My Writing Process – Blog Tour

published author
Signed my book contract over the weekend for my novel Unkept. What what!

I was part of a blog tour once back in the day when I had a blog called “Alabaster Cow,” and I mentioned how I peed on a street in Brooklyn in the middle of a snow storm once and they never asked me back.  So imagine how amazingly grateful I am that Dawn from Tales from the Motherland asked me to get in involved with a blog tour that delves deeper into my writing process.  And this time I won’t even mention urine.


My Writing Process

  • What am I working on?  Right now I’m working on a novel called White Smoke that’s forcing me to come face-to-face with my Arkansas roots.  And I appreciate that.  For a long time I hated Arkansas.  There’s a lot not to like in that state: racism, backward thinking, in-your-face religious conformity.  But there’s also a lot to love, and writing this book is proof for me that you are where you come from, and instead of denying it, hating it, hiding it, maybe you can bring to light the painful things to instill a sense of hope.

Anyways, the book’s about a teenage glue addict named Wren that starts peddling drugs for her ex-boyfriend’s brother so that she can get out of  her hometown,White Smoke.  Her story is closely woven with her father’s (Mitch) who has a difficult time dealing with his roles as a father and husband, not to mention the tenuous grasp he has on his secret identity as a homosexual.

Told through the eyes of father and daughter in two very different stages of their lives, White Smoke captures the love and loss that ensues when two people try to strengthen their connection with each other, worlds and time apart.

Or something.  I’m still working on the “something”…

  • How does my work differ from others of its genre?  Hmm…well, I’m not sure I’ve read a book about a teenage glue addict and her homosexual father who live in a small Arkansas town.  So…that?
  • Why do I write what I do?  I write what I do because I’m forced to.  You know that divine intervention thing where the gospel writers were overcome with the power of the Holy Spirit and everything they wrote was inspired by God?  Well, writing for me is kind of liked that, but instead of the Holy Spirit, I’m filled with caffeine.  I’m also pretty sure I black out a little.  But really, what I’m trying to say is that I write what I do because I’m compelled to.  Something clicks on inside my head and my heart and I get this feeling that tells me, “Yep, this is it.”
  • How does your writing process work?  I wake up, take my daughter to school, make breakfast, clean up my daughter’s room that looks like the victim of a massive tornado and then I sit down with a cup of matcha green tea and try to invoke the pain that comes from twenty-nine years of living.  Is there any other way?

Well look at that!  Not one urine mention.  I think this deserves a good emotional pain invoking.  Let me just get my tissues…

Psst….I just set up my EC Readers group for all you lovely people who would like to help me promote my new novel!  Free perks?  Who doesn’t love that??

Passing on blog tour torch…

These three lovely ladies will be hosting the blog tour on their own blogs on March 31st so be sure to stop by!

Ashley Sapp

AshleyAshley is a writer and wannabe editor from South Carolina. She is a language and literature enthusiast as well as an activist to end violence against women. Her blog caters to the creative side of her brain, and she can also be found on Twitter or Facebook.

Jessica Sita


Jessica Sita is a full-time writer living in Oklahoma with her husband and two dogs. Her book of poetry, Outcry, is going to be self-published this spring. You can find her at her blog: Watchful Creature.

Tilley Creary

TIlley A longtime lover of literature Tilley has always wanted to write the Great Canadian Novel, or, you know, a steamy sci-fi romance adventure drama, whichever comes first. At any rate, she’s just learning the ropes for writing fiction and his hoping that someday writing a killer birthday wish in a greeting card will be the highlight of her writing career.  Find out more about Tilley at


16 Comments Add yours

  1. meglago says:

    The synopsis of White Smoke sounds great, Ericka


    1. Ericka Clay says:

      Thank you, Meg! And no punctuation necessary

      in fact, let’s get rid of capitalization, too #mondaysmakemesleepy


  2. meglago says:

    I didn’t mean to end my post without punctuation; I guess my fingers are still in weekend mode!


  3. Kir Piccini says:

    you are such an enormous inspiration to me and seeing that SIGNED publishing agreement…SQUEE!!!!

    thanks for letting us peek inside your process! Loved the look.


    1. Ericka Clay says:

      Thank you, Kir, as always. I love the enthusiasm you always have for my work and would love if you’d join me in spreading the word about Unkept:


  4. SO incredibly excited for you, Ericka, on signing your contract. Also really excited to read about White Smoke. It sounds awesome! Clearly, you will not be a one hit wonder, as the stories are just dying to go from your amazing head to the page. (see how I just made that leap… one hit… see?) Really excited for you, and grateful that you agreed to participate in this fun tour.


    1. Ericka Clay says:

      Thank you, Dawn, and thank you so much for inviting me. I’ve never had so much fun talking about urine in my life! 🙂


      1. Urine the big league now darlin’! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Who doesn’t love a good urine story?


    1. Ericka Clay says:

      Someone who is anti-awesome, that’s who!


  6. angela says:

    I think it’s interesting that you’re going “back to Arkansas” for White Smoke. I’m working on something set in Michigan, which I’ve only done in a (very) short story before. I still live here but have a hard time working with it as a setting.
    Wait, this was supposed to be a comment, not a confessional?


    1. Ericka Clay says:

      Haha, confess away! I always seem to choose locations I don’t live in currently, and you’d think it would be the opposite. Maybe there’s something to that saying “too close to home.”


  7. With all due respect to theologians, I find Lagavulin to be a most holy of spirits. Macallen isn’t too bad, either, nor is Talisker.

    Interestingly, in Canada, we have a saying: “Don’t eat yellow snow.” You’ve no idea how famous you are, here.


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