Writing Process Blog Tour

WriterMy writing partner on Greenstar, Dave Higgins, nominated me last week to take part in a writing process blog tour. It’s a few simple questions about my writing process, so hopefully it will be interesting.

What am I working on?

At the moment, I’m working on two very different things. I’m writing the first season of Greenstar with Dave Higgins. Greenstar is a comedic take on Buck Rogers and Star Trek, where Josie Stein is frozen in space for a thousand years and wakes up in a ridiculous future.

The other thing I’m working on is “Hard Vacuum 2”. The first novellete has proven very popular and ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I’ve decided to continue the story. “Hard Vacuum” follows Kyra Sarin, a soldier whose just come back to Earth from fighting aliens in the outer solar system. There’s a lot of cursing and violence, and the humour is a lot less silly, so it’s an ideal book to counterbalance Greenstar.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This is a really tough question to answer. I’ve been writing in my free time for twenty-five years now, and I like to think that I’ve developed a unique style. I’ve been compared to Terry Pratchett a lot, but someone put it well: that I “Irish” up Pratchett.

I think my books being so difficult to compare to anyone else’s indicates that they must be different in some way. It’s very difficult for me to say how, though, as I’m too close to my own books to make those kind of judgement calls.

Why do I write what I do?

I write science-fiction and fantasy, but in my own weird way. I write what I like to read, which are smart, funny action books. From the feedback I’ve gotten, it seems like I’m mostly succeeding in that.

I’ve tried to write other things in the past and they were invariably a disaster. I think that to write in a genre, you need to have a good idea about the genre and I read mostly science-fiction and fantasy. If I were to try my hand at a crime book, I wouldn’t know the conventions and cliches of the genre.

On putting humour in my books, that’s kind of my cheat. I noticed that I’ll never forgive a book for being uninspired and humourless. But if a book made me laugh, then it can compensate for a lot of other stuff. I couldn’t write hard sci-fi, I’m not smart enough for that, so I write silly sci-fi and throw in a lot of humour to cover up the lack of any science.

How does my writing process work?

My writing process is informed by my day job as a programmer. As a programmer, there’s a very structured way of producing a computer program. I’ve taken that and adapted it to writing books.

Before I start writing, I have a very detailed outline, describing everything that’s going to happen during the story. I’ve found that spreading out the thinking in a story makes the story better. I think that I only have so much brain capacity, so if I work out the details of a story beforehand, then it gives me more opportunities to work in cool stuff while I’m writing.

That’s not to say that I stick to it religiously, though. Quite often my characters will decide they don’t want to do something and I have to go back to the drawing board.


For the next week of the Writing Process Blog Tour, I nominate two incredibly talented writers. Crissy Moss and Christy Santo:

Crissy MossCrissy Moss, author of several books, including “Small Bites”, “Osiren’s Tears” and the “Illicit Gains Series”, lives in the cloudy state of Washington where she spins her tales of science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and horror. 

I first saw Crissy on the Self-Publishing Roundtable, where she talked about the science-fiction and fantasy stories she writes. I decided to check out her short story collection, “Small Bites” and was blown away by her writing. She an incredibly talented writer.

You can check out more about Crissy on her blog: http://fangsandlasers.wordpress.com/

Christy SantoChristy Santo is a first time published author. She started thinking up stories as a little girl thanks to the stories her Dad told her at bedtime when she was a preschooler. Often he made up these stories from picture books or off the cuff. With each bedtime story he told, Christy’s Dad planted in his daughter’s mind the love of stories and the endless possibilities of the imagination.

Since Christy had not yet learned to read and write, her first story was dictated to her Mom who sat in front of a Commandor 64, and using an early word document program called Reflex, her mother typed up Christy’s story of a kid and her elephant in the New York City. Since that first time having a story go from her mind to printed word, she was hooked on the idea of becoming a writer and one day being published. It was not till 2007 after all her earlier attempts at writing a book and not succeeding beyond short stories that she would finally write her first book, “Switching Stations, Switching Stories” which came out on Kindle Digital Publishing on March 25, 2014.

I first met Christy in the Legendary Author Battles group on Google+. She’s a first time author with an interesting new take on the vampire story. You can find out more about Christy over on her blog: http://www.statictvblog.com/about-the-author-christy-santo/


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For a limited time, I'm giving away the first two books in the Bytarend Fantasy series and the Hard Vacuum science fiction series for free.

Bytarend is fast, fun fantasy that'll have you on the edge of your seat. Hard Vacuum is hard-talking, violent science fiction and my tribute to 80s action movies.

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