Writing Process Blog Hop

If you’re curious about what goes on in the mind of a writer, and how they get those thoughts down on paper, you’ve come to the right Blog Hop. Writing processes are as varied and interesting as the authors themselves.

The blog hop is much like a relay race, and Diana Stevan has just passed me the baton. (Ooh, maybe not such a good analogy – now I have visions of tripping, or … horrors … dropping it.) At the end of this post, I’ll introduce Mike Grant and George Henry, two fabulous authors who’ve agreed to carry the baton onward.

I met Diana and her writing critique group over lunch in Campbell River, British Columbia, a year ago. What a treat to meet this lively group of writers who so generously shared their collective experiences of writing and publishing in Canada. And the generosity continues today. Thank you, Diana, for inviting me to the Writing Process Blog Hop. You can read about Diana’s writing process here.

Diana’s support and enthusiasm have been infectious. As a writer, she has a wealth of experience to draw on. She’s been a clinical social worker, a freelance writer/broadcaster, an actress and an online TV host. Diana has written three screen plays and is now on the verge of publishing her debut novel, A Cry From The Deep. It comes out in October 2014 and I can’t wait to read it.

And without further ado…

What am I working on?

I’m working on an as-yet untitled book featuring some of the characters introduced in The Gift Trilogy. It’s another contemporary thriller with a twist of fantasy. This one is set on and around Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work falls into both the thriller and the fantasy genres. Most people know what a thriller is, but the fantasy label means different things to different people.

I think it’s because the fantasy genre casts a wide net. It includes the high fantasy of JRR Tolkien’s the Lord of the Rings, the urban fantasy of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse Series and the low fantasy of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The genre can include trolls, fairies, werewolves and wizards or none of them. In fact, any genre can become fantasy with a dash of magic.

And it’s my particular dash of magic that makes my work different. There are no vampires, witches or dragons, just people like you and me. My characters could be your colleagues or neighbours. They teach your children and take your order at the lunch counter. You’ll never know they’re different, because even if you catch them in action, you won’t believe your eyes.

Why do I write what I do?

Because I love the genre. I read a wide variety of work, from the classics to humour and everything in between, but it’s the fantasy genre that grabs and holds my attention. I take refuge in the idea that phenomena exist in this world that science hasn’t figured out yet. I like the mystery and the thrill of not knowing. It keeps the possibility alive, like holding on to unchecked lottery tickets.

How does my writing process work?

Most days, I simply sit down and write. Mornings are best and coffee is a must. I have a comfy chair, a laptop computer and a beautiful view. I use MS Word and keep three documents open when I’m writing: the manuscript, a detailed description of characters and places, and a timeline of events. I don’t have an agent and I indie publish, so my deadlines are my own.

With my first book, I started with one scene then built the story around it. Now I do a lot more planning when I write. I have a general outline of the story and my goal each day is to write a scene. I don’t worry about word counts or days that I spend researching and planning instead of writing. It’s all part of the process and some of those planning days are gold mines in terms of plot twists and sequencing. I carry a notebook around everywhere I go and jot down ideas, descriptions, phrases and any other interesting tidbits that come my way. The other day I wrote, “Where dreams take flight.” I think I’ll use that as a tag line.

And now I’d like to introduce you to Mike Grant and George Henry . They will be answering the Writing Process Blog Hop questions on their respective blogs on July 21, 2014. Please do check them out.


White_Wolf_Moon_by_Mike_GrantI met Mike Grant in 2012 when we were both in the process of learning the indie partner-publisher ropes. I’ve followed his career and his blog with interest ever since. The video trailer for his debut novel, White Wolf Moon, remains one of my favourites. You can find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mikegrantwwm

Here’s a little more about Mike in his own words:

I was born at Fort George, Scotland, in 1947, moving to Canada with my family in 1955. As an army brat I spent a decade in various locations across the country finally settling in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1964. With careers in radio broadcasting, advertising, and photography under my belt I moved to Kamloops, British Columbia, in 1994.

I’m an organized hoarder with a roomful of toys/collectibles, music/movies, and books…lots of books. I watch, read, and listen to most genres, depending on my mood.

I’m married with three children, six grandchildren, two cats, and a rabbit.

Visit Mike’s blog at http://grafixpblog.wordpress.com/


Love_&_Death_in_Trieste_by_George_HenryAnother author you’re sure to want to connect with is George Henry. George was one of the first authors I met on Twitter and his witty sense of humour brightens my day. For a self-professed Luddite, he does pretty well in the Twitterverse (Follow him ) and on his blog. He also has not one, but two video trailers for his debut novel, Love and Death in Trieste. This is the first, and this is the second.

George is a well-travelled educator who loves the thrill of visiting foreign countries (about forty so far) and experiencing their cultures. Besides history, cuisine and architecture, he is particularly fascinated by language and religion. (Nowhere will he not try to speak the language with the locals, whether they like it or not.) These are facets of human civilisation he likes to bring to his fast-paced thrillers, with a dash of the romance that is at the core of our existence thrown in.

George was born in England and after university moved to Los Angeles, California, USA, and to Toronto, Canada. He ended up living and working for almost thirty years as a college instructor in the biological sciences on Vancouver Island, British Columbia before he was put out to pasture—and had the freedom to travel.

He is currently completing a second thriller-romance novel, tentatively titled Recycled Love, based upon a trip with his wife and fellow author, Serena Janes, across the fabulous mayhem of India to the calm of the sherpas in Nepal. Love and Death in Trieste is his first novel and was written after an exciting trip through Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and Bosnia.

Visit the author at http://georgehenryauthor.com/


About JP McLean

Author of The Gift Legacy, a contemporary thriller with a twist of fantasy that will leave you believing the impossible and wary of the night sky…
This entry was posted in Interviews, On Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Writing Process Blog Hop

  1. Karen Dodd says:

    Lovely to meet a fellow local author, J.P.! I very much enjoyed reading about your writing process. I’m another gal who tends to let things unfold fairly organically, not getting caught up on word count and the like. Having said that, I am feeling very guilty about not progressing as well as I’d like on my sequel. Am attempting to remedy that by going back to southern Italy in Sept. to complete my research and get back on track writing:)

    Thank you for a great post!


    • JP McLean says:

      And nice to meet you, too. Funny how a handful of us are meeting in the most unexpected of places. Good luck with your sequel. If only mine were set in Italy!


  2. Diana Stevan says:

    So nice to read about your process. You know, I never carry a notebook with me and I should. And keeping three files open at the same time, what a good idea. Thanks for introducing me to Mike Grant and George Henry’s books. With their backgrounds, they have much to offer.

    I love also that you’re now working on a thriller. With your talent and imagination, I’m sure you’re going to have another winner there. Looking forward to it.


  3. bcstoneb444 says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the follow. I enjoyed reading about your writing process. “Mornings are best and coffee is a must.” I’m with you on that. Coffee shops are my favorite hangouts to get into a literary frame of mind 🙂


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