Diana Dru Botsford

#mywritingprocess blog tour

Ive been tagged by my Freshman Fifteens buddy Kim Savage, author of After The Woods, to participate in the #mywritingprocess blog tour. Her writing process can be found here. As a taggee, Im supposed to answer the following four questions, so here goes:

1) What am I working on?

Well, I just finished the first draft of my second YA book in my contract with Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers. Tentatively titled Jewelry, its the story of six high school seniors living with the (magical, disturbing) consequences of discovering a jewelry chest in a back yard pond when they were ten years old. Now that the manuscript is in my editors hands for a bit, I have to decide what to work on nexta revision of one of my two earlier manuscripts? Something entirely different? (I actually think I know the answer, but for now its a secret!)

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

Im not sure it does differ. That implies most other books in the genre are the same. Todays YA field is wide and complex, with room for genre-blending, experimentation, and a wide range of age-appropriateness. There isnt a formula to be different from, except for the requirement that the protagonist be a young adult. Almost anything goes, and thats one of the reasons I like writing YA so much. My two contracted books are a genre mix of contemporary, fantasy, and romance, and both contain a mysterious element. I also like to believe my stories have a takeaway that makes a reader think even after theyve finished the book, though I certainly am not the first YA author to hope this.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I bet theres a whole psychoanalysis of me that can be done to answer this question. The short answer, though, is that I write what I feel like writing. I chose to be a high school teacher for fourteen years, and now I write for that audience, so I guess I find something fascinating about that time of life. I also love science fiction and fantasy because I feel those genres have the potential to test characters in unusual and meaningful ways.

4) How does my individual writing process work?

Generally something like this: I develop a concept and some characters, like a boy who can create worlds or a group of kids who find a jewelry chest. Then I brainstorm a bit about what could happen in the story and what the ending might be. Then I write. One chapter at a time I let the story unfold for myself, occasionally pausing to think about where Im headed. Its like reading any other book, wondering whats going to happen next. I often have no idea until I write the words. Both of my contracted books ended in a far different place from where I thought they might go, and that process of finding my way through a plot is most of the pleasure of writing for me. Of course, the downside is I find myself having to revise my beginnings quite a bit to match my endings!

Next up: Two writers who have been an integral part of my journey to become a professional writer. Rhonda Mason‘s writing spans the gamut of speculative fiction, from space opera to epic fantasy to urban paranormal and back again. Her space opera trilogy, Empress Game, launches from Titan Books July 2015. Writer/Producer Diana Dru Botsford‘s work runs the gamut from novels to the screen including several Stargate SG-1 novels, the Star Trek TNG episode, “Rascal’s” and the award-winning science fiction webseries “Epilogue.” She most recently contributed to the up-and-coming Stargate short story anthology, “Far Horizons,” due from Fandemonium this fall.



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The Drift

Coming Soon

Both of my long-term critique partners have had special news this October. Rhonda Masoncompleted the draft of a new manuscript (I’ll label it space opera romance for now), and I am SUPER EXCITED to announce thatDiana Botsford‘s second novel set in the Stargate universe is releasing today as an ebook! (releasing November 20th in print!) The Drift is the sequel to her first Stargate novel, Four Dragons. If you are a Stargate fan, or even if you’re not, I invite you to check out her work. Diana is a thoughtful writer who understands character motivation, and I really responded to her portrayal of Jack and his inner crisis in this story.

Diana is largely responsible for my return to writing after my own inner crisis. Her example during the writing of Four Dragons really gave me the push I needed to recover my rhythm and confidence as a writer, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

A little while back I posted aboutthe importance of good critique partners. I have been inspired, encouraged and improved in so many ways for having had the blessing of a few good writing buddies, Diana and Rhonda especially.

Congrats, Diana, on the release of The Drift!

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Epilogue web series

Turning time travel on its head, one paradox at a time.

My favorite part about being an English teacher was sharing my passion for story. Every year I had a number of students whose passion equaled mine, and working with them was always such a joy.

In the tradition of teachers sharing their passion, Diana Dru Botsford, my long-time critique partner, has collaborated with her film students at Missouri State University to create the web series Epilogue. Here is the press release:

Effect precedes cause in this 6-part science fiction time travel web series. EPILOGUE separates itself from the classic ‘time travel’ trope using biological time travel which comes at a physical cost.

When a modern world-wide plague becomes resistant to all cures, time-travelers must seek answers in a legendary 14th century rural French village known for its immunity to the original Bubonic Plague. The team gets more than they’ve bargained for when the inevitable twists of time travel force them into discovering the modern plague’s origins… ending in an unexpected confrontation to prevent humanity’s extinction.

The EPILOGUE web series will appeal to science fiction/fantasy fans, web series viewers and anyone who enjoys character-driven action-adventure. As EPILOGUE’s characters race to save the present, they struggle with what matters most: the good of the many, the few, and the one.

In a world where the more things change, the more they stay the same; EPILOGUE questions the very nature of time, seeking the means to change the past and future in order to save the present.

EPILOGUE was created by Diana Dru Botsford (co-writer ST: TNG “Rascals,” and Stargate SG-1 novelist [Four Dragons, The Drift], and screenwriting professor) in an extensive collaboration with Missouri State University’s Department of Media, Journalism & Film (MJF). Series production utilized the varied talents of its award-winning screenwriting and film production students and faculty. Fifteen months in the making, EPILOGUE is MJF’s largest undertaking to date.

All six episodes of the series have been released, the latest just this past Sunday (8/12/12). Epilogue is worth watching not only because it tells a good story (and executes it with all the modern movie-making bells and whistles), but because it’s a perfect example of what students can achieve under the guidance of passionate teachers.

All six episodes of Season One are now available at http://epiloguetheseries.com, and the website contains special features including a blog and a look behind the scenes. Check it out!


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The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.

— Terry Pratchett