Cindy Harrison invited me to join the Writing Process Blog Tour. Good way to start your Blog, she said. When people go out of their way to help, as Cindy helped me understand the role of twittering and blogging in a writer’s life, I listen with my hearing aids in place.
The Writing Process Blog Tour asks four questions that require you to think deep and articulate: what, how, and why you write. In my writing life—
I am working on a book that takes place in seventeenth century Iceland. It is a story that has fascinated me since I learned of it during my teen years. In 1884 and 1932, two authors researched and wrote what they believed happened. My version reaches different conclusions and is written for today’s readers who expect the characters to fascinate and the plot to move.
How does my work differ from other in its genre?
This is my first writing experience with historical fiction. After spending years reading in this genre, it was a predictable next step. Using the works of Hannah Kent, Geraldine Brooks, and Hilary Mantel as my guiding lights, I desire similarities, not differences.
Why do I write what I do?
Love of reading is the only part of me and my life that has not changed. Growing up my local library was open two afternoons a week, three hours each day. There were no televisions, but there was darkness, the kind you get when you live near the arctic circle, Iceland. The excitement of a new book wrapped in cellophane waiting for you on the floor next to your divan made everything bad before it, disappear. With this book, I am researching a part of my family lineage. The people of the book are kin going back generations. Studying my history today, thrills me. Interesting when I consider how I detested Icelandic history in high school. To reach this season in my life, where I can study what I want, reaching my own conclusions, is the feeling I had in my childhood attic room, watching the northern lights through my skylight, holding an unwrapped book to my chest.
How does my writing process work?
After writing six books, my process has evolved. At seven in the morning, I go for an hour. It allows for ideas to sky in before my cup is depleted with non-writing concerns. I read over yesterday’s work and make edits. This prepares me to reenter where I left off. Research parallels my writing. I know the story, so my research has to do with dates, religion, food, medicine, trade, clothing, and witchcraft. I write with my phone off (except for calls from children) until one p.m. What remains of the day depends on what is on my To Do list.