I was tagged by Megan Michaels, a fellow author and friend in the domestic discipline fiction genre who also writes age-play, to blog about my writing process and other bits about my work. Thank you Megan for the nomination :)
1. What am I currently working on?
I've just finished book IV in the Waldorf Manor series, 'The Glass House'' but will be receiving edits within the next couple of weeks and am in communication with my graphic designer (whom I've actually met!) as we develop the cover. I'm beginning work on book V which is the conclusion to the Waldorf Manor series. I've also got eight other books in progress which can be seen on my 'workload' page. Aside from that, I'm also planning one baby shower, the Blushing Books Writer's Weekend, my 5th wedding anniversary and redoing our guest room.
2. How does my work differ from others in it's genre
I've only been writing fultime since September 2013 and the only books I've written so far are in the Waldorf Manor series with a continuing cast of characters and an eventual conclusion to their situations - so for the moment my genre is considered light age-play and domestic discipline. Plus romance in the 2nd-5th books. I'm a domestic discipline (smack on the bum) writer, that's for sure. 18+, no-sex, very little if any swearing, no-nonsense men in suits or similar putting their adorably dressed wives/girlfriends/fiances back in line with open-handed encouragement. Yup, that's me :)
For the most part, my work differs mainly because it excludes sex or pre-marriage sexual encounters. It's sensual, don't get me wrong. But I don't write about sex or describe body parts or how they react or weep or excrete in reaction to said sensualism. Depending on what makes a person tick, it could be considered erotic. To another person, it isn't at all but it's a great escape fantasy story with a bit of smacky bottoms.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Well, in order to answer that question I should probably give more than just a straight answer. A large part of my audience and fans of the Waldorf Manor series know a lot about me because I'm raw and genuine about how I feel on certain matters - just read my blog. I've candidly shared before how I came to write my first book, 'The Solicitation', which I wrote in six weeks after moving from England to America in April 2013. That was my first book and first time being published although I started writing a novel when I was 13 years old called 'Sam's Silence'. My friend Kate and I were partners in writing and the story took place at an English boarding school. As we grew older, more wise about life in general, geography, culture and life changed - so did the book. The only constant was the story had corporal punishment as a very overriding theme. I had absolutely no idea that I was essentially writing 'spanking fiction'. Again, there was no sex in our novel, it was straight up well-deserved pupils getting punished for indiscretions (cheating on exams, lying, back chat etc) and I can say that Kate was an awfully good sport because I was the one who couldn't write too many scenes without it! I don't know why, it was how I wrote. Fast forward to now. I'm 27 years old and the book isn't finished. I tried to sit down and bring it full circle but then I got married and started a new career and then we moved to the USA. The story never flowed and it wasn't very natural to me until now. When we relocated last year I had this idea about a girl who leaves her broken home in response to an online-advertisement from a man ten years her senior (a perfect gentleman, might I add) who had an estate to envy, and he makes her part of his life. He takes her in and adopts her, teaches her how to live a privileged life without letting money get to her head and thus, 'The Solicitation" was born. The response via sales and reviews was overwhelming and I realised that this story, written in six weeks (compared to the never-ending novel of going on 13 years) was what I needed to write. And here I am working on the fifth book. So why do I write what I do? Because it's what came out of me. And as I always tell people; Do. Not. Force. Your. Writing. [But by all means, be dedicated and disciplined about keeping a schedule or making goals about your work]
4. How does my writing process work?
LOL. Oh my. How I sometimes WISH I had a process. I don't. In fact, I suppose you could call my complete lack of planning - my process. I never ever ever outline a story, I never think about who my characters are going to be. They usually show up as I type the story. I don't plan much in advance. I've also blogged about this before . . . it all starts with an idea, a trigger, a line, or inspiration. I take that and start typing. Whatever comes out, I just run with it and edit as I go. I introduce characters in the beginning, middle and end of my work when I think, 'hmm, I need to break up this scene or the overwhelming feel of this chapter.' I keep regular business hours writing from generally 9-5 or 10-6 pm. I always start the day with coffee, emails and social media. Then I either sit at my desk or move to the sitting room or my local coffee shop. I set up my area with phone, notebook, drink and pick up where I left off. I'm a little eccentric about that part - I have to have things a certain way before I start working. Things have to be neat and tidy, I need to be comfortable, fully dressed with makeup - that's just how I am. There is more preparation and processing in my 'pre-writing' than the actual writing!!
If I wake up in the morning and I don't ''feel'' like writing then I know I'm burnt out and in six months of writing fultime at home I've experienced that three times each lasting from two days to one week. During that time I have no desire to write, so I don't. I clean, visit friends, bake, rearrange our house or catchup on my correspondence. When I'm ready to write again then I carry on with my schedule.
Sometimes in the middle of writing one needs to stop and research a topic or find out more information before continuing and that can be very distracting! And there is hilarious commentary on Facebook from writers who know that for a fact.
My characters usually hijack the story anyway so it's a good thing I don't outline or plan much as I would inevitably deviate .
For next week I nominate Dinah McLeod and Heather Cole.
book IV in the Waldorf Manor series
Just in case you missed my announcement a few days ago, book IV in the Waldorf Manor series will not be the final book. I will be writing a fifth book to finish the series. Oh bloody hell, that is, unless I feel the need to write a sixth. For now let's just stick to the plan of saying book V is the end of the series :) I will keep you posted.
so when is it coming out?!
Patience, darling. There is a process. Blushing Books is not just for show, they're a professional publisher of eBooks my love so let's not get ourselves worked up shall we. After finishing one usually sends their MS (manuscript) to a beta reader - this is a new step for me as I never used to. Then edits are made. Then we submit via online form and fill in a load of stuff no author wants to fill in when they're jumping up and down excited that they've finished. Then they wait for the 'acceptance' or 'rejection' email. Then a contract. Then an editor gets assigned and they work through it. Edits are made and the writer gets a final lookthrough and final edits. Cover art is done somewhere in there. Then the book is assigned for publication. Then you download and read my book.
I finished it on Friday 11 April at 2:48 pm and what a happy girl I was. It meant I could have a weekend and since my husband and I were to build and plant three raised gardens with veg and herbs it meant I could watch and he could do the work whilst I stood around and looked cute. He prefers I do that anyway. He told me. For real. So about the book. The title does not reflect the entire meaning of the book but it fits with the opening and closing point of the story. And I'd like to remind readers in advance that you should not come into any of my books with your own expectations. I create the world and you step into it. A few reviews on 'The Courting' commented that , 'I had expected this' and 'I had expected _____''. Well, the thing is, please don't. I don't want you to try and imagine what will happen. I don't want my stories to be predictable. Just come in and relax. Leave aside your hopes for the story and let me tell it. You come out much more relaxed when you're finished if you let me do my job :) Besides, this series is not a five-step process; 'The Solicitation', 'The Shortlist', 'The Courting', what do you think will happen next? A wedding? Or is it a funeral? Perhaps none of the above. Maybe both. Just remember that this series will come to an end at some point and all the lives of these characters need to somehow get there. That means they need to move in a direction where I would be happy to leave their stories finish or end well by the last book. So with that in mind one can expect the unexpected because we don't know what the next chapter in life is, do we?
Yes, I know. I can hear the mumbling and I see several raised eyebrows . . . 'miss Bryce, why haven't you updated your blog in over a week?" And then there's a click of the tongue. Yes yes yes. Let me explain before you start dreaming up scenarios of swift justice. Although you're well aware that my husband is the only one allowed to deal with such things - yes - quite! You can wipe the smirk off your face now :P
i've been writing of course . . . and I have an announcement
So you recall that post on about how I was DEFINITELY, NO WAY EVER going to write a fifth book in the Waldorf Manor series? Lies. Okay, not lies. I really meant it when I said I wasn't. But I got to the end of that blog post and thought, "why the bloody hell not?!" (there's the announcement) I also received countless comments and private messages in support of writing another book in the series. And as touching as it was, it didn't fully convince me because at the end of the day I can't do what everyone else wants me to do. I need to do what is right for the series and it just so happened that writing a fifth book made sense. Not even that, it's imperative. There are alot of loops to close on a four book series and I wasn't prepared to squish it all into this last one, so I started to think about how I can draw things out appropriately so I can bring proper closure to them in book V. But, alas, it may come to book V and who knows? I don't want to go around telling more lies so I'll stop there :/ My husband reads this blog and he doesn't take kindly to lying so let's just say, 'I don't know which book will be next'. Yes? Good.
on another note
It is now the one-year anniversary of moving to America. My husband and I came here because of his job and I spent the weeks after wondering what I was going to do with myself. I sometimes still do. I left my career in England. I had a job I loved, friends I miss enough that I often can't get through a Facetime chat with shedding a few subtle tears but my stiff upper lip often makes me keep it to a minimum. I suppose you could say I wrote my first book out of sheer grief of sitting in our new home in the ambiguous place we live here in the States as my husband (drove in a new vehicle, 30 minutes to a new job he had to teach himself, scaring the bloody hell out of me driving on the 'other' side of the road) was away from the third day we arrived. We were supposed to have two weeks to ourselves to settle, to buy furniture, to get to know the area, to relax after moving our entire lives with little notice (no we are not military) . . . but my husband is a good man. He's dedicated and he's loyal and he was only 27 and went right to work. I forgave him quickly. I admire his work ethic more than I wanted to be 'annoyed' at him. He can't sit still and besides, I had a rare opportunity to set up home. What girl doesn't want that in her mid-twenties?? It was my second time doing so, as well. The first was when we were married nearly 5 years ago. I'd just sold and donated all our favourite things and some of our best furniture because 'things' aren't important to us. Wherever my husband and I go, that is home. So I was happy to see him off on this 30-mile commute, phoning him every five minutes to ensure he was still alive. He'd never driven in America! Of course I might have been a bit of a distraction as well :/ And before I knew it we had a furnished home. It only took me about 3 weeks until every room looked according to my standards :) If it looks like it belongs in a magazine then I am happy.
But then what?
I had already started applying my resume to various places and scored some top-level interviews. My heart wasn't in it. I ignored my heart because frankly, emotions are not solid. They offer zero security. If I went with how I ''feel'' alot of the times, I would no longer be married, we wouldn't be in America because I didn't really want to come here as much as I pretended I did, the American neighbour who insulted my heritage and accent would have found herself pushed off the roof-top garden (we've since left that building) and I'm sure I would have no friends. See? Feelings or not, I know when to bite my tongue (for the most part) and when to ignore what 'feels' good and natural in the moment. Like applying for jobs. I carried on looking because whether I liked it or not I needed to get out of the comfortable AC-blasted environment we were living in and meet people, put my skills to good use and take advantage of the fact that it's still just the two of us. I have a very particular plan in mind for what our savings account should look like before we have children and with this new promotion and more freedom on my end, I have the chance to be picky. My husband told me I didn't have to work. Well, unfortunately, that didn't cut it for me because I was bored. I love being at home but I wanted to get out of the house.
But the doors weren't opening. I would get to 2 of a 3-level interview and then suddenly it wouldn't work out even AFTER I was told I was ''a top candidate'' or ''THE top candidate''. That's okay. So in between the applications and interviews I started writing. In about six weeks I wrote "The Solicitation", which is not what apparently some people think it's about. No it is not about a man soliciting sex - a solicitation can also mean a petition or request. The story is about a girl whose broken childhood causes her to answer an online response (ie 'solicitation') for a disciplinary live-in situation. It turns out that she needs more than that, which is the unconditional, structured love of a father. Brayden becomes that person to her and for his own reasons he knows it's the right thing to do. There in the first book began the kind of relationship all of us girls who never experienced such a thing only dream about. You know what I mean if you're one of the many, many unfortunate cases of fatherless daughters. And I don't even mean that you never met your father because an absent father isn't always physically absent. He can be absent and still show up at your dinner table. I was in tears when I received the email from Blushing Books saying ''your book, 'The Solicitation' has been accepted for publication' that day in June 2013. So did I find what I wanted to do? Not that day. I didn't realise that I wanted to stay home and write. It wasn't until I realised I needed to get on Facebook, Twitter, start a blog and begin marketing that I figured out how much time writing would take because 75% of it isn't just writing! And so, book II, 'The Shortlist" began.
Now here I am writing book IV and planning for book V. It's been quite a year. If someone would have told that one year since relocating overseas I would have written and had three books published with two more in the same series planned and an additional eight standalone titles in the pipeline and a website, I would have LAUGHED IN THEIR FACE. And then said, 'huh?!' I just wouldn't have believed it. And I'm not saying like the Great Oz that I'm all wonderful. Because I'm not. I'm really, really not. I'm just me.
But do I know now that I want to stay home and continue writing domestic discipline fiction?
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