Jess Wells has kindly included me in her blog tour. Her site can be found at http://redroom.com/member/jess-wells. She is an experienced writer of great skill, and I am flattered to have her include me.
Now, to work.
What am I working on? My second book, currently titled “The Lockwoods of Clonakilty” is well under way, though Michael James at Fireship Press is asking me not to kill everyone off, as planned. Oh, bother.
How does my work differ from others in its genre? I am an historian by training, so I am committed to making my story bend around history, not the other way around. I try, too, to confine my stories to reality; while Lt. Lockwood serves with valour, he does not win Waterloo single-handed, nor does Brigid Lockwood storm Dublin Castle with a torn bodice and a Claymore in each hand.
Why do I write what I do? I love a good story, well told. History, even the history of common people, is full of touching , heroic, heinous, humorous stories, and I try to share them.
How does my writing process work? I am no model for the uninitiated. I have no discernable logic to my process, writing as time and inspiration intersect. Instances of having time but no inspiration, or inspiration but no time, are maddening. I can do little to garner time, but for inspiration I read Patrick O’Brian, Sebastian Barry, or Seamus Heaney.
I am hesitant, and perhaps a bit ashamed, to mention that taking a drink helps to loosen my mind. I limit myself to two or three, and while it works for me, I hesitate to recommend it as a practice. There lies madness.
My sole recommendation would be to join a writers’ group; I meet with the Cincinnati Writers’ Project every week, and they are a regular source of advice, editing, and inspiration. They offer friendship as well, which is no small gift. Human interaction is good for the soul, and a writer without soul is not worth reading.