Alleyne Dickens, Author

History with Mystery and Passion

A Stop Along The Tour


When Denise Golinowski invited me to participate in the My Writing Process Blog Tour I didn’t have a real blog, but I didn’t let that stop me. Oh, I’d signed up for this WordPress site a few years ago when I took a PRO-Class. But I’m the world’s worst online class participant. I never finished reading all the instructions and consequently never finished setting up the site. So many thanks, Denise, for inviting me to play — and kicking my… err, motivating me to get into the modern world. You can visit Denise at If you go to her blog, you’ll see that she’s writing a sequel to her terrific shape-shifter paranormal romance, Collector’s Item.

So, here I go. And, of course, I’m traveling by airship!

What am I working on?

Last month I finished the first draft of Burning Lily, the second book in my historical fantasy/gas lamp fantasy/steampunk series. Now I’m doing revisions to the first book in the series, Stalking Horse. I’m also pre-writing a novella that will fill in some of the world building detail as well as tell what I think is a very romantic story.

And I’m always getting new ideas…

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

As you’ve probably noted in the previous answer, I’m a little bit iffy on genre. I think I’m more historical or gas lamp fantasy than strictly steampunk. But rather than worry that I’m not following a trend, I’ve decided that I am ahead of the curve! Readers want what I’m writing. Publishers crave what I’m writing. Agents are dying for what I’m writing. They just don’t know it yet!

I’ve based my fantasy world on the real Victorian one with real historic events. I’ve added advanced technology, different religions and a secret cabal of powerful men planning to take over the world. Corny? It’s all in the execution.

Why do I write what I do?

I’ve always written historical fiction.

Always? I wrote my first “book” in junior high, and come to think of it, it was more historical fantasy than historical fiction, but there was romance! I wrote my second novel in high school — Tristan and Iseult with a twist.

Then I wrote a medieval romance. I tried Gilded Age mystery. I wanted to be the next Elizabeth Peters, but using in American characters. Sadly, that time period wasn’t selling then. Moved on to regency. Won some contests, got some requests, wrote more regency, but didn’t feel I was getting any closer to publication. I needed a break, but not a break from writing.

I decided to do the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and do something different. I can’t remember why I decided to try my hand at this (whatever it ends up being called), but once I started writing Stalking Horse, it flowed out of me! It was like being in love for the first time. It was exciting and fun and I’ve never enjoyed writing so much! The second book was pretty much the same, even more fun and words coming at a gallop. I was hooked!

How does your writing process work?

I always thought of myself as a “plotser.” A hybrid — not completely writing by the seat of my pants, but not working from detailed outlines either.

For Burning Lily I wrote the synopsis before the book — a first! And I used a scene list to keep me working toward the goal. Well, I used it up to a point. I listed the scenes I knew I needed, including who’s Point of View the scene was in, what the character’s goal was and what the conflict that would keep them from getting it was. I tried to think anything that would move the story forward and hinder that characters — because I love to make it hard for them! It wasn’t a complete scene list — I could only write as much as I knew, but my following it, I was able to figure the rest of it out.

Nuts and bolts – when I’m home I write mostly late at night. That seems to be the time when my “internal editor” goes to sleep. I love to write in public places and with other people. I can breeze through 1000 words in an hour in the right circumstances and struggle to get to 500 in a day if they’re not. I’m working on that.

This wasn’t so hard. I might keep this up! Thanks again, Denise!!!

On March 3rd, my Virginia Romance Writer sister, Stephanie Gurnsey Higgins will share her writing process! Stephanie writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She lives with her family in Central Virginia and happens to think that life is too short to read books that don’t have happy endings. Check out her thoughts at

Author: Alleyne Dickens

Alleyne Dickens was destined to be a writer the moment her parents named her. It's just taken her a while to get there. Pre-published, Alleyne writes historical romance, historical mystery and historical fantasy (aka steampunk).

6 thoughts on “A Stop Along The Tour

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Alleyne! I always enjoy reading about authors’ writing process and the road they’ve taken so far.

  2. Hi, Alleyne! I think any honest pantser is a plotser, because eventually, they pick a direction and have to move things along toward it which distills down to plotting IMHO. I enjoyed reading about your writing evolution and look forward to seeing your books in print soon! Yes, they DO what them–they just don’t know it yet!

    • Thank, Denise. I’m so glad you liked it. And I agree with you. Pansters still have to know where they want to go! I’ve added a lot more structure to my plotting in recent years, It’s not full out plotting. I could never adhere 100% to any plan.

  3. Great read Alleyne! It was fun to learn the history of your writing genre progression and I look forward to seeing Stalking Horse in print one of these days!

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