Great Blog Tour: Four Questions

As a special bonus post this week, I am doing a stop on the Great Blog Tour. A shout-out to wonderful Northwest poet Natasha Moni who tagged me. Check out her website here for more about her. Blog tours are a great way to share the love, like those old-school chain letters but more fun and less ominous.  

What am I working on? 

Right now my agent is submitting a novel called The Sojourn, which is the story of a young woman who goes to France for a year and becomes involved in a love triangle with ultimately dire consequences. Fortunately, I have a busy fall coming up at Girl Friday, which keeps me from sitting around and sweating it out waiting for news. I’m also working on a new novel that centers on a reality television family that is a mix of the Kardashians and the Royal Tenenbaums. I think the quicker you can become immersed in a new project, the easier it is to let the last one go.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m often told that my work falls somewhere between literary and commercial women’s fiction, though whether those two genres are distinct from each other is up for debate. I think one of the things we mean when we call something “literary fiction” is that it’s character-driven, which I certainly think my work is, but I’ve also been told it’s very accessible, which I’m pleased to hear. I love to think that it borrows some elements from other genres, mystery-thrillers in particular.  I love it when someone tells me that they couldn’t put it down, someone telling me that they read the book in one sitting is the ultimate compliment.

Why do I write what I do?     

I certainly draw some inspiration from my own life—people I’ve met, places I’ve been, questions I’ve asked myself—but I don’t know exactly why it becomes what it does on the page. I think that mystery is the thing that keeps me coming back to it. Like many great things in life, writing is a lot of hard work, but a little bit of magic too, and for me the magic is in the fact that I have this parallel universe that co-exists with my real life, which is the place my fiction comes from.

How does my writing process work?

I write every morning (okay most every morning) before I head to work. If I’m really cooking with something or have a deadline coming up, I try and squeeze in more time but that hour is crucial. It’s really more like going to the gym than anything; the routine keeps you making steady progress. I’m not exactly a morning person, but there’s a huge power in putting my writing time first, before I give anything else the chance to distract me. I’ve learned that if I put it off, I won’t do it.

I’m passing the baton on to two fabulous clients of mine (shameless plug!) who both have new novels out, check out their websites and keep an eye out for their posts on Wednesday, September 3rd.

Evette Davis is the author of Woman King, the first installment of a thrilling paranormal trilogy. When she’s not writing novels, Davis runs campaigns and dispenses advice to some of the country’s largest corporations, non-profits, and institutions as a political consultant and co-owner of a San Francisco-based public affairs firm. Davis also serves on the board of the Litquake Foundation, the founders of San Francisco’s iconic literary festival. Prior to establishing her firm, Davis worked in Washington as a press secretary for a member of Congress, and as a reporter for daily newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughter, and dog. You can find Evette at www.evettedavis.com or @SFEvette.

Dorothy Van Soest is a writer, social worker, political and community activist, as well as a retired professor and university dean who holds an undergraduate degree in English literature and a master’s and PhD in social work. She is currently professor emeritus at the University of Washington, with a research-based publication record of nine books and over fifty journal articles, essays, and book chapters that tackle complex and controversial issues related to violence, oppression, and injustice. Her novel, Just Mercy, was informed by her widely acclaimed investigation of the lives of thirty-seven men who were executed by Texas in 1997 and her knowledge of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Restorative Dialogue program. Dorothy lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is currently working on her next novel, a mystery that grew out of her experiences with the child welfare system. Her website is http://dorothyvansoest.com/