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Monday, February 24, 2014

Chained Up

This week I have decided to take part in a blog chain among authors started by the great Brenda Perlin. Next week will be Wendy Siefken. I am going to answer 4 questions and hope that you learn something about me and my work. Here I go.

Steffen with the tattoo
1: What am I working on? Wow this is a big question right now in my writing life. Normally I am working on one project at a time, but right now I have three. First: I am currently still in the process of editing and working on The Legacy of the Dragonwand. I have already edited this one twice, sent it off to a handful of beta readers, and then put it in the hands of a professional editor who currently still has it. When she is done I will be getting into that one hot and heavy. Second: I am still working on the second edit of The Crystal Needle 2: The Map. I have worked on it this one since around September of last year. I put a lot of work into it during NaNoWriMo this past November. Now I have edited it through once and it is in my mothers hands for the second edit. (trust me she is a harsher critic than most when it comes to my work.) Third: My current actual writing is being put into a unique story called Legend of the Mystic Tattoo, a fantasy set in a mythical land about a man with, you guessed it, a mysterious tattoo. What makes this story unique is that I am not writing this alone, I am writing it in tandem with Wendy Siefken. Instead of just co-writing the story, we each write a section and then pass it to the other person to add their next section. We can throw each other through loops by changing the story in a unique direction. I can attest to the fact that Wendy has thrown me several loops that have been fun getting into or out of. We had been publishing this story weekly as we wrote it, but now that we are both working harder on it, we think that it would be best to be kept to us until we are ready to publish it.

2: How does my work differ from others of its genre? I try to keep it clean. Okay, I don't believe that all other authors in Fantasy and Sci-Fi are guilty of writing lurid stories. Though many I have met or read about don't have issues with getting a little dirty now and then. I focus hard on keeping my stories clean to the point that they would garner at most a PG rating if they were movies. Where I focus on this is in the romantic sides of the stories. I look at the minds and heart of the romance, not just the physical attraction. In fact, if you have read my Crystal Needle, you will see that I write characters that aren't physically attractive but still find love. I know that I am not the originator of this style, but I do find that I am in a minority.

3:Why do I write what I do? Because I'm crazy and the voices would kill me if I didn't let them out. Okay, no I am not THAT crazy. Truthfully, I just love fantasy. I have since I was young. When I was playing with the kids on the playground, I turned playtime into a story involving magic or space ships. This part of me has been there since I can remember. Writing it down into stories is just a side effect of my love of creating imaginary worlds and people. (No I don't play with imaginary friends. I just talk to them regularly about their stories.)

"You should be writing!"
4: How does my writing process work? I sit and write. I know that isn't really the kind of answer you want to hear but it is a giant part of my writing. I force myself to sit and write every day while I am in the midst of story creation. Even if I have nothing in mind for the story I still write. Frankly, I would rather erase a crappy writing session than simply not write at all. As for story creation, its all in my head. While in the throes of creating a story I think about it all the time. I sit and stare while considering a conversation by letting my characters ask and answer questions, understand how and why they would answer it in whatever way they do. If I am stuck for a big action sequence in a story I put it to music, I will listen to sound tracks of movies or classical music that fits the bill. Often the music tells a story in my head that works out much better than anything I had been thinking of. Or better yet, the music I am listening to suddenly invokes a scene that I had not even considered yet but fills out the story in such an awesome way. The last way I answer this question is in this: I write in a line. I may know the ending, I may know where I want the characters to be by the end of a scene or section, but in truth I don't know how they are going to get there until I write it on the page. I let the story tell itself. Sometimes it stumps me and I realize that it is not working and I have to get the train back on the rails, but more often than not the story drags me along for the ride. 

Thank you for reading, now about those before and after me:

I was asked to do this by author Douglas Davis. He is the author of River Dream

About River Dream: 
Rhiannon has a rule against dating her best friend, Michael. Is it a rule meant to be broken, or a rule that will break her heart? 

Rhiannon and sailing are Mike's two greatest loves. Sailing's the one thing he can always count on. Rhiannon's the one he can count on to keep him confused.

As high school begins, the new girl in town sets her sites on Mike. What will Rhiannon's rules cost her, and will she ever get to show Michael she really does love him, too?

I have asked Wendy Siefken to follow me. Check out her blog. She is the author and co-author of several books. First of which is Kai's Journey

1 comment:

  1. You made a great page Dan. I love your answers. Especially number 2. "I look at the minds and heart of the romance, not just the physical attraction." I admire and appreciate what you said You are deep!!!! Glad Douglas brought you on. He, like yourself writes fabulous stories!