I was invited by M.J. Moores to participate on a blog tour called “My Writing Process.” M.J. writes Fantasy/Sci-Fi and is currently working on a trilogy. You can find her blog at http://infinite-pathways.org/2014/03/17/my-writing-process-blog-tour/.
Each Monday writers post about their writing process on their blog. It’s a great way to discover new authors and find out how they develop their ideas and stories. So, here goes.
What am I working on?
I’m currently working on a novella called Body in the Harbour. It’s set in Toronto, January 1874, and as the title not so subtly suggests, a body is found in Toronto Harbour. During the investigation, the detective uncovers several things that point to different suspects. A childhood love, a quickie marriage, a fight, and a secret. This is the first in a series of Detective Hodgins stories and is expected to be ready for publication later this year.
I also have a novel that has been simmering on the back-burner for some time now. The title keeps changing, and is currently called Full Circle. I do genealogy, and over 10 years ago I uncovered a story that peaked my interest. In 1891 a 16 year old man (with the same name as my father) was on trial for murder just outside Winnipeg. I’m turning that into a fictionalized account based on the events around that tale. I hope to get back to that after Body is published.
Then there’s the short story I wrote in 2000 that’s heading to novella length. That one is set in current time, and keeps evolving. What started out as a horror/paranormal type story has changed into a mystery, sort of. Working title is Britney Lake, and it’s somewhere behind Full Circle and the second Hodgins mystery on the to-do list.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My stories are frequently based on actual events. The location may change, or the time frame. Even the outcome. I use my training as a genealogist to dig up bits and pieces of information on the history of the area to (hopefully) add a bit of realism to each location and character.
Why do I write what I do?
I enjoy the time period, and the challenge of solving murders without forensics. Victorian mysteries have been made popular by some of my favourite writers, like Emily Brightwell, Anne Perry, Victoria Thompson, and Maureen Jennings. I’ve always been fascinated by crime, and thoroughly enjoyed reading about real crimes that were published weekly in a local Toronto newspaper in the 80s by columnist Max Haines. His books made for wonderful, and grisly, reading.
How does my writing process work?
I don’t have any set process. I like to browse the old newspapers and look for stories that seem to jump out at me. I jot down the facts that grab me, then use that as a basis for my stories. I change this, add that, and eventually end up with a story. I don’t really outline formally, but I will write out a timeline – sometimes. For Body in the Harbour, I printed out a calendar from January 1874 and jotted down what happened and when so I could keep events in the proper order. It came in quite handy when I started adding chapters in the middle of the novella, as I had to change the order of some things.
Next Monday, please visit:
Stephen Gasper: As an author, Stephen Gaspar has combined his interest in history with his love of mystery/detective stories.
Mit Gopaul: loves fiction writing. It’s his new passion.
Thanks to M.J. Moores for inviting me on the tour. You can find her blog at http://infinite-pathways.org. She has wonderful tips on editing and publishing, runs contests, and loads more.