Monday, June 9, 2014

#Monday Blogs

Our special Monday blog to join The Writing Process tour is thanks to April Khaito,  a writer based in Las Vegas, NV and working on her first novel. Once upon a time she wanted to be an architect until she realized that words often last longer than buildings–if they’re formed of sturdy construction and easily inhabitable by those seeking shelter in their pages. She has an accounting degree from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, but don’t hold it against her. The right and left brain aren’t so far apart. She is one of the contributors
for  The Write Shelf.

1)        What am I working on? This is always a complicated question for Traci to answer because she doesn’t have a single project she  is working on. "I just finished my follow up novel “Burning Bridger”, the parallel novel to my debut “Killing Casanova. I’ve reworked, resubmitted, and revised it a number of times. I’m currently looking for a publisher because my publisher Crimson Romance, no longer represents clean romance. ‘Behind Closed Doors’ is its official rating. I also have an urban fantasy that I’ve been working on since 2009 that may be an endless project.  I’m just at the beginning of an alternate POV story I’m writing with a friend of mine. I do the heroine’s POV and she does the Hero’s. It’s a fun way to play off each other and see the distinct difference between two different voices. I’ve got outlines, synopsis, and queries that I practice with, My blog, my short stories and my hit and miss poetry, but mostly I’m writing every day until I can master the craft."
2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre? I am not your traditional romance writer in that I write clean romance. Most of the advice, classes, and workshops that are available for romance writers include the importance of when, how, and where to write the “Love Scene”. For me the fun, excitement, and allure of a romance is the sexual tension that comes in the wanting, the thrill of the chase, and the process of falling in love. The dirty details are much better left to the imagination and experience of the reader. When we picture the characters, setting, and struggle’s in a good story the writer hasn’t given us so much detail that we can’t or don’t use our imagination to feel the experience our self. Romance is the same way. Whatever your experience has been, it will automatically color in the details of the scene. If I did my job you don’t need me filling in the blanks, you’re better at it anyway.This limits my audience which I don’t mind because anyone can sell sex. I’m trying to sell great stories.
3)     Why do I write what I do? For me, writing has always been a personal experience where I tell a story. A story I’d like to read myself. When I was a kid it was therapeutic. When I was a young mom it was a distraction, and now that my kids are at school every day it has become an obsession. I love mysteries, thrillers, westerns, historical fiction, and anything I can learn from. If I can combine some of these elements together to form a good story that reminds us that the world is a good place full of bad things and real love to heal our wounds then I have brought a little more light to the mind and heart of my reader. A little more to my soul as well.
4)     How does your writing process work? I’m not sure it does. If my process worked I wouldn’t have to revise and rewrite all of the time. I start with a character I want to meet. My inspiration comes from songs, other books, real life people, or experiences. I will do a character interview that begins with a physical description (just so I have a picture in my head), and then I write a short piece on the most important thing that happened to my character at age 16. I will do this for both hero and heroine, antagonist, best friend or helper character and anyone else who is a prominent figure in the book. Once I’ve established the backstory and wound of my characters, I figure out how their stories will interact. I’ve been taught that the two main characters need a reason to fall in love besides “the author wants them to” so I will arc their stories from identity-who they think they are- to essence-who the person who loves them knows they are. This gives me a start and a finish for the love story. I admit I plot the drama, action, and suspense portion to keep the middle from getting boring, but where the plot goes is very fluid. It  changes scenery, gets cut down, and shifts directions as I listen to where the story wants to go. I started my last novel from a strictly plot perspective and ended up spending more than two years trying to fill in my character gaps. I’m a character driven reader and my writing is always more successful when I let my characters drive my stories.
For me, the most important thing I do for my writing process is read. I read a lot. Every chance I get to read, I’ll take it. I’ve learned to listen for stories that work, too much back story, the correct use of dialogue, and soggy middle’s when I read a book, good or bad. This process is also changing all the time. The more I learn about the hard work of being a writer, the harder I practice. That’s the only part of the process that stays the same.
Come visit some of my blind friends for next weeks tour June 16. Look for #monday blogs or #the writing process to find these great authors.
Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a romance novel, We Shall Overcome, and a poetry collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections
of a Family Caregiver. Her work has appeared in Serendipity Poets Journal, Emerging Voices, and Magnets and Ladders. Her Poetry chapbook, That’s Life:
New and Selected Poems, will be published by Finishing Line Press.

Deon Lyons, with his lovely wife of 32 years, lives in Central Maine.  Upon losing his vision in 2010, Deon learned touch typing, and with the help of assistive technology, has enthusiastically rediscovered the digital world, along with a lifetime passion for writing. His creative works revolve around fiction, poetry, personal essays, short stories and apersonal blog  . In the past year, Deon has self published a novel entitled Sully Street, along with a collection of poems


Donna W. Hill is a writer, musician, speaker and avid knitter from Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains. An online journalist, her subjects range from music and knitting to blindness issues and chocolate. A songwriter with three recordings, she is marketing her first novel, The Heart of Applebutter Hill, a high school mystery with excursions into fantasy. The book has received prepublication reviews and recommendations from professionals in education, rehabilitation and the arts as a valuable tool for diversity inclusivity and anti-bullying initiatives for middle school and older students. You can find her on twitter@dewhill

Bruce Atchison is a legally-blind Canadian freelance writer with
articles published in a variety of magazines. Bruce  has also authored three paperbacks. "When a
Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living with Bunnies" is a memoir of the surprising facts he discovered about house rabbits."Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School" is his
recollection of being sent five hundred miles from home for months at a stretch. "How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity" shows how God led Atchison out of a legalistic house church.


  1. Hi Traci, I'm afraid there's one thing you didn't make clear, the fact that you were the one answering the questions. If I didn't know you were the author of Killing Cassinova, I might have thought the answers to the questions were those of the above author. Otherwise, this was interesting. Happy writing.

    1. Thanks Abbie, I didn't even think about it because it's my blog. Nice catch.