FallI was tagged for the My Writing Process Blog Tour by the amazing Rachel Schieffelbein. Rachel has a knack for writing very real, very loveable characters in both YA and MG. She published two YA novellas, Secondary Characters and Run for the Roses, with Swoon Romance. Her YA novel Don’t Fall publishes from Swoon Romance this summer.

This blog tour is a great way to find out about new authors and new books. You can follow the blog tour on Twitter through #mywritingprocess.

Now for my responses to Rachel’s questions:

1) What am I working on?

I am thisclose to finishing the first full draft of my YA paranormal HOW TO TAKE A LIFE. Here’s a quick overview: As a teenage grim reaper, Eliot James is coming to terms with death. But when she falls for the brother of a girl she reaps, she’ll learn that ending a life takes a lot of heart. I’m seriously in love with this book and can’t wait to finish so I can start revising!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My stories, while technically paranormal or magical realism, are very much grounded in the real world. My characters are humans with abilities or something else a little whimsical (like being a dead-girl-turned-Imaginary-friend) that makes them different. But what they go through on their story journeys has more to do with their human emotions and experiences than the supernatural element that makes them different.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love stories that are odd, a little out there, a little magical. I also love stories that focus on the characters—why they are who they are, why they do what they do, what makes them special. While I enjoy reading contemporary, I can’t seem to write it. I need those elements that really get me excited in my own work.

4) How does your writing process work?

My writing process usually starts with a character’s name. Then I think about what type of person that name would be before tying that personality to a magical element that fits with whatever the character’s story goal is. Once I know the who and the what, I plot. Scene by scene. I know everything that will happen before I start writing. A lot of times the characters take over, changing the story I had planned, but that’s the joy of writing.

Up next week are two writers I adore: Rebekah Faubion and Zoe Harris.

Rebekah writes breathtaking fantasy with kickass characters, vivid worlds that suck you in, and on-the-edge-of-your seat plot twists and heartbreaking romance.

Zoe writes gorgeous, intricately layered fantasy with a fairytale feel. Her novel Amaranth is the first in The Eidolon Cycle series. She is repped by Michelle L. Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency.