Sunday, March 9, 2014

'My Writing Process' blog tour!


Welcome dear reader and fellow writers! Tonight I’m going to share a little bit about my writing process and introduce to you a couple fellow authors that I think you should check out! You won’t be disappointed!

First, let be pay homage to a dear friend of mine. You see, this ‘blog tour’ was passed along to me by none other than fellow author and wordsmith, Dover Whitecliff. She and co-author Vicki Rorke, just released a new young adult book called ‘The Stolen Songbird’ (click here to find it quick on Amazon). It’s the first book in a series these two cohorts are writing and I am so eager to see where this takes them. They hit a home run with this book! To check out Dover’s blog, please visit her website at http://wildandwoollywordsmithing.wordpress.com/ I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! She’s a witty, mischievous one, she is. Cracks me up every time I read her blog.

At the end of my blog tonight, I’m going to share with you a little bit about another author as well who is going to join this ‘blog tour’ next Monday and pass along the ‘author’s torch’ as it were. I’m really excited for you to meet him! As a sneak peak to down below (since I don’t like holding back the goodies), let me just tell you his name. Casey Sean Harmon. He’s a best-selling author, soldier, family man, and all around stand-up guy. He serves his country and is serving his fellow man with books that entertain readers of all ages. But more importantly, he’s also writing books to reach out and touch the lives of soldiers and their families who have suffered from, or are impacted by, PTSD.

If you’ve read the second book in The Deceiver Saga called Broken Seed, than you know that my main character’s love interest (David) is a former soldier who came back from the war wanting to help his fellow comrades reclaim their lives and peace of mind. This topic is heavy on my heart. So I’m very honored and truly proud to share Casey Sean Harmon with you.

Now, back to my blog at hand! Ahem…

1) What am I working on?

Well, for those of you who’ve been following me on Twitter and Facebook, you already know that I just finished writing book three in The Deceiver Saga called Sanctuary of Fire. Folks, this one is WILD. I totally take you out of this realm and through spacetime into places you never even imagined and into epic battles of spiritual warfare in which light and dark collide. I can’t wait for you all to get your paws on this one! It’s going to raise the hairs on the back of your neck and make your eyes water when it blows your mind.

 

Oooh, I can’t wait to get it into production! Soooo close! I sent it to a publisher a few weeks ago and now we’re just waiting for the production schedule to start. So later this year, maybe October or November it should be out (fingers crossed! I already know what I want on the cover! It’s all buzzing around my red-headed little brain in an electric swirl. But alas, I must be patient. One step at a time. The publishing process has many steps to follow after all and cover design isn’t initiated until we’re almost done with the copy editing. Auh! (Wringing hands and rocking) I am so excited to get it in production!

 

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

 

It is my humble opinion that my work is different from others in it’s genre for a couple reasons. For me, my writing isn’t just about entertainment and enjoyment (for me and the reader). Even though I thoroughly enjoy hearing positive feedback like, “Holly crap! That was crazy! I can’t believe that happened! Where do you come with these ideas? Is that really in the bible?” For me, it’s also about revealing hard truths, exposing lies commonly accepted, and bringing a message of hope to the lost, hurting or confused. Yes, I want my readers to be entertained and hungry for more of the continued story, of course I do. What author wouldn’t? But I also want them to be able to close the book at the end and feel fed. I want a part of their soul to be touched in some way that only God would know about. After all it’s between them and Him anyway.

 

Now, as you’ve probably seen on the advertisements and book trailers, my books are fictional supernatural mystery thrillers. It was hard to fit them into just one genre. In fact, my publisher even expanded it to include suspense, spiritual warfare, religion and Christian Life. The story is a mystery first and foremost. It just had to be. I don’t want to write something that gives away all the madness blundering around in my head at once! What fun is that? I like to prolog the suspense and drive the reader crazy with juicy tidbits, tease them with details here and there that make they think one thing and then, BOOM! Knock them off their feet with the unexpected. To me, that’s a blast! Especially when I get it right and I hear that exact reaction in way of feedback.

 

Now, the other part is thriller. Don’t worry, for all the scarier moments humor will also abound. I can’t help it. That’s just who I am. Mischievous, witty and a little twisted (That’s why I’m fun at parties)... I know some aspects of the story are also raw, real and very brutal. But again, there’s enough humor and good stuff to balance it out. Just be happy you’re reading the toned down versions.

 

(Spoiler alter) The supernatural side of the books bring our realm and dimensionality, colliding into the spiritual realm and dimensions beyond where angels and demonic beings thrive. In book three, the main character, Melanie gets to cross over between the realms and into another time all together. It’s gonna be great guys! (Auh…okay self, stay on track) I just get so excited thinking about it.

 

Now, I’ve done a lot of research into the spiritual side of my novels as well as location scouting, research into the military, FBI, equipment, weaponry, law enforcement, the judicial system, crime, biblical studies, etc. I even investigated (and still am) the biblical historic references and dived into the angelic as well as demonic. It was twisted, dark and at times illuminating in the research process. But I also learned a lot more about spiritual warfare and as a Christian, I find that empowering and liberating. I enjoy the research process almost as much as I do the writing. I love learning, so for me it’s being in heaven twice as long when researching and writing!

 

3) Why do I write what I do?

 

Simple. I’m addicted to writing! I LOVE to experience the discovery of the story yet to be told, even that in which my own mind has not yet fully revealed to me. It fills me with such joy and satisfaction to finish a scene that I’ve envisioned in my mind and felt the emotions of. And it is even more thrilling to follow my instincts into avenues I hadn’t anticipated and watch as the two ends of the thread connect.

 

It’s my mission and desire, that with each book I write, to stir up one’s curiosity and a desire for more hidden truths about the things of God. But I do so in a way that isn’t meant to be preachy or “holier than though”. I can’t stand that arrogant crap. And for those who’ve read my books, that message should be very clear. We’re not here to be judges. I don’t want that job anyway. What I want is to be a writer, an author, and say what I feel needs to be said to tell my story. But if my reader can feel one step closer to hope and knowing a little bit more about God in the process, that that’s cool with me.

 

After all, I believe we’re all made up of made of up four parts. Our minds (soul), our spirit, our body, and a part that is left open and empty, waiting for God. It’s a place only he can fill. People often go wandering for something to stuff in that hole or fill in the gaps. They think they can find it in their work, their kids, their partner their hobbies, drugs, sex, food, you name it. But the reality is, those things will only bring temporary satisfaction. And you are left wanting more and feeling empty once more. Only God can fill the void in your hearts permanently.

 

He created us that way to ensure that we would seek out a relationship with him. Think of God as the ultimate lover of your soul. He designed us for fellowship and relationship. He woes and calls, we run and he chases. Then we stop and he catches us, and we fall into his arms. “God” doesn’t have to be a big scary monster in the sky. He’s your friend and father. A protector and a vindicator. The judge and the redeemer. The giver or grace and life.

 

4) How does my writing process work?

 

Writing is a 24 hour-a-day state of being. It’s like my brain is always thinking on multiple levels, no matter what I’m doing or where I’m at. Everything could potentially be relevant to my novels which keeps my mind in a continual state of process and analysis of the random thoughts and vivid imagery I have lingering from dreams I’ve had or images I’ve seen. It isn’t uncommon for me to find myself humming a song that somehow relays the emotions of my characters in the latest scenes was working on. I find myself empathizing with them and wanting to articulate their emotions or describing their experiences in a way that my readers can also feel what they feel and come to understand them.

 

I’m always scribbling down notes so I don’t forget an idea that I want to use. However so far, that hasn’t been a problem. Once an idea has declared itself and my mind has inserted it into the story in my imagination, it’s there for good. And when I sit down to write, it’s almost clawing its way out onto the page. When I get it right, it’s like I’ve released all this internal pressure and I’m filled with complete satisfaction and an abundance of joy when I write out these stories.

 

Often, I’ll reread the chapter I just wrote, or go back every three chapters to reread it back up to the point where I left off to review it and make sure I got it right. But even when the book is done, it isn’t “done.” There is much left to do. I read it all over again a couple times and try to get it as perfect as I can, even before it gets to my editors. I make sure I’m satisfied and don’t see any blinding developmental errors or inconsistencies in the details.

 

Even though I already sent Sanctuary of Fire to my publisher, I’m still rereading it one more time. I want to read it again from start to finish from a higher lever perspective and make any subtle changes I think it needs.

 

There is never really a point in which I feel it is perfect. Books are never perfect. There will always be some small error missed, that’s just life. But when I reach the point that the story feels right and feels complete, I know I can let go and focus on the next one.

 

Right now I’m both excited and anxious to get working on book four in The Deceiver Saga but I’m making myself wait until I’ve finished going through Sanctuary of Fire one more time. I already have the title for book four, but I’ll be holding on to that for now…gotta leave you all curious just a little bit longer. Ha!



Introducing the next author in the ‘My Writing Process Blog Tour’:


Now, as promised! Here is some more information about fellow author Casey Sean Harmon that I’d like you to please take a moment to check out! His kids books are imaginative and adventurous, not only for kids but to adults too! I know you’ll enjoy them!  And as I mentioned before, his drive and passion to help his fellow soldiers who have suffered from PTSD and have suicidal thoughts is both commendable and heroic. I am very proud and honored to introduce him to you here tonight. I have no doubt, his writing career will go far and the lives he touches forever changed for the better…  



Casey Sean Harmon’s Bio:


Casey Sean Harmon is a bestselling author and an active duty SGT in the U.S. Army. He spent seven years on a Unit Ministry Team in the Army, where he gained hands-on knowledge and experience with PTSD and other common issues that Soldiers and family members face. In 2010, following a deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, he started showing signs of PTSD. It wasn't until three years later, after he was admitted into the hospital for severe panic attacks, that he was diagnosed with PTSD. In an attempt to help others understand and cope with PTSD, Harmon is currently working on a series of books for children. The first book in the series, titled, "My Daddy Has PTSD," will be published by Tate Publishing winter 2014. (However, you can pre-order your copy now until April 10th, 2014 by supporting his Kickstarter campaign.)

Harmon has a degree from American Military University, and is a certified Army Equal Opportunity and Suicide Intervention counselor. He is an alumni at the Wounded Warrior Project, as well as a proud member of the VA's Vocational Rehabilitation program. Over the years he has written and published four books, three of which are
Amazon.com bestsellers. He is currently stationed with his wife and son in Fayetteville, NC.

His published books include:


Becoming PVT Harmon, Amazon Kindle Publishing, 2013
The Everafter Chronicles: Reign of the Night Creatures, Tate Publishing, 2013
The Earth is a Floating Sphere, Amazon Kindle Publishing, 2012
The Thousand Year Voyage, Innovo Publishing, 2009
My Daddy Has PTSD--Coming Soon!



 



Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful night!

 

R. J. Machado De Quevedo

(Author of ‘The Deceiver Saga’, Speaker, Blogger, Dreamer)

  


Follow me on Twitter @TheDeceiverSaga