Writer and photographer extraordinaire Ann Finkelstein tagged me for the Writing Process Blog Hop. I'm happy to play along!
What am I working on now?
Snatched in Gullybrook, a YA contemporary with an expected publication date in August 2014. I'm self-publishing my debut novel and totally enamored with the process. I LOVE taking charge and bringing my line editor (Janie Sullivan from The Center for Writing Excellence) and my cover artist (Michael di Gesu) on board to collaborate with me. I love that Dr. Jacquelyn Meshelemiah, a human trafficking expert at OSU, tells me that my book is the most realistic depiction of domestic trafficking she's ever read, and I've got to publish it now so she can make it required reading for her trafficking classes. This is how writing is supposed to be! What a rush! My heart beats faster just writing about it!
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
This book is unique in that it is told from the POV of three teenage trafficking victims. All of the "experts" told me not to write it this way. They wanted the story told in one POV, but I strongly believe that telling it from three, and dovetailing the stories together, emphasizes the trafficking nature of this crime. There are more people trafficked in the world today than at any other time in human history. And in the U.S., traffickers are getting bolder. Girls from middle and upper class families are targeted via social media, via men who pretend to care about them, via women who pretend to be concerned about them, and via children their own age who pretend to be their friends. These trusting victims are manipulated, kidnapped, and forced into a life they never dreamed could happen to them.
Why do I write what I do?
I write what captures my attention, grabs hold, and refuses to let go, like my dog with his ratty piece of rawhide he gnaws at until it's coated in saliva-y grime. My other finished novel is an MG historical fiction about an orphan who works as a muleskinner (mule driver) on the 1840s Ohio Canal. The Canal Era fascinates me, and it played a huge part in the settlement of the area where I live (Northern Ohio).
How does my writing process work?
I love research! I read, watch movies, talk to experts, and sometimes try to replicate my characters' journeys. In the case of my Ohio Canal book, I actually backpacked 110 miles of the restored canal towpath in five days, a pace not dissimilar to what my muleskinner would have done. It exhausted me! I'm also a big fan of thumbing through magazines and finding pictures of my characters as I'm brainstorming my plot. Then I flesh out biographies of them as I go along, returning to my photos frequently to stare and absorb their physical power. Pretty soon I'm dreaming about them as I know them.
|Megan, the maybe lesbian and sometimes kleptomaniac.|
|Candace, the cheerleader.|
|Sissy, Daddy's little princess and shopaholic.|
|My major villains! Clockwise: Pimps: Tex, Iron Man, and Romeo, and Trixie: befriender of unsuspecting girls.|