To me, writing is something I do– like a pleasant chore. I can write everyday for hours and lose myself in the process. I forget to change the laundry and do the dishes. My kitchen table remains cluttered and beds unmade until I get an idea down. Readers ask where my ideas come from and I really have to admit, “Everywhere.”
My Travis Pass Series started with a short story a friend told me about her family’s migration across the US. Travis Pass grew to a seven novel series because the secondary characters in each novel had histories and I felt the need to write those too. I thought I was done with that line after the seventh, but while refinishing an old camelback trunk, Sashay, from Albert’s Rain popped into my head and someday I’ll write what happened to her.
Viveka’s War is based on my grandmothers’ diverse lives. One grandma, my dad’s mom, turned ninety-nine this year and the things she’s lived through, the changes in our world that she’s seen, the stories she’s shared with me are such that I couldn’t just remember and instead had to share. Since I write fiction and not memoirs, Viveka’s War, Eureka Springs, and my current work, Respectable Affair came to life, set during the WWII era.
The Nebraska Midwest is the setting for my contemporary work. Intimate Flames begins the series with Andrew ‘Amen’ Packard, a firefighter and the youngest of the seven Packard siblings. Drive Thru, released July 2010, is Marie’s story, a single mother working to make ends meet and care for her daughter within the restraints of today’s economy. I’m not sure which Packard kid is next because I wait for the inspiration from characters to direct my work but I’ve got five more lines drafted in anticipation.
I have to admit that my very first book came to me in a dream. It’s a futuristic novel, set after an apocalyptic event. How I turned that into a happily ever after romance is beyond me but, I did. Someday, I’ll go back and rework those three stories with all the things I’ve learned over the years about writing and try and get them to bookstore shelves.
With each idea that comes to me, whether a novel, an essay or an article, my process is the same. I get an idea and write down the basics. I let the story unfold as I type. My first draft is more of an unreadable roadmap. I drive back and forth on that roadmap revising and even skipping ahead until I get my characters and their life plans. Once that’s done, I start from the beginning and refine. Sometimes, as in Drive Thru, a storm comes up and changes everything and even I’m not sure what’s going to happen next. That’s the beauty of writing fiction; the words are like puzzle pieces and I can switch them around until I get the story right-which is why supper is always late and phone calls remain unreturned.
You can also pick up my work online at Whiskey Creek Press, at Fictionwise and its affiliates and at several local bookstores and shops throughout Nebraska. I’m also at www.growneb.com where you’ll find hundreds of Nebraska Entrepreneurs and their products.
Thanks to LASR for hosting me today. As a special treat to visitors here, I’m cluing you in on a treat. Stop by my blog tomorrow: http://annettesnyder.blogspot.com. It’s my birthday! You’ll also be able to get in on the surprise if you join the Whiskey Creek Press Readers Group at www.whiskeycreekpress.com and join with the link there.