What happens when the most powerful woman in Istanbul dies?

What happens when the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire dies?

I was sitting in my comfy chair and checking email when DOINK! Amber J. Keyser tagged me in her stop on the blog hop #MyWritingProcess. I was delighted. Amber is a super fine writer, and she’s been working her earlobes off for members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Members like me. The Oregon chapter has its Spring Conference this weekend. Lots of great goings-on there.

Back to my  writing process. The blog hop asks four questions:

1) What am I working on?

First off, I’m working on continuing to write despite some health challenges. The real people in my life have been supremely supportive, and my imaginary friends—my characters—have waited patiently for me to devote more time to writing. Thanks!

So…I’m slowly gathering momentum on the third companion novel in my historical fiction/fantasy Blue Thread Universe, which entwines young women across time and space. The first book, Blue Thread, paired the woman suffrage movement in 1912 Oregon with a biblical struggle for women to inherit land. As Amber notes, Book Two aka The Ninth Day (Ooligan Press, 2013) features LSD, which links Berkeley in 1964 with Paris in 1099 (really!). Book Three will involve a mixed-race teen in Portland 2059, the sultan’s harem in Istanbul 1559, earthquakes, and unicorns.

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

I’m still trying to figure out what that genre is! Book Three is based on lots of true history and science, layered with aspects of Judaism and Islam, and sprinkled with fantasy, folklore, farm animals, romance, and mystery. It’s…lasagna!  Delicious layers. Ever try the no-boil noodles? But I digress…

3) Why do I write what I do?

I used to write straight nonfiction—ten books and tons of articles. And then I got the urge to stretch the truth, hide the truth, look at truth from different perspectives, and just plain lie. I like playing with entanglements, the soul-satisfying kind and the terrifying kind. I like exploring wonder.

4) How does my writing process work?

Much of my writing involves transcribing the grief I get from characters that I’ve created and put in circumstances they don’t want to be in. My first drafts usually have too many characters and not enough emotion. Thanks to my writer’s critique group, Viva Scriva, the later revisions have less confusion and more guts. I used to write in the mornings and research or revise in the afternoons. Right now, I write whenever I can.

For other links back into the blog hop, I invite you to return to follow Kiersi Burkhart’s lead. Take a moment to stray from the trail, too, to catch an interview with Barry Deutsch on writing and illustrating his graphic novels, and to read about the latest books by Elizabeth Rusch. Enjoy!

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