Blog Tour 2014: The Writing Process

Suzanne Hodsden (http://zannahsue.wordpress.com/) tagged me for the Writer’s Blog Tour. This tickles me beyond any rational reaction, because Suz has an MFA in literature and her short story was a finalist for the Jack Dyer Fiction Award. That she considers me a writer makes my brain run around in its little hamster ball like Rhino from Bolt. So here goes:

What are you working on?   

Getting an agent for my unpublished novel. Besides that, it’s figuring out what short story or essay I can polish and get published quickly enough to keep my writing credits looking current to potential agents. Even online publications can take a year between when an author first submits a project and when an accepted piece gets published. So I need to get cranking if I want any publication credits in 2015.

My closest-to-completed work in progress is an essay titled “Peace of Mind, a Compound Bow, and Zombies.” It reflects on my professional struggles and explores how learning archery helped bring me back in balance, appreciate my personal successes, and improve my preparedness for the zombie apocalypse.

I also have about 3,000 words of cuts from my short story, “Devil at the Crossroads,” that I think I can shape in to a sequel.

Finally, I have roughly 3/4 of a new novel draft tentatively titled Gaia’s Vengeance in which the Greek goddess of earth gets fed up with being poisoned by pollution and tries to eradicate humanity. She mostly succeeds – only about 300,000 of the earth’s population survive. The narrative follows the Greek gods who are now bold enough to make their presence known to humans, as well as a group of survivors whom Hermes recruits to his cause.

 How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I try to combine an action/adventure plot with emotional conflicts within and among the characters. My pacing is slower than Steve Berry and faster than Emilie Richards (neither of whom are speculative fiction, but they’re the best examples that come to mind). Think Charles de Lint with a higher body count.

 How does your writing process work?        

I take full advantage of National Novel Writing Month and pound out tens of thousands of words in November without any regard for quality or coherence. Then I spend the next eleven months polishing a chunk at a time and submitting it to my writers group for feedback. If I’m lucky, I’ll be inspired to draft a few smaller projects during the course of the year.

Why do you write what you do?

My writing tends to have a lot of exploration of:
1) family bonds & conflicts
2) an apocalyptic event, and
3) divine intervention by someone from an ancient pantheon.

Because:
1) when I write about family it helps me celebrate mine,
2) when I write about deprivation it makes me appreciate what I have, and
3) when I write about ancient gods acting in the present day I have a ball.

And I officially nominate . . .

Rocky Lewis

Rocky scintillates with sardonic wit and impresses me to no end. Not only is her fiction fabulous, her day job has always been writing. Her blog is http://rockylewis.com/

Becca Orchard

Becca is a new and welcome addition to my writers group. Her blog is so thoughtful and in-depth it intimidates me. It’s at http://ampersanddaily.com/

Meredith Morckel

Meredith was an early member of the Akron Writers Group, and her blog has many insightful reflections about being a modern Christian: http://meredithmorckel.com/

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About Shannon Waller

Shannon is the Executive Director of the Medina County SPCA. Previously, she was president of Team Dynamics and practiced corporate law in California. She is married with three grown step-children and an embarrassing number of cats. For fun, she writes, draws, rides her motorcycle, and shoots her compound bow at zombie targets.
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One Response to Blog Tour 2014: The Writing Process

  1. Krissie says:

    Great to be reminded that writing should be FUN! Ok, hard work too…but FUN hard work, right?! Meridith, are you coming back to the writing group?!

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