Catherine writes YA paranormal (and Vampire Diaries fan-fiction for the Amazon Worlds program). Her first full-length novel, WISHING YOU WERE HERE, is available at Amazon.
Find info on Catherine and her books at www.catherinechant.com.
And now, on to the fun stuff...
What I write...
As Gina Ardito, I write lighthearted contemporary and sensual paranormal fantasy romance. Under the pen name, Katherine Brandon, I write sweeping historical romance. In my spare time (ha!), I also run a freelance editing service, Excellence in Editing.
What I'm currently working on...
I'm deep in the heart of Book III of my Afterlife Series, currently titled, WAITING IN THE WINGS. In this story, Xavia Donovan will deal with a new and difficult spirit, Osiris Cavanaugh, who works in the Children's Services Department of the Afterlife. While watching over a little girl with a terminal illness, Osiris will learn about sacrifice, hope, and true love. Xavia will finally come to terms with the great loss that brought her to the Afterlife and receive a unique opportunity that will require a monumental decision.
How does this book differ from other paranormal fantasy romances?
For starters, most of my characters are dead or dying. It's tough to write a happily-ever-after in the hereafter. To do it three times? Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment. But in this particular story, I'm breaking another cardinal rule by including a dying child. It's emotional and nerve-wracking and will totally wring you out. (I hope!)
Why do I write what I do?
Certain stories call to me. The stronger the lure in my brain, the more certain I am that I have to put that particular story on paper. I've been working on this particular plot line for years in my head, but didn't have the courage to actually write this story. Until now. I thrive on challenge, on continually writing outside my comfort zone. My books are never run-of-the-mill.
How does my writing process work?
I call my writing style, "crack addict." This means I write constantly. When I'm not writing, I'm plotting in my head. I get up in the morning and write what's been percolating in my brain overnight. I print out those pages, take them with me to Le Day Job, and write more on my break, on my lunch hour, and during any down time. I then come home and write some more 'til dinner time. After dinner, I'm back on the keyboard until bedtime. The next day, I start the process all over again.
I edit as I go along. Each chapter has to be as perfect as possible before I can move on. And since I don't plot at all, this requires a lot of rewriting as I get deeper into a story. Why don't I plot? Because I need to be as surprised as my readers about where my story goes. If I know the ending too soon, I lose interest and won't finish the tale. My plotting plan is one question: "Okay, I left my characters here. What happens now?" My characters, working in collusion with my muse, fill in the blanks for me.
I don't recommend anyone emulate my process. It's rough and crazy and goes against most how-to books. But it's the only way that works for me.
And I think that's what I hope everyone who reads this takes away from this post. Find what works for you and stick with it, no matter how crazy it may seem to everyone else!
And now, I'd like to pass the baton to Kimberly Wenzler, a brand spankin' new author who writes women's fiction with verve and sass. Be sure to check her out and grab a copy of her new release, BOTH SIDES OF LOVE. I know you'll love her and her work.
For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html
Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing: http://excellenceediting.com/