1. What am I working on?
Usually, I work on more than one project at a time. The big one right now is the second High Concept book, featuring Beck and Zach from HC-I. The guys battle the trials of a long-distance relationship and become entangled in the twisted machinations of a serial killer. Xav-D is back in a more prominent role.
The other main project is a contemporary Valentine’s story, but it’s not all wine and roses—more sour grapes and thorns!
I have another mystery/suspense roughed out, which features a veterinarian. I’m going to be picking Sarah Madison’s brain for details!
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’d say the biggest difference is the ages of the characters. Most of the time I prefer the guys be thirty-plus years old. Other than flashbacks, the youngest character I’ve written to date is twenty-five. For me, it helps that the men have been around the block a few times and gotten knocked around—life has left its mark on them.
Another difference—I often write medical characters, drawing on my own background. It’s my version of “write what you know.” Nothing to date has exclusively medical characters—that might be a bit much. Part of the fun of writing is researching other professions. Among what I’ve written to date: a fireman, a chocolatier, an architect, an art professor, and a graphic artist.
3. Why do I write what I do?
In a nutshell, I love men. I started out writing M/F and figured out right away I identified more with the male character. Then I was introduced to Josh Lanyon (ie, the gateway drug) and M/M. It was like a homecoming—two men. What could be better? It seems more natural to write a couple of guys than a guy and a gal, and I enjoy it a lot more.
4. How does my writing process work?
I don’t know if I can explain it well. It starts with an idea, usually in the form of a character. In my recent release Artistic Endeavor, it started with a question: what if a guy grew up hiding his orientation because of his family’s religious beliefs and attending parochial school? What if that hiding had to continue through a Catholic college education and master’s degree? What if at age twenty-five the guy finally escaped, only to find he had no idea how to go about meeting men?
I’m a plotter at the beginning—I make a fluid outline of what I want the story to be—sort of like a synopsis. Then as I write, it’s something of a pantsing experience. The actual scenes take shape, sometimes in different locations, sometimes with different characters. As things change I have to go back and tweak the parts that came before.
For contemporary, I write from start to finish—chronologically. Occasionally if flashbacks play a prominent role, I write these first.
I find mystery/suspense requires a different approach and a lot of work. These books are not written chronologically; the main plot points and twists come first, and then are strung together with bridging material so they make sense. The more complicated the plot, the harder it is.
5. Where can you find my work?
www.whitleygray.com Look for Artistic Endeavor, part of the Campus Cravings bundle!
So there you have it! Now I’m going to some fabulous authors to answer the same questions next week on their own blogs and tag more authors themselves. And so on, and so on. Sometime during the second week of September, check out the blogs of KyAnn Waters, Mia Downing, and Annabeth Albert and find out who they are tagging, too!