So you want to know about my writing process? Toot! Toot! First stop on the crazy train...FIRST OFF, when I'm not at work or out watching movies, you'll usually find me in my home office (read: LaZ Boy chair in living room even though I have a lovely home office.)
1) What am I working on?
Two books actually! (I'm sort of jumping between them) When I get stuck on one, I switch to the other. First time I've done this, but it's working to unlock my story issues that I seem to get hung up on. They're very different, but both suspenseful and have (what I think are) cool, unique topics. Hope you do, too!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hmm...good question. I *think* it differs because I'm all about coming up with a great PLOT first, characters second. I know. I'm not supposed to say that aloud, but the truth is, the premise has to grab me around the throat and threaten to kill me before I'll spend a year writing the story down.
Here are the topics in some of my novels:
*I NEED MY SPACE: space camp, Mars exploration, twins, crushes
*FLIP THE BIRD: falconry, animal rights protestors, first love, loyalty
*INSOMNIAC: sleep disorders, online bullying, court case
WANTED: DEAD OR IN LOVE (June, 2014, Merit Press): Bonnie & Clyde, falling for bad boys, deadlines, criminal records (*AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER HERE)
ONE SMART COOKIE (July, 2014 Omnific Press): Polish bakery goods/legends/ falling for two boys at same time, family business
*The first three are not yet published, but if you're an editor and you're interested in seeing one of the first three, email me or my agent, Eric Myers of The Spieler Agency. :)
3) Why do I write what I do? BECAUSE....
I love exploring all the changes/challenges/heartbreaks/triumphs teenagers go through.
I love researching unfamiliar topics and putting teens in places they might want to go...and places they don't...and seeing how they'd react.
I love when books make me think about them long after I've stopped reading them.
I love when a book is soooo good, I want to tell everyone I know to read them.
I love when I can't wait to get back into the story when I'm in the middle of reading it.
I love when books make me think about my own life and how it can be different or better or makes me realize I already have lots of things to be thankful for.
I want to write those kinds of books––heart-stoppers, page turners, make you want to be there or try something new books.
4) How does my writing process work?
Not quite sure I can call what I do a "process" or claim that it "works," but it sort of happens like this for me:
- See interesting news articles/life events/ social media blurbs that makes me say "Whoa! What if..." with a twist.
- Add thoughts to the file called "Cool Story Ideas" that is on my laptop.
- When ready for new story, visit the file and let ideas percolate - brainstorm lots of storylines, usually based on multiple cool things in the file.
- Research s the topics involved in new story.
- Keep thinking, plotting, coming up with more twists, characters, and conflicts. Have a decent idea of beginning, middle, and climax.
- After one month, start writing.
- Bring chapters to critique groups and keep twisting, revising, rethinking.
- Viola! After approximately 9 months, I'll have a (crappy) first draft that I'll hope to revise into something I really love (and hope readers will too).
UP NEXT WEEK:
Beth Fehlbaum: A longtime English teacher, speaker, advocate for abuse survivors, and founder of the gritty YA fiction website UncommonYA, Beth is the author of Hope in Patience, a 2011 Young Adult Library Services Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Big Fat Disaster grew out of her own struggle with an eating disorder. Visit her on the web at www.bethfehlbaumbooks.com, www.uncommonya.com, and the Merit Press Facebook page. She lives in Texas.
Beth will be posting her writing process here: http://bethfehlbaumbooks.com/bloggity-blog.html