I LOVE New Year! A crisp fresh blank sheet of paper for us all to write upon … happy times!
Instead of an interview today, I describe my own creative process.
Plus I look forward to what’s coming in 2016 for the publishing industry (see Jane Friedman’s industry issues to watch out for here) but also for my own 2016 creative goals.
I also mention some useful things: Check out Goodriter’s 99c sale – 15 books for writers plus a great course. If you’re launching a book in 2016, check out Tim Grahl’s free Book Launch Blueprint.
Plus, I’m doing a webinar on 7 steps to successful self-publishing in 2016 on Mon 11 Jan at 4pm US Eastern, 9pm UK – click here to sign up.
The corporate sponsorship for this show pays for hosting and transcription. This podcast episode is sponsored by 99 Designs, where you can get all kinds of designs for your author business including book covers, merchandising, branding and business cards, illustrations and artwork and much more. You can get a Powerpack upgrade which gives your project more chance of getting noticed by going to: 99Designs.com/joanna
Today I talk about my own creative writing process. If you don’t know about my fiction, here’s my bio
J.F.Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author. She writes the ARKANE action-adventure series described as ‘Dan Brown meets Lara Croft,’ as well as the London Psychic crime thrillers, for fans of Jessica Jones. Her books have sold over 400,000 copies in 72 countries and 5 languages.
- How I get many of my initial ideas from traveling. How Destroyer of Worlds was sparked by a statue of Shiva Nataraja in Delhi, and One Day in Budapest by a visit to the city and the mass grave there as well as the far right political situation.
- How I use research to delve further into places and cultural history and then synchronicity happens, in that I find ‘coincidences’ in the real world that lead into story. The importance of following your curiosity. How Stone of Fire was influenced by the burning ghats in Varanasi and Carl Jung’s Red Book.
Taking notes from multiple sources – books, videos, DVDs and how that leads into piles of notes that I follow down research rabbit holes.
- How some ideas bleed into several books in various incarnations. For example, the Maori aspects of Deviance sparked some of Risen Gods, and tattoos are an important part of Deviance as well as other books. How I love big themes – good vs evil, faith vs unbelief – plus the supernatural world, these keep recurring in every book
- How I plot. I know the first few scenes and main characters. I know the ending and some of the key settings for the book, some of the big scenes. Then I use The Story Grid to do a one page ‘Foolscap’ overview of the plot. (See this interview with Shawn Coyne for more detail.) Then I usually write 20,000 words before replotting, so I am a hybrid plotter/pantser.
- As I research, I start a book page on Pinterest. You can find all my boards per book at Pinterest.com/JFPenn. It’s really helpful for book cover design ideas as well as a visual experience of the book, plus marketing along the way.
- Trust emergence as you write.
- How I knew I wanted to be a writer. If you want to decide what to do with your life, consider what you want your life to look like, and what would your days look like. I wanted to spend my time learning, traveling and creating new things in the world, as well as helping people.
You can find my fiction site at www.JFPenn.com and my books in ebook, print and audiobook format on most online stores.