Thank you to the talented Lucy Cameron for handing over the My Writing Process blog baton. My answers continue the relay race and I also recommend you have a look around Lucy’s site and follow her on Twitter @lucycam78, to see what she’s up to.
1. What are you currently working on?
I completed my second novel, ‘Monsoons and Marigolds’, and started a third last October but since then I have been dis-satisfied with the second and decided to re-write it, changing the narrative, the structure and the themes. It’s a young woman’s rite of passage set in Nepal during the political upheaval of the late 1990s and involves her coming to terms with her PTSD by re-living and re-telling the story of her betrayal, capture and torture.
2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
All three novels share my interest in psychology and mental health issues but fall into different genres. The first two are contemporary drama and the third a crime novel. I’m particularly interested in the darker side of human nature and human existence; how we’re cobbled together, what makes us fall apart and what puts us back together. I am also interested in people’s spiritual beliefs, the impact these have on their judgements and behaviours, and on the people they interact with.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I’ve had small successes with my poems but I’m still finding my ‘voice’ as a prose writer so like trying different genres, different forms of writing, different approaches. I enjoy stretching myself and feeling that zing when I discover something new in myself or a new way to write.
4. How does my writing process work?
I start with a germ of an idea, something quite concrete, and let it percolate for a while then gradually build up details, envisage scenes, hot-seat characters, develop themes, do research and eventually end up with a plot. For the first novel I had an image of an older woman in a mental hospital and wanted to know why she was there. For the second, I worked as a volunteer in Nepal where a young man gave me a key-ring; the key-ring is a gift given to the main character by her lover. In the third an image of a Euro-Chinese guy dressed in black taking revenge on his father came from something I read in an article about feng shui
5. What’s new from you?
I’m involved with a co-operative called Wagtongues, who promote writing and writers in Dumfries and Galloway. We’ve been doing this at venues across the region and are moving into Carlisle Sat 6 Sept. I was involved in the Kirkudbright Arts and Craft Trail 4 August, I’ve got two poems published in Southlight magazine coming out 14 Sept and another in ‘Making Waves’, an anthology from the Federation of Writers (Scotland).
And now it’s the turn of Jayne Baldwin. All the best xxx