Monday, June 23, 2014

My Writing Process

Today I'm taking part in the My Writing Process blog tour. It's pretty cool. I was tagged by my author buddy, Yolanda Sfetsos, who does awesome work. I definitely recommend checking her out. Start with the Recast series. Space cowboys!  I don't really get into the science fiction romance stuff but I LOVE her and Christle Gray's work in that genre.  Click on her name to see her post in this blog tour and learn more about her.

Moving along to my part in this tour, a little about my writing process:

1) What am I working on?

Right now I am actually working on the debut novel in my One Nation Under Zombies series. This will be released under the pen name, Raymond Lee, which is a tribute to my late father, Raymond Lee Love. The first book is Mail Horror Bride and it introduces us to the survivors who will be struggling to make it in post-apocalyptic America after the zombie outbreak caused by a virus injected into mailorder brides before being sent into the country. It's all kinds of gory good fun. :) 

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

Well, I write in multiple genres. The horror/thriller genre is brand new but I have been writing in various sub-genres of romance under my real name, Crystal-Rain Love (yes, it's my real name), for about 10 years. I write contemporary cowboy/western-themed romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. 

I think the two characteristics of my work that tend to stand out are the intensity and the theme. One of the things I struggled with while writing paranormal romance for traditional publishers was that the publisher always wanted me to rein in the darkness. My characters, even the good ones, have dark sides. I tend to go a bit further in that area than most writers in this genre. I don't like my characters to be so good that they're unbelievable. I like them to be flawed and real, as real as vampires and shapeshifters can be. :)  
Then there's the theme. Good vs. Evil. Light vs. Dark.  Faith vs. Demons Within.  I'm a Christian. I don't go to church as much as I should and I don't have a denomination, but I believe in God. I believe God always prevails and those who believe are blessed. I'm not a Jehovah's Witness knocking at your door and I don't shove bibles in people's faces, but my characters all have faith and even the darkest, scariest ones, whether vampire, witch or shapeshifter, hold on to that faith and fight their demons. My books will never be in a Christian bookstore. My characters just aren't that "clean" but their hearts are in the right place and they do their best to do good. They only kill the really bad people. ;) 
As for my romantic suspense, I just go to darker more controversial subject matter because the world is not a nice place. I write what I know. I like being able to drag my characters out of the hell they've been put in.

3) Why do I write what I do? 

I'm a sick, sick puppy. :)  I kid, I kid. 

I write cowboy romances because I like cowboys. What's not to like? My heroines in those stories tend to 
be mostly "good girls."  I like good girls. I was a good girl and I'm raising good girls. It's refreshing to have a virgin in a story every now and then. I like these wholesome American as apple pie stories so I write them. 

I write paranormal romance because I'm also a bit twisted. I admit it. I like to explore the dark side in people. I have my own dark side. Touch my kids and I will unleash hell. We all have our triggers. Putting larger than life characters with supernatural abilities in dark places and situations and watching them fight, not only with the enemies around them but the demons inside themselves, is just something I'm drawn to. 

I write horror/thriller because it's an escape. Anything goes in this genre. No rules. No restrictions. If I don't like someone I can put them in a book, run them through a woodchipper and my karma stays clean. No jail time either. Can't beat that.  Aaaaaand now that I sound scurry I'll move along ... 

4) How does my writing process work? 

Honestly, it depends on what I am writing. With my Blood Revelation series, the characters tell me the story and I just write it down. Sounds insane, I know, but I have no better way to describe it. Those characters are beyond real to me.

With everything else, it usually starts from a scene and grows from there. Sometimes the words just pour out of me, sometimes they trickle. When I stall, I find that listening to music, watching a movie or reading a book can get the creative juices flowing. Oddly, watching movies or reading books in a genre other than what I am working on seems to do the trick.

I've actually outlined Mail Horror Bride which is different as I find outlines usually kill my writing process when working on romance. But with this genre, it is a must. There are so many more main characters to keep track of and so much action, I'd be lost without my outline to keep me on the right path.

Oh, and since I have a full-time job, 3 kids and way too many animals to take care of, I tend to have "writingfests." These are days, usually weekends and holidays, when I lock myself away with the laptop and just write for several hours nonstop.

That's pretty much it. I hope you enjoyed this. If you're new to me, check the links on the side of this blog for my available work!

The blog hop continues on Monday, June 30th with D.B. Reynolds.

D.B. Reynolds is the RT Award-Winning author of the popular Vampires in America series of Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy and an Emmy-nominated television sound editor. Vist her blog at for details on all her books, for free stories and more. 

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