I received this invitation from the talented Cat Robson, one of my fabulous Santa Barbara Writer's Conference buddies. It's a brief look into both my writing life and what I'm working on right now...
1. What are you working on/writing?
Right now, I'm deep into my next novel--a sci-fi thriller called "Time Unlimited." I've always loved time travel stories, but I wanted to put my own particular spin on things, so it's definitely not your average "oh-no-I've-ruined-the-timeline-how-can-I-make-things-right?" story that I see redone time and time again. Pardon the pun. :) My goal is to have it ready for my agent to look over by the end of the year.
2. How does your work/writing differ from others in its genre?
I know everyone thinks they bring a fresh perspective to the stories they write, but truly, that's my main goal--to give the reader something new. To take things in a direction they weren't expecting. My short novelette "Infernal" is a good example--we've ALL read the classic Faustian bargain tale, where the devil offers something for your soul. I wanted to turn that story on its ear and really give the reader an unexpected resolution, even if the set-up seems well-worn. As a reader, there's nothing I hate more than seeing a plot twist coming--so as a writer, I strive to never let that happen.
3. Why do you write what you do?
Because if I didn't, I'd probably go crazy! My story ideas come for all directions, and they tend to start with a whisper which gradually builds to a screaming match if I don't agree to sit my ass at the computer and start "offloading" onto the page. When I build a nice framework around a kick-ass character or plot line, it's almost a compulsion to get that story out of my head. I don't fully feel at peace until I finish something. Then, I get a brief reprieve (a few days, maybe a week) before a quite voice whispers in the dark, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if..." and the process starts all over again. The only time I'll be truly terrified is when the voice DOESN'T whisper anymore.
4. How does your writing process work?
When I'm in writing mode, I generally try to get around 1000 words a day (two pages, single-spaced) which can take anywhere from a couple of hours to all-freaking-DAY. I also spend at least 30-45 minutes before starting to look over/edit what I wrote the previous day, which gets me in the groove, so to speak. On Tuesdays, I take a chapter's worth of material to my writing group, read it aloud, and get feedback--so I have some idea as to how a story "feels" while I'm the process of writing it.
Now that you've read about my stuff--feel free to check out my friends, who are spectacularly gifted and make me jealous:
Cat Robson -- The Mocambo Affair
Ara Grigorian -- The Rookie Scrivener
And my Simon451 imprint mates:
Nicholas Sansbury Smith