Happy Memorial Day, darlings! Must be kismet (as a US Army veteran) that I was chosen to blog on such a special day! So please, take a moment between flipping burgers to honor the memory of all who courageously sacrificed to preserve our freedom and way of life. THANK YOU.
Now I am ecstatic to be participating in The Writing Process Blog Tour that’s pandemic-ing blogs across the nation! I was tagged by my cup-runneth-over-with-talent, agent sis, Sarah Tomp. (Her delightfully messy process can be found here.) Sarah’s ahhhhmazing YA contemporary, MY BEST EVERYTHING, debuts from Little, Brown Books, March 2015. Check it out on Goodreads! Are you feeling the tingles? Of course you are. I cannot wait to devour this literary feast!
Alrighty, without further preamble, let’s dive into the infamous 4 questions, shall we? *triple-somersault-jackknife-swandives* Which I can TOTALLY do…virtually.
What am I currently working on? This hot minute, I’m working on another YA contemporary romance with a dash of metaphysical wonderment titled, (W)HOLEHEARTED. A companion novel to SUMMER OF SUPERNOVA, this story is about a brokenhearted guy seeking escape, and a guarded girl born with a heart that is broken. Tea leaf divination, serendipity, and swoon aplenty, all steep together to brew the tale of two teens who couldn’t be more wrongly right for each other.
How does my work differ from others of its genre? I had to let this question marinate for a few days because my first instinct was to scream and run. It’s like asking me to identify how my snowflake is different from all the other magnificent snowflakes. Um…??? So I’ll go against my inclination to offer a slow, exaggerated full body shrug and attempt to explain.
Elapsed time: 12 hours later.
Okay I’m back. I believe it’s the combination of humor, heart, and a breath of paranormal that compose my literary snowflake. Every story I write, no matter how deceptively cotton candy its surface, has depth. These characters face very REAL struggles–death, alcoholism, broken families, disfigurement, destitution. I just choose to use humor to make the life pill a little less bitter. A little easier to swallow. And I love to add that dash of paranormal to my work. Because sometimes we need to be reminded of the magic in the world. Oh, and many of my characters tend to be wildly unconventional mold-breakers with atypical family models. Because there is beauty in diversity.
Why do I write what I write? See above sugarcoating on bitter pills. Plus I just ADORE reading young adult romance. I’m addicted to those heady “firsts” in life. There is no more glorious, confounding, and exhilarating time than when you’re trying to figure out WHO you are. Then you spend the rest of your existence questioning if you got the answer right. I write romance because there is no greater miracle or complex emotion than love. Love doesn’t just make the world go round—it makes it worth the revolutions. It puts the human in being. Connections. Dig ’em.
How does my individual writing process work? Haphazardly and usually in the morning. That’s when the lattes happen. Like many writers, I begin with a spark of an idea—a character I “see” in my mind, a ridiculous scene, a freak medical condition—and then I drive to Home Depot and purchase a huge bucket of Word Spackle and fill in all the story cracks. (No. But wouldn’t that be freaking awesome?!)
Turns out, I’m a pantser-plotter hybrid. I like having a 500-ish word outline (which is truly the extent of my outlining) before I really toss myself into the story maelstrom. But I need that wide lens to keep me focused as I draft, otherwise I want to ooze in every cardinal direction. Did I mention I’m a slow drafter? Hi. I’m Darcy and I’m a slow drafter. I’m here to make you lightning fast drafters feel even better about yourselves. 😉 But really, it’s mainly because I edit as I go. And I stare. A lot. I compile CRITICAL music playlists for my demanding muse. I make jewelry out of office supplies. I knock over my words like a Jenga tower only to build them back up again. Sometimes I diabolically stroke my chin until I break out with a giant zip then rue my manuscript for the acne. You get the idea. It’s a process. A very winding, intuitive, and often ludicrous process. But it’s mine and it’s the only one I have. So I’ll love it like the two-headed hellhound it is.
Craving more craft? Next week join my 2013 Golden Heart YA co-finalist, Amy DeLuca, as she demystifies her writing process! Can’t wait! Her blog can be found here. Amy is a two-time Golden Heart finalist writing YA as Amy DeLuca, and NA romance as Amy Patrick. Look for the release of her CHANNEL TWENTYSOMETHING New Adult series this summer. *more tingles* Besides being an extraordinarily talented author, she also makes her own laundry detergent. Carbon footprint? Minuscule. You will want to hug her as much as the earth does. You should follow her on Twitter.