It is with great pleasure that I introduce my next Nano Spotlight interviewee. Natz’s entry in the ‘Rule of Three‘ blogfest was fun to read, and I loved her idea of setting up a Nanowrimo Blog Hop. So, without further ado – Natz!
How and why did you end up participating in National Novel Writing Month?
The first time I participated in NaNoWriMo was some time in 2003 (I had to look that up)… I don’t recall how I found out about it, though it was probably through blog surfing. WHY I did it… is a difficult matter to explain. I don’t really know. It was probably a combination of wanting to challenge myself, as well as being a bored college student. I know that I had fun writing it, and quite a few friends in my church youth group were trying to figure out who the guy I was writing about was. (He was kind of my college crush. And yes, I WAS that obvious back then.)
My story actually ended itself somewhere at about 28K-ish, and I started to pad the rest with silly poems and um… song lyrics. No, I never got near 50K at all.
You can still find the story here: http://www.fictionpress.com/s/1435700/1/ALOOF. I never got round to editing it, although I DID write another story/spinoff from it a few years later. (That too suffered the I-like-you-but-not-enough syndrome of abandonment).
What are you writing about this year?
There’s been this big debate in Malaysia about emigration. Well, not really “big” debate, but it’s an ongoing discussion about whether we should be staying here or leave to greener pastures overseas. It kind of got me thinking about the diaspora – there’s been a huge brain drain in recent years, with at least a million Malaysians working overseas. (if you want to read a little: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/05/06/brain-drain-one-million-malaysians-working-overseas/)
That, and the story of Daniel in the Bible, where the Jews were taken forcibly out of their country into Babylon sparked a thought: How deep does/should loyalty to your country run?
If you had left out of your own will, you may not feel any loyalty to her (except through reminiscing about the past) as you would probably have very specific reasons why you wanted to leave. But if you were forced out of your country, either through war, economic hardships, human trafficking or blatant discrimination (very real issues even today) and you have managed to build up a whole new life elsewhere, what would your feelings be towards your own country?
I decided to make it a fantasy since I don’t think I know enough to do a thriller type story (which would require a lot more research, and which made last year’s nanowrimo attempt a huge fail) and because I figured I might as well try something from the genre that I read the most, for once.
My MC, Shell, has been captured during one of the frequent border wars between Aarra (his country) and Dan and taken as a slave in the palace. There, they discover that he has magical abilities and start training him until he is one of the best and most trusted magicians in the Dan. The crux comes when a fresh war starts… and Shell is ordered to lead the attack against Aarra. He hasn’t figured out what to do yet.
What’s your favorite part of Nanowrimo and why?
My favourite part of Nanowrimo really has to be the amount of support that you get over the interwebs, especially in the recent years with twitter and with me being a little more *outgoing* on the blogs. If I had this kind of support earlier on, I might have been more motivated to actually try more often (I skipped a few years between 2003 and err… somewhere about 2007, I think) and maybe even more motivated to keep pressing on until the end.
Some thick-skinned promotion: Check out Sommer’s Nanowrimo Championing project (http://sommerleigh.com/) if you have the time and sign up at the linky to be encouraged!
Who’s the best character in your Nano?
Right now, Stand! Stand is Shell’s older brother. He’s awesomely protective of this little runt, tall and rugged and if he says he’ll do it, you can bet your life on it that it will get done. Men of honour are seriously sexy. To me, anyway.
Sneaky Ninja Question! How would you want to die?
I want to be raptured! How cool is that to suddenly disappear off the face of the earth? And then your clothes magically fold themselves neatly with your shoes just beside them… and you get to escape all the trials and tribulations and drastic events that are supposed to unfold. Um. I should probably stop watching apocalypse movies.
Seriously… I think I would like to nod off over a really good book.
Drop by at my blog (http://natzthinks.blogspot.com) for a steaming hot cuppa and to muse over topics like writing, faith and worship. I also write book reviews and post random short stories for #fridayflash and other various blogfests.
Many thumbs up to Chris for his awesome Nanowrimo spotlight!
Happy writing, and all the best!