Beautiful People — Author Writing Process Edition

• How do you decide which project to work on?

Generally the project chooses me rather than vice versa. The process is always the same – I get an idea for a character or a theme or a genre mashup, and that idea simmers for months as things are added to it. Once the cauldron is full, I test the contents to see if they’re ready, and if they aren’t I wait and if they are I begin the novel. It generally takes six months before the potion is ready

• How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

That depends. I’ve written two novels in the Paper series, and each of those took me exactly one month to finish. However those are what I think of as my ‘side-quest’ novels, fun diversions anyone can read instead of my usual…much less….family-friendly fare. Those usually take about a year to complete the first draft.

• Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

I exist in a writing mood. It’s difficult to pull me out of a writing mood. If by chance I am NOT in a writing mood, a song, a mental image, a line in a book, a scene in a film, a piece of artwork – anything can put me there.

• What time of day do you write best?

I don’t rely on the time of day as much as environment. If there are things I need to be doing, I can’t write well. If my environment is chaotic, I can’t write well. If I have silence, a relatively clean environment, and nothing hanging over my head, then I can write well. I do, however, write best in overcast weather.

• Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

Not in regard to literature, but I’ve been told (and I’ll keep these remarks forever and brood over them until they hatch) my writing is a little Prison Break, a little Del Toro, and a little anime. (Okay. A lot anime, but in a GOOD WAY. I think. I hope. I mean, it WAS on purpose.) Apparently I write novelized screenplays.

• Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

There’s no definite ‘why’ here. I began attempting to novelize movies (The Empire Strikes Back and Ice Age, respectively) when I was in the single digits, mostly because I was convinced I could make them better. Hubris led me to start writing, love made me stay. Or something like that. (I was nine, okay.)

• What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

It depends on what you mean by ‘hard.’ If we’re going by ’emotionally hard,’ Monster wins because I hadn’t really written anything personally ‘intense’ until then, and as a seventeen-year-old Monster really took me to new depths and heights I hadn’t yet experienced. Everything I write is hard, because I put so much of myself into it and am so attached to every character. Dark is the Night was difficult because it’s a challenge to attempt a ‘Christian perspective’ on a supernatural vampire novel without being evangelistic. The Fading of the Light and its sequel, The Climbing of the Moon, have been difficult because I’ve arguably never been this attached to any of my books before, and it intensifies in me what the characters are going through.

• Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

Several, actually; the main project being the final version of Acceso, which will happen although I don’t know when.

• Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!


• What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

I didn’t make any goals except ‘finish revising Dark is the Night’ and ‘start a new novel,’ both of which are in progress. Nothing too grandiose, as we were moving. Which brings me to another announcement –

We’re moving back to home sweet home & land of my birth, the pacific northwest. This should be interesting. Care packages and house elves are welcome.


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