As a new cli-fi novelist, with a book about to publish to Amazon in April called In Ark: A Promise of Survival I’m
happy to share a bit of insight with you as to my writing process.
Thanks to Dan Bloom (the inventor of cli-fi) for inviting me to participate in this blog tour of cli-fi authors. If you want to join in, just answer the four questions listed below on your blog, and tag three other cli-fi authors you know, inviting them to join in. Tweet a link to your blog with the hashtag #mywritingprocess. And you can also leave a comment about your blog post here.
Here’s my answers:
What am I working on now, or just finished?
My first book In Ark: A Promise of Survival is an entertaining story about a woman who gets abducted by an eco-survivalist community called Ark, thirty years in the future. She’s emotionally damaged by a failed first marriage and trying to heal herself through being focused on her work as a digital archivist. Struggling to survive in the face of climate change, the utopian promises of the eco-community appeal to her, but the place is not the paradise it seems.
I am self-publishing my book first to Amazon for Kindle and then later to other e-reader platforms. To get notified about when my book goes live, please sign up for my newsletter at: lisadevaney.com
How does my work fit into the cli-fi genre?
My main character Mya Brand’s life experiences are back dropped by the impact of environmental catastrophe from climate change. The main driving force behind her digital archiving work is to try and save the stories of humanity before climate change destroys the planet. Ark evolved from the threat of climate change, with the mission to save the most talented people on Earth from the devastation of climate change. Ark presents Mya with a promise of salvation for her work and for her own survival that she can’t turn down.
Why do I write what I do?
My inspiration for environmental writing started with reading Rachel Carson. I also spent time working as a newspaper reporter in upstate New York and Pennsylvania, with a focus on environmental issues. In several cases I was able to change harmful environmental practices that were going on in the communities I wrote about. Twice, I wrote about environmental pollution and impact to rivers in New York and Pennsylvania. Both series of articles won attention from businesses and politicians and new policies were put in place to improve the waterways.
It has always been my dream to write books, especially fiction. But, I found that it wasn’t financially possible for me to invest hours of unpaid time writing, without hope of publishing. I could not face the soul-killing process of sending out my manuscripts to publishers and being rejected or lost in the infamous slush piles. Then, the book 50 Shades of Grey hit it big. Did you know that it started as an ebook? While I thought the book itself was not great, I loved the success story and felt that I could write an ebook! I embarked on writing with the intention of self-publishing in 2012.
Another big influence for me has been The Hunger Games. I love how Suzanne Collins told this futuristic page-turning story. I’ve attempted to craft a futuristic tale with climate change at the heart of the story, in the way that Collins showcased war.
How does my writing process work? Explain your writing days and nights. How do you work? How do you outline or plan the story?
I’m a new mom. My son is two. So, I don’t get a lot of time to write. I’ve carved out one day a week to just focus on writing, while my son is with his child minder. On this day, I ignore distracting housework, try not to take any phone calls and just furiously write. If I had more time, I could have written the book faster, but I do what I can. Additionally, I juggle a career in public relations with my consultancy the Hai Media Group.
I’ve got a busy life, with lot’s of fun and variety!
I first got the idea for my book back in 2009. Although, I wasn’t sure it was a book back then. I pursued turning it into a transmedia entertainment experience, with the idea that I would tell the story across various mediums. Working with Joan Smith, we created the idea of making a climate change Facebook game. When we discovered that it would cost £100K to do this, we didn’t pursue raising the funding. I decided that the best form that the story could take was an ebook, and from this starting point perhaps it will morph into other mediums of storytelling.
I did write a basic outline for my book, and found it helpful to refer to it when I was hitting up against writer’s block. Sometimes staring at the blank page that needs to be filled is very intimidating. The outline kept me moving along to completion.
In my writing process, I find that sometimes I just need to sit for at least 24 hours on an idea before I can decide or imagine what to do with it. Letting it brew a bit, helps me work out direction.
And tea! And coffee! I fuel up with PG Tips tea and a pot of coffee.