idea occurs to me. It may be inspired by someplace I’ve been, some article I’ve read, an occupation that intrigues me, a person I find fascinating…etc. Since I’ve learned from sad experience that my ideas are about as permanent as soap bubbles, I usually try to write these tidbits down. When the time is ripe–i.e. when it’s time to come up with an idea for my next book or contract–I pick the one I’m most interested in and begin to develop it. This is pure brain work, and don’t ask me how I do it, I just do. I think of possible plots, characters, situations, settings, and so on. And these I also write down. When I have developed enough to know I have a story and characters that might work well together, I craft a proposal, consisting of a “hook” blurb, character sketches, back stories, and finally, the plot, including conclusion. This I submit to my editor. If she approves it, I get on with the actual writing.

Once writing begins, I struggle with things like structure. Will there be a prologue? WHERE, exactly, does the story BEGIN? I work on the opening line, paragraph, chapter, sometimes for days or weeks. This is the most difficult part to write, and gets re-written over and over again. Eventually, I try to settle into a routine of producing a minimum number of pages each day. That is usually as few as two or three (or even less!) during the early stages of a book, to 15 or 20 in the last dash to deadline. (Deadline?? Yes, I am supposed to have those.)

I polish as I go. And if I get stuck, I go back and read everything I’ve written up to the stopping point, then try to plunge on into new territory. ( Much like a car trying to make headway through mud, I sometimes bog down and it takes something more drastic to get me moving again.) Another way that can work to get beyond a sticking place is to switch points of view to a different character. Because I edit and polish as I go, by the time I get to the end, there is very little left to do. I will go back and read through from beginning to end, looking for loose ends and places that may need a little more–or less–of something, but it’s usually pretty much ready to be printed out and sent off to my editor. YAY!

Which is only the beginning of the next phase of getting the book ready to be published, of course. But that’s beyond the scope of this blog.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about me and the way I write. If so, you will surely want to check out these authors as well:

(1.)

Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series that includes: Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, Cairo Caper, Miami Mummies, Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set. Her Romantic Suspense Fairy Tales series includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs. For a squirt of paranormal comedy try: Cold Case Morphs. True fiction fan? Try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator.

Coming Summer 2014:

Vulgarian Vamp – Wendy Darlin…Book 5

Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

barbswire-ebooksandmore.blogspot.com

(2.)

Terese Ramin is an editor as well as the author of eleven novels, numerous short stories, and part of the charitable collaboration The Sound and the Furry to benefit the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Her first thriller collaboration, The Cured, with author David Wind is available now. She’s also completing an urban fantasy romantic suspense with Dawn Johanson (to be published under the name Catharyn Mar.) Here’s the link to her blog.

www.tereseramin.com/blog