Having Fun at the Haunted Diner

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Did you know the five top candy selling days are in October? No wonder Halloween season is one of my favorites!

Another cool thing about October is all the amazing Halloween-themed events hosted by different authors.  It’s like trick or treating without standing out in the rain (or snow if you’re in Reno).  Kate Hill is hosting a Haunted Diner featuring an impressive line-up of writers (including yours truly!)

Wishing you a spooktacular season!

My Writing Process

Pad of Paper & PenThanks to Vicky Loebel for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. If you have a penchant for the Roaring Twenties and the paranormal, stop by on June 28th when Vicky chats about her historical urban fantasy, Speak Easy Dead.

This post is part of the “My Writing Process” blog tour.

What are you working on?

I also write romance as Mariposa Cruz. She writes the spicy, scary stuff. My current WIP is a contemporary romance set in Reno’s salsa scene. Salsa dancing is another one of my passions and I’m having a blast writing about it. I hope to finish Package Deal soon and publish it later this year.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I’d like to think my women’s fiction has realism mixed with enough humor to resonate with readers without requiring therapy at the end. What happens when your Prince Charming turns out to be a toad?—is the premise of Ever After.

Why do you write what you do?

I write character-driven stories because those are the stories I’m drawn to as a reader.

 How does your writing process work?

You’d think as paralegal, my writing process would be well-established and strictly followed. Skipping steps in the legal world (especially handling contracts) will make you a cautionary tale. As a writer, my process tends toward focused randomness. I generally have the end in sight when I start the opening chapter (just haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to get there). If I have a clear picture of a later scene or the ending, I write it and space it further down on the page—sort of like highlighting my final destination on a map.

I tend to work on one major fiction piece at a time, but I allow myself to work on smaller projects when opportunities come available.   While conventional wisdom is to stay focused and finish one project at a time, I’ve found that wandering can generate its own momentum.

For another wonderful perspective on writing process, check out Regina Duke’s blog.

Create a Life Worth Living

For most professions/trades the career path while not necessarily easy it is at least straightforward: Get the education/training >Pass the test/apprenticeship>Look for a job.  Also, most day job career paths rarely offer alternate routes.  In most jurisdictions, if you want to be an attorney, you have to pass the bar exam.

The creative career path appears straightforward:  Produce the work>Find an audience>Get $.

The wonderful and frustrating thing about the creative path is that the route to success varies from person to person.  In fact there are so many variations on that path; people often have trouble making the first step.  There is a multitude of avenues to become a published writer, contests, local newspapers, indie magazines, blogs, self-publishing—all valid opportunities, but not for all writers.

For anyone looking to chart a course in a creative career, I strongly recommend Carol Lloyd’s Creating a Life Worth Living. She puts a different twist on the remark “Don’t quit your day job”. It was my good fortune to have opportunity to hear Lloyd speak early in my writing career. She encourages artists to find meaningful work to complement their creative pursuits instead of having to choose between art and financial security. Her book contains exercises to help creative folks develop tangible steps toward their goals.

What tools have you found useful in charting your path?

Hello world!

One of my favorite interview questions is how do you balance your creative pursuits with your day-to-day responsibilities?  As a fulltime paralegal, freelance writer and mother of two, I’m still trying to figure it out.  Create On the Side, is all about balancing creative endeavors with a fulltime life.