Lea Griffith has been reading romance novels since a young age. She cut her teeth on the greats: McNaught, Woodiwiss, and Garwood. She still consumes every romance book she can put her hands on, and now she writes her own compelling romantic suspense. Lea lives with her husband and three teenage daughters in rural Georgia.
My Writing Process
One of the questions I get more than any other is, “How do you write?” For me, the method is very organic—I put on a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, thick socks (even in the summer), and I park my behind on my sofa in front of the TV. Yes, the TV. I pull a designated “special” pillow on my lap, place my laptop on that, boot that sucker up and I’m almost ready. Next come the headphones attached to my iPhone which is queued up to play whatever playlist I’ve created for whichever story I’m working on. Then the magic happens.
Oh, you wanted to know the deeper stuff—the how’s and why’s and the process.
Okay, I’ve got you. My process is a bit convoluted. I’m a pantser, not a plotter. I have an idea of my story—it’s usually hit me upside the head driving to the day job or sitting at dinner. If I don’t feel the story, I don’t write it. It must speak to me. Once I’ve got the story in my gut, I begin researching the places and people I’m writing about. While the setting is bound to change, and does frequently, delving into a bit of research helps me flesh out my story arc and is about as much plotting as I can engage in. My characters always have their own lead and I don’t leash them in any way. But I’ve always got an idea in mind of who I’m writing—their do’s and don’ts, their will’s and won’ts. How do they look physically? How do they talk? What is their motivation? Some may consider this plotting, and I would agree in some ways it could be construed that way, but to even put that label on it makes my neck itch, lol.
Once I’ve got the characters, the basic setting, the overall arc, and what I’m trying to accomplish in the story—I write. It’s simple. Unencumbered. And I like it like that. Sticking to a plot, or even a heavy outline, takes me out of my creativity and stifles me to the point where I stop hearing the characters talk to me. And yes, they do talk to me. A lot. All the time, in fact. They let me know when I’ve gotten something wrong or when I’ve gotten it just right. They take me along with them in on their journey and it is an absolute joy to tell their stories.
So there’s my process—I pants it all! I do go back and make sure specifics are correct but that comes at the end. Once the first manuscript is completed, I allow it to sit for a week or so, then I go back and read it, making adjustments as I need, or as my characters demand. Usually, there are only 2-3 revisions and it’s off to either my agent or my editor.
With Flash of Fury, I wrote the actual story in less than a week. But due to some hiccups life decided to throw my way, it took this story almost two years to get to the finished product. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. King and Allie’s story is exactly how it needs to be, either in spite of or because, their narrator is a pantser.
I’m on to the next Endgame Ops operative and I’m still pantsing and loving every minute of it. Every single second. I hope you love the men and women of Endgame Ops as much as I do.
Up For Grabs:Their spark is immediateKingston McNally lost men when someone betrayed his team, and now he’s out for retribution. His quest for the enemy’s courier leads him to Cameroon and Allie Redding, a petite Peace Corps volunteer as stubborn as she is brave. Their attraction is immediate, but Allie has secrets of her own…and she’s not giving them up easily.But their secrets could burn them bothAllie’s life has been spent hiding in plain sight, but she’s had enough of her cloak-and-dagger existence. On her way home, her plane is hijacked—and King saves her life. But that doesn’t mean she owes him anything…even if he is the most damnably sexy man she’s ever laid eyes on. He’s got black ops and secrets written all over him, and trust is a two-way street.
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