Bloghopper

I have no idea what the official title for this thing, but Bloghopper is as good as any as far as I’m concerned. Sounds like a cool spaceship or something,  right? Or some kind of vagabond title.

It’s obviously not either of these things, of course.

I’ve been on Twitter (@the_kjm) for a couple years now. It has documented my writing, my relationships, my break-ups, my break-downs, my sex talks, my drunk rants and so much more. I’ve probably sold more books via Twitter than anywhere else, I’ve been supportive of people and had people reach out to me. It’s been nice.

Anyway, one of the friends I’ve made on there (Julie Hutchings; I’ve linked her before and I’ll do so again) reached out to me about this little three question “About the Artist”-style questionnaire and wanted to see if I was willing to do it, as if I didn’t love talking about myself. So of course I agreed.

The idea is that you plug the person who picked you (go check out Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel’s Deadly Ever After blog for posts on writing,  humor, spookiness and awesomeness) a week after their post. So last week, for example, Julie filled this out.

Then you answer four questions. They’re always the same questions. I’ll get to them in a minute.

After your four questions are answered,  you pick three more bloggers to, a week from when you post, do the same thing on their blogs. Pretty basic, yeah? Yeah. Alright. Let’s get down to it.

1. What am I working on?
Hoo boy. Well, the second half of As the Earth Trembles (and final part of the Convergence trilogy) has been in the works for some time, but it’s paused at the moment because I was commissioned to write a fantasy novel. So that doesn’t count (although you can pick up Waypoint, the first book, to get an idea of my writing style).

This fantasy novel is untitled and a giant pain in my ass. It’s set in a brand new fantasy world with a very middle-eastern/Indian feel to it. A very by-the-books investigator is sent to find out why the capital city hasn’t been receiving shipments of the leader’s favorite wares. He, along with his lifetime friend-turned-mercenary gradually assemble a small group of diverse individuals as they uncover a much greater threat than they could have possibly imagined.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Seriously, go check out Waypoint for a genre-buster. Now, this fantasy novel I’m working on is supposed to evoke a tabletop game kind of feel. To that end, there are certain aspects that are bound to feel a bit formulaic (Ohhh, of course there’s going to be a band of differing personalities and types coming together to stop a threat).

Thing is, that’s how ensemble pieces work. So my focus instead is on making the characters as real as possible. I want real relationships, flaws, failures, dreams and frustrations. I want people who don’t like each other in the same group. One thing so many write-for-pay style books get wrong is that they don’t have the kinds of development that make a book breathe.

So that’s a focus. As far as really doing things differently, the world is something brand new. Primarily deserts with a smattering of other region types. Taking the traditional fantasy races and subverting their roles into something new and unexpected. Practically eliminating the standard for arcane magic and replacing it with a style of imbuement. It should be neat.

3. Why do I write what I do?

Short answer: I write all kinds of genres because I’m a fan of all kinds of genres. I think about what I would find cool or exciting to read about or see on the big screen and then I try to create those things for others. I’m writing this particular project and genre because it’s a potentially huge opportunity for me and I read more fantasy than anything else growing up.

Long answer: Behind the Curtain: Why I Write

4. How does your writing process work?

I typically spend 4-6 months conceptualizing and writing notes down for a project before I ever get started writing it. It took me half a year before I started writing Waypoint and during the course of that time, I sprung up several other ideas I would think about and develop little by little over time. This way, by the time I get to it, I’m familiar enough that I can write up a comprehensive outline to follow and deviate from as I see fit.

That’s part of why the book I’m writing now is so frustrating: the concept was more or less given to me and I’ve had maybe a month to try and piece it together. The bullet points are there but my biggest struggle now is structuring it in a way that feels natural. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to pantsing it (as in “by the seat of your pants” or writing as you go).

So, yeah. Normally I spend a few months mulling it over and slapping notes down. When it comes time to write, I’m usually able to piece together an outline in a couple days.

And after I outline,  I follow Jered’s 3 1/2 Magic Rules For Writing.

And now that I’ve done all that, check out these folks:

I’ve known Brianna Dowdy for over a decade now and she is an absolute delight of a writer and musician. Check out her and her talented friends over at Wenches’ Cauldron. Fun fact: she also tagged me in this Bloghopper, but I woke up to a message from Julie, so. They both deserve your attention anyway.

Anna Bays is a relatively new follower to my blog,  but it says she writes erotic romances and frankly, I want to know what her answers are to these questions. You can find her blog RIGHT HERE.

Christine Fichtner is also new to me, but she includes the songs she’s listening to while writing and I think that’s pretty damn cool. Her blog is here: “From my mind to your eyes.”

And lastly, Jace Tan is a good guy to follow and he loves board games. His blog is HERE and is described as the cat’s pajamas and can you just imagine cats in pajamas? It’s the best.

That’s all from me for now. You know what I’m up to and you’ve got new people to read!

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