Tag Archives: blog hop

Writing Process Blog Tour

18 Aug

Hi all

Long time, no blather.

So the other day I got an email from this lady, Lori Jakiela, a poet from Pittsburgh whose writing I adore.


Lori Jakiela, her name rhymes with tequila

And by adore I mean, when I finally got to meet her in person and while she tried to make polite conversation all I did was squee and fangirl all over her about how much I loved her writing.

It was not one of my finer moments.

This was me meeting Lori:



This was Lori:

what animated GIF

But she handled it with grace and decorum and didn’t call the police for which me and my family are thankful.

Imagine my delight when Lori asked me to participate in a writing blog hop. Was I thrilled?


Lori is an extremely talented writer and a part of an extremely talented writing duo – her husband is Dave Newman author of, among other things, Raymond Carver Will Not Raise Our Children.

When I got my hot little hands on Lori’s book of poetry – Spot The Terrorist – I was blown away not only by her amazing writing but also her style – a wickedly wry scene of humor mixed sweetly with a wistful melancholic backdrop. It’s top notch and I highly recommend picking it up.

(Note: In full disclosure it was after finishing Spot the Terrorist that I decided to challenge myself and got to work on the thematic poetry book How to Be An American, which I hope to one day actually finish. Perchance to dream.)

So anyway (what was that about blathering, Ally?) Lori tagged me in a blog hop (you can read her answers here) and of course I said yes. So here goes:

What are you working on?

I’m working on The Book From Hell. Seriously. It’s called Palimpsest but really I’m changing the name to The Book From Hell if and when I’m done. I was just having dinner with a good friend the other day and he, being familiar with the book in question, asked how revisions were going. I told him well, and that I fully expected that by the end of the month to have enough useless discarded drafts to set a large bonfire on the 68th street pier in Brooklyn before hurling myself into the estuary.

He nodded.

That’s how well he understands this book.

The book is called Palimpsest – which is by definition a manuscript or page from a book where the text has been scraped away in order to be reused. The script that is scraped off is called the scripto inferior. Considering the number of revisions I have done, the books itself has now become an actual Palimpsest.

How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?

Palimpsest is  a science fiction book that doesn’t take place in the future or space. It contains time travel which breaks all the conventional rules of time travel and has a good guy that might be a bad guy and a bad guy that might very well be a good guy. It combines Nietzsche, Proust, philosophy, the Matrix, physics, the theory of the Big Bang, multiple dimensions, doppelgangers, Alice in Wonderland and chess.

I haven’t come across too many other sci-fi books like that. Course that’s probably cause it’s un-publishable.

Why do you write what you do?

Because it’s what came to mind. My first novel was a middle grade urban fantasy about a girl who finds out she’s the last living descendant of Shakespeare and who is joined by an immortal Muse by the name of Jonathan to help protect her from Shakespeare’s greatest enemy – the descendant of Kit Marlowe – who wants her dead.

My second novel was a sad quiet story about one boy’s nervous breakdown when his girlfriend and the love of his life is kidnapped. It’s a book about loss and, hopefully, about forgiveness.

Palimpsest, my current sci-fi book is, as I said, about Nietzsche, Proust, philosophy, the Matrix, physics, the theory of the Big Bang, multiple dimensions, doppelgangers, Alice in Wonderland and chess.

If you can tell me what binds those three books together, you win the grand prize because I have no idea. So since we can find no common theme, I’ll just say I write what I do.

How does your writing process work?

The alarm goes off at 5 am. My husband wraps me in a bear hug and whispers in my hair that it’s time to get up. I mutter something that sounds to him like “five more minutes.” He says “You got it, dude” a la Michelle Tanner. In about 12 seconds, not five minutes mind you, he’s again whispering that it’s time to get up.

We get up.

We put on the coffee and tea kettle.

We feed June the cat, who is circling between our legs daring to trip one of us.

I open the door to the closet off my living room. I turn on the little lamp my sister Stephanie bought me years ago. I turn on my laptop. June comes in and curls up on the floor.

In the other room I hear my husband’s radio flip on. He puts on his computer.

The kettle whistles. I pour my tea and his coffee. He hugs me, kisses the top of my head.

We say, “good luck, baby” at the same time.

We write.

We meet up in the kitchen an hour later for more tea and coffee. We trade stories about the morning.

We go back to the our rooms. I can hear him typing from my closet. I delete a paragraph. I change dialogue. June meows and tries to climb in my lap.

At nearly 7:30, two and a half hours later, I hear him call.

“Time to go,” he says.

I save my work. I turn off my computer. I coax June out of the closet.

“How’d it go?” he asks.

“Alright,” I tell him.


“Fair to middling,” he says. I turn on the shower. The water hisses. We get ready for work.


Next up:

Tammy McKee, author of the newly released Bone Treaty is also the editor at BookFish Books. She’s a bit of crazy (and always hilarious) and that’s why we love her.

And Erin Alberts is an editor and the author of The Prophecy and the upcoming The Outlanders from Muse It Up Publishing. She is an active member of the “Grammar Police” with a badge and everything.

Tune in next week for their answers!

The Next Big Thing

24 Oct

Here’s some of the plot to the Chess Book which has taken over one of the walls in my writing closet.

Hey kids! I got tagged in a blog hop. My first ever! Woot!

Renata Barcelos tagged me in the Next Big Thing which is a chance for writers to talk about what they’re working on next. I’ve got two in the pot right now, the second book in the Lizzy Speare series which I’m calling Lizzy Speare and the Hall of Hecate (maybe) and the book I talk about below. Ready? Allons-y! (that’s French for “Let’s go” for those of you who don’t watch Doctor Who…or speak French.)

What is the working title of your book?

The Chess Book or the Kings Game or Gambit’s Defense or Perpetual Check. I really can’t decide. At this point I just refer to it as the Chess Book.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was home in my apartment in Brooklyn one day and someone slipped a menu under the door. I looked up just in time to see it slide across the floor and for a split second I thought “what if it was an invitation” and then “what if it was an invitation for someone else and not me” and it sort of spiraled from there. Funny thing, that moment doesn’t even happen in the book. Inspiration is a strange beast.

What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult/Science Fiction/Romance/Mystery maybe? I don’t know. The character’s are teens and, to quote The Doctor, some weird “wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff” goes down.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Ha! That’s a good one. I have no idea who would play Kate cause I’m terrible with younger actors but I would pick Evan Peters from American Horror Story for the main male character. In fact, minus the blond hair, he’s VERY Evan Peters, only less, you know, murder-y.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Never trust your memory.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Well if my agent likes it (fingers crossed) it’ll be repped and subbed. If not, I would definitely put it out myself.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About 7 months or so. But it’s a looong book (currently at 150K words). Revising has taken close to 2 years but I was also working on other things at the time. Ahem…making excuses’ much?

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Wow. I have no idea. Literally none. Clearly, I broke my first rule about good writing being all about reading.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

The menu story above. Oh, and my main character is named Kate because of Linda Buckley-Archer’s book Gideon the Cutpurse which really deserves more attention in the States than it gets. It’s a fantastic three book series and one of the main character’s is named Kate. After reading it, I knew I would use that name, just as an homage to such a beautifully written character. She was unforgettable and I guess it’s just my way of saying thanks to Ms. Buckley-Archer. *Sniffle.*

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Let’s play word association. I’ll say one word and you say whatever comes to mind.

1. Time Travel

2. Chess

3. Stolen Memories

4. New Love

5. Street kids

6. Lies

7. Heartbreak

8. Doppelganger

9. Cockney Accents

10. Underground Resistance Movements

So now…what say you?

I tagged a couple other friends of mine Jen McConnel and Patrice Caldwell so they can play, too. So go check out their answers next Wednesday!

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