Monday, April 7, 2014

My Writing Process

I was invited by my bestie to participate in a blog tour that has authors answering four simple questions to give others a glimpse into our writerly world. Before I answer the questions though, I want to introduce you to my bestie who writes under the pen name of Jaimey Grant. Jaimey, aka Laura J. Miller – cover designer extraordinaire -- writes absolutely fantastic Regency Romances with a darker edge. I wasn’t 100% sold on stepping back into reading the Historical Romance genre after moving on to more Contemporary work, until I read one of her books. Now I can’t wait for her to release another one (and I get to read them before anyone else!!!). You can find out more about Jaimey and her writing at And be sure to visit her cover design site as well: If I didn’t design my own covers, she’d be doing them. Wait! She did design my Arms of an Angel cover! She and our mutual friend, Rachel Rossano, are my go-to gals to help me fine-tune everything I do, whether it’s a book cover or my words.

And now, on we go to answering those four questions that will give you some insight into the work behind the words…

1. What am I working on?

My current WIP (work in progress) is Beyond the Shadows, which is the second book in the Men of Riandus Series. Every book in this series will stand alone, even though they’ll be enjoyed best by reading them all. In Beyond the Shadows, the daughter of the King’s right hand man finds herself falling for a roguish "broken" warrior who happens to be the brother of Tahruk from my Dance with the Enemy. Oddly enough, I wanted to kill the hero of Beyond the Shadows off for 2/3rd of the way through Dance With The Enemy, until I decided he was one of those hate-to-love characters that needed his own story. He’s a mega pushy, hot jerk with a single soft spot: Mahryn.

The third book in this series, titled Temptation’s Whisper, takes us into the lives of Tahruk and Redahn’s cousin, the King of Corigan, and Christiana, the vagabond forest dweller, who not only captures him, but his heart. Although they’ve been edited recently, you can read the first 3 chapters of Beyond the Shadows here:

I’m also working on a couple of Contemporary Romances – which is actually my genre of choice – but I’m not quite ready to share about them yet :- )

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

I enjoy reading stories that are steamy without being graphic to the point I almost blush. They're not always easy to find, but that's what I like and that's what I write. Tension is a must, and I get somewhat descriptive, but if you want “pink”, you’re not going to find it in what I’ve written so far. I call it Love With the Lights Off … you know exactly what’s going on, but you just don’t get every gritty detail. Hopefully, that explains it. Another way my work differs is that the story comes first, with the romance happening as part of the story. They're 100% romance stories, because I'm hopelessly in love with the idea of love, but you're going to get a story that pulls you in and gets you involved in their lives first and foremost. 

3. Why do I write what I write?

I write what I write because the characters in my head are outrageously demanding and want their stories told. lol. Actually, I write what I love to read. I adore happy endings but want a story that pulls at my heartstrings and provides emotional highs and lows along the way.

4. How does my writing process work?

Ideas first. I’m always getting these ideas and scene bursts in my head. They can come from anywhere … a song on the radio, something someone says, an image on a billboard … anywhere. That will usually lead to characters beginning to form, at which point I will try to pin them with a name that fits their emerging personalities, as well as ironing out the details of how they look (long, red hair that curls vs shoulder length, straight blond. Blue eyes vs green, etc.). Since I’m also a cover designer, I may head out to the stock image sites to see if I can find an image to go along with the character in my head. On occasion, that will change my character’s description (like in Dance With The Enemy – Elenya started with straight, black hair and Tahruk had sun-bleached blond. Then I stumbled across an image of models Jimmy Thomas and Virginia Petrucci. When I saw it, I KNEW they were my characters. They were perfect!

While all that is going on, the story is forming in my head. I almost always get the beginning and the end and then connect them. There’s usually some major “crisis” that tries to hide from me and I have to figure that out. I’m not overly into outlines, but do know somewhat where I’m going as I write. However, I have had the characters take over a story before, and it ends up surprising me (like Tahruk’s brother!). I kind of like when that happens. It’s like reading someone else’s book.

I probably write slower than most. That’s partly the fault of other authors, which I say with a huge smile on my face because I get to be part of the team of so many authors through cover designing and occasional interior layout of their books. It’s a rewarding profession that goes well beyond the paycheck.


Now it’s my turn to tag additional authors to keep the tour going. Their articles will be posted on April 14, so be sure to save the dates and visit them to hear about their writing process. I’ll tag…

Jenny Hilborne

Mystery/thriller writer Jenny Hilborne and I met when she needed an interior formatter for her book, Hide and Seek, and we’ve been a team ever since. I love Jenny’s writing style as well as the fact that her books grab you from the beginning and won’t let you go until you reach the end. Jenny has a new release in the works. You can find Jenny’s books on Amazon at And her Writing Process post will be available on her blog at You can also connect with Jenny on Facebook at

Shawn Inmon

Shawn is another writer friend I met when he entered the publishing scene and decided to make me a part of his team. Three novels, a couple of novelettes, and numerous short stories later, he’s still pumping out absolutely awesome stories that grab you by the heart whether they’re love stories or not. I’d say that’s because Shawn writes from the heart.  You can find Shawn’s books on Amazon at His Writing Process post will be available at I also highly recommend linking to his Facebook page because he shares the best stuff there!

Jennifer McMurrain

Not only is Jennifer McMurrain a local author, but she’s written one of my all-time favorite books, Winter Song. I adore her writing as much as I do her. She’s won numerous writing awards, leads our local writing group, and has to be the busiest author I know. The bonus is more readers get to find out about her amazing writing talent. You can find Jennifer’s books on Amazon at Her Writing Process post will be available at, and you can connect with her on Facebook at

Julia Mills

Last but certainly not least is author Julia Mills, who writes the hottest books in the Fantasy genre. Her stories in The Dragon Guard Series have taken the book world by storm with readers waiting impatiently for her next words to be released. Big congratulations go out to Julia for releasing the third book in this stunning series just last night! You can find Julia’s books on Amazon at Her Writing Process post will actually be a guest post on my book blog: And, you’ll definitely want to connect with her on Facebook at

Thank you so much for visiting. Happy reading!

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