2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? I haven't seen many post-Civil War romance novels. Many occur during the war itself. Instead of showing life during the battles, I want to focus on the aftermath. Middle Tennessee as a border area between North & South suffered a great deal, not only with loss of life and livelihood, but with families torn apart by diverging loyalties.
3) Why do I write what I do? I've been in love with romantic stories for as long as I can remember. Though I enjoy fantasy romance (as in my Tallenmere series), I've wanted to write a historical for a long time. This idea came to me a few years ago, and I started it, but kept it on the back burner while I honed my skills on my fantasy series and other projects. When NaNoWriMo came around last November, I knew I was ready to finally finish the first draft. I made it to the 50,000 word mark (NaNo winner!) and surpassed it just a few days ago when I finally finished the draft. So far, I'm loving this story and the challenge of writing about fictional people set in a real town and real time period. The research is fascinating!
4) How does your writing process work?
It begins with an idea that sprouts into scribbled sentences and scenes and a list of ideas. From there, I write up a loose outline. I say loose because the characters often take me to unexpected places as I get deeper into the story. The first draft comes next. I prefer to finish a whole draft while not trying to make it perfect. However, I've also gotten part way through a first draft, only to go back and start the second at the 1/3 or halfway point. Once I've gotten a decent second draft, I'm ready to get critique partners (I recommend Critique Circle) to offer feedback, and vise versa. This step is crucial in my process--getting feedback from others is invaluable in order to write a publishable book. Once the critiques and edits from those are complete, I give it one last read through for anything I might have missed (typos, repetitive words, wrong chapter numbers, etc) and it's time to start looking for a publishing home. But that's a whole 'nother story!