When author and inspirational speaker Sloan Rawlins, at Taming the Invisible Dragon, asked me if I would be interested in participating in a Writers’ Blog Hop tour, I hesitated. You’re not an author, a thought mocked. Since its source sounded like one of those pesky dragons that pop up from time to time to plague me, I poked it in the eye by saying “Yes” to Sloan, and accepted author Cat McMahon’s invitation to join. Thank you, ladies!
I found Cat’s life and writing journey quite moving and encouraging. You can learn more about her “Pawsitive Catitude”, and her books and projects by visiting her author website at Cat’s Stories.
The idea behind this Blog Tour is for each writer to share a bit about his or her writing process by answering a few questions. It’s also a fun way to learn about other writers and their writing journey.
Now, let’s pretend that I’m being interviewed.
What are you working on, Nadine?
In addition to a few minor projects, I’m working on my first book, a novel with a Jamaican setting. As someone who has written only short stories before this venture, I learned an important first lesson at the outset: writing a novel (or any book, for that matter) requires a certain type of stamina.
My WIP is about a young woman who makes a life-changing discovery that could prove dangerous for her. Sorry, folks, but I’ll have to leave it at that. Some of you bright sparks may put two-and-two together if I share more, including the title, and I cannot chance that happening. 🙂
You’re not an author… yet. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I’ll know that after I have a few books under my belt. 🙂 However, I’ve observed something about my writing, which may answer the question. I’m a Caribbean writer, but my still-evolving, still-developing voice isn’t strictly Caribbean, even with certain elements in place. I think my writing style hopefully transcends any kind of boundary or definition, because I want my work to resonate with readers everywhere.
Why do you write what you do?
I’m extremely interested in issues of the heart, societal taboos (among others), and social issues. I want to explore these topics and themes in my writing, without making any postulations. If, by doing that, someone comes away with a new, more helpful way of thinking, or a sense that someone understands his or her struggle and shame and secrets, if that person can then rise from beneath that awful weight after reading something that I’ve written, then I’m that much closer to becoming the writer that I intend to be.
I’ll always be a fiction writer. I’ve always loved making up stories and sharing them, orally and in writing. Stephen King defines fiction as “the truth inside the lie”. I want to lay the truth bare, like exposed bones. Why? Because truth, especially owning and speaking our truth, liberates us.
How does your writing process work?
I hear voices.
No, seriously. Ask any writer, and they’ll say the same thing.
The voices start after I get an idea or two, which usually happens while I’m in the shower or washing the dishes. Even after making detailed notes and plotting, I don’t start any serious writing until I’ve drafted the beginning and the end.
For those of you who watch “Da Vinci’s Demons”, you’ll be familiar with how we’re allowed to see Leonardo’s ideas unfolding before him, leaving him awestruck and excited. That’s exactly how I feel when scenes for my WIP flow before my mind’s eye. It’s like watching a film. That happens on my best writing days. On the other hand, when I don’t hear the voices, the words drip like molasses in the middle of a Winterfell-winter.
After I’ve completed the first draft, I let it sit for a few days, before returning to it for the first of many edits. Actually, editing is my most favourite part of the writing process.
A confession: I edit as I write. It’s not recommended. I remain unrepentant.
Next week, the blog tour continues with…
Shauna likes to write, read, draw, and blog. You can learn more about her by following her blog writeshianwrite, and connecting with her on Twitter. Her first book, In a Matter of Days, is now available on Kindle.
Rethabile is a Mosotho poet. He left his country in 1980 and moved to the USA, and then to France, where he currently lives with his wife and two children. He enjoys reading and writing poems, as well as cooking, and playing veteran football. He co-edits Canopic Jar, an arts journal.