Without further ado, here are the questions:
What are you working on?
VOODOO QUEEN, a novel of Marie Laveau. She was the greatest voodoo priestess who ever lived and ruled New Orleans through her power and reputation for most of the 19th century. Although she is shrouded in legend and mystery, more research has been done about her than most people realize. I plan on writing a thorough and accurate account of her life (with a generous serving of magic, of course), which has never been done before.
How does your work differ from others in its genre?
I have an intense interest in world religions and spirituality. My favorite books include Pope Joan, Mother of the Believers, and Peony in Love, for instance. I like to tell stories not how I think they happened, but how believers say they happened. There's no doubt or skepticism in my books. This makes them both magical and meaningful.
Why do you write what you do?
My work has to have a deeper meaning for me. I write what I find interesting, and therefore most of my books run on a theme (mysticism and spirituality). I believe most authors follow a pattern whether they try to or not.
I do have another pen name - Catherine Swift - and she writes romances with a twist. I don't know why I write that stuff. Her books are less serious because they're less meaningful, so they might not go anywhere.
How does your writing process work?
I wish I could give you a straight answer! It completely depends on the book. I once wrote a coherent rough draft in 18 days, and it's my best work. VOODOO QUEEN, on the other hand, has caused me a lot of grief and I was stuck on it for almost a year. I don't see myself finishing it any time soon.
There's only one thing all my books have in common: OUTLINES. The better my outline, the better the book. I write dozens of pages of notes on plot, themes, and characters before I even sit down to write.
I like to get as much research done before I even start my book. Once my rough draft is over, I do most of my research over again because it isn't until that point that I fully understand how much research the book needs. I try not to do any research while working on the first draft, however, because it's easy to drown myself in it and not get any writing done.
And now to tag the brilliant author who agreed to participate in this blog hop:
Kris Waldherr is an author, illustrator, and designer whose art has been exhibited in the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She is the acclaimed author of DOOMED QUEENS, THE LOVER’S PATH, and THE BOOK OF GODDESSES, and best-selling creator of The Goddess Tarot. Her upcoming publications include her debut novel THE LILY MAID. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, anthropologist Thomas Ross Miller, and their young daughter.