I’ve been tagged in the current meme-go-round by DAW author and all round good egg Jacey Bedford. I currently have serious cover envy for her debut novel, Empire of Dust.
Rather naughtily, I’m failing to tag anyone else. Hey, every meme’s gotta settle somewhere.
1. What am I working on?
Book one of a new Science Fantasy trilogy entitled Shadowlands. I know Science Fantasy isn’t sexy or fashionable, but I like it. I like the juxtapositions you get with genre-bending, the moments of cognitive dissonance.
Oddly, this book contains more actual science than some of my SF. At least I’ve had to draw more on my science contacts, the people who I go to and say ‘I’ve had this cool idea, but is it really plausible?’ The science in Shadowlands is buried deep but I’ve had to design the world carefully with an eye to how it things really work (as opposed to how the inhabitants think they work), because the unusual world, and its unusual inhabitants, drive the plot.
This new project means I’ve stepped away from the Hidden Empire series for a while, but I will return to it, as there are lots of unfinished stories there.
2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
In my head, my stories are a genius mixture of Iain M Banks, Ursula le Guin and John le Carre.
Unfortunately, not everyone lives in my head, so I can only really claim these people as influences.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Given the choice between
- telling stories set in a limited time and place (by default, my own culture, now) and
- telling stories which could be set anywhere, any time, including times and places which don’t exist in what we commonly accept as reality
I’ll have option (2) please.
Why do I write generally? Same reason as most writers: because it’s how we make sense of what we commonly accept as reality.
And yes, I am aware of the paradox there.
4. How does my writing process work?
Equal parts perspiration, inspiration and guilt. The perspiration and inspiration is true for most writers. The addition of guilt to the mix stems from a lifestyle with way too much stuff in it which isn’t writing, despite writing being the most important thing in my life after my man. So, any time I’m not doing chores, carrying out a bodily function (like sleep), at one of my day-jobs (I currently have two) or having Fun which I’ve allowed myself time of for … then Why am I not writing?
I suspect this question is really addressing technique decisions like where I stand on the spectrum between panster and plotter, but whilst there are some things I know work for me (such as: do not revise that first draft, no matter how shit it is, until you reach the end) my process changes all the time. This is because I’m learning all the time.