The Writing Process Blog Tour

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Writers – Typing. Plotting. Sweating. And more and more often, getting together and working in teams on projects that are meant to entertain, please and heal. We’re on such a project today – The Writing Process Blog Tour. Together with a great team of writers and authors we’ll be talking about how the writing process works. We’ll talk about style, as well as about the inspiration and especially transpiration involved in creating work readers can enjoy to the fullest – our greatest dream as authors.

The first thing I’d like to do is thank Luciana Cavallaro for allowing me to be a part of this. She posted on this topic last week, you can read about how the writing process works for her here and more on  her original writing based on alternate mythology (!) here. I’m a regular reader of her posts and recommend them with great trust. I’d like to point out that I have genuine and deep appreciation for her and the writers I’ll be introducing you to in the last part of this post. I love and respect each of them for different reasons, which I will share with you.

My role in this project is telling readers and fellow writers about the strings and mechanisms behind the writing process and how they work in my case. I could write volumes on this one, but I’ll do my best to keep it to the essentials. For details I’ll gladly be at your disposal, so feel free to leave comments and tell me what you think or what you’d like to take from my experience. Experience is only useful when shared.

What am I working on?

I’m currently deep in crafting Cries of the Blood, a sequel to The Blacksmith. This is the second book in a series, but I don’t intend to go about it the way I don’t appreciate myself as a reader – making one story too dependent on the following. Each of my books offers some kind of closure, e.g. if The Blacksmith centers on human potential – backed by scientific research – and romance, Cries of the Blood is focusing on past lives – again, it won’t fall short on plausible, scientific explanations – and, of course, romance. I’m posting chapters of the book each week on my blog, so readers and fellow writers are warmly invited to give their opinions, suggest turns and edit if they see fit. This helps keep the project interactive and allows for team work – yes, I’m a hardcore team player, so I’ll probably be stressing the importance of that every chance I get.

Cries of the Blood binds past, present and future in a story that unfolds in France. It’s sewn with chateaus, cathedrals and history, as well as forbidden passions and struggle. You can read the first hundred pages here.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not struggling to make my work different. Different is not the right word for me. What I can say is that I find my inspiration in heavy loads of research in psychology, medicine and history and I haven’t read anything quite similar to my work so far. The characters go from humans like you and me – called Rooties or base humans in the books – to becoming the best versions of themselves. I called them demiangels and demidemons. I daresay this is my signature. I’ve been striving to prove that humans have all necessary traits to become like their ideals – immortal and invincible – and I’ve been spending long nights with the glasses on the tip of my nose, deep in books, reports and dissertations. Having a medical doctor for a mother and a physicist for a father helped my cause. I’ve drawn a lot on their knowledge and experience when I went on searching for the perfect bind of life and death, love and lust, purpose and bliss. This may sound a bit crazy, but I do believe in what I write.

Why do I write what I do?

With all the drama going on in today’s world, with stress, desperation and crime sinking their claws ever deeper in the throat of humanity, with cancer taking lives like once the Influenza, I’m stubbornly seeking to unearth humans’ natural ability to heal themselves and attain bliss – not in the next world, but in this one. I think passing to the other side – death – should be a matter of choice and not the Sword of Damocles.

Just as importantly, seeing how couples who’ve lived a lifetime together give up on each other, failing to see in their partners the “god” or “goddess” they once fell for, gives me the chills. I believe that the passion which brings two people together – the crush, if you like, or even the limerence – is a powerful tool that helps maintain the “kick” throughout relationships, a tool people could learn how to use. I strongly believe that couples can love and passionately desire each other for millennia, like when they were still new for one another. Again, I do believe in what I write.

How does my writing process work?

This may sound weird but, trust me, it’s the truest thing I can say about writing: it’s like having a baby. First, it grows in you. I just knew I wanted to write – yes, wanted, not had to. See the difference? There are those who have to – they’re chosen. There are those who want to – they choose. I tried putting ideas on page for a year and a half. But research elbowed its way to the font of the line. It wasn’t yet the time for writing. And then the characters took shape in my sleep. I saw Aurelia Novac – a Romanian English teacher whose face was slowly being marred by wrinkles while her students blossomed into youth. She didn’t talk at first, but I had access to her feelings – she knew she would die an old woman, undesired by her husband or any other man, feeling that her life was wasted. She asked me to change her destiny. I had the power to, so I did. But when the water broke, so to say, it was harder than I’d expected. Some pages just flowed from my fingertips, others didn’t. I had to suffer, breathe and push like at childbirth. Sometimes I’d just brace myself and rock back and forth in my chair, eyes stuck to the computer screen. Mostly it was like watching a movie, yet somehow different: scenes took place in slow motion, as if the characters wanted to keep me guessing. They’d sometimes give me one line at a time. Soon, I began to write as if I was watching a series on TV. I look forward to writing each day. That’s why I initially decided to post the episodes from Cries of the Blood each week – for readers to enjoy reading each episode of their weekly fiction as I did writing each of them. Starting next week there will be two episodes, Wednesdays and Saturdays. So stay tuned at anaatcalin.com.

Research never stops and neither does the flow of ideas. The work isn’t done with the first draft either. Yet even though I aim to offer my readers the best experience possible, I still write for myself. The reason is simple: that’s the only way to keep it real and – returning to the second question “how is your work different” – here is yet another answer. I totally enjoy other styles and foreign stories, but focusing on “what sells” functions like a virus in the organism of writing. Nevertheless, I do keep an eye open for new trends and developments. I doubt too many people would enjoy Dante’s style these days – I know I wouldn’t. I know I’d want a book that will entertain me and feed me, not strain my nerves. As an author, I will offer no less than I expect either.

Next week:

Camelia Miron Skiba – is one of my favorite authors. I discovered Camelia during another blog tour (importance of team work!) and would like to emphasize this: if you want a professionally written, perfectly edited, captivating story that will make your week, she is your author. I’ve read a lot of her work and preferred her Hidden Heart and Born in Sin even to Coelho and E.L. James (yes, funny that I have both of those in one sentence but people are complex and have tastes to match). As I stated above, I have genuine appreciation and respect for the authors and bloggers I recommend.

Stephanie Hurt – Stephanie’s blog posts have inspired and given me strength in difficult moments. She is the one who made me feel I’m not alone out there with my troubles and that other writers share them too. Her posts are slick, to the point and empowering. She lives in Georgia, is a writer, an accountant and a mother. She is a well of motivation.

Joe K – Joe is fairly young but he’s impressed me with many things. He works with a team of other young writers and together they have created The Forum. Their work is manifold and rich, they write really well and I found I have a lot to learn from them – again, binding past, present and future. Keeping an eye on their dynamic project often replaces New York Times at morning coffee.

Stay tuned for their posts next week, the 18th of November 2013. I’m sure they’ll be a pleasure to read.

7 thoughts on “The Writing Process Blog Tour

  1. I am so glad you used that photo Ana, it is gorgeous.

    I love the passion that comes through your article, what drives you to write and the inspirations. Like you, I didn’t choose to write stories that are trending or popular, that is why I was drawn to your story, it is different and intriguing.

    Your characters are exactly how humans behave, and I do love your idea of how humans can improve and heal themselves. What a fantastic concept. I’m a follower of Louise Hay and also believe people can heal and help themselves and others.

    What a wonderful, powerful and revealing post Ana. Thank you for sharing 😀 xx

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