Baton Blog Hop!

This morning I’m participating in the Baton Blog Hop, a blog relay which is jumping around the writing-related portions of the Internet. I was tagged  by the fabulous Kerry Schafer, author of the BETWEEN series (the second novel, WAKEWORLD, released in February, and if you haven’t read Kerry’s novels, you really should).

My part in the hop is to answer four questions about my writing style, and then tag another author who will answer the same four questions on her blog next Monday (and no, I’m not being sexist here–the author I’ve chosen to tag is actually female).

And now, on with the questions!

1. What am I working on?

At the moment, this blog entry.

In terms of larger projects, I’m currently writing book 4 of the Shinobi Mysteries, working title BLOOD OF THE OUTCAST. The story involves the murder of a woman who belongs to the class once referred to as eta or hininwho were considered “untouchables” and almost non-humans in Medieval Japan.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?


There are other mysteries set in Japan (Laura Joh Rowland and I.J. Parker’s works come to mind, among others), but none which pair a shinobi (read: ninja) and a Portuguese priest as a crime-solving duo.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

First, because I’m better at killing off my imaginary friends than I am at playing nicely with them.

Second … because who wouldn’t want to get paid to play with ninjas?*

*(A disclosure: I’d do this even if I wasn’t paid. But I don’t object to it, either.)

4. How does my writing process work?

Phase 1: collect underpants…. (Warning: the link takes you to a South Park video. Funny, but NSFW.)

In reality, my work does have three phases.

Step 1: Outline. I write two – one for the “onstage” action and one for the offstage action. The offstage outline helps me keep track of what the liars were really up to.

Step 2: First draft (aka “character cage fight”). I write the first draft through without editing, usually in a month or less. Writing quickly keeps me on track and lets me tell the entire story without losing the narrative thread. It also makes Step 3 an absolute necessity.

Step 3: Editing and Peer Review. My novels usually go through at least 7, and usually more like 9, drafts before I send them to my agent. The first 5 drafts are “in-house” – my eyes only – and focus on different aspects of the story. The next 2-4 incorporate revisions from my alpha reader and critique partners, people I trust to tell me not only what they like, but also what needs changing. 

Those are my answers: what are yours?

I’m officially tagging the talented Aimie Runyan, who writes fabulous historical fiction. I’m also tagging YOU, if you’re reading this and haven’t already answered these questions.

If you have a blog, please do answer the questions, and link back here so I can find you, next Monday. If you don’t have a blog, put your answers in the comments – I absolutely love hearing how other authors work!

4 thoughts on “Baton Blog Hop!

  • March 31, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I didn’t even click on the link and I’m now singing the Underpants Gnomes song! So glad I get to be one of your trusted readers, btw!!

  • March 31, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    You made a South Park reference – further proof of why I like you 😉

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