From the Romantic Mind of Jess Schira

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I RECENTLY TAGGED Jess Schira to write a “Paying it Forward” post, describing her approach to the writing game. In the post, she was asked to answer four questions: What am I working on? How does my work differ from others of its genre? Why do I write what I write? How does my writing process work?

Here are her thoughts:

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One of the writers I know through the WeWriWa blogging experience, Chip Etier, tagged me in the paying it forward bloghop. If you haven’t read his fantastic thriller, The President’s Club, you should.

And, without further ado, here is my response to the Paying it Forward questions.

What am I working on?

Jess Schira
Jess Schira

At the moment I’m splitting my writing time between two writing projects. One is From Mistletoe to Mayhem, a Georgian romance novel. The other is a YA novella titled Rendezvous with Destiny, a story about two teens that’s set about six weeks prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Rendezvous is going to be the first story in a trilogy.

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping to have both ready for publication this fall.

How does my work differ from other’s in its genre?

Romance novels are tricky because there are a lot of them out there, and it’s difficult to come up with a truly original plot. I’m trying to make my work feel new by creating characters that struggle to fit into the normal society and who don’t feel the need their romantic partner to save them from whatever obstacles they encounter during the course of the story.

I love creating unique female characters. Saika, the MC in Mistletoe is a Japanese/Irish woman living in London’s Cheapside. Her grandfather was a Samurai and taught her how to fight, which is a major part of the plot. Rosika, the female lead in Rendezvous is a German girl living in the United States and her heritage also directs the plot.

I haven’t been quite as successful when it comes to creating truly unique male characters, but I think I’m getting closer. Sebastian, Mistletoe’s male lead, is a bit different from any of the men I’ve encountered in my writing.

Why do I write what I write?

I didn’t set out to write romance novels, in fact I distinctly remember telling a friend I wasn’t writing a romance novel, there are so many romance novels on the market I really didn’t think I could possibly think up something new, but somehow that’s exactly what happened.

As for the historical thing, that’s not the least bit surprising. I inherited a deep love of history from my dad, who not only made sure his kids knew their history, but also has a knack for showing both sides of everything. To this day, my favorite part of the writing process is losing myself in research.

 Writing Process

I’m a combination pantser/plotter. I spend a lot of time thinking about my stories and letting the characters roll around in my head. When I first start writing, I don’t have a plan, but after a few false starts and a couple thousand words, I have an idea about how the story should start. It’s usually about this time that things start to come together and I outline rest of the book. The outline isn’t anything fancy, just a few notes about each scene on a large notecard. Once the first draft has been completed, I spend a considerable amount of time editing, rewriting, and revising.

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