My Writing Process

Thanks so much Cynthia ( for inviting me to tour with you! Cynthia has been a real rock as a critique partner and an occasional hand holder when things get sticky.

What am I working on?

I am really excited about my new story, (working title) Mad for the Marquess. (short blurb)

JAMES DEVLIN  is battling his younger brother and madness. His shy young nurse, ANNE WINTON, becomes his staunchest ally. But will Devlin take advantage of her passion for his well-being and use her naïve love to ruin her?

I love the way it is unfolding. When I finished my first Regency, The Dressmaker’s Duke, I thought, I don’t know if I have more in me; to face that stark white page again.  I suppose it’s like having another child; you can’t imagine loving a new baby as much as you love your first child. But, you do!

 How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work is very character driven. I am an actress as well as a writer. I  begin with a pretty comprehensive outline, but as I get to know my characters better, things will shift. I also am drawn to darker characters; ones who have real issues with intimacy. For example, my Hero in, The Dressmaker’s Duke, is called “The Monk” and he prefers clock making to ton society. Taking him from this reclusive, stiff man, to one capable of great vulnerability and love is such fun.

Why do I write what I do?

Sometimes I believe I was meant to be born in another time; a more courtly and chivalrous time. But then the real realities intrude: no woman’s rights, hygiene, sickness. The  Regency world is narrow, especially for women. This is a challenge for me, a kind of tightrope. My characters still have all the feelings of modern day people, only they must express them in more subtle ways. In my current WIP  the Hero is shut up in a madhouse—not a pleasant thing. But I enjoy guiding him through his trials and having my reader connect with this man, despite his odd set of circumstances and the story being set in a different era. My characters are not just witty cardboard cutouts, they are thinking, feeling folk with problems just like you and me, they just happen to live in a different time. I think the best historical writers embrace these strictures and learn to move gracefully and creatively between the confines of their chosen world.

How does your writing process work?

It is evolving. I usually start with one scene that takes hold of me. I turn this scene over in my head and dip into the characters. Then I begin to ask, well, what if? Then comes the outline. This is the tough part because events have to fold into each other and make sense. I stop myself a lot in this part of the process. Doubts creep in and problems arise as to HOW this will actually work. But, I am beginning to trust myself more. Trust that the story will unravel itself if I just keep writing. I think to myself, how would this character exist within these circumstances? As I write, they tell me more and more about themselves and I fall more and more in love.

Thanks again Cynthia! I would love to hear from fellow writers.

Next week (24th) tune into:

Amber Belldene: Episcopal priest and romance writer, because desire is divine.

Ursula Renée writes multicultural historical romances and mysteries.

Lise Horton’s debut Carina Press erotic romance, Words of Lust, Book 1 of the NYC-set Stellato Sibling Series was published in 2013.



About jessrussellromance

Award winning romance writer.
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