Gifted writer, Cait Jarrod, tagged me for the Writing Process Blog Hop. For more information on Cait and to see her books, click here:

1. What am I working on?

I have recently completed “Soul Man,” my third novel in the Salem Matthews series. I am currently developing ideas for my next novel, tentatively titled “The Killing Page.”

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I make no effort to emulate other authors. I have my own voice and style. My writing is difficult to pigeonhole. I don’t write for a specific genre. My writing is probably best categorized as suspense with elements of family drama, crime, mystery, and even a little romance.

3. Why do I write what I do?

My writing tends to reflect my reading tastes. I enjoy series novels with memorable characters. John Sandford, Randy Wayne White, Nevada Barr, Steve Hamilton, and the late Robert Parker are among my favorite authors. I also write what I know. My novels are set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where I grew up.

4. How does my writing process work?

I’m always writing, thinking about writing, or promoting my writing. I keep a legal pad on my desk that I use for jotting down ideas, plot points, and notes for the next chapter that I plan to write. I don’t have “writing days.” I write seven days a week, usually between 500 – 1500 words a day. Occasionally I’ll hit 2000, but I’m not the guy who stays up all night and knocks out 7000 words. I don’t use story boards or outlines. I work from a basic synopsis that I use mainly as a checklist for weaving my characters into the story. I don’t write rough drafts. I use grammar check, spell check, and carefully edit each chapter as I write. When the book is finished I read it from start to finish, making small changes, corrections, and additions as I go. I wait a few days and go through it one final time before sending it off to the publisher. That’s it. I’m definitely not the guy that will be writing 50,000 words for Na/No in November!