Blog hop: My writing process

Thanks, Traci Andrighetti, for inviting me to take part in this blog hop. If you haven’t read Traci’s novel, Limoncello Yellow, I highly recommend you give it a try! And for a limited time, you can get this novel along with nine others for a mere 99 cents (and your buck supports a good cause).

Okay, on to the blog hop.

What am I working on? My first novel, tentatively titled Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer, will be released later this year by Gemma Halliday Publishing. I’m sure I’ll have more edits to do on that, but in the meantime, I’ve been writing a romantic suspense that is as yet untitled. In fact, I just finished it this weekend (cue confetti, horns, and champagne corks popping). Here’s the blurb:

Miranda Vaughn was just found not guilty of fraud, putting an end to the worst year and a half of her life. And now the trouble really starts. Determined to find who set her up, Miranda begins her own investigation—leading her to Macau and Belize, and into the arms of a sexy FBI agent who has his own agenda.

Once I finish polishing this for the beta readers, then I’ll complete the outline for the second book in the Twin Rivers series that starts with Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer. It’s a romantic suspense featuring two characters from Trust Me, Fiona and Matt. There’s always trouble brewing in Twin Rivers.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?  In Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer, I set out to write a mystery that had no murder. There were times when I was writing it that I did consider killing off a couple different characters, but after sternly telling myself that homicide is rarely a solution, I kept everyone alive. Well, except for the part where they don’t actually exist.

Why do I write what I do?  In my day job, I’m a lawyer, and in keeping with the maxim to “write what you know,” I set out to write a legal thriller. But on the way to becoming the next John Grisham, my book kept taking a detour into Carl Hiassen country. I decided to just go with it. Mainly what I’m interested in is crime—the things that people do to each other, the motives, the passions, the schemes, the betrayals. And because my day job rarely ends with a “happily ever after,” I like to read and write stories where the characters do get that.

How does your writing process work? I’m still developing a process, and so far, each book has had its own. What I’ve noticed so far is that I usually write a few scenes, or maybe even a few chapters, then I have to stop and figure out the rest in an outline. I like having a skeleton outline that allows me to work toward the end. When I don’t have the ending in mind, things go off the rails. But my outlines are not detailed, so there’s still plenty of room to explore and be surprised when my characters do things that weren’t planned.

As far as inspiration, Miranda’s story was sparked when I read a long article about financial fraud that included this paragraph:

“As Kuhlmann traveled the world trying to repair relationships, trace lost assets and solve the mystery of Deak’s murder, he descended ever deeper into a rabbit hole. One of his stops was in Macau, where Deak’s office manager vanished without a trace after the collapse. Kuhlmann entered the paper-strewn offices to find the manager’s girlfriend sitting at her boyfriend’s old desk. She opened a drawer and pulled out a photo she’d found there: a grainy black-and-white snapshot of Nicholas Deak, lying bleeding on his office floor, just minutes from death.”

I kept thinking about that woman in the office, her missing boyfriend, the mysterious photograph. The what-ifs kept running through my mind. What I came up with has nothing in common with the story that inspired it, other than the location of the second act in Macau and a scene set in an abandoned corporate office.

What inspired me to write Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer was the title. I was laying in bed and it came to me in that twilight space between waking and dreaming. Then I imagined the first scene, then the second, then the third… until I finally got out of bed and wrote it down.

Next week, stop by and visit these lovely ladies who are going to discuss their writing processes:

Evangeline Holland writes romantic historical fiction set in the Edwardian era and during WWI. Her writing focuses on strong and intelligent heroines grappling with their personal relationships and the thornier issues of their time. She lives in Northern California, but you can find her online here.

T. Sue VerSteeg has always loved to make people laugh. It was only natural to pull that element into her writing. Whether it’s long lost castles, covert paranormal agencies, or cozy mysteries, her snarky, quick witted characters can’t help but follow suit. When you add her super hubby to the mix, there also has to be a happily-ever-after to wrap things up. Visit her at www.tsvbooks.com for a complete listing of her books.

Zoe York lives in London, Ontario with her young family. She has an English degree and works at a university, so it was probably a foregone conclusion that she’d write a romance novel one day. She’s currently chugging Americanos, wiping sticky fingers, and plotting super secret books about heroes in (and out) of uniform. Visit her at http://zoeyork.com/zoes-blog/

And if you’d like to keep up with me and be notified when Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer is released and other book news, sign up for my newsletter here. I promise not to spam you and you can opt out at any time and my feelings won’t be hurt.

6 thoughts on “Blog hop: My writing process

  1. I’m sorry you’re an attorney. It’s taken a long time to rid myself of the flaws and pitfalls of that profession,and learn to write. It’s doubly too bad you had no murder in it where a lawyer dies. There are plenty to replace the character.
    After all, wouldn’t it be best if John Grisham was writing his usual platform fiction, and instead of the hero-attorney, the attorney dies. That would be a surprise.

  2. Great process! I’m looking forward to getting your book when it comes out. :) While I may have dropped the ball, I did post my answers. I just completely forgot to round up three fab authors to carry on. I’m in your debt now. Use me when your book comes out. I’ll be your pimp. ;)

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