I love to write.
I love the process of editing and watching my writing get better. I’ve been writing short stories since I was a child. Creating characters and situations out of thin air has always been something that’s been easy for me, and each time I write, I feel I’m honing and perfecting this craft. So when Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Attorney-CPA, Author, Mentor, and Editor-in-Chief of BOLD magazine asked me to do a Blog Hop, I jumped at it!
So what’s a Blog Hop? It’s a way to provide you and three of your friends or respected peers some great publicity by sharing your insight and experiences. The blog hop consists of 4 questions (answered below). One person answers them in his blog, and introduces three people who are ‘assigned’ to answer the questions the following week. Each of those three people mentions who added him or her to the blog hop, answer the questions, and find three others to continue the cycle. It’s a great way to expand your circle.
So without further ado, let me present to you the lady who invited me to this Blog Hop…the future Oprah, Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell!
Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, an Attorney & CPA, is the Chief Leadership Officer of The Leading Through Living Community, a personal and professional development organization that encourages, equips, and champions people to be successful members of and leaders for their communities, in their professions, and personally. LTLC accomplishes this through individual coaching, workshops, and on-going support and opportunity identification. Lynita is also author of Leading Through Living: A Guide for Women Seeking Growth Through Leadership, a “mentor in your pocket” for women seeking practical advice to personal and professional advancement; and Editor-in-Chief of BOLD Magazine. Visit Lynita online at www.LynitaMitchellBlackwell.com or www.LeadingThroughLiving.com.
Okay, now on to answering my 4 Big Questions:
1) What am I working on?
- There’s always something! In addition to blogging and building awareness for my first fiction novel Partners in Crime, I’m busy outlining my second novel. It is the next installment in my series of murder mysteries featuring Atlanta Homicide Investigator Jeff Strickland. My goal is to finish the first draft of the manuscript by September. This will probably take me another 2-3 weeks, as I gather research, lay out scenes and character arcs, and uncover potential directions that the premise is capable of following. For those looking to outline their works of fiction, I recommend this book.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
- I’ve been told that my writing is descriptive, suspenseful, and gritty. It evokes strong emotions in certain scenes, but is balanced with a dry sense of humor at the right times. I definitely don’t want to be “Hollywood”. I want realism. I want the characters to deal with things that some fans of crime shows or books may not think about.
- For example, few police departments have their own crime labs capable of conducting complex forensic tests. Many resort to using a private or state lab. Some state labs handle the complex forensic tests for every police department in their states. So what happens if the state places a quantity limit of only 10 or 12 items to test for each homicide case? And what if a crime scene is littered with hundreds of commonplace things that may or may not be evidence? Which ones does a detective choose, knowing that anything could be a critical clue? I highlighted those real-life scenarios in Partners In Crime.
3) Why do I write what I write?
- I’ve enjoyed writing since I was six. My mother grounded me quite often as a child (I was usually up to no good), and since I had no luxuries like PlayStation or the internet back then, I entertained myself by writing stories or reading the classics in my mother’s small library. After devouring every Sherlock Holmes story, I began to enjoy reading about true crime, forensic investigations, behavioral profiling, etc.
- I decided to write about a homicide detective after a close relative was murdered. The angst and stress it caused my family was palpable. We peppered the detectives with questions, demanding status updates on the progress of the investigation. I was engrossed in how the detectives strategized and worked our case to find and arrest the killer. When I decided to write Partners In Crime, I wanted to focus on the real-life setbacks and emotions that both the victim’s loved ones and detectives go through.
4) How does your writing process work?
- To get into my zone, I need my noise-cancelling headphones, a fully-charged MP3 player, and a Starbucks. I can concentrate there despite being surrounded by activity. Writing at home is harder. I have a comfortable recliner, a flat-screen internet-connected TV, and a huge collection of blu-rays, so I’m easily distracted at home. A Starbucks is best for me. A library is a close second.
- Once I have the location down, my writing process depends on where I am in my writing. As I mentioned above, I’m working on outlining my book, which is something I didn’t do for Partners In Crime. The outline isn’t set in stone; it’s great for guiding me along but if one of my characters ‘speaks’ to me and goes in an unplanned direction, I let it happen and see where it takes me. I’ve learned not to edit until I have finished the first draft of the entire manuscript. Otherwise, I will never finish the book because I’m constantly driven to edit the second after I type the words. That is a terribly inefficient way to write, which is why it took me years to do my first one. The second one will take only a fraction of the time.
So that concludes the answers to my Big 4 Questions! Now it is time to introduce the next three thought leaders, up-and-coming writers, and all around good people who will carry the torch and keep this Blog Hop moving! Here are Jewel Brodie, Kathryn McClatchy, and C. Edward Baldwin…
Jewel Brodie is a certified Life Purpose Coach® from the Life Purpose Coaching Centers International. Jewel is also the Owner of an independent Life Coaching Business called The Gem in You, which was created to help women achieve personal goals, accomplish career ambitions, and identify their unique purpose in life. Through one-on-one discussions, mentoring and coaching, Jewel seeks to assist women in discovering the many gems that often remain hidden from society. For more information about Jewel Brodie, visit http://www.thegeminyou.com
Kathryn McClatchy has been reading and dreaming of writing novels since before she can remember. Writing was a large part of her first jobs in the newspaper and marketing industries. After her sons started school, Kathryn returned to college, pursuing a Master of Arts in English. She also learned that she loved teaching, and went on to teach Composition and British Literature at Texas Woman’s University, Richland College, and Lakeview Centennial High School. She has been published in newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. At thirty-seven, Kathryn suffered a number of strokes and had to relearn almost everything, including reading and writing. After being disabled by the strokes, she decided to pursue her dream of writing a novel. To learn more about Kathryn see her blog at http://kathrynmcclatchy.com/
After spending nearly twenty years in the insurance industry investigating insurance claims and hearing some of the wildest tales imaginable, C. Edward Baldwin decided to immerse himself wholeheartedly in the realm of make-believe. His debut novel is Fathers House. Baldwin earned a BA degree in Communications from North Carolina A&T State University and a MA degree in English from East Carolina University. He and his wife Natasha are the proud parents of two boys. You can read his blog here at: https://cedwardbaldwinblog.wordpress.com/
Thanks so much for linking to my site! I’m so glad you enjoyed Outlining Your Novel.
It was a great help! I refer to it frequently.