Last week, fellow blogger, Sherri Matthews nominated me to take part in a Writing Process Blog Meme. As she explained this is where I answer four questions and nominate three other bloggers to continue the process. I haven’t taken part in anything like this before, but Sherri’s writing and blog have always inspired me, so how could I refuse? If you have time, do visit her website. Her journey, as well as her writing is amazing.
Here are my answers:
1. What am I working on at the moment?
Oooh, where do I start? I’m always working on lots of things. I’m just finishing a commissioned article for The Cat magazine. I write about all sorts of quirky things related to cats. This particular article was about little known cat fables from around the world. The research was great fun.
My book of short stories is due out on the 15th November. It started out as an e-book (The Siege and Other Award Winning Stories) and after lots of requests, it’s now coming out as a paperback. I’m considering a sequel and also a second series in my children’s book series. A publisher has shown interest so that’s something I may work on in the future.
In between bigger projects and my work at a tutor for The Writers Bureau I work on readers’ letters (a great way to boost your income and they’re fun, too!) and fillers for all sorts of publications.
I love writing short stories, but don’t have as much time for them as I’d like to.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
If I’m writing fiction, I always try and think outside the box. For example, in The Siege, which is the first story in my book of short stories, and which was a prize-winning story for Writing Magazine, we were given the theme of a library. So I thought outside the box. After all, when you think of the word siege you don’t expect one to take place in a library, do you? I just try to make the story stand out and catch the judge’s/editor’s eye.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Because I love it. Years ago, in my teens, I won my first short story competition and vowed to continue writing, but once I started working, I didn’t have the time for it and it slipped. Then, when I couldn’t continue in my job because of an accident, it led me to The Writers Bureau and into taking their course. As I started to have work published, I realised I’d found what I’d sub-consciously been looking for. Now, I just have to write. It’s part of me.
4. How does my writing process work?
The first half of my day is taken up with The Writers Bureau and I mark my students’ assignments (in rough, which I type up in the evening, which is why you might see your assignment returned at all sorts of odd hours!). In the afternoon, I work on my other writing projects, whether it’s an article, short story, a commissioned copywriting assignment, chapter of a book and then of course, my blog! I do find it difficult not to work at the weekends as I usually have so much on the go, but my family comes first so I’ll squeeze any writing round them.
Now, here are my three wonderful nominees, whose blogs and writing inspire me. I can’t wait to see their answers:
Keith was one of my Writers Bureau students and regularly takes part in my weekly writing challenges, always producing something witty and highly entertaining. He was always eager to learn and a pleasure to take through the course.
In Keith’s own words:
‘At the end of 2005, I took early retirement after a varied career, mostly in insurance and IT. I have lived in Dubai, Nigeria and Tanzania, as well as various places in England, and have visited countries on four continents.
Now a ‘proper’ pensioner, I live with my wife, Clare, and two terriers in a rural location in central France, where I mostly write and take a few photographs. I also support a small number of web sites and do a bit of proofreading.
Although I have been blogging on OurParkingSpace.com since 2006, the writing bug didn’t really hit me until having taken a proofreading course with the Writers Bureau, as an exercise in learning for its own sake. I followed that with a creative writing (novel & short story) course and started writing fiction for the first time in more than fifty years.
I write short stories and flash fiction for pleasure, and for publication on my blog at keithkreates.com I am also well into the first draft of my first novel’.
Nica Hawkins de Koenigswater
Nica is a current student of mine and her work is a treat to read. It’s always highly imaginative and original. She’s also started to take part in my writing challenges, so you’ll be able to enjoy her writing, too.
Nica’s short biography is as follows: ‘Nica, aka Sacha Black, is a current Writers Bureau student, public sector worker bee, wife and mother to an 11month old baby boy. Nica is currently participating in NaNoWriMo, in the hope it kicks start her ambition to get a series of novels she’s outlined published. She loves to write young adult fantasy/dystopian/post apocalyptic/sci-fi genres, and whilst the course is causing her to write an abundance of short stories and flash fiction, it’s novels that her real passion lies in’. For Nica’s blog click: Sacha Black
Margaret is another Writers Bureau student. I’ve known her for several years and seen her writing grow. I feel like a proud parent to see how she’s spread her wings and flown. She has also been a tremendous support with my book and posted a wonderful review on Amazon US!
Here is a brief bio for Margaret: ‘Margaret is Ukrainian by birth, Lebanese by force, a relentless writer, voracious reader, annoying perfectionist, and a pet lover. She has several works of fiction and non-fiction published and is now working on a trilogy as well as her memoirs’. To read Margaret’s blog click: Margaret Benison
A huge thank you to Keith, Nica and Margaret for agreeing to the writing process meme. I look forward to reading all about your writing processes next week!