Monday, May 5, 2014

My Writing Process - World Tour Blog, 2014

I’m excited to be a part of this worldwide blog tour, thanks to fellow ACFW Scribes critter, Marion Ueckermann, a South African writer and dear friend. She is tearing it up writing for White Rose Publishing, a division of Pelican Book Group as part of their Passport to Romance series of novelettes.  I have been privileged to critique Helsinki Sunrise, Oslo Overtures, and Glasgow Grace on the ACFW Scribes loop.  Marion blogs for International Christian Fiction Writers and Beauty for Ashes. She belongs to Christian Writers of South Africa and American Christian Fiction Writers. Marion lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally. 

My task on the blog tour? Answer 4 questions about my writing process and introduce you to three writers who will do the same next week, May 12.

1.     What am I working on?

 I always have many ’irons in the fire’!

 I am working on a series of novels I call “Faith Amidst the Crucible of American History”. My hero in each novel is a son of a blacksmith. (Get it, irons in the fire!)

The first book in the series is called Colonial Dream. The setting is the American Revolution. Two friends, Colin Browning and Ben Andrews, who want nothing more than to be Americans, find themselves fighting on opposites sides. Heroine Amanda Andrews Browning must learn to be a strong, independent woman as she supports herself and her child, Michael, as an embroiderer/seamstress in Colonial Williamsburg while the men are at war. I am editing it in response to a “not a rejection/not a contract” letter. Prayers are greatly appreciated as I groom this project to receive that coveted contract.

The second book in this series, Transforming Bitterness Into Joy, is the one I am actively creating/writing/critiquing on Scribes. This book is a Beauty and the Beast type story set in 1809-1810. Michael, son of Colonial Dream couple Amanda and Colin Browning, has had to raise his younger siblings after the death of his parents when he was 17. He has had to set aside any personal life for 12 years as a result, working his father’s forge to support them. Heroine Susannah, daughter of the new pastor at the church founded by his Uncle Ben Andrews, finds herself serving him after she encourages Michael’s youngest sister to elope. She is determined to play matchmaker for Michael, with her friend Rachel, to help him out of his bitter loneliness. Of course, Susannah becomes the perfect match for him.

 The third book is the series, A Time to Choose, is set during the Civil War. Andrew Browning, blacksmith and officer in the Union Army, is assigned to protect and guide Lincoln. Maggie is a Northern abolitionist, Harvard-educated newspaper columnist. Terrors come into their lives as she writes about the war effort, runs a stop on the Underground Railroad, becomes a target for Andrews’s revengeful ex-fiancee, and teaches reading to emancipated refugees. The setting for this story is Lincoln’s White House and Washington, DC.

 The fourth book in the series will involve Lincoln Browning, son of Andrew and Maggie, who takes his blacksmithing skills into the new industry as an inventor.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My series is reminiscent of John Jakes Americans series. The big thing that sets it apart from other historical romance is that my characters are Christians who seek to live their faith amidst the struggles of life. How do Christians be involved in God’s plan for their lives? What happens when that plan seems to be falling apart? Like us, they must deal with the setbacks, heartaches, and dreams knowing that God is still present in their lives and works everything together for an ultimate good.

3) Why do I write what I do?

 The first question should be “Why do I write?” I have always had an avid fascination with story. I began writing stories, a play, and a compendium of Dark Shadows supernatural beings in 6th grade. My friends and I spun imaginary tales with our teen idols, writing extensive notes to one another. My first published book is Gold Earrings. I wrote the short story that became the novel in high school. I constantly have ideas for new works. While I was teaching middle school, I would write the scenes that were playing in my head, all that I knew, and save them on the computer. I guess I write because I am compelled to write.
3 1/2)Why do I write Christian historical romance?

 Again, I am compelled to write about characters who need and long for love. These characters have varying levels of relationship with God. I believe God meant for us to be in relationship, with Him, with friends, with family, and with a spouse who helps them both become what God wants them to be. I love history! Most of our vacations involve discovering the history of the place we visit.

4) How does my writing process work?

 As I said previously, the story or characters appear in my brain almost like a movie that you need to write down as it happens so you don’t lose any precious part. Or I think of an intriguing question. In Colonial Dream, I was contemplating whether rebellion against the king is sin against God. After all, scripture says that we are to obey and pray for the king because God placed him in power. Once I have the initial ideas down, then the hard part starts. I ask myself, “What comes next?” Some days that’s easy. Other days, well, it doesn’t happen. On those days I research my time period, characters, dress, holiday traditions, etc. If you check my Pinterest boards, you’ll see that I have one for each of my novels where I pin maps, places, occupations, timelines, etc. Some days I create a timeline of events in my story with actual historical events. Eventually, the novel comes together like tying up loose ends.

Check out these 3 authors. Their blogs will go live May 12, 2014.
 I met NY writer Kate at the 2013 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. She is a member of ACFW and ACFW’s Scribes Loop. Kate enjoys writing Biblical fiction. She asks, “What if I had been …?” Then she tells the story of how that person met Jesus or how the character’s role played out in the Old Testament.
Kate grew up on a dairy farm in Upstate New York where she nurtured the love of reading. It wasn’t until much later that her reading addiction grew into a love of writing. Throughout her travels, she has learned one thing; People are people wherever you go. She has taken this lesson into her writing. Whether she is writing of contemporary, historical or biblical themes, her characters reflect that humanity.

Emma Right
Award Winning and Best Seller author, Emma Right, is a happy wife and Christian homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired Dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. When she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.

 Born and raised in Japan, Alice loves sushi! Now She writes, blogs, and enjoys crafting fun characters in Durham, NC. An award-winning author, all of her novels are set in some part of North Carolina.