I’ll answer four burning questions about my own writing and tag three other writers, who will answer the same questions on their blogs in the next week.
1. What am I working on now?
My new project is a departure from my Rachel Goddard mystery series. It’s a suspense novel, a story revolving around Those Suspicious People Next Door rather than a police investigation of a murder. My lead character is a wildlife photographer. Beyond that, I don’t want to say too much just yet.
2. How does my work differ from other books in its genre?
In my mystery series, Rachel (a veterinarian in a small mountain community) becomes involved in murder cases in various ways, but she’s not a super-sleuth amateur who outdoes the cops at every turn. Her mate, Tom Bridger, a deputy who becomes sheriff in the last book, Poisoned Ground, is quite capable of solving the murders. But Rachel is essential to the process because she can go places a cop can’t and get information that people might not share with a policeman. There’s nothing cozy about the small community they live in. It’s a rough place where everybody owns a gun and grievances are likely to lead to violence. All the books have a high level of suspense, and they’ve often been called suspense novels or thrillers.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I made Rachel a veterinarian – risking a cozy label for the books – because I love animals and want to include them in my books. But I love darker mysteries and suspense novels, and that’s what I try to write. My first novel, The Heat of the Moon, was pure suspense, and now I want to get back to that. I love writing about people going through an intense experience and coming out of it changed in some fundamental way.
4. How does my writing process work?
It’s messy, often chaotic. Getting into a new book is the most difficult, confusing, even depressing stage. I never believe I have “enough story” for a book. Regardless of how many times I’ve done it, I never believe I can do it again. But I push on, building the story bit by bit, layer by layer. The first draft is skimpy, written without editing. By the end of it, I have a good idea of what the story needs, and I begin the real writing – shaping, filling in gaps, broadening the plot and characters, enhancing the descriptions and interior passages. The first draft is scary. The rest is real writing, and quite satisfying.
For the next round of the blog hop, I’m tagging three other writers published by Poisoned Pen Press. If you haven’t read their work, you’re in for a treat!
Janet worked as an editor, researcher, writing coach, and non-fiction writer, producing over
twenty books for Chelsea House Publishers under the name Janet Hubbard-Brown, before she sold her mystery series, Vengeance in the Vineyard, to Poisoned Pen Press. Bordeaux: The Bitter Finish, (April, 2014) is the second in Janet's series, following Champagne: The Farewell (2012).
You will find her blog at www.janethubbard.com, where she will post her blog hop answers on June 13.
Readers can enjoy the first chapter of each book on her web site at http://www.doniscasey.com. She blogs biweekly about at http://typem4murder.blogspot.com, where you can find her responses to the blog hop questions on June 16.
Visit his website and blog at http://www.michaelakahn.com and look for his blog hop answers there in the next week.