I was invited aboard by epic speculative fantasy author C. D. Sutherland, author of The Dragoneers series. Thanks, Charles!
So I'm completing this section of the series before releasing Book 2 -- because Book 3 will release very soon afterwards.
I say 'this section' because I really enjoy writing about the characters inhabiting the Eighth Dominion. There are twelve dominions in this realm, and I'm now planning a sweeping series following developments in each of the numbered kingdoms.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Until recently, I would say that my work differed by its tendency towards very dark and violent tones. Also, that it didn't exactly fit certain genre conventions.
However, my Dragonsfyre series has released at a time when Game of Thrones has killed off almost an entire family line at the Red Wedding -- and on television. I hadn't categorized my dark fantasy series as YA, even though Book 1 is a coming-of-age story, because once we head into Scorpius' adulthood, things take a drastic turn for him. Yet Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series contains just as much violence as my Dragonsfyre world, so I'm re-evaluating how I've been marketing it and finding readers.
As for my Brotherhood of Blood vampire series -- at first I resisted marketing it as paranormal romance. It follows the convention of not tying up the story arc until the conclusion of the entire series, in the manner of the fantasy genre, as opposed to each title having its own conclusion even when part of a series, in the manner of the romance genre. Also, it retains my tendency towards a very dark tone, so I was actually marketing it as horror.
How does my writing process work?
Well, I would say that my initial exposure to other stories from the genres I love is really the first part of my writing process. For me this is more of a visual-and-auditory thing than reading other books in my genre.