Okay, hey all writers readers and followers – it’s time for Nano spotlight! During November, I’ll be doing little guest interviews from other participants in National Novel writing Month. Today, it’s the turn of Andrea Michaels
How and why did you end up participating in National Novel Writing Month (the first occasion you did.)
It was fate, definitely. Do you believe in fate? I do think it exists. Sometimes.
The internet is a perfect playfield to study signs and coincidences. You start reading an article that’s got, say, four links in it, and you click on one. That takes you to another article with four links and you click one. And you do that a couple of times as long as those articles keep interest you. (And as long as you’ve nothing else to do.) And then you end up reading about somebody’s broken cooker, some other person’s awful date (have you noticed that good dates are not very interesting to write about?) or some writer’s post about novel writing or such. When I first read about Nano 2 years ago in that post, it was already November and that particular writer was actually publishing their novel in progress. It was not very good, so I was like, I could do that! I can write that, too. It was something that I needed to jumpstart my writing with and I made a mental note to definitely do it next year. It was my first year last year, and even though I didn’t win, I don’t regret any part of it. Apart from not winning, of course.
What are you writing about this year?
I’m a total rebel this year. (Just like my whole life to be fair. Quiet, but constant rebelling against all rules that make no sense to me.) I learnt a lot about myself as a writer during the last year and I know I need variety. I can’t focus on one story at a time with such intensity. So I’m writing 50k of two stories: the first one is about Baul, who sucked as a guardian angel, and the second one is about a plane that arrives to a completely empty airport to find out that almost all other people seem to have just vanished. It helps that I love both stories.
What’s your favorite part of Nanowrimo and why?
The writing? No, actually it’s got to be the connections. You meet these amazing, enthusiastic people (pointing at you, man) who are in love with writing but they have jobs, families, a social life etc. and those usually come first. But then November changes the priorities and I think that’s pretty awesome. I learn a lot from the other participants – not just as a writer but as a person who writes. There’s no other place where you meet so much positivity and helpfulness about writing. A perfect example is the way you do these interviews on your blog.
Who’s your favorite Nano character?
Oh, I love all my characters too much. It hurts to put them through any troubles, I wish they could, you know, just sit by the fire, sipping ouzo and just be in love, happily ever after. I know, it doesn’t happen often, does it?
But if you insist on choosing one this year, it’s got to be Baul, the guardian angel. He’s so much fun, so flawed, so wrong a lot of times but full of love. And self-loath. My type of guy!
Sneaky Ninja Question! What is your favorite book – you have to pick just one!
I love whatever I read at the moment. Even if it’s bad, like the Twilight. But OK, there’s one outstanding book that comes back to my life every so often. It takes me to its own special world, making me cry, feel ashamed and think about changing how I live. It’s The Idiot by Dostoyevsky. It’s a tough read because Russians have so many names for one person but it touches all the right chords: do you know who you are? Would you forsake your social position for love? Do you live the way you live because you’ve chosen it or because that’s what’s expected of you? Dostoyevsky keeps you right under his finger, and doesn’t allow you not to choose sides – I think I’ll have to take this book out again soon, it’s been a while.
Read more about Baul and Andrea, and watch writing-related videos at http://wordyliving.wordpress.com where a number of guests share their thoughts and advice about writing every Friday as well. All comments are cherished dearly.
Thank you for the opportunity, Chris, and I wish everyone good luck with their WIPs, Nano or not!
Thanks for sharing with us, Andrea!