Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour

The lovely and talented Monica La Porta is not only a fellow author, but also a fellow immigrant familiar with what it's like to enter America as an outsider. Although we've both learned to thrive as we found the way to become a part of this great nation, where we raise our children and write our stories, we both carry fond and painful reminders of our arrival into a new culture.

We write our work from both coasts, Monica in Seattle, Washington and me in Clinton, Connecticut, and meet with our readers across the country. Despite the distance, we've forged a terrific friendship through tweets and Facebook writer groups, built on our sharing the woes of independent publishing and debating the what ifs of our stories.

Monica invited me to take part in the Writing Process Blog Tour. She gave me a list of questions to answer and asked me to introduce a couple more authors, which I will be more than happy to do once I answer the blog tour questionnaire, so...

What am I working on?

As it's typical for me, I am working on several projects at the same time. Most would find it confusing but to me, it's oddly liberating and makes me more productive. At the time of this blog post, I'm working on an Action/Adventure, the sequel to My Two Flags, tentatively titled My Two Flags 2 All Men Are Created Equal..., and (yes it's true) I've began drafting a novel to follow The Gaze and The Next Chapter. No title yet. On top of that, my Untitled006 has become a major emotional undertaking that forces me to write in small doses. Lots going on and lots to write. In the meantime, I released an autobiography of sorts, although I like to think of it more as a piece of writing that may help people, parents in particular, to spot the little traits that make an author out of a child. Based on the blog series, i.Author is a short story that looks back on all the signs that pointed me in the direction of a life in writing.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'm a big fan of character driven novels heavy with emotion. If I don't elicit a laugh or a few tears with one of my stories, I'll consider the work a complete and utter failure. My goal is to engage the reader so profoundly that my characters and their trials and triumphs take the reader's emotions hostage. Although I delve in Contemporary Dramas, YA, and I'm taking a step towards Action/Adventure, the emotion element is the driving force behind the characters' motivations, errors, and sacrifices. In other words, my work will make you feel. I want each story to be nothing short of an emotional roller coaster.

Why do I write what I do?

I enjoy just about every genre, but the novels closer to my heart are stories with a lot of plausibility. I can't relate to far off planets, alien environments, or ancient eras. I love to lose myself in the imagined scenarios and plots, but I just feel much more comfortable writing stories that take place in the here and now. Take The Gaze for instance. Friends of mine have visited London and messaged me to let me know they walked the same streets Samantha walked. That just warms my heart. It tells me they can see themselves in the story because they can relate to it. I love that kind of feedback. I feel it provides more of a connection with the readers and it certainly lends validation to my work. 

How does my writing process work?

My writing process is nothing extraordinary. When the mood strikes me, I sit at the keyboard and write. I'll have three screens providing me with imagery of places I've never been as I did for The Gaze and The Next Chapter, while another has all my research windows giving me needed data like I do for Untitled007 and my historical fiction. 

I may have George Winston caressing the ivories in the background, which usually becomes my muse in terms of emotion. I write at night while everyone else is asleep. I don't make a serious attempt at an outline. Often, I have a character in my head and he or she will introduce me to their circles as we advance through the pages. 

I tend to argue with my characters. Samantha (from The Gaze) and I engaged in some epic fights as she forced her story out of my brain, and that's when I know my mind is solely invested in fleshing out a novel. I may take long breaks in between as the voices in my head sort out an order before I get down to the keyboard but when I do, I've been known to lose entire days in front of the screen. 

I will not write longhand anymore. My writing is simply horrible. It resembles a hybrid of Chinese and Scandinavian runes with a hint of chicken scratch that only I can decipher...most of the time. That's why I love the ergonomic wave keyboard my wife Sheri got me for Christmas. It's probably my most priced possession

And now it's time for me to introduce you to more of us, Indie Authors.

First off, my dear British friend, Kaye Vincent whose creative powers are applied on the stage as well as on The Treeman, which was an utter joy to read because of all the different and complex relationships revolving around the main characters. She just launched her sequel in the Hanningdon Series with the very entertaining The River Girl.
I met Kaye through our mutual love of writing and she has been one of my greatest sources of support. She knows just what to say when I need it most. Her work delves in romance with a hint of magic. Her first novel was a joy to read. If you like romance in the style of your favorite daytime soaps, Kaye is sure to deliver with her unique brand of entertainment.

Secondly, a man who needs no introduction, the witty and hilarious Stacey Roberts. Ohio's funnyman finally compiled his memorable blogs in the form of Trailer Trash With A Girl's Name, a novel you simply must read to believe. We have critiqued each other's work, finding common ground from different perspectives. If you like quirky and funny, Stacey's novel belongs in your collection.
As always, thank you all for stopping by. I hope to entice you to check out our work and feel free to shoot any questions my way. I have yet to meet an author who won't share pieces of their lives or refuse to talk about their writing.

Happy Reading Everyone

Javier A. Robayo

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