My name is Arlene Hittle, and I like to laugh. I hope my books make other people laugh, too.
The never-ending bundle of energy that is Jamie Raintree recruited me to take part in a blog hop about my writing process. I met Jamie in 2009, when I undertook the NaNoWriMo challenge for the first time. We hit it off, and she’s been reading my stories and encouraging me ever since.
Online sprints with Jamie helped me finish my still-unpublished 2010 NaNo manuscript three days early and 3,000 words over the 50K limit. And in 2011, her cheering pushed me to pull a marathon eight-hour shift at Starbucks before work on Nov. 30 to squeak to a NaNo win. (That MS is also still unpublished.)
Let’s start hopping!
1) What am I working on?
Actually, this post catches me between projects. I just turned in edits on SLIDING INTO HOME, my April 2014 Turquoise Morning Press Release. I haven’t yet begun to write a fourth book in my Love & Baseball series, nor have I decided whether to tackle Mel’s brother’s story. (Mel was the heroine in DIVA IN THE DUGOUT.)
I’ve been trying, without much success, to write the last 10K or so to finish the first draft of TROUBLE IN PARADISE, which I want to release this winter, to follow up BLIND DATE BRIDE, which I’m planning to release myself in June.
Mainly, I’ve been gearing up to promote the two books TMP is releasing this spring: BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER in March and then SLIDING INTO HOME in April.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Excellent question. All funny contemporaries depend on the author’s imagination, sense of humor and voice. The situations I put my heroes and heroines in are different from the circumstances a character in, say, a Kristan Higgins or Tracy Brogan novel would get themselves into. Give all three of us the same waitress heroine and cop hero, and we’d all come up with very different stories.
So I’d say it’s my unique perspective that makes my stories different.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Another good question. In its purest sense, the answer is that I have stories to tell, and I want to share them with the world. Characters pop into my head and won’t leave me alone until I tell their stories.
Inspiration comes from the darnedest places. For BLIND DATE BRIDE, I was driving somewhere and a radio news report sparked my interest. I wrote a one-act play, which I submitted to my then-local theater company in Logansport, Indiana. That play later became the basis for the opening scene in my novel.
Matt, the hero of BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, used his buddy Dave’s story as a justification for something he did that upset Meg. That reason became DIVA IN THE DUGOUT’s storyline. (I wrote BEAUTY first, and when it finaled in the Golden Heart in 2011, I decided I ought to have other stories to go with it. DIVA sold first, and because the action in it happened before Meg & Matt’s story anyway, that worked out fine.)
4) How does my writing process work?
I am a pantster all the way. I don’t outline and usually only have a vague idea of each character’s growth arc from Point A to Point B. I should probably do a bit more advance planning, actually. When I pre-planned my NaNo novel in 2010, I finished three days early with 3,000 extra words. A bit of extra work before I start might make the words flow that much faster.
Then again, maybe not. Since my day job at the Arizona Daily Sun involves copy editing, I do a lot of self-editing as I go along. It used to frustrate me to no end in NaNo word sprints when other folks were throwing down 1,000 words or more and I only had 400. Then again, my 400 tended to need a lot less editing than their 1K, so that’s a plus.
I do most of my writing at Starbucks. I got more done before they started offering free WiFi for everybody.
NaNo taught me I CAN buckle down and write a complete 50K story in 30 days—but I don’t like to keep up that breakneck pace every day. I’m more of a 1K-a-day girl—unless I’m suffering from writer’s block, as I am now. For some reason, Beth and Cody don’t want me to finish their story. Time to sit them down for a heart-to-heart chat so I can figure out where it went wrong and how I can get them back on track.
Jamie Raintree writes Romantic Women’s Fiction about women searching for truth in life and love. She has completed her first novel and is seeking publication. In the meantime, she posts original fiction online, as well as motivational messages for all the other dreamers out there. She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two young daughters. Her website: JamieRaintree.com
Susan Haught calls the mountains of Arizona home and has lived in Payson most of her adult life. With the majestic Mogollon Rim in the background, Susie never tires of the small-town atmosphere. When she isn’t creating quaint towns with captivating characters or wrestling a busy day job, you’ll find her tackling an overgrown garden, engrossed in a movie or curled up with a good book—her dogs and a stash of Australian black licorice close at hand. Find her: SusanHaught.com.
Diana Rose is a Russian native who lives in New York. Her stories transport readers to the fantasy filled worlds where she brings royalty and magical beings to life, with colorful romantic scenes and characters that her imagination creates. She fuels her creativity while reading romantic novels. When Diana is not writing, she enjoys spending her time with her family and friends. Find Diana at The Writer’s DreamWorld.