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Monday, June 16, 2014

Blah, Blah, Blah....Writing...Blah, Blah, Blah...Process

Adrienne Dunning lives in eastern North Carolina where she is very active in a local writer's group.  A writer of contemporary romance, she is currently in the process of publishing her debut novel and working on additional manuscripts.  She likes her female characters to be a little cheeky, and her stories to reflect characters forging journeys to discover who they truly are and finding love along the way (of course!).
I met Adrienne through ABNA and she was kind enough to invite me to participate in a blog hop that focuses on The Writing Process. You've probably seen some similar posts popping up all over. (I'll admit, I troll the Web and see: Blah, Blah, Blah...writing...Blah, contract...Blah, Here's mine.

What am I currently working on? I'm the type of person who's always working on multiple projects, but to save everyone the headache of discriminating between them, I'll only include the one that has a firm deadline. It's a full rewrite of a middle-grade fantasy--and the first book I ever wrote! Of course I'm in love with it, but I'm especially excited because I once had a request for the full MS. Back then, it wasn't ready, but now I believe it is, so I'll go into querying with a hopeful stance. Middle Grade is a pretty desirable category right now, plus the book has a ton of Harry Potteresque elements with one major difference: It centers on a girl. Her name is Bridget Hawkes and she has all these bright plans for the future, including growing up to be a doctor. Then she finds out she's prophetically linked to a blue-eyed thief in a parallel world. Her parents have been hiding out in this world hoping to dodge the prophecy. (Tricky business, dodging prophecies.)

If I can finish Thief's Cipher this month, I'll be able to enter it in a contest through my writers' union, the grand prize of which is a mentorship (and assorted other things, but I read it as Blah, Blah...mentorship with a published author.)

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? Like I said, my book is basically "Harriet Potter", so it's important to include something to save it from being a lame rip-off. Thing one: A lot of cross-world action. Bridget goes back and forth between the two worlds, because she'll ultimately have to choose between them. And she's defensive whenever people of the other world knock this one. She grew up here and believes it has its good points. Wise beyond her years, Bridget knows no world is perfect. Thing two: Everything is filtered through a girl's perspective. Bridget wants to be a doctor, and is pretty single-minded about her goal. She doesn't buy into magic, although she finds herself forced to learn it. Complicating matters even more, the healers of the parallel world are called mutationists and bear little resemblance to doctors. (Let's just say they have no bedside manner.) If Bridget ends up in the parallel world, as the prophecy foretells, she'll have to give up her dream. This infuriates her, as does being linked with a boy she's never met, even when he turns out to be kind of cute.

3) Why do I write what I do? Ironically, I started writing fantasy because I expected my kids to get into Harry Potter eventually, and I wanted to write something they'd like. Still waiting for the HP bug to hit. One likes ghost stories, one likes horse stories and one doesn't even like to read!

4) How does your writing process work? I mostly wing it. Outlines make me cringe. The closest thing I come to process is "scene dreaming." For instance, I need to write the final scene of Thief's this morning, I stayed in bed and stared at the ceiling. While it appears that I'm lazing around doing nothing on the first Monday of summer, I'm really letting the final scene of the book play in my mind like a movie. Then I write it out later. I do this about three or four times before I sit down at the computer. This process has earned me the reputation of being a lazy person. (Okay, I admit that sometimes I really am just staring at the ceiling because I'm tired and I don't want to get up and deal with my kids. Shh. Don't tell my husband.) Funny how hard work for writers resembles day-dreaming. Luckily, we're able to sneak a few real day-dreams in.

Next up are two of my favorite writers in the world! I've been privileged to beta read for them and I can't wait to brag about that even more when their writing careers develop to full potential. Without further ado... Sylvia Jefferson and Elle Jefferson (No relation, unless you count the word bond thing. In our critique group, we slash our flesh with a pen-shaped dagger and chant as our blood mingles. No. We don't.)

Sylvia retired from the Air Force as an investigator. She retired from social services as an investigator...twice. You would think she's old and broken down, but not really...she just likes retiring! No, seriously, her love of books spirited her need to write mystery/romance novels. She loves to write about characters of diversity working and loving side by side, 'cause...well...that's how it should be. Sylvia's novel, The Agreement, is available on amazon. 

Elle Jefferson is the author of the At Death It Begins series. She lives up in northern Arizona with her two beautiful sons, wonderful husband and her German Shepherd Dorrie. When she's not reading or writing, she's painting or enjoying the great outdoors. Look for the final installment of ADIB in October. Until then, connect with her at or 


  1. Oh, your book sounds great! I did one of these a while back and they are very fun. And I managed to lull my kids into Harry Potter, but I was the one who never came out of it. They are 19 and 15 now, so they were the perfect age to go through repeated rereads each time a new one was coming. That rereading thing is what finally taught me how to write books (the hint for me was I had to know the ending)

    1. Thanks, Hart! I love Harry Potter and I wish at least one of my kids would get into it. (There's still hope for my son!) Thanks for stopping by. If I could have half your discipline, I'll finish this thing by July 1st!

  2. I just LOVE the idea of a female Harry Potter, and I think a lot of young girls will too, so I will keep my fingers crossed for you when you embark again on the querying process. Oh, and for the record, I feel exactly the same way about outlines!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! And congrats again on your great news. Thanks for your post about how you landed your agent! I'll be keeping an eye out for your book.