My Writing Process Blog Tour

#mywritingprocess

I was tagged by Raymond Bolton http://www.raymondbolton.com to take part in a tag team blog tour. If you’re a Twitter user and enjoy this post, please Tweet it up and follow me, as well. Thanks for reading!

1) What am I working on?
I am currently working on the third installment of The Shapeshifter Chronicles, my young adult paranormal series. I am still without a title, but hope to settle on it soon. I’m in the last quarter of the book and things are moving pretty fast now.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I like to think that despite the fact that I write in the paranormal and fantasy genre I bring quite a bit of reality into my work. I like the reader to connect with my characters and truly feel like they know and understand them. I feel this is important with this genre when you’re making up magical and fantastical elements, that certain things remain true like feelings and connections. I’m not sure if this really makes my work different from others, but it’s something that I’ve found lacking in some work in my genre (definitely not all).

3) Why do I write what I do?
I love magical realism and what they used to call urban fantasy. I have always been interested in alternate histories and novels that play with another view on events or popular stories/fairy tales. I write what I’m excited about. I have many different ideas on potential stories, only so much time to write. The focus has been on my YA paranormal series and my MG fantasy series, but I am excited to expand in the future.

4) How does your writing process work?
I am probably a nightmare to the meticulous. I write based off a loose idea and I plan while I write. As I move through the story, I connect elements and devise my scenes. I will hash out my ideas with my husband who does his best to poke holes and help me come up with creative solutions to problems. I do my research as I move through, although I do tend to do my shapeshifter research for the region I’m focusing on before I start the book just so I can familiarize myself wit the culture I’m focusing on. Because I don’t often have everything laid out before I begin I do tend to have to go back through the earlier chapters of the book if I change an element which means it’s impossible for me send work to beta readers early.
Once I’ve finished my first draft I usually read it aloud to my husband. This allows me to hear repetitive word use, clunky sentences or other issues, which I correct as I read. When I’m done with this phase I traditionally send it to my editor for a developmental read through for a critique. After I get the recommendations back I make any structural changes I need to and then it’s off to my beta readers.
I address any issues my beta’s might have and then it’s off to have a line edit for the final draft.
Last but not least, it’s off to my readers :)

It’s my turn now to pass the baton to the following author. Visit their blog next Monday, February 24, to see how they write.

Rachelle Ayala is the author of dramatic fiction crossing genres and boundaries. http://www.rachelleayala.com/

My apologies

Dear readers,
I have felt the need to address book 3 to you because I feel badly.

Over a year and a half ago my husband injured his head and was forced to work part-time from home. Unfortunately more recently (over the summer) he started feeling worse and hasn’t been working at all. I have been working full-time from home earning money to support the family, taking care of our children and the home. This has been quite stressful and time consuming. I’ve been very frustrated not being able to deliver book 3 sooner, because I had planned on being much further along than I am. BUT I want to assure you that I have made it a priority to work on it over weekends and free moments because Chance and Ana really want their story told. I am VERY excited to tell this story. It is very fun to write and I really can’t wait to release it. Do I have a release date yet? Unfortunately no. I don’t want to put the pressure on myself to complete it by a specific date, but I will let you all know when we are getting very close.

Want to help me out? If you love the series, share it with your friends! Tell them about it and if you have the time, leave a review so others can find to love Chance and Ana too.

Knowing there are people out there that care about my characters as much as I do warms my heart and I want to thank you for reading and leaving me notes. It means a lot to me. Now without further ado, I’m going to go back to writing, because we all know that’s what you really want me to do!

XOXO
Natasha Brown

Cover Reveal for An Unfortunate Beginning

It is my pleasure to announce the release of book 1 of The Novel Adventures of Nimrod Vale, An Unfortunate Beginning. Available August 1st 2013 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Now that this book has found it’s wings it’s time to focus on The Shapeshifter Chronicles!

Heroes Create Their Own Endings

NimrodValeFINAL2Nimrod Vale is convinced he is the unluckiest twelve-year-old alive. Life is hard when your name doubles as an insult, but he finds it is even worse when your mom dies. Nim is forced to stay with his only living relative, his Aunt Holly in Portland, Oregon. After settling in, he is ready to get lost in a good book, except his bad luck gets in the way when he tips a cup of steaming coffee onto his tablet. While his most prized possession is being repaired, Nim grows anxious to start writing one of his own stories, so his aunt sends him to the attic in search of his grandpa’s treasured fountain pen.

An accidental discovery reveals a desolate world that he thought only existed on the pages of his parchment. Nim prefers to pretend it never happened, and hide away in the school library. There he meets a loner named Pepper who gives him no choice but to be his friend, but when she discovers what he’s been hiding, she forces his hand. Nim then must choose to step up and help the fictional war-torn land or turn his back on the people who need him most.

The Novel Adventures of Nimrod Vale is a middle grade series meant for readers between the ages of 8-13+ yrs old

My Special Valentine

This is a blog post that was hosted recently on Best Selling Reads.

It was early morning. The sun hadn’t crested the horizon yet, and as we drove by the darkened homes I could imagine the people inside snuggled up in their beds, still catching those last minutes of sleep before getting up and starting their day. We were nearly alone on the highways while we drove east. The cold fingers of winter tried to pry their way into our van. Although I sat untouched from its reach, a bitter pain grew in my chest.

A flock of Canadian geese flew overhead. I’ve never understood why they choose Colorado over a warmer climate, but there they were, soaring through the bleak skies together as a large extended family on a winter holiday. The lopsided formation broke the silence with their honking as we glided over the black river of pavement, leading us to the hospital.

I turned around to look at her, my little angel, wide eyed in the back seat, too nervous to be tired or to watch the passing wildlife. When we arrived in the bright atrium of the hospital it had only begun to waken. Friendly faces, simple noises and smells distorted and numbed me. Time slowed.

Like a koala, she clung to me, her mommy. I was here to protect her, yet I was delivering her into the arms of pain. How could it make sense to her? Did she understand that we were only trying to help her?

Her voice was locked away, safe inside – the only thing that was in her control. When the time came and her eyes drooped into a soft and pleasant sleep, the nurses took her from me.

“We’ll take care of her. You’ll see her soon.”

The wait would have been unbearable if I had been awake, but I slept. I could not imagine a world without her in it. I refused to. So instead, I slept.

At her bedside, I knew I was where I needed to be. A motherly magnet, I snapped to her side, climbed under the covers and remained there, even as her poor body drooped and those terrible beeps rose, like a swarm of insects coming to frighten me away. Instead, a flurry of nurses clamored around us. Each held fluids and blood, ready to pump my sleeping princess with life so her delicate veins wouldn’t collapse.

This is one of the most painful memories I have. I’m sure you have your own – we all have them. This may not seem like a fitting story on Valentine’s Day, but it does have a happy ending.

My daughter was born with congenital heart defects like so many others, and has had two open-heart surgeries. When others focus on chocolates, red roses and sonnets, I am reminded of how lucky I am. My daughter is a healthy little girl and you would never guess the struggles she’s been through.

Heroes are born every day. I’m not talking about superheroes clad in spandex and masks. I’m speaking of the everyday heroes that walk the Earth like Clark Kent – in disguise. In fact, you probably know one, they’re not as uncommon as you may think.

I happen to have a very special hero of my own – my daughter. The scars that mark her chest will always be a reminder of what she’s been through. Even though her heart is unique and a little battered, it does not affect her ability to love or be loved.

So, this February and Valentine’s Day, rest well knowing you are surrounded by heroes, heroes who have battled and won. Who carry scars on their hearts, and keep going because they can.

 

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Following her daughter’s second surgery, Natasha Brown wrote Fledgling, The Shapeshifter Chronicles (Book 1). She was inspired to write a story centered on a girl struggling with a heart condition. The novel was a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Contest.