A little later than I'd planned but, as promised, here is Donnell Bell of Colorado Springs playing the Writing Process Blog Tour with us. (Donnell answered right away, I just procrastinated on this end.)
What do you write?
I write romantic suspense and mystery.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I think I write outside of the typical romantic suspense box. I concentrate on character and put them in “what if” situations to see how they grow out of a problem. For me, it’s all about the relationships. Sometimes intimacy is called for, sometimes it’s not, and I’m never going to put a character into a scene because of the “expectation” it belongs there. Pacing is everything to me, and sexual tension can be ten times sexier in my opinion than a gratuitous sex scene. Of course, if the characters have built up to that point, a sex scene can be equally satisfying.
I started writing when editors and agents were giving authors all kinds of rules. Keep your characters together 99 percent of the time. Never have a kid in a book older than two or three, couples don’t date, never start your book with your protagonist driving a car, skip the prologue…my gosh, we had a rule for our rules. I’m grateful Bell Bridge allowed me to break a good many of them in my debut The Past Came Hunting. I actually had an agent reject representation because Melanie my protag faced the bad guy alone. It was her story, and although Joe, my police lieutenant eventually comes to her rescue somewhat, this was Mel’s journey and I wanted her to be worthy heroine material.
In Deadly Recall, I was told, “Nice idea, but Catholic stories aren’t well received,” even though I explained the story wasn’t out to convert, I simply wanted to write a mystery. Again, I owe Bell Bridge Books a debt of thanks. Deadly Recall was a 2010 Golden Heart finalist, reaching #1 on Amazon’s Deal of the Day, and as of this writing, has 200 reviews, (some of them positive ;).
In Betrayed, my third release from Bell Bridge Books, is a mother and daughter reunion story. Their reunion is the crux of the novel, but true to what I write, it includes a lot of suspense, mystery, and, of course, a love interest. There’s lots going on in Betrayed.
Speaking of BETRAYED, just a heads up. On May 3rd BETRAYED will be Amazon’s Flagship Deal of the Day. On May 3, it will be greatly reduced to $1.99. If you like mystery, suspense with a healthy dose of romantic sexual tension, consider adding this book to your TBR pile.
Long story short, I write what I believe needs to be in the book.
How does your writing process work?
The storyline has to gel for me, and then the research starts. I generally write cop stories, and this time a FBI agent has entered the fold. I’m driving my contacts crazy with my questions and have purchased so many research books, they’re causing my floor to sag. First draft, I write in shorthand, second, I print it into a notebook. Then, when it comes time to type the work onto my computer and into manuscript format, I have a pretty comprehensive third draft.
What are you working on now?
I am editing my September release for Bell Bridge Books, another single-title called Buried Agendas and writing the first book in a suspense series tentatively called, “Whatever Happened to Rae Dawn Walker?” P.S. I’m writing this one with the lights on.