‘My Writing Process’ Blog Hop

Many thanks to Liz Harris for inviting me to take part in this ‘blog hop’ – you can find her post from last week here.  All the participants have to answer four questions (see below) and then pass the baton to others.  I asked Henriette Gyland and Celia J Anderson to take part and their blogs will appear on 10th Feb so please don’t forget to check them out!  You’ll find their links and a short bio for them at the end of this post.  Thank you for stopping by!

Q & A:-

1)     What am I working on? – At the moment I’m working on the third book in my Japanese themed trilogy, which began with The Scarlet Kimono and The Gilded Fan. The final instalment is provisionally called The Snow Ghost and follows Temperance Marston on her adventures when she travels to Japan with her cousin Midori.  She’s always dreamed of travelling and thinks it’s going to be wonderful, but the reality isn’t quite the way she had envisaged it.  And when she is kidnapped by some Japanese ronin (outlaws), she embarks on the biggest adventure of her life …

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre? – I think mostly it’s the settings I choose that are different, as I often feature Japan (or other places in the Far East) and/or Sweden.  They say you should write about what you know and as I’ve lived in these countries myself, I try to follow that advice and hope it will interest readers.

3)     Why do I write what I do? – I have absolutely no idea – the stories just come into my head, triggered by all kinds of weird and wonderful things.  You could say I write romantic fiction because that’s what I love to read myself, and mostly I write historicals, as I’ve always been fascinated by history.

4)     How does your writing process work? – I think I may have mentioned this before, but I work in a very haphazard way.  My stories usually start with a scene that pops into my head unexpectedly, and then grow from that.  The scene can be anywhere in the book, so I might find myself working backwards or forwards from that point on.  Somehow it all comes together in the end – just don’t ask me how!

These are the authors who will be joining the blog hop next week (10th February):-

Henriette Gyland grew up in Denmark but moved to England after graduating from university. Before she became a writer and a freelance translator, she worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and a county court. In 2011 Henriette won the New Talent Award from the Festival of Romance. Her website and blog can be found at http://henriettegyland.wordpress.com.

Celia J Anderson – when she’s not teaching ten year olds or writing stories involving pants, this author spends far too much time on Facebook and does a lot of walking to counteract the cooking, eating and drinking which form most of her hobbies. She blogs as part of the Romaniacs online writers’ group, her website was recently launched thanks to Lucy Felthouse – http://celiajanderson.co.uk and she tweets spasmodically as @CeliaAnderson, She now has an author page on Facebook to celebrate the August 2013 release of her first novel Sweet Proposal with Piatkus Entice after winning a writing competition for a contract. Her ultimate dream is to have children’s books published. Usually sea-starved in the depths of the Midlands, she can often be found wandering around Brighton visiting her two daughters and pretending to collect ideas for her next book.

Enjoy their posts and thank you again for reading this!


  1. How exciting that there’s a third to come in the Japanese trilogy, Christina. I’m already looking forward to it!

    Liz X

    Comment by Liz Harris — February 3, 2014 @ 10:40 am

  2. You have the most fabulous titles, Christina. I am immediately drawn to the books. And what an interesting way of working. I’m looking forward to reading The Secret Kiss of Darkness. 🙂

    Comment by Laura E. James — February 3, 2014 @ 10:46 am

  3. I can identify with the haphazard way of starting with an idea anywhere in the book and taking it from there. I love the surprises that pop up. Of course, that can mean – in my case – some very lengthy editing, but I wouldn’t get the same fun out of the writing journey if I was too organised. You sound like you have a lot of fun with your writing.

    I love reading about how other writers work.

    Thanks Christina!

    Comment by Beverley Eikli — February 3, 2014 @ 10:56 am

  4. I’m so looking forward to reading The Snow Ghost because I’ve loved your Japanese novels!

    Comment by Margaret James — February 3, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

  5. Great blog. What an interesting way to write a story, to work around a scene and go forwards and backwards (it actually makes perfect sense). X

    Comment by Melanie Hudson — February 3, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

  6. I too love hearing about the way other writers write. Fascinating that you can work backwards in a plot Christina. I’m afraid I’m the opposite as I have to write as though I’m building a house, brick upon brick so to speak. Although that just means that I edit each chapter with care before I begin the next. Not that I’m organised – the reverse as I find it impossible to write a synopsis until I’ve actually finished the book!

    Comment by Margaret Kaine — February 3, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

  7. You may have a haphazard way of working, Christina, but it pays off. Maybe that’s why your books aren’t uniform, but all so different.

    Liv x

    Comment by Liv T — February 3, 2014 @ 7:02 pm

  8. Thank you everyone, for your lovely comments!
    Liz and Margaret – I hope you won’t be disappointed 🙂
    Laura – thanks, I love trying to think up titles – some of them are so easy whereas others are almost impossible!
    Beverley, Melanie, Margaret K and Liv – it’s weird how we all work in such different ways, isn’t it! But somehow we get to the end 🙂

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — February 3, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

  9. What a great title! I do hope The Snow Ghost stays! Your work process might be haphazard but it’s hugely productive! Well done. x

    Comment by Chris Stovell — February 3, 2014 @ 10:05 pm

  10. I love reading about how authors work, it’s absolutely fascinating. Everyone is completely different.
    I also love the title, The Snow Ghost – it conjures up all sorts of magical, icy images 🙂

    Terrific blog post!


    Comment by Berni Stevens — February 5, 2014 @ 11:23 am

  11. Thank you, Chris and Berni! Glad you like that title, I do too 🙂 (And sorry to be so slow to reply!)

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — February 6, 2014 @ 3:10 pm

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