Monthly Archives: July 2014


I really want to thank Jeri Baird for thinking of me when she was presented with the Writing Process blog tour. Jeri is an amazing writer, friend and critique partner. Her stories are filled with wonder and you can check out her blog at: or follow her on twitter at: @Jeribaird11.

The idea behind the blog tour is that we writers share things informally during workshops and at conferences, but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions

1) What am I working on?

This can be a loaded question for a writer, but I promised myself I wouldn’t go off on any tangents. I’m working on two middle grade stories right now. They’ve both been labeled as Fantasy or Magical Realism. Personally, I prefer the latter. What child doesn’t love reading about someone who finds magic hidden in the weirdest places in their life or world.

Return To Spender

When his grandfather dies, eleven-year-old WILLIAM JEFFREY discover he shares two things with his ancestors: a leap year birthday that comes once every four years and a twenty-dollar bill that returns every time he spends it.

Not only can he buy endless candy bars, the magic money also let William talk to his dead relatives. While they don’t always answer William’s questions, his ancestors explain the impact the magic money had on their lives and the need for boundaries. The most important rule for this fairy enchanted money? You must never reveal anything to anyone ever. When William decides to make BRIAN FLAHERTY, the new boy in town, his new best friend instead of EMMA WHITMORE, now his former best friend, William breaks this rule. He must choose to embrace the limitations of the magic money so he can pass the gift on to the next generation. But if he doesn’t, William could lose the bill, sever the connection to his ancestors, and destroy the family’s inheritance forever.

Tanya and Em (the working title)

When TANYA BARTEK’S imaginary friend, EM, returns on her eleventh birthday, Tanya must deal with this figment of her imagination who insists she needs to be found. In the process of figuring out how to search for someone she made up, Tanya uncovers a family secret. One that is deep, dark and disturbing.

With the help of her best friend, STEPHEN, Tanya must dig into a past her parents tried to hide and discover the truth about the twin sister who died, or continue to live with Em, the spirit of her sister.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Boy this is a hard question. My goal as a writer is to create stories where the reader sees a main character who is smart, strong and too nice who must deal with everyday obstacles that are complicated by magical forces and family secrets.

3) Why do I write what I do?

To escape the mundane, sometimes awful world I grew up in, I dove into books. The fantasy worlds I ventured through gave me hope that I too could find happiness. These books made my sucky life bearable. I’d love to provide this opportunity to other children who need to escape the hand of life they’ve been dealt. For me, giving our readers a chance to smile, to gasp, to laugh and sometimes to yell at our characters for doing something dumb is what writing any story is all about. And if we, as writers, do our job, the readers will believe they are experiencing our story along side our character, or better yet, as one of our characters.

4) How does my writing process work?

When I first started writing, my first draft came out willy-nilly. It was from everyone’s POV so I get to know each of them. I then fleshed out my main character in my second draft in only their POV. I’d also sort out the scenes to see how well I’d plotted by storylines. But now that I have a better understanding of the process, I’m finding that I no longer need to write my stories in multiple viewpoints.

While I’ve always known how my stories begin and end, I found myself wondering all over the place to get from point A to point Z. Now, to shorten my journey, I also decide on the first and second turning-point, as well as the mid-point. I do not marry myself to any of these plot points, because while I’m writing, sometimes my characters take over my story and I go where I least expected to.

I’m happy to announce that I’ve found this is a common occurrence amongst writers, so I no longer believe I have multiple personalities. I just have lots of voices in the head that talk to me all the time. Don’t worry, this is also something that is common. And if it’s not, I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

Now I get to introduce the writer that agreed to continue this game of blog tag.

I met Valerie Biel at several events held in Wisconsin this past year. Her novel Circle of Nine – Beltany is due out this summer, and I’m very excited to read about Brigit’s unexpected journey into her families history and all that comes with it. Valerie is a Wisconsin native who incorporates her love of writing, gardening and travel into her stories.

Her post will go up on August 8th at:

and you can connect with Valerie on twitter with: