Monday, March 25, 2013

How Authors Write-Lisa Blackwood

Today I welcome fellow MuseItUp author, Lisa Blackwood, to share her writing process and give us a peak at her book, Betrayal's Price. Welcome, Lisa!

What do you write?
I’m one of those annoying authors—you know, the genre hopping kind. LOL. So far I’ve started a paranormal romance/urban fantasy series, an epic fantasy series and I’m now working on a sci-fi series. (With another urban fantasy series in the works) The only thing they have in common is they have romantic elements.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
I always write 3rd person with multiple points of view. I firmly blame growing up on epic fantasy for that.

How do you get started with a book?
I suppose it varies from book to book. Betrayal’s Price had its start when I was a teenager, many, many moons ago. So I don’t actually remember how those characters came about. As for Gregory, the hero from Stone’s Kiss (my urban fantasy with a gargoyle hero) he just came out of left field. He was originally a minor character in the Betrayal’s Price universe, but he demanded his own story and ran away with it. What a mess that first draft was!

Do you draft quickly?
I didn’t know what an outline was when I penned that horrible early version of Betrayal’s Price. It was a wandering, disaster in slow, wordy motion that spanned a good 10-15 years. In the end, with the help of a number of very helpful people, it became a real novel.

By the time I wrote Stone’s Kiss, I had the beginnings of a writer’s craft under my belt so I knew about pace, plot, POV, character development and motivation so I drafted that one in about 6 weeks. But the editing took over a year, because I had to separate all the world building from the Betrayal’s Price universe.
About this time last year I started on the sequel for Betrayal’s Price; its working title is Herd Magic. It’s taken a year, but it’s almost ready to submit. (I probably could have had it done in about five months, but I work full time, volunteer at a horse rescue (Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue) and 2012 was the Year O’ Family Health Issues. But that’s life, and a writer has to learn to find the time to write.)

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
My day job is as a librarian. I research before, after, in between, in my sleep.

Do you outline? How?
I think the sequel for Stone’s Kiss is the first time I’ve written a detailed outline; it’s chapter by chapter. So far, so good. I’ll see if Gregory--the annoyingly independent gargoyle mentioned earlier--decides to make a royal pain of himself or if he will graciously stick to the outline I’ve planned. ;-)

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
Guilty as charged. I’ve started handwriting my first drafts; it keeps me away from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and all those other internet sins. During a first draft, I write myself lots of red pen notes in the margins as I go and the occasional sticky note. I’ve even given characters and place names temporary place holders.

Do you work with CP's or Beta's?
Betrayal’s Price and Stone’s Kiss were both read by several critique partners. (I learned the basics from an online writer’s workshop. If you want an honest critique of your work, get a like-minded stranger. They’ll tell it like it is. Family and friends can’t be trusted to be brutally honest). ::grins::

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
For books, the Chicago Manual of Style is what is sitting next to me now. I asked for one for Christmas. I had lots of other writing books, but this one has just about everything in it.

The Absolute Write Water Cooler is a good place to go for researching publishers, agents and editors etc. But there are many great author and agent blog out there. I follow a bunch loyally.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
How to self edit. How to write. How to self edit. How the publishing system works. How to self edit. I think I’ve committed just about every writing sin there is. How to self edit--->sadly, I’m still learning how to really self edit effectively.

What do you have out now, or coming out?
I’m almost finished with Herd Magic (epic fantasy) and then it’s on to the Stone’s Kiss sequel. (which will be out first since it is a self published title.) I post updates on my blog  and my website

Betrayal’s Price:
For some, rebirth is not a reward.

Ashayna, warrior-scout for her father's army, hides a terrible shame. She is host to a mysterious force she doesn’t understand and can’t control—one which puts her very life at risk should the magic-hating priests ever unearth her secret.

Help comes from an unlikely source when she crosses swords with Sorntar, Crown Prince of the Phoenix. Through Sorntar she discovers she is host to a Larkin—a volatile spirit creature of vast power. If she can trust the word of a man who is part avian, he is host to her Larkin's other half.

When Ashayna and Sorntar are accused of possessing Larkins corrupted by an ancient evil, they must work together to discover what happened in the past to pit one bondmate against another.

Although the human warrior and the phoenix prince often clash during their search to unravel the mystery, nevertheless they are entangled by an unbreakable bond—but is it love, or the manipulations of a deadly enemy?

Lisa Blackwood, author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance and epic fantasy.


  1. Well, now that was a lot of fun to read. I love your honesty about self-editing.

    1. I got a chuckle out of the self-editing, myself!

  2. I thought the self editing part was funny too.
    Very entertaining interview.

  3. I wish I could learn to self edit myself better. I try,and try more, but then my crit partners find so much more. *sigh* I'm the little engine that will keep chugging though.

    Nice interview, I enjoyed it. Good luck with your books.


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