CJ Jessop, one of my writer besties, tagged me in a recent post on her blog, and seeing as I’ve been neglecting my blog in the most dreadful way, I thought I’d give it a go. CJ is inspiring not one but TWO blog posts, as she’s just published a collection of her short fiction, which I’m quite excited about. We’ll get to that in my next post, but for now….
Q: What am I working on?
As Always, I’m working on my sword-and-sorcery/epic-fantasy novel Chaos. It’s been my one and only project for longer than I’d like to own up to right now.
Q: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
At the moment, fantasy is going through a grimdark love affair. I think this has been an important thing for the genre, a sort of coming-of-age, and a natural backlash against the very sterile, derivative work we were seeing in the 80s and 90s. I don’t think the genre has found its equilibrium yet, though. I think we’re going to see a swing back in the other direction, with a more mature and evolved take on morality and the concept of heroism than the traditional knight on a white horse.
That’s where I see my current work fitting in. My characters don’t swear enough to win the gritty title, but I’ve always wanted more complex moral and philosophical questions, and more human and conflicted characters, than traditional fantasy usually offered me.
Q: Why do I write what I do?
Because it’s what I want to read. Ultimately, I think that’s why I’m writing this book–I’m writing it because I really want to read it. This is the sort of story I crave when I open a fantasy novel. I found early on that I just didn’t have the skill I needed to write that story, though, so it’s become my Quest of sorts.
First thing, I get some tea, get comfortable in my writing chair, and put in my earbuds. About five to ten minutes of listening to my novel playlist helps get me into open mode, and off I go. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with typing out a quick plan of attack before I begin writing, outlining what I intend to write, and trying to find something in it that excites me. I tend to work much better when I’m excited about what I’m writing.
On the best days, I veer pretty widely off that outline. I’m a discovery writer at heart, but there’s something about laying down that initial intent that helps pop me into my groove.
Q: Who will we meet next week?
I won’t make any promises for her, but I’d love to hear from Belinda Mellor, another writer friend who recently published her book Silvana – The Greening, which I had the pleasure of beta-reading. She’s clever, thoughtful, and writes the most beautiful, lyrical prose.