The writers from the Rave Reviews Book Club have gotten together to organize an exciting blog hop – you can visit stops to enter prizes every day in September. Leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy of any books (check out the options in the sidebar).
Welcome to new visitors to this blog. I’d like to tell new and familiar readers about the back story behind my new series, Crimes in Arabia.
I’m writing from Doha, Qatar. There will be five winners, randomly chosen from comments below. I’ll be in touch to see which reading format you prefer.
I didn’t control my Muse. Not in a specific way to generate particular ideas. Sure, I sit down several times a week and force myself to produce as much as I can in the few hours I have between kids’ birthday parties and swim lessons. I go away once a year, for a week, (or longer, if I can find a place to stash the kids) to write, mingle with other writerly types, and figure out how I can get better at storytelling. The ideas for my previous books often began with a central question. One that rolls around and around on deck, waiting for her turn at the keyboard. How a modern person with traditional values finds love is at the center of my first paperback Love Comes Later. The answer is the story.
In The Dohmestics, I explore how well we know those closest to us or ourselves. The ensemble cast in the novel is a composite of people I’ve known while living in the Middle East country of Qatar. Their tangled lives represent the ways in which expats and their domestic help support and infuriate each other. Perhaps because my books ponder issues, rather than focus on a sequence of events, I resist categorization as a genre writer. My novels can’t really find a home like others, where stories cluster, based on common devices or types. Yet, for the last year or so, I have been trying to get a handle on myself as a writer and channel ideas instead of letting them lead me into genre-defying projects.
Not as easy as it sounds.
Crime is what I hoped to get into one year ago: July 2014. Not in real life, as it were, but for my writing. If you can get a believable, likeable, empathetic detective type, you are golden. The books seem to write themselves. Scandinavian writers like Steig Larrson and Henning Mankel had inspired me for years. They took the genre as a venue for social critique and pointed out the failure of Nordic utopia. I’ve seen other places struggle with the burden of wealth and a small citizenry.
I set down a nascent story during National Novel Writing Month in 2015. The premise was simple: a main character living in a labor camp in the Arabian Gulf, one of the kind present in monthly sports news about the 2022 World Cup. The Migrant Report was my first attempt to research, outline, plan, write, and revise a novel from start to finish. The first manuscript was 50,000 word. The published version, now available at online retailers, is almost double the original word count.I’m nervous, I’m elated. One second I worry I’ve gotten it all wrong; the next I’m telling everyone this is the best material I’ve ever written. If you’d like to review The Migrant Report and tell me your thoughts, drop me a comment below.
What type of stories do you like to read or write?