My work

Monday, 5 May 2014

Blog Hop: Baton Relay

I love plugging my fellow authors – treating someone who wanders by this page to information about books I’ve enjoyed. So when I was invited to this Pass the Baton blog hop, I couldn’t resist.
All Hallows at Eyre Hall cover

I was twice tagged for this hop, and so introduce you to two authors:
Luccia Gray
The first is Luccia Gray. Luccia blogs about Victorian literature and just published the first volume of her Eyre Hall Trilogy, All Hallows at Eyre Hall. It promises to be a dark and stormy one . . . [I was lucky enough to be a beta reader, so can’t wait to read the final version].
Learn more about Luccia on her blog, find her on Facebook, and visit her Amazon author page.
Martyn V. Halm [too cool for school]
The second author to tag me is Martyn V. Halm. Martyn’s addiction to verisimilitude in fiction has produced the Amsterdam Assassin Series – about which I can’t say enough marvellous things – featuring my current-favourite heroine Katla Sietjes.
Reprobate cover
Visit Martyn's phenomenal blog here, and take a look-see at his Amazon author page for all of his works. And seriously, read the books.

So, my turn to answer questions! I feel I’ve been writing a lot recently about my writing [LOL], so this will be the last for a long time. [Whew.]

What am I working on?

I’m in the final edits for my next novel, The Value of Vulnerability. This book shouldn’t be taking so long to finish, but my H is a sociopath – or perhaps just borderline – so making him both sociopathic and likeable is a damnable trial. It’s the story of two people who have suffered damages and deal with those damages in different ways: the h, Erin, generally lets things wash over her and moves on with her life; H, Ford, hoards hurts and seeks revenge for slights whenever he can . . . and sees no problem with doing so!
The Value of
Vulnerability cover

I’m also participating in a very cool Facebook event, Clever Quickies Monday, wherein a writer must construct a unique passage in 140 characters or less. An exercise in economical writing, I’m determined to write an entire short work comprised of these passages, to be shared at some future date on this blog.

How does my work differ from others in this genre?

Well, there’s that sociopathic H. In most romances, the troubled H is rescued by his love for h. In VV, I want him to retain his character and rescue himself. I dislike when sober and/or cold h/Hs turn warm and fuzzy and full of buoyant humour through their HEA. Love does many things, but I don’t believe people at their baseline essence really change. Not often, at any rate. So when Ford “rescues” himself, he’s still going to be a sociopath – which is not inherently a bad thing.

Why do I write what I write?
A Bird Without Wings
I fell in love with romances at a young age and, always having wanted to write, chose that genre as my go-to. I love thrillers and suspense, but I don’t write plot-driven things well, and prefer character studies. I also like breaking clichés. [In my last novel, A Bird Without Wings, my h is smarter than her H. You almost never see that – at least, not obviously.] And I love to write escapism. While I enjoy reading books that deal with controversial subjects, I’m not fond of writing them . . .

How does your writing process work?

I’m a pantser – that is, I write without an outline. I imagine a scene and mull it over in my head for a [sometimes long] while, then eventually get it down; hopefully a plot evolves from there. I work in Word, drink copious amounts of coffee and sometimes wine [but cut off my wine consumption at one-point-five glasses . . . there’s a fine line between in vino veritas and blathering with typos].

I usually work on several projects at once; I find it helps keep me fresh, and working on one novel can inspire another that’s stalling. It’s also a handy procrastination tool. I’m a champion procrastinator . . . except no one’s handing out awards for that!

Research is done while I’m writing, for the most part. My characters start doing things I know nothing of, and so I have to stop and check, making sure the things they’re doing are really possible. I love knowing the correct name of things. I hate writing description. I love inverting axioms. I hate rewriting. I love editing. [Yes, these are two different things.]

Introducing . . .
Fire Angel cover
Susanne Lee Matthews is a romance novelist and fellow Ontarian, and I’ve been following her brilliant blog for some time. Check out her Amazon author page and the story of her writing process in this post.

Chains of Prophecy cover
Jason P. Crawford’s latest novel is the urban fantasy Chains of Prophecy. Read about his writing process next week on his site.
Mad Days of Me I:
Escaping Barcelona cover
Henry Martin – ah, what does one write about Henry? I recently read a review where he was dubbed “Minstrel Martin”. No argument here. I’ve read nearly all of his work, including the dark and brilliant Mad Days of Me trilogy. Discover more about Henry at his Amazon author page, and check out his blog, where he’ll be posting about his writing process soon.


  1. Indeed, what DOES one say about Henry Martin?

    I enjoyed learning a little bit about your writing process, Roberta, and now have a guideline for when in vino veritas leaves me on the roadside in the dust.

    1. LOL! Always glad to help. Thanks for dropping by, Lynda. And remember, if Henry takes exception, I'm counting on you to support me in describing his enigmatic qualities.

  2. His enigmatic what?


    Thanks for the mention, Roberta.
    Lynda . . . what does one say about Lynda?

    My life should be back to 'normal' [a matter of opinion] soon, so I'll be active again here, there, and elsewhere.

    1. Can't wait for your dashing return to our lives, Henry. [Maybe we'll have Jen start a thread for us: "What DOES one say about [insert author name]?"

  3. Are we going to backslap (or backstroke) each other now? And, Roberta, don't call my blog fantastic. Too much pressure. If you'd called it dreary and boring, people would be pleasantly surprised. Now you built me up too much.

    Also, you forgot a 'to' between addiction and verisimilitude. Didn't I tell you that playing with the big words would trip you up? *runs away laughing evilly, which sounds much cuter than it actually is*

    1. If your blog isn't fantastic, it will reflect more on me that you [my bad taste and all]. But your blog is fantastic, full of incredibly useful and intelligent bits.

      Thanks for pointing out my alleged error, but unless you took a screen cap, you have no proof that I ever made it. ;)

  4. Thanks for the glimpse into your writing process. I like how your characters are not the typical romance stereotypes. They sound like fun characters to read about.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth! I had lots of fun creating my characters, so hopefully that comes through in the writing of them, too.

  5. Great post Roberta! One of the best things about blog hopping is that we can plug/meet other writers, and it’s such a fascinating world to enter. I wish I’d started writing ‘seriously’ before! Thanks for introducing readers to Martyn, whom I was lucky enough to meet on Goodreads (he helped with my blurb, thanks Martyn!). I’m also following his blog and eager to read Reprobate, which is already on my Kindle, asap. I’ll be checking out Susanne Lee Matthews, Jason P. Crawford, and Henry Martin, and looking forward to their blog hop next week!
    I’m not surprised you’re into the ‘clever quickies’! Sounds like fun, but I’m afraid I’m too ‘slow’ and ‘verbose’ for that! (is this comment an example of that?) I LOVE your clever and determined heroines (the heroes are more conventional, but I'm not complaining....), and I’m really looking forward to reading the final version of The Value of Vulnerability, … and all the other stories running around in your mind!

    1. Luccia, thank you for coming by! Loved being tagged by you. [And knowing your preference for darker themes, you're going to love Reprobate.]

      I know you're crazy busy, but you should suss out Clever Quickies when you get the time [even if you don't participate]. I'm finding it endlessly useful, even if what I work on there never amounts to anything - it's a skill-set exploration.

      VV in two weeks . . . tops. I promise.