We all started writing because we loved it. No, that’s not quite true. We all started writing our first book because we couldn’t imagine not trying to get it out. Because we enjoyed everything about the writing process so darned much. I know that I spent days luxuriously poring through the phone book (this was a few years ago – don’t judge me!) to find lyrical and sexy names for each of my characters, no matter how small. Nowadays, if it is a one mention pop-in, I generally grab a name off of whatever symphony program is lying around the house. Or I jam together two names from my Twitter feed and move on in 3.5 seconds. We loved research and plotting and what-ifs and even editing, because it was all new and fresh and exciting.
At a certain point, however, no matter how much you still love writing, aspects of being an ‘author’ are definitely work. *cough BLOG POSTS cough* Reading not-yet-released ARCS is incredibly awesome in theory. But sometimes, when you are under deadline and prepping promo for a release and crafting back cover copy and packing for vacation AND have to squeeze in reading a book? No matter how terrific? It sometimes feels like work. And we complain. Heck, we bitch about it. We bitch about having to turn around edits in three days. Or having to come up with seven original ideas for a blog tour. Or even that we contracted for a single title and this sucker won’t plot beyond 45,000 words. Which are all things we only blissfully dreamed of getting to do pre-publication. There’s a chance we’re a tad buried in the minutiae of writing and can’t see the forest for all the many, many words.
So I asked a bunch of my friends – all bestsellers – one question, to bring our focus back to the joy and thrill and absolute love that we have for this craft, that makes us keep writing until dawn (or getting up at dawn). Plus, you get a peek at their latest releases, which are all awesome (and a peek at my book that releases on TUESDAY!!!!!!)
We all bitch about being under deadline, stuck in the middle, waaaay over word count. But….what is your favorite part of the writing process?
USA Today Bestseller Eliza Knight – My favorite part of the writing process is when my characters surprise me with a new twist! I’m a plotter! Like a list, chart and synopsis planner. So when they surprise me, and they always do, it’s very exciting, like I’m discovering the story right along with them!
A widower, Laird Torsten Mackenzie, has worked long and hard to regain the respect his clan deserved after his older brother turned traitorous. Even in death, Cathal’s crimes remain a mar on Torsten’s conscience. Setting aside his grief, Torsten devotes his life to his people, and to his young, motherless daughter. When a rival clan attacks his lands unprovoked, he’s determined to put them in their place once and for all. Marching on their gates, he’s taken by surprise when Lady MacDonell steps through the opening instead of her wayward husband. Reacting impulsively, Torsten exacts his revenge by whisking her away.
But she laid claim to his heart…
Headstrong and fierce, Éabha MacDonell’s true nature has been buried for six long years in a marriage that fills her with shame, and has kept her tucked in the shadows. But the death of her husband, and being forced from the only home she’s ever known, brings freedom in a way she’d never imagined. Free to rediscover parts of herself she’d thought never to behold again—her love of art, her desire for children. But most of all, the tug at her heart, the warmth of a secret glance and the heat of a passionate embrace.
In the arms of her captor, Éabha’s more liberated than she’s ever been before and Torsten might just have found the one person who can make him whole again.
Award Winning M.D. Waters – It’s funny. When I’m drafting, my favorite part is editing. When I’m editing, my favorite part is drafting. But I think when all is said and done, the best thing about writing is creating. Turning something simple into art. Giving life and emotion to characters and settings. Sometimes it isn’t as easy as it sounds, but when it happens, it makes the entire process worth it.
In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which . . .
In the stunning first volume of a two-book series that will appeal to readers of William Gibson and Philip K. Dick, Emma wakes with her memory wiped clean. Her husband, Declan—a powerful and seductive man—narrates the story of her past, but Emma’s dreams contradict him. They show her war, a camp where girls are trained to be wives, and love for another man. Something inside warns her not to speak of these things, but the line between her dreams and reality is about to shatter forever.
NYT Bestseller Laura Kaye – My favorite part of the writing process is twofold: I love the process of discovery that happens as all kinds of things take place you didn’t know or plan, and I love that moment toward the end when all those surprise developments come together to form some equally unexpected emotional moment or amazing plot twist far better than anything you were thinking you’d do. As you can tell, I’m a pantser…
2 time RITA nominee Stephanie Dray – My favorite part of the writing process are those “aha!” moments. When disparate ideas and themes and clues come together in a way that feels like the plot was pre-destined. I love feeling that burst of inspirational insanity. It’s addictive brain candy!
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.
Christi Barth (because it just wouldn’t be fair to make them answer if I didn’t, too!) – for me, it is the dialogue. Both the banter and the heart-stopping romance. I simply adore putting words in people’s mouths. Best fun ever!
Dylan Royce, ex-teen pop star, needs a sexy image makeover. His first adult solo album came out under his perfect, white-washed persona and tanked. Joining a band equally famous for their music and their between-the-sheets escapades is only the start. He needs to get raunchy. Sleep with a different girl every night. But there’s only one woman he wants, and she still sees him as a goody two-shoes boy-bander.
Ariel Watson is the publicist in charge of turning Dylan into the sex-god every woman dreams of doing. Frankly, she doesn’t see the appeal. Until one hot kiss changes her mind. Now she wants to keep him for herself–without losing her job. Or losing Dylan the legions of drooling fans she’s supposed to be building for him.
Turning bad got Dylan the woman of his dreams. But how will he choose between her…or his career catapulting him back to superstar status?