Today is my day to post and participate in the continuing series “My Writing Process” blog tour. My writing friend, Douglas Quinn, who writes mysteries, historicals and children’s fiction, posted last week. You may read his blog at http://obxwriter.webs.com/apps/blog/
What am I working on?
I generally have more than one project going at the same time. This is because ideas don’t develop and mature at the same time. The germ of a story may germinate for months or even years before it gets to the stage where I begin to put words on paper (or screen when working on computer). This also prevents what is commonly referred to as “writer’s block;” if I get stuck or bored with one project, moving to another soon gets me back on track. At the moment, my projects include:
An untitled seventh novel in the Sticks Hetrick crime series involving the murder of a young school teacher and birder in which Officer Flora Vastine is insisting on a more prominent role.
A third book in the Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman series (also untitled at this point) in which the body of Borough Burgess Zimmerman’s deceased mother-in-law is snatched from the funeral parlor and held for ransom.
is also dealing with competition for Syl’s affection, which may prompt her to
accept one of his many marriage proposals.
Closer to completion than either of these is a stand-alone historical mystery, tentatively titled “Something So Divine,” about a detective who finds himself defending a slow-witted boy accused of murder.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Difficult question to answer since I work in more than one genre. Probably a majority of mystery/suspense novels today are set in major metropolitan cities or exotic locations. My Hetrick series differs in being set in a small town, rural area—not that it’s unique in this. I could name dozens of other writers who’ve chosen the same type of location. My historical novels and stand-alones have also been set in smaller communities. These settings reflect the kinds of places I’ve lived over the years and not a particular distaste for the big city.
Why do I write what I do?
Though I read a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction, mysteries and history have always fired my interest and imagination the most. This may be a reflection of cutting my reading-eye-teeth on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexandre Dumas, Robert Louis Stevenson, Washington Irving and the like. Over time, I was influenced to try emulating the writing of those I admired with stories of my own.
How does my writing process work?
I’m not generally an outliner. I may jot some notes, though they’re usually so scant they’d be meaningless to someone else. Often I’ve thought out the story line in my head long before I start setting it down. Other times I may pitch in with just an image of a person, place or situation in mind and let the characters lead me from there. I don’t want to know too much ahead of time. I like to be surprised by my characters and hope the twists that provides will be equally entertaining to readers.
To continue the Writing Process blog tour on Monday, May 31, go to:
C. L. Swinney, author of Gray Ghost, an Amazon bestseller, is currently assigned to a Department of Justice task force that investigates crimes ranging from street level drug deals to homicides and complex cartel cases. You may view his blog at http://clswinney.wordpress.com/