What am I working on now?
Those of you who've been reading my blog know I've departed from my previous middle-grade children's novels. I'm researching and writing the first in a new series of YA fantasy novels called The Rift. Its hero is a fourteen-year-old boy named Tom. The story begins when he and his sister, Jessie, and their parents are at the zoo for a family night on Halloween evening. As Tom watches Jessie walk toward the carousel, she simply vanishes, leaving behind only a crystal necklace. The usual investigation ensues, but Tom knows she wasn't abducted, as the authorities believe. He saw Jessie disappear. He begins researching other disappearances and learns that other children have gone missing from that same area over the years. When one child's father steps forward with clues to his daughter's disappearance, Tom finds himself caught in a plan that will transport him to the world where Jessie now resides---a realm of magic, where the mages of that world vie for control over the "hybrids" (centaurs, satyrs, harpies, etc.) and battle with each other for dominance. The consequences of this battle will have far-reaching effects, because if they close the "rift" separating their world from ours, the worlds might both perish.
How does my book differ from other books in its genre?
This series deals with the parallels between the technological world of Earth and the magical world of Thera and how the development of each was very much the same. Additionally, the story incorporates the mythological tales, treating them as part of the original magic Earth possessed before the rift moved the magic to Thera, leaving Earth with technology alone. One of the main differences between this series and others of the genre is the focus on that mythology and how it has persisted on Thera. After Tom is recruited, part of his mission is to unify the hybrids and convince them to stop warring with the humans -- and even to the cause of the Blue mages, who wish the rift to remain.
Why do I write what I do?
I love to read many types of books, but fantasy, science fiction, and good adventure stories have always been my favorites. I write books I would like to read. I appreciate good character-driven fiction, so I guess that's why my stories focus on the characters as much as they do; but the plot -- the action -- has to be there, too. It's blend of elements that come together to make a complete whole that will satisfy most readers that I strive for. But truly I write from the heart, and most often I find my stories convey a message, something the hero has to learn, along the way. I want my readers to come away from a book saying, "Yes, that's the way it would have been. I never thought of it just like that, but it's exactly right." If I can achieve that and reach into the heart of my reader, then I've done it right.
How does my writing process work?
I know there are "pantsers" (those who write by the seat of their pants) and "plotters," but I tend to be a blend of both. My first novel was plotted and outlined to the max, and I didn't feel I could jot a word without having it planned. My second and third were written more by the seat of my pants, and I discovered a tremendous well of creativity by allowing the characters to do what they wanted to do. Now, I tend to plot the basics, so I know where to begin and end and have a rough idea of the middle (which is, I believe, the most important part of the story). With my current book, I'm stuck figuring out how to get from Tom the unknowing to Tom the leader, but it will come. Stephen King describes the process as similar to digging up dinosaur bones. You know you have something, but you've no idea what it is at first. Little by little, it begins to unveil itself.
As for the physical job of writing: I can write anywhere, anytime. I have done great work while sitting in a chair in the living room while my husband was watching "Criminal Minds." I've written in coffee shops in the afternoon, in my office at any time of the day, in the doctor's office, in the car, anywhere. I don't believe writing is inspired by a muse and that you need to bow down and ask for guidance and you can only write in the morning after you've had one cup of coffee. A writer reads, and a writer writes.
J.D. launched her first book last year, and its reviews are stellar. The Disillusionment of Anahera Daniels combines excitement, adventure, fantasy, and more in a book that's tough to put down. Check out her website: http://jdscottnovels.wordpress.com/