My Writing Process Blog Tour

Many thanks to busy author, Juliet Greenwood, for inviting me to participate in the ‘My Writing Process’ blogging tour. Juliet’s second novel with Honno Press, We That Are Left was published in February this year. As Heather Pardoe, Juliet’s also working on a serial for The People’s Friend. You can find out more about Juliet at her fascinating blog

I would also like to thank fellow Choc Lit author, Linda Mitchelmore who also invited me to join this blog hop earlier in the year. Linda’s fifth novel, Red is for Rubies has just become available. You can read more about Linda and her novels here

And so, to more about my writing process...

What am I working on?

Hmm, well, I’ve got several projects on the go! I’ve just started writing my fourth romantic novel … it was inspired by a ‘secret’ path and a beautiful Georgian house on the coast where I live and I don’t really want to say much more than that! I’m working (very slowly) on building a poetry collection, I’ve got the opening chapters of a much darker novel about friendship and betrayal and I’d also like to complete a non-fiction project I’ve started. Guess that’s going to keep me pretty busy.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It differs because I write in my own voice! My romantic novels are published by Choc Lit, but that’s where the similarity to any other Choc Lit author ends; we’re all different characters writing very different books

Why do I write what I do?

Because I have to – it’s part of me, of who I am.

How does my writing process work?

Hah! I wish I had a simple answer to that one. My novels always begin with a strong image in my mind’s eye, like a ‘still’ from a film. With Turning the Tide it was seeing a troubled young woman, Harry, sitting alone by the side of creek. With Move Over Darling, I saw Coralie, looking out of her workshop at the snow and with Follow A Star, I saw May, with her rucksack slung over her shoulder hoofing it down a lonely road. Then I start a new notebook, and, these days, a Pinterest board, and keep interrogating the scene – this part takes ages – until I know enough about the characters and setting to trust myself to start writing their stories.

With poetry the process is often started by something I’ve seen that needles me until I write about it – watching the farmer outside my window break the ground to turn a field over to housing, seeing the resemblance between my dad’s feet and mine when he lay on a bed in A&E.

What my work has in common, whether it’s long or short fiction, poetry or non-fiction is that it’s about my attempts to make sense of the world, to set those thoughts and feelings down in words in the hope that it might strike a chord with readers.

The next stops on the writing process tour, on Monday 12 May, will be …

Please welcome debut novelist, Janice Preston
Janice lives in the West Midlands with her second husband and two cats. She is excitedly waiting for the publication in August 2014 of her first novel, Mary and the Marquis – a Regency romance for Harlequin Mills and Boon Historicals. You can find Janice at her new blog:  on Facebook and on Twitter @janicegpreston

And drum roll please for my fellow ChocLiteer, Mandy James
Mandy has not one but two novels out this month!  Somewhere Beyond the Sea and Dancing in the Rain
 (PS I should also add that my own writing process is quite slow!) 
Mandy lives in glorious Cornwall. You can find out more about her at her blog, on Facebook and on Twitter @akjames61


Mandy K James said…
Such an interesting post, Chris. I can't wait to hear more about the dark one! Isn't it fun starting new things? I will have to get my thinking cap on for my post now :) x
Chris Stovell said…
Thank you so much, Mandy! I'm very grateful to you (and Janice) for continuing the tour and I'm really looking forwards to reading yours.x
Kathryn Freeman said…
Wow - from secret paths to friendship and betrayal, poetry to non-fiction. Is there anything you can't write?! I'm looking forward to reading them when they're published - and glad to see you've got enough on the go to keep you out of trouble :)
Chris Stovell said…
I'm never short of ideas, Kate - but I can't write quickly! Just need to work on cranking up the pace!
Laura E. James said…
Oo - a dark novel. I'm liking the sound of that :-) x
Chris Stovell said…
I'm glad you do, Laura, because the sound is probably all you'll get for a while :)!x
Janice Preston said…
I like the sound of the secret path and the Georgian house. Intrigued!
Chris Stovell said…
After stumbling across the house, I couldn't not write about it, Janice - plus I got 'the still' image and the questions began!
Pondside said…
Even after all this time I get such a nice feeling when I read a post like this from you - it's remembering the early days on the PC when you shared your writer's dreams.
That old house - I'm sure it is inspiring a good story and I look forward to reading it!
Chris Stovell said…
Believe me, Pondside, those days don't seem so long ago and I still pinch myself that the dream came true. Thanks for sharing in it! x
Flowerpot said…
Really enjoyed that chris and I will get i touch with Mandy, too as she's in Cornwall!
Chris Stovell said…
Thanks, Sue - and do! x
You are so lucky living on a beautiful coast which you can put into your books. I live in Surrey but grew up in East Yorkshire, another beautiful forgotten coastline. It isn't in my first book, but is in my second, and I think will have a growing presence in my writing. SD

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