Thank you to both Albert Wendland and Shawn Hopkins for inviting me to participate in the My Writing Process (#mywritingprocess) blog tour.
My husband, Jason Jack Miller, and I are finally collaborating on a thriller series (The Fourth Department) which is set in Eastern Europe just before the fall of the Iron Curtain. It's Child 44 meets the X-Files. We have the big corkboard out in the library with a zillion cards pinned to it so we can both see all the notes at a glance. This experience has been so much fun with him because we each bring our own expertise to the project. The pizza and wine sessions really add to it, as well.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I travel quite a bit so I'm constantly incorporating what I experience into my work, whether it be in the far future Ambasadora-verse or in my thrillers. Taking yourself out of your familiar surroundings is useful when you're doing the same with your characters.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Though I am such a girl (love fashion, make up, jewelry), I have always been drawn to adventure and science fiction stories, whether in books, movies, or on TV. That affinity carried through into my own writing. I like the idea of wonder, which is more of a science fiction trope, but, like I teach in one of my graduate classes, most techno-thrillers could share space on the mainstream and science fiction shelves. I look at my own creative influences throughout the years (Michael Crichton, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Clive Cussler, Luc Besson, Joss Whedon, Chris Carter) and all have some element of science fiction.
I started to get migraine headaches a few years back so I've had to adapt to a 30 minute on/30 minute off schedule, including more writing by hand. (I teach a class on this technique to my grad students and am compiling a book on it.) And just accept that some days there will be no writing because of the pain. Acceptance wasn't easy for an over-achiever like me because all I kept thinking is how much further ahead I would be on my story if only this debilitating pain wasn't tormenting me. Now, I realize that I may not produce as much as some of my peers, but I can enjoy the process once again. And having fun is the most important part of writing, as far as I'm concerned.
Here are some other participant responses:
Diana Dru Botsford
Jason Jack Miller
K. Ceres Wright