This post is a part of a writing process blog hop. I was invited by Maron Anrow, author of the fantasy novel Laika in Lisan. You can read about her writing process here.
What am I working on?
I'm currently working on a couple of things, as I can't seem to stop having writing ideas. My most pressing idea (because I want to release it by the end of the year) is Lexis: Book One in The Old Wood Trilogy. This book will be my first young adult book, and it will be a contemporary fantasy with elements of high fantasy. It has some underlying questions about gender association and societal norms.
I've been asked by a handful of my fans if I am going to write a sequel to Monochrome, my new adult, literary fantasy. The answer is maybe, but it will probably be a prequel: Ishmael's story. If you loved Ishmael, as many of my readers do, then you can watch out for that. Even if you don't know Ishmael from Monochrome, you could love his story. I love prequels for that very reason. They are less a continuation and more of a fully fledged separate story.
Other than that, I write a lot of poetry and have been sketching an outline for a book about a writer who cannot stop turning her life into thrilling short story vignettes. This one will be an adult contemporary fiction, and I think it will be really fun when I can get started on it.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Well, I suppose it is mostly unique because it is a new story, but elements of my favorite authors will, inevitably, show up, as I studied English Literature as a B.A. and M.A. student. Readers call it different because it is not quite fantasy, not quite reality, not quite literary fiction, but certainly not a light read. It is a mash-up of genres, but is not overwhelmingly one genre.
Mostly, it is unique because of the world I created: Monochrome. Monochrome is a place void of smell, void of the most normal sounds of nature, void of any color, other than variations of blue. It is a representation of the depressed mind, and it has been making a HUGE impact on readers, who say that they can feel my eerie world, as if it were a real destination. That makes me very proud.
Why do I write what I do?
I have written since I was very young. The main reason I write is because I just do. It seems to be second nature for my mind to turn ideas, conflicts and feelings into stories. It is, truly, how I deal with the hardest issues this world has pushed upon me.
For me, writing is a release but it is also a form of art, so studying great writing has really helped me be a more capable author. It has allowed me to take my story, relive those snapshots of pain and joy, and do so in a way that seems more universal and less personal.
So, I write for readers and for me. I enjoy it, and I hope, very much, that society is benefited by what I release, which is why I am a self published author. Money is nice, so if sales make me a full-time author I won't complain (this is not very likely), but I have a full-time job. I write because I love to write and I love to try to help others think through this life.
How does my writing process work?
I write down an idea whenever it hits: on a napkin, a spare piece of mail, or in a notebook (if I'm lucky). Moments of inspiration usually hit me when I'm driving because it is the only time I'm not chasing preschoolers around. I think about the story for a bit, and write down any pressing or really good ideas I have about the story. Then I sit and I write like a madwoman.
The first daft is not good after writing like a madwoman: there are many awkward sentences, many grammatical mistakes and many loose threads. But it gets the story out, so that I can edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit and then edit some more. I then have beta readers go through my book, and I try to take their best advice and edit again. Then, I either find a publish or I don't. I don't, actually, as, alas, my books have not touched the heart of an agent. Then I turn the cover out, legal it up, and get it to my readers as fast as my full-time mommy job and my part-time community college instructor job will allow.
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H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor and NIEA finalist book Monochrome, its prequel Fade to Blue, the Adela Darken Graphic Novellas, Al Ravien's Night, The Immortals series, and several short stories.