ISABELLA CONNOR

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My Writing Process

Posted by Liv Thomas on January 26, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Thanks, Cathy Mansell, for inviting me to take part in this blog chain. I have to confess, my blog has been sadly neglected of late because we spent a good part of last year editing and promoting Beneath an Irish Sky.





We're also in the process of completing our second novel, An Irish Promise. It hasn't been easy with real life interfering, so unfortunately, some things have suffered. Blogs, housework, husbands etc...

I'm full of good intentions, but wasn’t it those that paved the road to hell? 

 Cathy, on the other hand, is parent to a lovely, and well kept blog. A shining example to the rest of us. Well, me.

 

http://cathymansell.com/blog/my-writing-process/comment-page-1/#comment-2507


 

 MY WRITING PROCESS

 

What am I working on? Currently, my co-writer (Val Olteanu) and myself are revising our second novel. It’s called An Irish Promise, and will hopefully be out towards the end of the year to tie in with the winter season, which is when the story takes place.

 

Set in a village in Ireland, it deals with the short and long-term effects of bullying, both on the bullied and the bullies. There’s a strong hero and a very determined heroine, though both have been damaged in the past. As with 'Beneath an Irish Sky' there are things which might not always be quite as they seem.

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How does my work differ from others of its genre?  In both novels we have focused on serious issues such as bigotry, bullying, racism. I wouldn't say this is unique to us though. The main difference with our writing is probably nothing to do with the genre, but the fact that there's two of us. Another aspect of our writing that might differ is that we have multiple viewpoints, and not just those of the hero and heroine.

 


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Why do I write what I do? I think, like most novelists, we write what we’d like to read. We try to deliver an absorbing plot and characters our readers will care about. We've dealt with topics that we feel strongly about, but our novels always include the all-important element of romance. The rocky road to love is never smooth in our novels - and we do make our characters suffer - but some kind of reconciliation will always happen at the end. Whether it's one the reader will want remains to be seen. :)

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How does my writing process work? I write directly onto Word, on my laptop in the living room! I’ve learned to tune out the sounds around me. I prefer to be on my own, but don’t like complete silence, so the TV is invariably on. Val and I always structure our writing – we will generally plan the basics, chapter by chapter, from the beginning, so we know where we’re going, but as we write, the story will generally develop from our original thoughts. As we write, we're always open to new ideas and new directions. Being co-authors is an advantage because if one of us doesn't know how to progress the plot, the other one usually jumps into the breach. It's such a creative process all round when there are two of you. We have day jobs, and it’s often hard to do all the things we have to do in a day, and write too, but we support and encourage each other to keep going.

* * *

 

I’m now passing the baton to two more Choc Lit writers, Berni Stevens (cover designer extraordinaire) and Rhoda Baxter.

 

Berni trained in graphic design and has worked in various UK publishing houses designing book covers, for more than twenty years. She has had several short stories published, and her first full-length novel was published in the US in 2011. Dance Until Dawn is the first book in her paranormal romance trilogy, and will be published by Choc Lit UK in April, 2014.

http://bernistevens.blogspot.co.uk/

http://bernistevensdesign.com/

* * *

 

A former scientist, Rhoda’s forte is contemporary romantic comedy. Her novel, Dr January, will be released by Choc Lit this year. Her first book was shortlisted for the RNA New Writing award in 2012.

http://rhodabaxter.com

 

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19 Comments

Reply Liv Thomas
4:05 AM on May 16, 2014 
Thanks, Sandra - I'm with you on the time thing. I get really mad with real life interfering.
Reply Sandra Danby
10:29 AM on May 15, 2014 
Hi Isabella, I found your blog via Rhoda. I can't imagine how it works writing with someone else. A friend tried a collaborative novel but the project foundered. I must cut down on the blogging and return to writing my sequel, don't know where the time goes! SD
http://www.sandradanby.com/
Reply Jen Fishler
2:18 PM on February 7, 2014 
Great post, my friend! I find it both heartwarming and gratifying that even from this side of the pond - thanks to the net - I can track your successes, follow your growth - and yes, I admit it...I do smile more than a bit smugly, remembering I told you so (well, of course I do, I'm only human). :) Meanwhile, I've managed to recommend Beneath an Irish Sky to individual readers and book clubs in NY, MN, CO, FL, NM, CA, and of course, TN. And then there's Friends of the Library - and last but I hope not least, there's my Mia's Book Club board on Pinterest. You're being read over here - and I couldn't be happier. XXX
Reply Liv Thomas
1:14 PM on January 30, 2014 
Thanks, Cathy - and thanks for asking me to take part in the blog chain. Looking forward to your next book, as Her Fathers Daughter and Shadow Across the Liffey were great reads.
Reply cathy mansell
6:14 AM on January 30, 2014 
Well done Livvi I loved reading your interview and I've no doubt that An Irish Promise
will be as good a read as Beneath an Irish Sky.
The best of luck in all you do.
Reply Liv Thomas
11:47 AM on January 29, 2014 
angela britnell says...
Loved 'Beneath and Irish Sky' so can't wait to read the new book. I can't imagine writing with someone else but you both do it so seamlessly.


Thanks, Angela. We do sometimes feel that we only have the one brain as we frequently independently come up with the same ideas.
Reply angela britnell
7:29 PM on January 28, 2014 
Loved 'Beneath and Irish Sky' so can't wait to read the new book. I can't imagine writing with someone else but you both do it so seamlessly.
Reply Liv Thomas
3:10 PM on January 28, 2014 
Laura E. James says...
I love this blog hop, and really enjoy reading about the writing process. I'm curious about co-authorship. It's something I'd like to try.
Great post.


I love it, Laura - we get to read chunks of our own novel. And it's great to brainstorm. Give it a go if you can.
Reply Liv Thomas
3:07 PM on January 28, 2014 
Christina Courtenay says...
Am very much looking forward to your next novel - sounds fab, as was Beneath an Irish Sky! Can't wait :-)


Thanks, Christina. And I've just started Secret Kiss, and am hooked already xx
Reply Laura E. James
7:08 AM on January 28, 2014 
I love this blog hop, and really enjoy reading about the writing process. I'm curious about co-authorship. It's something I'd like to try.
Great post.
Reply Christina Courtenay
7:00 AM on January 28, 2014 
Am very much looking forward to your next novel - sounds fab, as was Beneath an Irish Sky! Can't wait :-)
Reply Liv Thomas
11:56 AM on January 27, 2014 
Liz Harris says...
An interesting post, Liv. I love stories set in Ireland and am very much looking forward to your next.

Unlike you, I write in complete silence - I couldn't even have the music on low. Wouldn't it be a dull world if we were all the same?

Liz X


Thanks, Liz. I think complete silence would probably be better for me if I could discipline myself. I'm very easily distracted. x
Reply Liv Thomas
11:55 AM on January 27, 2014 
Helena Fairfax says...
I loved hearing how you collaborate, Liv. Read Beneath an Irish Sky and much enjoyed it. Love the premise of your next novel, and am looking forward to reading!


Thank you, Helena. Appreciate your comment, and hope you'll enjoy the next novel too x
Reply Liv Thomas
11:54 AM on January 27, 2014 
Rhoda Baxter says...
Thanks for the tag, Liv. I'll have to figure out what my writing process is. I think it starts with 'look at blank page. Go AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArgh!'


Darn, I wish I'd thought of that one, Rhoda! x
Reply Liv Thomas
11:53 AM on January 27, 2014 
Margaret Kaine says...
I really enjoyed 'Beneath an Irish Sky' and it's interesting to learn of your writing process. Am already looking forward to your next novel!


Thanks for commenting, Margaret. Glad you enjoyed BAIS. x
Reply Margaret Kaine
8:39 AM on January 27, 2014 
I really enjoyed 'Beneath an Irish Sky' and it's interesting to learn of your writing process. Am already looking forward to your next novel!
Reply Rhoda Baxter
6:45 AM on January 27, 2014 
Thanks for the tag, Liv. I'll have to figure out what my writing process is. I think it starts with 'look at blank page. Go AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArgh!'
Reply Helena Fairfax
6:41 AM on January 27, 2014 
I loved hearing how you collaborate, Liv. Read Beneath an Irish Sky and much enjoyed it. Love the premise of your next novel, and am looking forward to reading!
Reply Liz Harris
3:06 AM on January 27, 2014 
An interesting post, Liv. I love stories set in Ireland and am very much looking forward to your next.

Unlike you, I write in complete silence - I couldn't even have the music on low. Wouldn't it be a dull world if we were all the same?

Liz X