Monday, April 14, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Sunshine makes me want to go on vacation.  (Not that there's any sunshine today, but there was last week.) So, with the sun shining, I agreed when Kristin Nador (of Kristin Nador Writes Anywhere)  invited me along on her My Writing Process Blog Tour.  

Hey, I’ll take any vacation—even a virtual one.  Would you like to join me?

Taking a break at a writing retreat
Before going on a trip, there’s always paperwork. So, here's where I earn it.

What am I working on?

Picture books.  I've written a couple of novels and was well into another, when I decided to take a detour. It feels good to travel off the beaten path for a change.

How does my work differ from other of its genre? 

Whether it's novels or picture books, I like to write about possibilities in a world where what you think you see isn't always what you get. I play with the idea of "Okay, it's not real, but why not...are you sure?"

Why do I write what I do?

I write about "the magic of everyday life" on my blog. Most of my YA work has fantastical elements with hints of magic in our regular world, which lends itself nicely to picture books. Recently, I decided to practice the “write what you know” adage.  We devour picture books in this house.  We have stacks and shelves of them. In my former life as a high school teacher, I felt that I had never really left high school. Now,  I'm living and breathing picture books.  Everywhere I turn, I see magical possibilities through the sparkling enthusiasm of my children as well as their intense, face covering drama.  Children see the world as a magical place full of possibilities, and I like the idea we share that perspective. I enjoy parallel worlds where something isn't quite what it seems.   That explains childhood pretty well.

I enjoy writing novels, but labyrinthine plot lines require large chunks of time from me.  With picture books, I can work on a single big idea. Writers go into the world to gather ideas and feed their creativity. I just have to listen to the kids' stream of consciousness chatter. I've heard of writers doing drugs to have creative injections. I have psychedelic creativity padding into my bedroom at 5:58 AM whispering, " Mom.  Mom.  I wanna tell you a story."

How does your writing process work? 

Give me tea (preferably one with bergamot), a baked good, and either a computer or journal, and I'll write. I envy people who churn out novels while chaos surrounds them. That's a challenge, but I'll take what I can get.   Still, a nice, three hour chunk is ideal. It allows me to revisit my most recent writing adventures, experience more and then review them. It's a nice vacation from life into my imaginary world. However, I usually get an hour.  I work best when I get time on a consistent basis so my brain can play with problems and possibilities for the characters before I return to the computer and write it down. I love that feeling of living my writing life in my head while I'm doing something mundane like folding laundry.

Thanks for your interest in my writing process. Mark your itinerary for next Monday when each of the following authors will tell you about her process.

Sonia Gensler is the award-winning author of THE REVENANT (2011) and THE DARK BETWEEN (2013), both from Alfred A. Knopf. She blogs a little about writing, but more often about reading, travel, TV and movies over at

Gayleen Rabakukk enjoys creating stories that explore the mysteries of days gone by, both real and imagined. Find her online at

Stephanie Clinton is a mommy blogger who writes about family, food, and all that goes with it (including the hard stuff) over at Hugs, Kisses, and Snot. She will also be featured in Oklahoma City's 2014 Listen to Your Mother Show.

Happy travels!


  1. Love your magical theme - it is reflected in your last bookcover (Glamour) as well as in your daughter's laser shooting rainbows - it exists!!

    1. ...and in the friendships I have with so many amazing women. I'm glad you see it, too.

  2. I love that feeling of living my writing life in my head while I'm doing something mundane like folding laundry.

    I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes I hear my characters talking in my head, but my body is busy doing something else, like driving my car, and I can't write the stuff down. Still, it's fun. And even if I don't remember the exact conversation, some important piece sticks with me. I think.

    1. Exactly, Sonia! I'll never forget the dream when a character came to me and told me I was telling the story wrong.

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