Reader Questions: process & projects

Joliene asks: [What] drives your writing and keeps the juices flowing? What are the project ideas you have in the works, now that The Walker Papers is being put to bed???

Occasionally what my publisher is looking for drives my writing ideas–that’s what prompted the Strongbox Chronicles, for example, and it’s behind one of the projects I’m putting together now.

Far more often, though, it’s a random comment or thought that ends up getting terribly out of control. :) I’ve mentioned before that the Walker Papers were born out of my husband looking out the airplane window as we descended into Seattle and saying, “What do you suppose someone would do if they were flying into a city like this and saw someone running for their lives on the street below? What if they were running from the Wild Hunt?”

The rest, as we know, is history. :)

As for what drives the actual writing? The sit down and get it done part? Overwhelming ambition, I suppose. Insane levels of focus. A desire to write over doing almost anything else. The fact that I only get paid if I write, just like anybody else only gets paid if they do their job…

What keeps the juices flowing is at least partly trying new things. That’s part of why I’m doing MAGIC & MANNERS–I really, really enjoy trying new voices and trying to tell stories in different ways. (STONE’S THROE was huge fun for that reason.)

And that (to segue into the last question) is a lot of why I’m not planning any urban fantasy for the immediate future. I’ve written 5 series in the past 10 years. 4 of them have been contemporary and 3 of them have been urban fantasy, or, to put it another way, I’ve published (or am soon to publish) 24 books, 16 of which have been urban fantasy.

That’s a lot of urban fantasy. o.O

So right now my agent is shopping around a YA epic fantasy series, the one I’ve been working on for my nephew. It’s something totally different and it’s been a lot of fun to write. I also have two more proposals in the works, both of which are profoundly different from anything I’ve published. Right now they’re still so fresh I’m disinclined to talk about them much, but if they go to the agent and then out to the editors, I’ll tell people what they are. :)

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