My Writing Process Blog Tour

Calvin-WritingI am taking part in The Writing Process Blog Tour, which is a cool way to introduce myself to other authors and readers that may not normally stumble over to my blog. Each author will offer brief insights into their writing processes and, in turn, they will introduce you to more authors. I was invited to participate by Trisha Leaver, YA Horror and Contemporary author whose debut novel, CREED, will be out in November (co-authored with Lindsay Currie). Many thanks Trisha!


What am I working on?

Currently I am finishing up the last couple of chapters of STORMFRONT, which is the second book in the UNDERTOW series. It picks up 35 days after the Newport disaster and is written from alternating POVs between Raef and Eila.


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I build a complicated mystery, with brand new supernatural characters – no vampires, no werewolves, no zombies. It also write a core set of five characters, though we see their trials and triumphs through the eyes of Eila and Raef. While my books have moments of violence and run-for-your-life-panic, there is also equal doses of subtle humanity, humor, and loads of character development. Much of the psychology behind the series stems from my grandfather and what he told me about his time in WWII on Iwo Jima as a teenager.


Why do I write what I do?

Gosh . . . I guess I never set out to write Urban Fantasy, but the characters I had in my head worked well in that setting. As a Psych major, I always found the question of why one person could hate so recklessly, while another would set their life down for a stranger, to be the ultimate mystery of the mind. The five core characters in UNDERTOW are very different and how their personalities bounce of one another is my favorite aspect of the book (STORMFRONT as well). I also believe that a teen romance can be truly desperate, all consuming, and cause even adults to hold their breath. I have always set out to do that for the characters, especially Eila and Raef.


How does my writing process work?

I write in scenes, or rather know my scenes, and then connect the entire novel together, threading the mystery though everything. I make a point in UNDERTOW and STORMFRONT to make every single scene have another, hidden meaning. While the reader doesn’t always know this the first time they read it, they do by the end of the book. There is usually a lot of forehead slapping and “OH MY GOD – I didn’t see that coming,” but then if you go back, there are hints of what is to come. No one is who they seem in the stories.

I also write “wide” and then cut the story down. Because it is a mystery, with a long standing, centuries-old family twist, it would be hard to “add” scenes in the end to make the book larger. So I write wide and cut down – UNDERTOW (now 100k words) lost 25k words, STORMFRONT won’t need as much cutting however, and will probably be around the same size when it is done.

Once I am happy with the manuscript, it goes to a team of Beta readers who read it for the story, the characters, goofs, and inconsistencies. I value their opinion and if they tell me something is off, then it is changed.

At the end of the day, my goal is to write a story that is brutally addicting and allows my readers to invest strongly in the characters. I have learned that many of my readers read UNDERTOW several times and that makes me feel fabulous.

I write for the fans. It’s that simple.


I have invited the following authors who will post their writing process blog tour in the following week:

918042f3396f50042cc93fbeb1ba1acd_5717Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. She is a YA writer published by Entangled Teen and her work is both fabulous and addictive. Her blog is



Jim Hill is a graphic designer by day, working with businesses to improve their branding,securedownload online presence and social media profile. By night he’s a children’s writer/illustrator determined to make kids laugh until milk comes out of their collective noses.

He wears many hats, including computer game artist, actor/writer/director/producer for a family theater, user interface engineer, art director, writer of inspirational silliness, marathoner, father of one, husband of one, and raconteur. You can find his imagination working overtime at


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