What is your writing process?
I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer who usually starts with a character with a problem. Sometimes it’s acute, like a demon physical attack. Sometimes it’s ongoing, like Mariah’s pissing contest with Linden, my Far Isles Half-Elven. Then I think of who or what is causing the problems. Somewhere in the process I come up with a rough outline.
My actual writing is done at the computer, which is way more fun than working with typed pages, like in the old typewriter days. Yeah, I’m so old I can remember revising my manuscripts with tape and staples keeping my changes in order. But, I also am a massive collector of Post-It notes. I have pads scattered all over the house and in the car. When I have an idea, I jot it down to transfer it to my manuscripts, background info, and/or outline.
The background info creates a “bible” for each story or world so I can keep track of my characters and the place names and background information. Again, the computer comes in handy by creating shortcuts. I put a shortcut with each new story draft, and the changes/additions magically appear in the bible.
Oh, I basically write in the mornings after I check my two main emails and read my comics—Crankshaft, Funky Winkerbean, and For Better or Worse. Oh, I must confess I check my stats on Amazon and Smashwords for the previous day.
2. What do you read for pleasure?
Mainly fantasy, but then, I consider most mysteries fantasy. I read a lot of mysteries as well as paranormal suspence. I used to read a lot of historical novels but have stopped. Too many recent writers don’t adequately research their time periods. The anachronisms drive me crazy because I’m something of an English history buff.
“Joy”? Gotta think about that.
I’ve never considered writing anything to reach the joy end of the continuum. Writing does make me happy. Or, maybe a better way of putting it, writing amuses me. It’s the process of creating something where nothing was before.
Basically, I’m a grumpy iconoclast whose favorite word was “no” even before I could talk. Unfortunately, my mother is no longer around to complain about how stubborn I am.
I was raised in Northern California within easy driving distance of the Sierra foothills, the California Gold Country featured in my Andor stories. I grew up back when the American Dream was alive and well, enabling poor kids to get college educations without any debt.
Yeah. That makes me a Populist who believes all lives matter. Now I live in Colorado in a town that’s first to use the water before it sends it down river [after it’s cleaned up]. My politics shows up in my writing in my unusual characters who fight against powers-that-be of some kind or other. Mariah of my Far Isles Half-Elven is the exception, and she works outside “the system”.
I’m easily distracted, not only by the web and solitaire, but by all the different ideas and people running around in my head. At the same time, I’m getting fairly good at concentrating on one story at a time until I get an ending on it. Of course, once the ending’s on, it’s a struggle to revise rather than start something new.
Over the last couple years, I’ve noticed I’m producing more usable words each writing session.
No. I just sit at the computer and pound keys. Though I get ideas and sentences all over the place and at different times of day. That’s where Post-It notes come in so handy. I scatter them around the house and car with an available pen. I jot my thoughts down and stick them in my pocket. The crinkling alerts me I need to clean my pockets out. If that’s strange, I guess I lied when I said “no”.
Marketing presents an interesting dilemma for me. I write mostly to amuse myself [though I am willing to share my stories]. Marketing doesn’t amuse me. Yet, I spend enormous amounts of time marketing. I see a collision of druthers coming.
I halfway make my side of the bed to be sure that the blankets and sheet are aligned.
I’m too much of a gimp to travel much anymore. Though I’d probably go back to California to visit family. I have kids in New York City but don’t have any inclination to visit there. The place is too difficult for a gimp to get around comfortably. Colorado has spoiled me.
Since demons prey upon humans in my Andor world, guess it’d have to be demons … but my own particular ones. I’m really not into blood and gore…or stupidity.
I’m too old to be bothered much. The same goes for when the government collapses. In both cases, I’m not holding my breath. I’ll probably be dead of natural causes before either happens.
Seeing ghosts has plagued Dumdie Swartz since early childhood.
Afraid that ghost guts might stick to her if she stepped through them, thirteen-year-old Dumdie Swartz still cringes when she encounters them.
Her strange attempts to avoid spirits create a lonely life.
Her sisters constantly mock her strange behavior, her parents are clueless, and her social life is zero. Dumdie finds solace working in a shared garden with her elderly neighbor, Mr. Carson. When teens from her high school steal pumpkins from his garden, Mr. Carson is hurt during the theft, and later, dies.
Dumdie’s life takes a dark turn.
She learns there are stranger things than ghosts, when she senses something evil living in Kyle, one of the boys who had raided the pumpkin patch. Kyle bullies Dumdie to scare her into silence. The more Kyle threatens her, the clearer she perceives the evil thing possessing him. Dumdie finds support in an unlikely group of girls who befriend her when she helps them with their costumes for the Pumpkin festival. During the festival, Dumdie’s fears explode when the thing possessing Kyle decides it wants to possess her.
A prequel to The Ghost in the Closet. Read about Dumdie, young and old.
Over the years, Dumdie Swartz has developed many weird habits to hide the fact she sees ghosts. When her boss fired her because he thought her trances were mini-strokes, Dumdie becomes homeless, just another old lady living in her car.
Being homeless isn’t Dumdie’s biggest problem. When she finds a room at a private shelter, Dumdie discovers the ghost of the previous owner haunts her room, a ghost with a problem of her own. Her will is lost, and the shelter’s existence is threatened. Dumdie must conquer her fear of upsetting people if she’s to find the will and save the shelter for herself and the other ladies.
A novelette set in the world of Andor.Also available from M.K. Theodoratus:You can follow M.K. here, on her website and the following social links:Also of note, M.K. offers guest blogs with promo for a book, subject: My Worst Writing Fear in 7-500 words.Thank you so much to M.K for indulging me and participating. Best of luck to you in all future endeavors!