Not So Accidental Blog Tourist Hop

Last week I was tagged to participate in Crystal Collier’s Not So Accidental Blog Tourist Hop by the talented author/illustrator Kim MacPherson. I’m thrilled to be a part of this community and thank both of you for encouraging these connections.

This is Kim. Be sure to check out her page in case you missed it. She’s awesome. KidLitDish.com
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Now, onto Kim’s questions for me.

1. What am I currently working on?

Well, since you asked, I am currently working on driving myself crazy. A few months back, while finishing my MG novel POPCORN BRAIN another idea came to me in the form of deer pellets.

–Woah, back up, deer pellets you say? Yes, it’s true. I was walking in the park with my sweetie and came across a small cannonball pile of deer pellets. It reminded me of an incident I had with a burnt bellied fisherman, a rusty hook, and an insensitive attitude towards nature. And just like that … spark.

Now as I edit, rewrite, and try to market POPCORN BRAIN, I’m scratching out the first draft of this other story which for now I’m calling MY OTHER STORY.

Working on two novels at once is like riding a manic-depressive bicycle. Euphoria. Devastation. On top of the world. Low to the ground. But all-in-all, it’s a thrilling ride. Although it wouldn’t kill me to take a break every once in a while and wash my hair. But hey, that’s a different story.

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

The only thing I can say to that question is my work brings me with it. My cp partner, Tosha Sumner, said my style is humorous and/or poignant with a humorous flare.

To that note, you might find me singing at the top of my lungs from the center of the page or sitting covertly off to the side, whispering about the beauty that surrounds us.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

First off, I have to write. I’ve tried not writing. Doesn’t work for me.

Secondly, I seem to find humor in the oddest places, whether appropriate or not—sorry Mom, sorry former teachers, sorry clergymen …. To me, humor is the brainchild of emotions. And those underlying emotions are dripping with dialogue and story.

Thirdly, somewhere along the way I fell in love with grammar. It certainly didn’t happen in high school—college either. But now a well placed comma is like an old friend: comforting, wise, and full of clarity.

Lastly, I’m a professional snoop. Always have been and, from what I can tell, always will be. Just ask my family.

One of my greatest childhood memories was camping out behind our red, blue, and green checkered couch (terrifying visual, sorry) waiting for my sister and her date to make their big move and lock lips. I crouched like a lion, quietly gumming my generic cheese puffs, and waited until the awkward banter stopped and the even more awkward silence commenced. And then, as the sound of spit filled the air, I sprung up, arms over my head, shouting my oh-so-clever, “Boo!”

Call it training, because to this day I listen, I notice, I pay attention. Yes, I may act like I’m not, but I am. That’s part of being a snoop. I can’t help it. People are fascinating. And so I drink it up, let it simmer, and then pour it out on the page.

In other words, I was born to write.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?

All my stories start with a small spark, like a ladybug landing on my shoulder. It’s there lingering in my brain, and, before I know it, I’m blasting through notebooks, sticky notes, napkins, etc… writing ideas and making connections.

Then comes the outline. In the past, I didn’t use outlines. It was basically me sculpting blindly. Definitely fun, but in the end my product suffered. So now I outline the beginning, middle, end, and a few important steps along the way, then leave it alone, allowing me to do what I do best–dance in the daisies.

So there, that’s me. Now on to the next two stops on this blog tour.
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Up first, the amazing award winning author, Tosha Sumner.

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Forever optimistic and easily amused, T.L. Sumner is inspired to write magical stories about strong, athletic young women fulfilling their dreams. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s in business from Villanova University where she ran cross country and track on a full athletic scholarship. She dreams of moving to Asheville, North Carolina, but for now, lives in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains with her husband and their two young children. Aside from writing, T.L. works in healthcare information technology, enjoys running and being the number one fan for her kids’ sporting events. She’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Romance Writers of America, including the Young Adult (YARWA) chapter. Her first novel won the MORWA’s Gateway to the Best Contest and was a finalist in the Windy City RWA Four Seasons Contest.

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And last but definitely not least, the wow-your-socks-off illustrator/author, Shanda McCloskey.

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Shanda McCloskey is a wife, mother of two girls, illustrator, and writer. She’s known for a long time that she wanted to illustrate books, but once she got caught up in a writing group, she realized there’s almost nothing cooler than doing both! Shanda blogs about life and art at ShandaMc.com.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kim MacPherson
    Sep 08, 2014 @ 14:35:34

    This is awesome, Colleeeeeeen!! You have such a gift for words… the best metaphors and similes EVER!! Way to go! Just tweeted this link out to the world!

    Reply

  2. Shanda
    Sep 08, 2014 @ 14:48:23

    I must have missed “Popcorn Brain” while I birthed a baby! Can’t wait to hear about it tonight!!!!! You are AMAZING, Colleen!

    Reply

  3. colleenbennett
    Sep 08, 2014 @ 20:10:47

    Thanks, Shanda, although I think birthing a baby is a little bit more amazing. 🙂

    Reply

  4. Trackback: Not So Accidental Blog Tourist Hop | TL Sumner, YA Author

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