Young Adult writer and all-around cool person Stephanie Scott tagged me for the My Writing Process blog hop.
1) What am I working on?
Funny you should ask this! I'm actually between projects, and have been in the process of daydreaming and plotting out my next WIP. It will definitely be a contemporary YA, but that's all I can say about it right now. I have this whole superstition about talking about a project before I'm ready.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I really like to write intense scenes and on the flip side, funny scenes. I try to layer them up the best I can. Some of my favorite stories are the ones that make me CRYYYYY, like soul-cleansing cries. Some of my favorites are Jodi Lynn Anderson's TIGER LILY and Melina Marchetta's JELLICOE ROAD.
With my last manuscript, I was actually scared to give it to my agent because "she's going to think I'm insane for writing this.*"
*She may have, but she loved it anyway.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Is this the dreaded why-do-I-write-YA question? I've practiced for this!
When I was thirteen, I ended a fight with my father by storming off to my room and shouting, "My life is like an acid bath!" before slamming the door. I haven't lived it down since. I just don't see how anyone that dramatic as a teenager couldn't grow up to write intensely funny stories for teens as an adult.
A few months ago, I went to see A.S. King (one of my favoritey fave YA authors ever!) at a signing and she said that she writes for the underdog. That teens rarely have anyone on their side, and so she wanted to be their voice.
So, the more I thought of her answer and my own teenage experiences, I thought, 'I want to write ways to survive.' If you think about it, the purpose of life is to survive it and live it. And there's so many ways this world can crush you emotionally, mentally, physically. My life really did feel like an acid bath at thirteen, because I didn't know how to handle the world around me yet.
So why do I write what I do? To show how to survive.
4) How does my writing process work?
4) How does my writing process work?
I'm a firm believer that no story is written the same way. Some have taken me years to get going and only come out in little bits at a time. Others have flowed out of my head in just a few very restless weeks.
But, lately, my process has become much more organized and it starts with a blank cork board.
I use Post-Its to show ideas/scenes/characters and move them around like puzzle pieces until the story fits together. I also have a "dumping ground" at the bottom of the board for any ideas that don't quite make the cut but I want to come back to.
Right now my cork board is a little blank, but I'm planning to fill it up this summer.
Who's up next?Michelle Smith writes books for teens (and adults who aren’t ashamed of their love for YA). She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and is a complete sap. She advocates for mental health awareness, and is a strong supporter of The Trevor Project and To Write Love on Her Arms.
Erica Chapman, Erica writes dark/light YA contemporaries & thrillers at night while selling her soul for likes during the day. Her work is represented by the lovely Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis. She's a lifetime Lions and Michigan football fan who loves alternative music, Foo Fighters, reading, golf, and playing her guitar. She resides in Michigan where she sits quietly typing her next story on her macbook in a Detroit Lions Snuggie. She's also a blog contributor to the YA Misfits, All The Write Notes, and The Kindness Project. @EricaMChapman | http://ericamchapman.com/