Ten Things About My Writing

Inspired by my agent sister Clarissa Harwood, who posted ten random things about her writing process, I thought it would be fun to do the same. Writers can get so deep inside their own heads that we sometimes forget others have quirky, weird habits too. Without further ado, here are mine!


  1. I use Post-It notes. A lot of Post-It notes. I have to organize my notebooks a certain way, so if I think of an idea, need to remember a detail, or write a question that’ll need to be answered later, I slap on a sticky note.
  1. When I’m REALLY in the groove, I will not stop for anything until I finish the scene/chapter. No bathroom breaks, food, tea, etc.

  1. The music I listen to changes depending on what project I’m working on. For instance, TIMEKEEPER is a lot of Lindsey Stirling, Ellie Goulding, and the Hunger Games soundtracks. My adult fantasy series makes me turn to Keane, Imagine Dragons, and Florence and the Machine.
  1. I have a thing about green eyes. A lot of my protagonists have green eyes, but I’m getting better about that.
  1. When I’m not in the mood to write in the actual MS, I write drabbles. Lots and lots and lots of them. AU drabbles, before-story and after-story drabbles, “between scenes” drabbles, sexy drabbles, sad drabbles, “what if” drabbles, etc.

  1. Reading the opposite genre of the one I’m currently writing tends to inspire me more than reading in the same genre.
  1. When I have a “eureka!” moment I get so excited I go “OH, OH, OH” and pace around and grin maniacally. I am so glad these happen when no one else is around.
  1. My cat knows when I’m in the middle of an important scene, because she will start crawling all over me.

  1. One of my favorite (if not my favorite) writing techniques is foreshadowing. I like to write a book/series all the way through and go back to the beginning to add levels of foreshadowing. The sort of details a reader won’t actually notice until they reread it and go “OHHHH!”
  1. I like doing personality-type things for my characters. Like figuring out which Hogwarts house they would be in.


So, there are my ten random writing facts. What are yours?


Writing Process Blog Tour


So! There’s this thing going around called the Writing Process Blog Tour, and I am now part of it! This is a great opportunity to connect and share your writing process with other writers. Also, I get to promote people, so it’s win-win.


chelsey monroe This blog post sponsored by Chelsey D. Monroe, who is a Pretty Cool Person I met at the San Francisco Writers Conference this past February. Go follow her blog (linked above), or her twitter: @chelseydmonroe. You won’t regret it!


What am I working on?

Although I have a few things in the pipeworks, my focus at the moment is a YA steampunk trilogy. It’s set in an alternate Victorian England where clock towers have to regulate the fabric of time everywhere. My main character is a clock mechanic who ends up falling in love with the spirit of one of the clock towers. Shenanigans ensue.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write in different categories, but my main squeeze is fantasy. I set my stories in other worlds with some magical element, but inspired by our own world’s history. I think two things make my work different than most of what I’ve encountered: 1) diversity, and 2) tone. I’m not afraid to have a gay main character or one of different colored skin; in fact, I prefer it. Also, I grew up reading fantasy and the classics/contemporary books simultaneously, so that influenced my style to be more literary fantasy than sword and sorcery fantasy.

I also seem quite keen to write about death. Couldn’t tell you why.

Why do I write what I do?

People always tell you to write for a reason. “Write for yourself. Write for others. Write for money and fame. Write the stories you want to read.”

But so many factors go into it. People understand one another through stories. Cultures are linked through stories. Morals are defended and humanity is documented through stories. It’s my way to escape the terrors and uncertainties of this world to focus on the terrors and uncertainties of other worlds. I can showcase different people and all their diverse, strange habits. And, to be honest, it’s just fun. I am a word nerd. If I’m not writing or reading, I’m usually very bored.

How does my writing process work?

Hell if I know. It depends on each book. Usually I come to the computer armed with a notebook and a plethora of Post-It Notes, and sometimes I have to do hard core research before writing a certain story. One thing that does help across the board is making a quick, vague outline, and then filling in the details as I actually write the story. Other than that, I park my ass in the chair and type as hard and fast as I can until I have a book. (“Hey, look, I made a bridge. In like, what, 10 seconds? 11 tops.” – Atlantis)

Now that you know a little more about me (maybe), let me introduce three more authors who are talented, witty, and awesome alumni of Hollins University, who will be posting next week:


olivia berrier Olivia Berrier is often clueless and always shoeless. She left behind many footprints at Hollins University in Virginia, where she studied Creative Writing and Mathematics. After college, her bare feet have carried her through many experiences, but her life remains anchored by writing. Olivia writes fantasy fiction, sometimes with a mathematical inclination, and has been dropping stories like breadcrumbs across the Internet since 2007.

kathryn Kathryn is an aspiring writer and editor currently working at Barnes & Noble while she finishes up the draft of what will likely be her debut novel, a teen or new adult high fantasy. She fuels her writing with black tea and reminds herself why she writes by reading copious amounts of escapist fantasy.

megan rogers Megan Stolz is a writer, California girl, returned Peace Corps volunteer, and frequenter of coffee shops. She has a B.A. from Hollins University and an M.F.A. from the University of Baltimore. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband, two cats, and a well-stocked wine fridge. She RTs a lot @megan_stolz.