From Brain to Book: My Writing Process

Image credit: Eva Greene Wilson

I am a member of the virtual book club for bloggers, From Left to Write.  Many of the ladies in the book club are not only avid readers and book lovers, but also authors. Karen of Time Crafted invited some of us FL2W members to share our writing process in a blog tour.  So here goes…

Much of my writing when I was a little kid came from being bored.  We lived in the middle of nowhere (sort of), and after I got tired of running around outside (by myself), I would get some paper and pencil and write. I would come up with all kinds of stories – mostly about the best friend that I wish I had, and what trouble we would get into (feel free to weep for little Eva).

Now? Man – I write to stay sane.  I certainly have enough to do with the kids, husband, homeschool, lessons of all sorts, and the business – so I’m not bored – but instead of talking to myself (exclusively – I mean I still talk to myself), I write. Thanks to the Internet, I actually have plenty of folks to chat with… other than myself.

Here are the questions that we are answering on the blog tour…

1. What am I working on? I think a better question for me to answer might be, ‘What am I NOT working on?’ – the list is SO long.  I am working on getting the follow up to Anancy’s Family Reunion to print, and several e-books for  I keep a project (or 12) in the works.  When I don’t have something on deck? I panic.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? My first book is Anancy’s Family Reunion.  It is different because it is meant to be read aloud in a family setting.  It can be read independently by kids and adults, but I wanted it to be something that could prompt families to turn off the TV, put away the electronics, and sit down together and share a story. My book is positioned as a children’s book, but unlike most children’s books, it can be read aloud and enjoyed by adults and children at the same time.

3. Why do I write what I do? It is a natural extension of what I do every day on the blog, helping parents keep their kids connected to Caribbean culture. Anancy is a fantastic traditional character, and I hope my stories help parents to introduce their children to the storytelling aspect of Caribbean culture.

4. How does your writing process work? It isn’t THAT complicated really.  I get an idea, and I drop everything, pull over the car, jump out of the shower, quit whatever I am doing – and write it down.  Sometimes I do an outline if I have the time, but if it is a fully finished idea, I’ll try my best to get as much on paper as possible…. I write until my hand cramps up, then I stop – that gives me time to think – once the cramp eases up, I write some more.  When I’m done I’ll read it to a few trusted folks, then make revisions. What I think makes sense doesn’t always, so I try to have someone else check it out too.

There are SO many Caribbean authors that you can check out, but I recommend that you check out the ladies that I did the #CaribbeanMomsWrite Google Hangout with…

Nerissa Golden (Montserrat) released her first children’s book, Island Days , a collection of illustrated poems about growing up in the Caribbean in November of 2013. She is the CEO of goldenmedia, a publicity and brand development company serving public, private and non-profit clients across the Caribbean and North America. Nerissa was named one of TechLink’s 2013 Caribbean Innovators for her work at a community level in technology advocacy, education, public awareness and innovative solution implementation. She has also written The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth , as well as Truly Caribbean Woman’s Guide to Good Love.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Carol Ottley-Mitchell (St. Kitts and Nevis) is the self-published author of nine children’s books. Eight of the books are based in the Caribbean and children reading these books get an engaging peek into the culture, history, and geography of the Caribbean. Now a stay-at-home mom, Carol has turned her attention to promoting literacy and a love of reading among Caribbean children. She has volunteered on projects on literacy and education in St. Kitts and in Ghana where she lived for three years. Carol’s books have been nominated for the 2014 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Children’s Literature.

Caribbean Adventure Series Website | Blog

Stacey Alfonso-Mills (Trinidad) is the self-published author of two early-reader books: The Boys of Sinclair Hills – Fun in the Backyard and The Boys of Sinclair Hill – The Princess, The Treasure and The Blue Dragon, which are written and illustrated with a Caribbean cultural influence. Both books are currently available in Trinidad and Tobago and are also part of a primary school literacy programme in Trinidad and Tobago, called ‘Read to Rise,’ established by The Bridge Foundation in 2013. Stacey is currently preparing to launch her third children’s book “Manatee Has a Question” along with a colouring book, which has a Caribbean wildlife/environmental awareness theme. Stacey is also the Managing Director of MAALAN Resources Limited, which offers project support services in the oil and gas industry.

Website | Facebook | LinkedIn

Check them out as they discuss their writing process…

Check out the other bloggers on the tour too – #mywritingprocess!

Shelton Keys Dunning is the author of paranormal mystery novels The Trouble with Henry and Hagatha Kittridge Must Die, along with several short stories and the blogs Expressions of Talking Leaves on blogger, and The Scribe, The Quill, and the Secret Notebook on Tumblr.

Shannon Morgan is an editor and a food and travel writer working on her first novel.  Visit her blog at Shannon Morgan Creative.

Jessica A.K.A. Crunchy Chewy Mama is working on her novel, and shares her process here on