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Special Guest Autumn Jones Lake

Welcoming Breathless Press author Autumn Jones to the blog today. Thanks for stopping by!

What is Your Writing Process?

I invariably get asked this question at every conference I attend. Either by other authors or by readers. It’s hard to come up with an answer that makes sense because my writing process is a little nuts. Mostly because I haven’t developed a consistent one yet. I am a total pantser. More often than not my writing process goes like this:

An idea pops into my head, “what if this happened?” and my brain just runs with it. I’ll sketch out as much of that idea as possible and see where it leads. Sometimes it’s just one single scene that comes to me and I will build the rest of the story around that. Bouncing ideas off some of writer friends is also hugely beneficial.

Character research to really get to know my characters is also important. One of the questions I always ask my characters is: Did you go to your high school prom? It’s odd, but sometimes it yields a lot of information about my character. Even if I don’t use it in the story (let’s face it adding a tidbit in every one of my books about the heroine or hero’s prom could get tedious) but sometimes it yields interesting information. For example, in Feral Escape, Molly’s parents didn’t have a lot of money so she ended up borrowing her prom dress from a frenemy. Even though I don’t specifically mention it in the novel, this further cements the feeling of inferiority Molly has around this friend and influences future decisions she makes.

In my non-writing time, I spend a lot of time driving for work. Very often different ideas pop into my head while I’m behind the wheel. Of course, there is the problem of paying attention to the road rather than scrambling to find a pen and paper! I’ll stick these ideas in a folder labeled oddly enough, “ideas” and see if I come back to it later. When I can’t stop thinking about an idea or it starts taking on a more definitive shape in my mind, I just start banging it out.

I can’t write linear. I have a lot of friends who do and I’m jealous. It’s also agonizing for me to actually finish something. I have tons of heroes and heroines dying for me to give them the happy ending they deserve. When I do finish something, it’s very exciting! I do a happy dance. I pat myself on the back. Then I close the file and try not to think about it or look at it for at least two weeks, preferably a month.

When I open the file back up, I try to read it from start to finish without editing (which is hard for me to do!). I ask myself the following: is the story still interesting to me as a reader? The results vary wildly on this. Sometimes I start reading and my reaction is “Oh my god, this is so awesome I can’t believe I wrote it!” sometimes my reaction is “What a steaming pile, don’t ever show this to anyone, ever!” Sometimes the same story will get both reactions. I told you my process was nuts.

Give me some tips or advice! What’s your writing process?

Autumn Jones Lake writes scorching contemporary and paranormal romance with a smidge of snark. When not weaving happily ever afters, she enjoys collecting nail polish and playing with her dogs. Born and raised in Upstate New York, she vows to move South every Winter but falls in love with NY all over again every Spring and Fall. Feral Escape is the third story in her Catnip and Cauldrons series. Autumn shares her home with her husband and their three rescue dogs. She is actively involved in her local RWA chapter.

You can visit her at autumnjoneslake.com or say hi to her on twitter @AutumnJLake or

Facebook at facebook.com/AutumnJonesLake

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