Sunday, June 1, 2014
Blog Hop? What is That?
Laura Langston (www.lauralangston.com) invited me to participate in a ‘blog hop.’ Before I explain further, I just want to thank Laura for inviting me to participate. Laura and I met many years ago through the Vancouver Island Chapter of Romance Writers of America, and have stayed in touch personally and professionally. Her current release, “Hot New Thing,” is published by Orca Books (I read it – fabulous! The signed copy is on my keeper shelf!)
Getting on with things...
For those of you new to it all (as am I), a blog hop is like a game of tag between authors where they promote each other. Below are four questions each tagged person answers on their site, and then I ‘tag’ three other authors who, in turn, answers the same four questions on each of their blogs/sites, tagging three other authors to do the same, and so on, and so on, and so on....
It sounded like fun; a perfect chance for me to tell you a bit more about myself (as if you REALLY needed to know MORE), and an opportunity for you to learn about other writers, as well. So without further adieu, here we go...
What am I working on?
Lycaon Press. ‘Newbie Nick’ is about 14-year-old Nick Zinsky who secretly busks for money on the streets of downtown – a ‘job’ he soon learns is hard to keep secret. Since first signing the contract, I have been in a flurry of edits, website building, author/computer-techie stuff, and just plain old excitement. All that, and more, has eaten up a lot of scarce writing time – but in a GOOD way! Since I’m sort of in a ‘lull’ between edits while waiting for the bit release day in June, there’s not much I can do other than start another young adult novel (stay tuned – it’s kind of heavy and ‘dark’), and continue to name-drop my upcoming book here and there.
So juggling my teen boys, home life, and my day job, all with a book coming out, has been a bit chaotic. This is not a bad thing, mind you – I mean, who doesn’t want their own book to be published? So for now I excitedly anticipate the release date, all while busy prepping marketing stuff, writing blog posts when I can, working on edits for various anthologies for my slice-of-life stories that have (happily) popped-up unexpectedly, and try to keep all the ideas for other young adult novels sorted in my head.
How does my work differ from others in it’s genre?
Another big question for being only the second question out of four – I hope the next two aren’t as difficult.
Well – how does my work differ from others in it's genre? I have been compared to Erma Bombeck time and again. However MOST flattering and MOST honouring, I couldn't ever compare myself to the queen of all that is slice-of-life.
Saying that, however, I would say – or I would like to think – that my writing differs from others because I have my own distinctive writing voice. I try to write as if I’m chatting with a friend over coffee (me blabbering a mile-a-minute, mind you), while trying to entertain, keep things light and humorous, all with an attempt at offering insight and inspiration. That’s not to say that I am ‘the knower of all things.’ I don’t claim to know everything. But we all have experiences and insights, so why not share them - nicely and with humour - in the hope of helping someone else?
Why do I write what I do?
Now that’s better - an easier question.
I write what I do because, as I said in the previous question, I write to entertain and to hopefully make you laugh (what’s funny to one person is not so funny to another, I know). I also hope to make you cry, but in a good way, because then that would mean that what I wrote mattered, and made you think, feel and ‘be.’ And I hope what I write inspires you to better yourself (not to sound conceited). We all are trying to get through this thing called life – one step at a time.
How does my writing process work?
Process? What process? There are a million ways to do things, and there is no one right way for everyone. I try to write every morning between 4:30 and 6am before heading off to my ‘day job.’ Everyone’s in bed so I have the whole place to myself. I try to write at lunch and sometimes, if I’m lucky, on Saturday nights I head over to a local coffee shop and cram/write hard for two hours.
I get an idea – usually from a snippet of conversation, an image or scene from a book or movie, or come across a quote that inspires me - and then it snowballs from there. It pays to be snoopy and eavesdrop. Then I think, I make notes, I think, I make notes, I think some more, and then I try to make sense of all my notes. For my fiction work it usually takes about seven or eight versions of the first two to three chapters before I really get the ball rolling. Very often as the story progresses, it completely changes from when I first started – and that’s okay. It’s the constant writing, pushing the story along and allowing to screw up and accept change along the way that makes the story progress. Some hair-pulling ensues, but that’s okay. It’s all part of being a writer! Just keep writing, just keep writing....
And there you have it – a little about me and my writing! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll also visit me at my site for my young adult books www.lisamcmanus.com
And now I would like to introduce you to three authors I admire - Ryshia Kennie, Jenny Watson and Jodie Esch. I hope you stop by their own blogs around June 9th and say ‘hi!’
First, I’d like to introduce Ryshia Kennie. We met online (not in ‘that way’) and for the life of me I can’t remember where or how. I think we just ‘found each other’ in the online writing circles we frequent. She’s always one to offer a supportive comment or two and I am inspired by her often-posted writing-words-of-wisdom, as well as the numerous publications under her belt.
Bio: The Canadian prairies are where Ryshia Kennie makes her home. The winner of her city’s Writing Award in 2011, her novels have taken her characters from the depression era prairies in her first book “From the Dust” to the ancient stones of Angkor Wat in her latest book, “Intent to Kill”. For more, visit her website at www.ryshiakennie.com
I’d also like to introduce you to children’s author, Jenny Watson. Jenny and I have recently become acquainted through the Vancouver Island Chapter of Romance Writers of America, as well as through the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable. Most recently I spotted her current release “Prove It, Josh,” (published by Sono Nis Press) during my travels on the BC Ferries!
Bio: Jenny Watson grew up in small-town New Zealand, dreaming of big adventures in faraway places. When she was 18, she spent a year as an exchange student in Thailand, where she learned to speak a little Thai (nit noi) and to eat curry and sticky rice with her fingers. After returning to New Zealand to earn a Master’s degree in psychology, she moved to San Diego and trained to be a technical writer. Jenny, her husband and their small but feisty parrot now make their home in Victoria, B.C. where they grab every opportunity they can to go sailing with friends until they launch their own plywood sailing dinghy. Find her at www.jennywatson.ca
Last but not least is Jodie Esch. I met Jodie years ago through the Vancouver Island Chapter of Romance Writers of America, and have come to know and admire her personally and professionally. A former teacher, she has directed her love of writing towards writing for kids (makes sense to me!), and her book “Little White Castles” is part four of ‘The Girlfriends Series.’
Bio: Jodie Esch lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, dog, cat, chickens and alpacas. When not living in her fictional world, she spends her time as the ‘Waste Management Queen’ picking up manure on the property. She is passionate about words and is obsessed with writing and reading. Find her at www.jodieesch.com