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process 15700843_sI’m not sure how interesting my writing process might be, but I have noticed, over the years, that every writer’s efforts are different from every other one’s. But my friend, Katherine Deane, asked me to participate this week, and it seemed like something you might be interested in, so here I am.

Question 1: What am I working on?

Currently, I have two projects on the hook. One (Discipline Down Under) is in the editing process with the publisher, so it’s out of my hands for a while, the other is a book I’m writing as part of my Romantek series. (I’ve titled it 10 times but hate every one, but we’ll call it Charlotte’s Scar, temporarily.) It will be book 2. Like the first Romantek book, it’s about twenty-second century people who are in a virtual reality Romantek Adventure Vacation Experience (a RAVE). In this case, the virtual reality dream takes place c 1720, on the high seas. Our heroine, Charlotte, meets a man with a take-charge attitude and a mission. Without giving too much of the plot away, Charlotte is basically an unexpected monkey wrench in the works while Rex is working on his mission, but he is still successful and they find their happy ever after in the twenty-second century. Like the first Romantek book, Romantek 2 defines the Romantek experience, so even if readers haven’t read Romantek 1, they can start right up with the second book and not be lost. The beauty of these books is that they’re futuristic but historical at the same time. Although, I reserve the right to throw in a contemporary situation sometime down the Romantek line. The third Romantek book is complete already (long story about the numbering).

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

My work has progressed over the years. While once I went for lots of titillation and sex without a purpose (forgive me for my early sins), I’m now a lot more focused on making the plots unique. Spanking is part of them, absolutely, but it’s only one part, not the point of the book. The romance is the point of the book. If a book is simply a series of reasons why a woman ought to be spanked, a laundry list of pointless bratty moments that don’t show character growth or change, then it wouldn’t be the book for me or by me.

Question 3: Why do I write what I do?

Note: this question is not “Why do I write?” I think that’s a key point.

I used to write very different stuff; though all romance, it was more “heavy BDSM” romance for a number of years. (Some of which was published under a pen name and is no longer on the market.) Basically, this was before the whole BDSM craze, and it sold poorly so I got bored with it. I was searching around for a niche to fit in, something I could exploit and enjoy, and my husband found Bethany’s Woodshed. I read many stories there and realized I could write them if I tried. So I took my writing experience and applied it to the spanking romance genre. It suits me because I live in a DD household and love romance. My first book for Bethany’s Woodshed was Kiki’s Millionaire, and I’ve never looked back. At this point, I’ve written 16 spanking romance novels and novellas and a number of short stories. My work becomes more complex as I grow as a writer, but I’m very comfortable writing what I write.

Question 4: How does my writing process work?

Morning coffee and social networking come first. Blog posts come second (I try to do a week’s worth at a time). Then I write. But, writing for me isn’t just sit down and slam out a manuscript. I’ve tried that and failed miserably. Instead I get a vague idea for a story, and from there I write character profiles. After I’ve defined my characters (and some secondary characters), I know how they’d behave in a variety of circumstances and know their motivations. From there, I can write an outline. My outlines look a lot like a lengthy synopsis. They are about 5-6 pages long and divided up into chapters. Remember, my books are about 40,000 words long, so 5-6 pages is usually enough. For a longer book (and I’ve written up to 150,000 words – unpublished, what a tome!) it would take considerably more outlining. Once the characters are done and the outline is ready, I start writing. As I write, I stick close to the outline. That keeps me on track for word count, chapter length, and plot twists. Once the book is done, I submit it to my publisher and hope I haven’t written a dog’s breakfast.

That’s my process.

For next week (March 10), I’d like to introduce Jenna Jaxon and Kathryn R. Blake. On their blogs, they’ll be sharing their own writing process, and I’m sure it’ll be fascinating to discover how different we all are in the way we work.

Here’s a bit about Kathryn R. Blake:

Kathryn R. Blake, author of more than a few books, and in particular, Acting Lessons, has been writing romances since the early 1980s, but didn’t write her first spanking novel until 2010 (although most of her books have spanking in them). Besides writing, Kathryn enjoys acting in her local community and regional theaters, and is a passionate lover of animals, though outside of a couple of house mice she caught, she doesn’t have any four-legged, furry children of her own at this writing. What she does have is a tank of small, finned entities that say little and eat much, and one very understanding husband who cooks, shops and does the laundry leaving more time for Kathryn to write. Her blog can be found here.

Here’s a bit about Jenna Jaxon:

Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage. Jenna has several books available, but her most recent are, Betrothal (Time Enough To Love), and Betrayal (Book 2: Time Enough to Love), parts 1 and 2 of a sweeping historical romance serial, Time Enough To Love. Her blog can be found here.

Please follow along the blog tour and discover how your favorite writers do their thing.

Thanks for joining me here today!



  1. Ah, yes, but for your Romantek series, even a contemporary would be an historical. You and I write in a similar manner, I think, except I don’t finish the character Bios until after the book is done. I have an idea of their likes, dislikes and history, but leave it fluid unless I need to track something date-wise, then I write it down. The details come in after my first draft. Thanks for inviting me.

  2. I love your outlining and planning, Trish.
    Even though I seem to be a pantser (most of the time), I think I like the stability and boundaries that I could set for myself by trying out the plotting way.

    Can’t wait to read the second Romantek!
    Thanks for sharing with us!

  3. I think you’ve have a wonderful writing career. It’s so great to be able to work at what one loves. So many authors I know are pantsers, you see to be one of the few plotters.

    • I do feel outnumbered a good deal of the time, Cara. I guess those English professors who drilled outlining into my head in college are chortling with glee over having suborned me.

  4. Great post, Trish! And thanks so much for tagging me for next week. I’ve written several posts about my writing process, but these questions go beyond the basics, so I’m really looking forward to it. 🙂 You are right that everyone differs in their process. I can’t wait to share mine with you.

  5. I’ve been trying this since you mentioned it a few days ago in a another group and I must say it’s working. Thank you.
    Cora Blu

    • So glad to have helped in some small way, Cora. I’ve been at this a long time. I think I’ve tried just about everything. Thanks for commenting!

  6. I loved Kiki’s Millionaire–haven’t thought of that book on ages!!! Digging that out tonight!!

  7. Thanks for sharing Trish! I’m impressed by your ability to outline and plan in advance.

    • It’s funny how everyone differs. I wish I could sit down and just write. When I’ve tried it though…junk comes out. So, I’m impressed with you, Celeste, because your stuff always seems so well-thought-out.

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