Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Monday, June 02, 2014

Let's Play Blog Tag! My Writing Process.

Here's a novel idea, brought to me by Deb McKnight:  A game of Blog Tag that features an author interview with each hop!

How it works: Each writer answers four questions (mine are below) and then "tags" two other writers. I do hope this goes viral as some fine writers have profiled themselves on this "Writing Process Blog Hop." You just might spot some interesting reading. 

Thank you, Deb, for inviting me to participate. 

Check out Deb's post on her blog, Novel Notions and please take a look at her book, a fast-paced paranormal read, Of Dreams and Shadow.

I'm excited to be a part of this blog hop. Here are my responses.

What are you currently working on? 

I published Standing Stones this January, my first novel and award-winning historical fiction set in Scotland at the time of the Clearances (1840s). I’m now working on the final edits for a second book about Mac McDonnell and Deidre Scott. The history of the Industrial Revolution drew me right into the story; I am fascinated by how people survive seemingly impossible conditions.  

In Book 2: Years of Stone, a quarter finalist in this year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel competition and slated for publication later this summer, Mac has been transported for seven years to Van Diemen’s Land (present day Tasmania). Deidre, without his knowledge, has followed Mac, intent on building a new life with him somehow in this rough and tumble penal colony. 

How does your writing process work? 

Between 5 and 6 am each day, I write, taking about three years to craft each book. I begin with research and drafting; my poor characters get into trouble almost immediately. When possible, I travel to far away locales to understand setting and historical context (I've never been a believer in 'write what you know' -- and I love traveling). 

Once the first draft is relatively complete, I begin innumerable rounds of revising and editing, inspired by The Internet Writing Workshop, writers participating in A Round of Words in 80 Days, and a small face-to-face writing group. Draft, write, revise. Revise again. That's my process.

How does your work differ from others of its genre? 

Most historical fiction brings readers insight into great sweeps of economic, political, and social change. My characters are men and women you might know, though they have lived hundreds of years ago. Caught up by events beyond their control, they struggle to survive. Sometimes their lives intersect with famous people with surprising results. Their courage and sacrifices inspire me to tell as accurately as I can what it meant to live within a certain time.

Why do you write what you do? 

My earliest memories are of reading, prowling the library, and dreaming of writing one day. I'm drawn to stories about people who face down seemingly insurmountable obstacles, night terrors, evictions, and loss. Perhaps Natalie Goldberg says it best: “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open." And that's good advice for any writer.

Who's up next on the Writing Process Blog Hop? 

Prudence MacLeod writes romance, science fiction, and fantasy/adventure. The author of 40 books, Prudence blogs at Valkyrie Rising

Annette Drake is currently working on a contemporary romance. She is the author of Bone Girl, a middle grade story about a young girl, a trombone, and a horse, and Celebration House, a sweet paranormal romance. Check out her blog to follow "the joys and perils of the writing life." 

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