Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank MB Mulhall for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Author: MB Mulhall
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Release Date: 03/07/2017
Eighteen-year-old Oliver’s troubles don’t end when he’s released from prison. He has nowhere to go, and he can’t even think about moving past his crimes while trying to survive homelessness.
Helping an elderly woman after a fall guides Oliver into at least a temporary home. In exchange for odd jobs and some assistance, he’s welcomed into a life with the old twin spinsters, and it seems too good to be true. The neighbor, Simon, certainly thinks it is. He doesn’t trust Oliver or his motives. Oliver is used to that kind of judgment, but it isn’t helping him overcome his guilt. Maybe Simon is right and Oliver doesn’t deserve happiness—or any of the other feelings stirring in a heart Oliver thought he’d closed off for good.
MB Mulhall on the Writing Process
As an author, I dread when people ask me “What’s your writing process like?” Others can go on and on about their outlines, their vision boards, their index cards, etc. Me? I end up stuttering and staring blankly at the questioner.
I’m a self-proclaimed pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve tried to outline. I’ve tried the index cards. It just doesn’t work for me. I feel like those things stifle the flow of my story and put a damper on my creativity. I tend to let my characters lead me to where they want to go and craft the story around them and their decisions. If you’re a writer you’ll understand what I mean when I say they often take on a life of their own!
Here’s how my “process” typically starts:
- An idea appears (often while in the shower. Aqua Notes are your friends, people!)
- The concept bounces around in my head for a while
- An ending will typically come to me early on. I’ll jot it down somewhere, often in the notes app on my phone
- Characters reveal themselves (I have a list of names that I like so I will look through it and see if one jumps out to me for this particular idea)
- Snippets of dialog or scenes crop up. Again often in the shower. (I’ve written whole conversations while my conditioner does its work)
From there I sit down and start writing. Even though I typically go into a story with the ending in mind, I have to write in a linear fashion. I’m always impressed by the those who can jump around and then piece things together later. I would probably end up with huge plot holes and things that don’t even belong in the story if I tried to write like that.
Even though I have a dedicated office I find, most times, I’m too distracted to get a lot done there. The dog demands pets. The dirty laundry calls. The fridge full of leftovers beckons me. Starbucks tends to be my writing joint of choice or a Panera if I need more than coffee for fuel. I find when I write in public I imagine everyone around me is reading over my shoulder so if I’m procrastinating on Facebook or scrolling through my Twitter feed, they will judge me. “Oh look at that writer wanna-be! She can’t even get a paragraph written without being distracted by the shiny Internet.” I’m sure, in reality, no one is giving me a second glance but hey if it helps me focus I’ll imagine them all hanging on my every word.
I write best with deadlines, which is why I often start my stories during NaNoWriMo. Thirty days to get 50,000 words done is daunting but the comradery and competitiveness of the others help push me to write every day, something I often don’t find I’m able to do at other times of the year. It normally takes another month or two after NaNo to actually finish the story and then I put it away.
Wait! That’s not actually true.
First I print it out and put it in a binder. There’s just something really gratifying to me to hold all those pages and see, physically, how much I really wrote.
Then I put it away.
I feel like I need space from the story to be able to objectively edit it. I’ll take the time and do some reading, something I probably didn’t get a whole lot done of while I was writing, or I’ll work on some other project, or catch up on all my DVR’ed shows I missed.
Once I’m ready to return to it, I load it to my Kindle and re-read it to refamiliarize myself with it. I will not read the printed pages at this point because I know I will be tempted to start fixing mistakes and making notes as I go. The first read through is basically for me to look for plot holes, unanswered questions, places where I accidentally changed the color of someone’s car or the spelling of their name, etc.
After the read through I will go back and start making the edits. This can including changing openings (that first line is a big deal!), taking out all my repetitive words (there’s always one thing in every book that I seem to use over and over be it nodding, eye rolling, etc.), and generally making the flow smoother. Then I will send it to beta readers, do more corrections based on their feedback, send newest version to more beta readers, make those corrections. Wash hands. Repeat. That can go on for a while until I feel it’s as good as I can get it.
If I am self-publishing, I then hire an editor and a cover designer and go down that route. If I’m planning on shopping it around, I will write the query and the synopsis, research agents, and send it all out. That’s when the waiting begins.
That’s pretty much it. I guess, considering I ended up writing over 900 words on it, I do have a bit of a process, but it’s minimal compared to most. Basically, I think you should do whatever works best for you to get the job done. Everyone works in different ways so don’t feel like you have to copy the procedure of someone else. The main thing is to just get that book written!
About the Author
MB Mulhall is an author and a budding photographer. When she’s not pecking away at her keyboard or looking at the world up close through her lens, she’s got her nose stuck in a book.
A Jersey girl, born and bred, she spends much of her time scouring the boardwalks for images to capture and conversations to overhear.
MB dreams of one day having at least one bookshelf filled with her own work and of decorating her walls with photographs she’s taken from places around the world.
March 10 — Guest Post on Boy Meets Boy Reviews
March 12 — Review on Book Pandemonium
March 12 — Review on From Top to Bottom Reviews
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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