I had to decline officially entering the blog tour, but it occurred to me a few days ago that there was nothing stopping me from casually answering the general questions asked of the writers. (And the irony in this is that, while I am often very sleepy in the morning, this morning I got up in time to take a very long nap, and now I am due for my second cup of tea.)
What are you working on at present?
Talldogs. I am slowly chipping into the plot of Talldogs. It is slow going simply because I am abnormally weary, and focusing is difficult. But I have finally - finally! - got to the part in the narrative in which the character realizes what is going on (at least partly), and we who were in darkness have seen a great light... As of this moment, the manuscript is 80,050 words long.
Plenilune. I'm sure you are all full of anxious beans waiting to hear about this development. Among a few unfinished businesses, I have had a cover made (and purchased it - you'll die when you see it, believe me), and I have been drumming up some advance readers. I have other irons in the fire as regards this novel's development, but they are not so hot yet that I can lay them on the anvil and hammer them, so I won't tell you about that yet.
Thunderstruck. I don't usually tell people what I am reading because I really like to play my cards close to the chest, and whenever I am reading for resource, I tend not to give my resources away: like the wells of the Middle East, ownership of these resources is a means of power... But this particular book, by Erik Larson, has begun to grip me, and I'm not really reading it with an eye toward research. Murder and Marconi and the Turn of the Century. Science was still almost alchemical in those days, and the proposition - the discovery - that you might not have to use a wire to conduct energy was literally electrifying. I remember an edgy, creepy-crawly feeling in my skin when I first learned about the invisible electromagnetic fields that surround objects. That fascination has not diminished.
How does your work differ from others in its genre?
In terms of "planetary fantasy," I have some spectacular lights as companions. But my writing is me. I'm writing from a desk in the twenty-first century, not the nineteenth or the twentieth, and while my stories fall more on the medieval side than, say, the science-fiction side (such as the Space Trilogy), I can't possibly escape the fact that I am a product of my era. And also, while my stories are planetary fantasy, I am remarkably down-to-earth about it. Talldogs, for example, was warmly summed up as a kind of ulcer-inducing British family drama. You cannot get much more prosaic than that...
Why do you write what you write?
Well, I started writing at first just because I enjoyed doing it. I still write because I enjoy doing it, but now I write, also, because I'm good at it, and I can get better at it, and because I write stories and characters and worlds that both I and others love to be involved with. You know the old view of humours in the body? True beans. I would get nasty septic humours if I didn't vent my literary spleen.
How does your writing process work?and also because i can't physically control the elements and i would be an unholy terror if i could, so i have to do something
This is assuming I have a process. Generally I have a main idea - say, Talldogs - with vague shapes in the plot's future to which I'll tend as I write. (The nice thing about Talldogs is that it already has some boundaries set by Plenilune and Ethandune before it.) I'll start at the beginning, because I don't have so much trouble writing beginnings (although they tend to need polishing) as I know happens to some writers, and then I just keep going. I'll get other ideas for scenes along the way, and I'll often scrawl them down so I don't forget them, but in general I write the story chronologically.
You all have seen snippets on here from stories other than Talldogs. If I get a scene for another of my novels which I am not currently working on, I will write it down - because if I do not write it down, I will lose it.
and that is pretty much my writing process