Monday, May 26, 2014

My Writing Process ~ Blog Tour

Thank you to Allen Eskens for asking me to be a part of the Writing Process Blog Tour. Allen is a fellow member of Twin Cities Chapter of Sisters in Crime and the author of the upmarket, character driven mystery, The Life We Bury, which will launch on October 14, 2014. You can lean more about Allen and his work on:

What am I working on?

I’m completing the first book in the Clemsczak Cleaners Mystery Series, Cleaning Up The Bodies. After writing stand-alone screenplays and novels for ten years, I decided that giving voice to amateur sleuth detectives who live and love on the margins of society would take more than one pass.


George Klemsczak, a twenty-eight-year-old wanna-be screenwriter discovers that his biggest client, prominent surgeon Dr. Terry Wellington has been linked to a rash of deaths following organ harvesting in Minnesota’s Mexican migrant community. Caught between his loyalty to the Wellingtons and a passionate need to know the truth, George turns to his crew for answers: four undocumented workers, all reputed to be the best housecleaners in the Twin Cities.

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

In the cleaning series, I draw upon characters and experiences from my own life, which have shown me that the most interesting stories lie in the margins. Those spaces that border accepted societal standards and the cliffs of no return. I’ve owned and operated a cleaning business for twenty years that helped subsidize my interests in filmmaking, screenwriting, and novel writing. I also volunteer as a tutor in the immigrant community and am studying to become a Spanish medical interpreter.

Why do I write what I do?

I enjoy delving behind the scenes of law and disorder. For me, every crime presents an opportunity to study the criminal mind and the society in which he or she lives. For many, reality is steeped in layers of motivation and hope. For others, life revolves around a lack of resources and the inability to endure. I don’t really care why people succeed. That’s a story with an ending. I like stories that command ambiguity—the margins—the possibilities.

 How does your writing process work?

Not like before.

For many years I was lucky when, with regular consistency, out of the seemingly great blue beyond, a really great premise attached to a fairly complete plot line appeared on the front steps of my mind. It would grow and distend until I was forced to put it all down in black and white. It still took six months to craft a screenplay and a year for a novel, but the process almost always felt like a  dreamy magical ride. Back then I traveled a lot, putting huge deposits into my imagination bank. I don’t travel much any more and I think that has depleted, but as of yet, not completely bankrupted my imagination account. Still, it’s getting harder.

What always works for my writing process (when I do it) is showing up regularly in front of the computer. To research ideas, locations, materials, laws, etc. Then writing sentence after sentence, erasing sentence after sentence. Rewriting sentence after sentence.

Next to having a juicy story idea swirling endlessly in my head, my greatest joy in the writing process is getting up in the morning to read what I wrote the night before.

Next Monday, June 2, check out more Minnesota crime writers:

Erin Hart
Erin Hart's archaeological crime novels are set in the mysterious boglands of Ireland. Her debut, HAUNTED GROUND (2003), won the Friends of American Writers award and Romantic Times' Best First Mystery, was shortlisted for mystery’s prestigious Anthony and Agatha awards, and translated into eleven foreign languages. LAKE OF SORROWS (2004) was shortlisted for a Minnesota Book Award, and FALSE MERMAID (2010) was named by ALA/Booklist as one of the Top Ten Crime Novels of 2010. Her latest, THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN (2013), was also a Minnesota Book Award finalist. Erin lives in Minnesota with her husband, Irish accordion legend Paddy O’Brien, and travels frequently to Ireland.

Jessie Chandler

Jessie is the award-winning author of the Shay O'Hanlon Caper series. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her partner and two mutts, Fozzy Bear and Ollie. In the fall and winter, Jessie writes her heart out, and spends her summers selling unique, artsy T-shirts and other assorted trinkets to unsuspecting conference and festival goers. 

Barbara Deese
Barbara Deese grew up in a family of voracious readers with eclectic tastes.  She feels most at home with people who love a good story, which explains her love of book clubs.  She is the author of the No Ordinary Women Mysteries featuring a book club full of fun and feisty fifty-year-olds.  Her twisty career path began when she became one of thirty-three female air marshals in the U.S. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and two cats.


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