Monday, December 23, 2013

My Writing Process and World

The Writing Process and World:

1.     What am I working on?

My current work in progress is a mystery and involves the murder of a New Orleans high school principal. Tentatively entitled In the Bayou, the manuscript also sees the return of Lt. Etienne Baptiste and his partner Sgt. Duane Morrow, who first appeared in A Fair Grounds Mystery,  They are called to the murder of this popular educator and learn that her death may involve very prominent and respectable members of the community as well as a long-ago unsolved murder. 

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

Like all writers, I have my own style and approach.  I love to craft intricate plots in both my historical fiction and in my mysteries, but what I like to develop very well is character.  No one will keep reading if the main characters are unappealing.  That doesn’t mean they can’t have an evil streak or be challenging, but they have to possess substance and complexity.  Even in my mysteries, my detectives are intricately drawn.  I incorporate their personal lives as well as their demons into the narrative.  I’m a huge fan of James Lee Burke, and he does that very well in his mysteries.  I love reading his plots, but I also want to know what’s happening to Dave Robicheaux, his family, and his friends. 

3.     Why do I write what I do?

Well, for me, writing is therapeutic.  When my mother died, I really immersed myself in writing.  That said, I don’t limit myself to one genre.  I love the research involved in historical fiction.  My background as an academic really helps me there.  I love the challenge of creating a tight mystery, and I also love creating contemporary characters. 

4.     How does your writing process work?

My process varies with the genre.  Historical fiction takes a great deal of research. I love the adventure as well as exotic nature of historical fiction. Love at War involves WWII and the hell of that conflict.  Pirate Woman is the story of Grainne O’Malley and 1500’s Ireland.  From Ice Wagon to Club House is the story of Jude Mooney and his adventures in Storyville, Prohibition, and WWI. I always outline, but I first develop my main characters. 

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