The Writing Process (Blog Tour)


I was invited to partcipate in The Writing Process Blog Tour by my friends Carol and Tom Phipps.

They are the authors of The Heart Of The Staff fantasy series and currently working on the sixth novel, DOOM, the final book in the series. With great characters, imaginative settings, and action-packed scenes, it promises be a fast-paced spellbinding conclusion to the epic story. As the title suggests, the evil descending on the world like a dark shroud of death could tragically destroy the kingdom of Niarg. There are no guarantees that the forces of good will triumph.

Carol and Tom started the series with GOOD SISTER, BAD SISTER, then THE COLLECTOR WITCH, then STONE HEART, followed by THE BURGEONING and THE REAPER WITCH.  Their novel THE ELF KILLERS is a prequel story set a thousand years before the series begins.


Carol’s lifelong love for classic fantasies (Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty, etc.) inspired her to begin writing her own fantasy. Inspiration shared is magic indeed, and Tom was soon helping her build the castle and kingdom of Niarg one word-block at a time. 🙂 Now with the sixth and final book due to be published this year, they have to be feeling a bit of sweet sadness knowing the end is near. So much life, love, magic, and hard work went into the series.

So please, dear reader, go to and say hi to Carol and Tom; they’re good Heartland people in Illinois country. While you’re at Niarg, browse through their books. The Heart Of The Staff is pure magic.

Here is the WordPress link for my review of THE COLLECTOR WITCH

And, my review of GOOD SISTER, BAD SISTER


Now to answer a few questions directed to me about the writing process.

 What am I working on?

My third book, THE PRIZE OF THE SURVIVORS will be finished and published this fall (I hope).  It will be an action-packed dystopian sci-fi where natural disasters destroy cities and farmlands across the world, and a few human refugees are given sanctuary on the terraformed planet of Lantamyra.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I blend fantasy with sci-fi to create a realistic world (Lantamyra) and populate it with fantasy characters: dragons that are intelligent alien refugees, fairies that are alien insects bred to talk, look human, and tend the ancient gardens of the Keepers of Akosh. The Keepers are ancient alien caretakers of living worlds that took human form long ago and account for some of our mythological gods/goddesses legends. The crystal powers of my story have definable limits. Another point that makes my work different is that I avoid using contractions in the narrative whenever possible. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the classical style of prose. I believe contractions belong in the dialog not the narrative. If a sentence sounds ‘stiff or stuffy’ because I say “do not” instead of “don’t” then I’ll  write four or five variables of the sentence until I find one that doesn’t sound so stiff.

 Why do I write what I write?

I have always had a deep love and respect for science, mathematics, and logic. I adored reading all the Sherlock Holmes books. I had the hots for a green-blooded Vulcan from the Star Trek series. The TV series was not enough so I read dozens of novels based on it. I never really believed in magic until my husband introduced me to Buddhism. I came to accept the ancient Eastern philosophies of life, Universal reality, and time.  So now I write stories to enlighten and remind the atom-splitting scientific thinkers that magic exists. Before the Universe nothing existed; something had to be created from nothing at least once. Pure magic.  Science will NEVER be able to define or explain the true infinite nature of the Universe. However, we absolutely MUST continue to scientifically explore all the frontiers of our Universe. Somewhere out there is a green-blooded Vulcan who would love to share tea and time with me. 🙂

 How does my writing process work?

First, I create the scene in my mind and that is the fun and easy part. Then, finding the appropriate words to describe the characters, setting, and action is the challenging part. I usually write the basic scene (character interplay and dialog) then later add embellishing details of setting and graphic descriptions of action. I edit, edit, edit, and most importantly– I read my story aloud, multiple times. It must sound like a story.


Here are the Amazon links for my two books:

Lantamyra A Tapestry of Fantasy

A Tale of Two Worlds



Now I would like to introduce two authors that I have enjoyed reading.

Gerri Bowen is a talented lady who has written a number of works in the historical/romance/fantasy genre. Her book, Audrey’s Love, was the first book I read. Audrey is a 21st century woman that finds herself transported to medieval Engand where she finds adventure and romance with Sir Rolf. My husband and I read it aloud and enjoyed it immensely. Here is my GoodReads review.

Her latest book, Love’s Blood was her best work. I loved the character transformation of the simple kind-hearted Adyna into the complex powerful Britta. Her lover Erik the Dane is a great example of royal manhood (noble one moment, then sexy). The characters of Dromo (the cheetah) and Koozie (the raven) add magic and fun throughout the story.  Once again, the story was read aloud by my husband and I, so much more enjoyable that way. Here is my GoodReads review.

Visit Gerri’s blogsite and browse through her collection of work.



Rachael Mollinson-Read loves fantasy and it shows in her books. Written more for middle-grades to young adult readers, her books can also be enjoyed by older adults (like myself) who want to escape into a fantasy where magic abides and the world is as enchanting as the characters. In her first book Magician’s Mayhem, young Tobin and Darcie set out to find out who is terrorizing the kingdom with exploding orbs. We read the book aloud and enjoyed it. Here is my GoodReads review.

Her second book in the Elden Forest series, Magician’s Mastery, was just published recently and continues the adventures of Tobin and Darcie. It is definitely on my To-be-read list.

Visit Rachael’s blogsite for fun, fantasy, and good writing tips.



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6 responses to “The Writing Process (Blog Tour)

  1. I always learn something new when I read your blogs, Susan. Looking forward to Book #3, THE PRIZE OF THE SURVIVORS.
    I will check out Carol’s work as well as Rachael’s. 🙂

    • Thank you, Gerri. I try to make each blog interesting and different from any that preceded. But, that is challenging and makes my head hurt 😉
      Still, I should try and blog more often.

      I hope it introduces new readers for your books.

  2. Hi Susan,

    You did a fantastic job with this blog post and i enjoyed it very much. Thank you for all the kind words about Tom and me. You certainly gave a succinct description of our series and my dear hubby and i both appreciate all the time and effort you obviously put into it.

    Oh…and now I find we have another thing in common…I was enamored over that same green-blooded Vulcan…

    • I wanted to run amok with Spock during “Amok Time” 😉 And, I was so impressed by the performance of the actress that portrayed T’Pau that I patterned my own Keeper of the Ways Esmendara after her.

      This blog was the hardest blog yet. The questions about me were hard to answer; I kept changing them until I finally said, “To heck with it! Stop trying to give formula answers, just ramble like usual.”

      It took me three tries to get the pictures in the blog. I have such a knack for making the simplest task complicated.

      I hope it introduces new readers for your books.

  3. R.

    Susan! Thank you so much for including me in your blog post! I loved hearing about your writing process, I always find it so interesting to learn about how other authors go about creating:)
    I can’t wait for your third novel, and A Tale Of Two Worlds is next on my ‘to read’ list:)

    • Hi Rachael, I chose to introduce you because I enjoyed your writing, and I believe that many other readers would enjoy your books too. Reading Magicians Mayhem made me feel good like hot tea and warm muffins 😉 The fantasy world you have created with the Elden forest series is imaginative, exciting, and fun, a perfect escape for young and not-so young 🙂 I’m looking forward to Magician’s Mastery. I need a good fantasy escape right now. Currently, I’m reviewing one book and have one more short sci-fi then Magician’s Mastery. However, like last time, I may postpone the dark sci-fi thriller and jump ahead for the light fun I’ll find in Elden Forest. 🙂

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