Thursday, August 15, 2013

How Authors Write-Stuart West

Today I welcome fellow MuseItUp author Stuart West as he shares his writing process. I'll be having Stuart back soon with an interview about his novel, Tex, The Witch Boy. 

What do you write?
The Tex, The Witch Boy series are YA paranormal, mystery, thrillers, comedy, romance what’s-its and they all deal with current teen issues. Tex, The Witch Boy is about bullying. Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia is about high school violence and identity. The third book (out in December), Tex And The God Squad, tackles gay issues, religion and teen suicide.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
The books are all told first person via Tex.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
Mary, I never set out to write a YA trilogy. But it’s been therapeutic. I’m STILL traumatized from my high school days. Combine that with my daughter’s recent tenure in high school Hades and there was tons of story material.

Do you draft quickly?
I usually rip through a first draft, getting the story down. That’s the fast and fun part. The longer part is revisions. Sometimes I’ll look back and go, “Man, what was I thinking?”

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
If I research at all, it’s on a “do it right then” basis. Mostly I’m just flying by the seat of my pants.

Do you outline? How?
No outlines. But I do like the comfort of having stick-on notes listing the main points to hit in the upcoming chapter or two.

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?
I can’t write a character or place without a name! So, yeah, names come first.

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I know it’s bad, but the first three books were written without any other eyes. Well, except for my wife and daughter. If it passes muster with them, that’s cool. My wife can be harsh. Now, I’ve learned my lesson, though, and going forward I’ve acquired a few awesome writer pals to look it over.

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
Playboy? I kid! Google’s my best friend.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
Tons! If I hadn’t met an awesome Muse author who slapped me silly, I’d still be making amateur mistakes. Having said that, I’m now about 35% of the writer I want to be. I’m shooting for the stars, Mary! This time next year? I hope to be at 45%!

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?
Tex, The Witch Boy and the sequel, Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia are out now. Tex And The God Squad (the last of the series) is due in December from Muse. And Muse just picked up my first adult horror novel, Neighborhood Watch, out early next year.

Super special AmazeBalls Deal! Act fast, hit up the MuseItUp website, and you can buy both the Tex books for the price of one! My publisher's going cray-cray! But don't tell her and buy! Our lil' secret! 

Tex, The Witch Boy ($0.99 Special!)                               Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia

You can find Stuart here:

Thanks for having me blather on, Mary!

You're welcome, Stuart. I look forward to having you back soon!


  1. Great interview! And glad to know I'm in good company for writing-by-the-seat-of-your-pants :)

    1. Isn't that the best way to get to know your characters?? I find it is, anyway ;-)

    2. Meradeth, seat-of-the-pants is the only way to fly! Just my opinion, but I find characters lose spontaneity when everything's mapped out. I like when they surprise me!

  2. Yeah, me too. Today. Yes, today. I've been saying I'm going to buy this for so long. Today is the day.

    1. Awesome! Can't wait to hear what you think about it!!!

    2. Time for the strong-arm sell. Do it, Suzanne, buy the dang book already! The fate of the world rests in your hands. (Okay, maybe not...)

  3. Just a quick hi, Stuart and Mary. Hope things are going well with y'all's books. Back to posts for the Blog Tour. :)

    1. Hi back to you, Marsha! As Mary said, good luck with the tour! All that cyber-flying back and forth can tire a soul out, can't it?

  4. Thanks, Marsha! Good luck with your tour!!

  5. Great interview, Stuart and Mary! ((fist bump for the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants club))

    Stuart is AWESOME!! My best friend is spearheading an antibullying campaign, and Stuart offered his help. You rock!! :)

    He was also the first Muser to contact me and offer support. More props!!

    Yay Stuart!! :)

    1. Woot! Way to go Stuart. That's awesome you're helping out with the anti-bullying campaign.

    2. Hey, Erin! How's the anti-bullying campaign coming along? Tell your buddy I'm standing by, waiting to hear and ready to help!

    3. Oh, by the way, Erin, no fist-bumps allowed! The heroine, Olivia, in my novel thinks fist-bumps are for Cro-Magnons.

    4. LOL!! I'll remember that for next time, Stuart.

      The anti-bully campaign is underway! I'll get your info to Dawn. Thanks!! :)

  6. I can relate regarding the names. I can't move forward unless my characters have proper names (as opposed to whatever names until I discover their real one).

    1. LOL! I have to know enough about my character to name them- especially their characteristics, as some names just don't work with some traits!


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