My Writing Process – Blog Tour

This post wasn’t meant to be up until Monday, but I have such a busy week ahead that I was scared of missing the deadline, so I hope it’s ok to be a bit early.
I was invited to participate in this blog tour on the writing process by Shirley Golden, a writing friend I only know online, but would love to meet in person. Shirley has several stories at Ether Books which is where we first came across each other’s work, and she is also working on … well, you can find out all about Shirley Golden here and her blog tour answers here. But what you may not know is that not only does she write in different genres, but she is also a voracious reader and an astute reviewer, which is why I think of her as “Golden Shirley”, and sometimes even call her that.
Shirley asked me to answer the questions she also received and they’ve been tugging at my mind over the last week or so.
1.What am I working on?
I haven’t been doing as much writing lately as I would have liked to be doing, but I did manage to finish a story for an anthology, do a book review and an author profile. I’ve also just successfully crowdfunded my stories for publication in German, so at the moment I’m getting the manuscript ready for submission to the publisher by the end of the week. What I had intended to be doing was to revise my two languishing novels, but that work has been on hold since the end of 2012 due to my being involved in the preparations for the 13th International Conference on the Short Story in English which will be held in Vienna this July; but I did manage to bring out a collection of stories, Mercury Blobs, in 2013, just keeping my nose ahead of AstridL, a little old lady who lives in the back of my garden, who published her book of erotic tales, Consuming the Muse hot on my heels.


2.How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, as you can see, I’m a bit all over the place. I like to play with words and I take easily to short fiction. But I’m determined to finish my two novels which keep growing beyond the size of their drafts with more and more ideas that sneak in to my mind from nowhere, wheedling and sometimes even sulking because of the lack of attention they’re getting. But they’ll just have to wait until after the conference and then I will be all theirs.
My work plays around with politics and humour, with big issues and small, and sometimes just fools   around, forever dogged by the notion of identity and home, love and more recently, death. Here’s where I left one of my opi —is that the plural of opus

Opus in search of structure at a novel workshop run in Vienna by Vanessa Gebbie
3.Why do I write what I do?
I suppose it’s linked to being an expat and distrusting the notion of “home”, as well as feeling that there’s still so much to do and so little time, so many issues that crowd my mind, and underneath all that, I guess I just want to have fun; so in a way, I’m living my writing life as if every day were waving a flag saying Go for it! Why not? What if? And I think this is how I am happiest.
4.How does your writing process work?
Heavens. Alex Keegan, a wonderful teacher, tough and rambunctious, from my early steps as a writer used to call me Merc – a blob of mercury on a lab floor, running all over the place. I hated it at first, but that’s how I am. Even my latest collection is called Mercury Blobs.
So I’ll jot down snippets, sometimes in a notebook if I remember to carry one with me, more often than not on the back of receipts or even paper serviettes. These could be snippets of dialogue I overhear, the way the light hits the side of a building, the shadows it casts, a smell, a saying – I’m awful with clichés. Then these things mull about in my head, but writing them down somehow captures them even if I lose the snippets. Then it’s usually a rough draft by hand in an exercise book or on a pad of paper, whichever is nearest. And a lot of scribbling and arrows and something seems to take form. So I type up a first draft which usually changes as I type. Then I leave it alone and come back to it later. This is where I need the deadlines. And if I’m really scared of not having got it to where I want it, I’ll give to a trusted reader for feedback, or just read aloud. Reading aloud picks up a whole lot of gremlins. But I’m always struggling with structure, as the photo above shows.
I suppose you’re all dizzy now, so let me tell you who’ll be on next week. And you really have to look them all up because these are three very different writers with exciting insights to share. The first two will be fresh from the Geneva Writers’ Conferencebeing held just this weekend and their adrenaline leaps will be something to look out for. The third, well you’ll just have to read on.
NancyFreund is a British-American poet and a novelist. She is the author of Rapeseed, published this year by Gobreau Press and Big Gecko Tango, forthcoming from Gobreau in 2014. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in journals such as The Istanbul Review and Blood Lotus Journal. In September 2012, Nancy was the writer-in-residence at the webjournal Necessary Fiction, where she is also a regular book critic. She was the fiction winner of the Geneva Writers Group 2013 Literary Prize for her short story “Marcus.”  She also co-founded the Lavaux Literary Salon and is active in Community Literacy projects for teens and adults.

Katie Hayoz was born in Racine, WI, but ended up in Geneva, Switzerland, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and two fuzzy cats. She devours YA novels like she does popcorn and black licorice: quickly and in large quantities. Katie´s own YA novel, Untethered, has been getting some super reviews.
And remember that little old lady I told you about? Well she twisted my arm and said I just had to include a writer whom she met not only at Ether Books online, but also in real life. She even said he picked her up in a big black car and spirited her away from a writer’s conference to discuss the technicalities of erotic writing with a group in a pub in the city of York, England, of all places. I must keep an eye on the old dear and tell her to keep taking the tablets.
So here is my third writer who I’m sure will intrigue you, as he does me. And don’t be afraid to enter if you’re over 18.
Laertes is a writer of sensuous erotica and appreciates the beauty within all things genuinely erotic.  In another life, he is a playwright.  Laertes has always loved playing with words.  The effect of the choice of words and how they are put together, the sound, the pattern, are as intriguing to him as their meaning.  His work invariably explores the hidden depths of a person, set free by either circumstance or trust.  His plays are frequently dark, explosive.  His erotica, liberating and equally explosive.
Laertes has a number of erotic short stories published by Ether Books and Xcite, and an erotic novel (“Conspiracy”) published by Pink Flamingo Publications.  Links to these works, and Laertes’ blog, can be found at his website, A Touch of Silk – ‘Intelligent erotica for the discerning woman’.