Nano Spotlight: Kai Herbertz

Good morning again. I’ve still got plenty of interviews to share with you all, so let’s meet Kai.

Tell me a bit about your experience with Nano so far:
I’ve known about NaNoWriMo for a long time, but it took me a while to switch from contemplation to participation. I’ve been working on a fantasy novel titled “Age of Torridan” for years, so in 2012 I
decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. Since I worked on the old novel, I technically cheated, but I figured not being able to “win” properly is still worth it, if I can build up the good habit of writing every day. Alas, that didn’t quite pan out. I’m still glad that I joined NaNoWriMo, since I attended write-ins in London (UK), Düsseldorf (Germany) and Essen (Germany). It’s fascinating that at every write-in there were so many awesome people. It’s a small sample size, but it certainly helped convince me that NaNoWriMo consists of amazing people.

Matsumoto Castle

What are you writing about this year?
I haven’t made up my mind about that, yet. On Saturday the 12th of October, I met up with a bunch of local ‘wrimos to plan out our novels, but we ended up chatting a lot instead. Besides, I am still busy with last year’s novel, so I did not really have the time to do a proper notecard for scene outline. Most likely this year’s story will be another fantasy stand alone with a “pursue your dreams” kind of theme.

Who’s the best character in your Nano novel?
Since I did not flesh things out, I’ll talk about my favourite character from “Age of Torridan”. Only five of the thirty three chapters are from her point of view and going by Rachel Aaron’s categories I’d say she’s a “power player”. Her name is Shari. She is the ruler of an independent city state that doesn’t get annexed, because it is the refuge of most of the wizards in the world. Her main goal is to maintain the status quo and she’s not timid about her methods, which is why the people I showed one of her chapters to didn’t like her. Oh well, I think she’s the best character in the book – nevertheless that’s also problematic, as the best character should be the protagonist.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Despite the “purge all adverbs” mantra, my advice is to take the “lazy” route and use adverbs and adjectives in the first draft. Later on, when the dust has settled, NaNoWriMo is over and you’ve reached those 50k, it’s early enough to revise those sections and replace the adverbs / adjectives with strong verbs / nouns. Also, I have to mention Rachel Aaron again: her blog post How I went from writing 2000 words a day to 10000 words a day is highly relevant for a contest like NaNoWriMo.

Sneaky Ninja question! What´s your favorite breakfast food?
Ah, breakfast! I used to not have breakfast at all, but everyone around me insisted that it’s the most important meal of the day. Eventually I caved, getting something to eat after waking up. A few year’s ago the cafeteria at my place of work had these rolls with eggs and cheese. They were purely magical, so I like to prepare those on the weekends, when I cannot simply buy pre-made breakfast.

Now, just ramble.
You can find my “Opinions on writing, game design and my life” at In addition to the blog, I’ve recently started a youtube channel which currently deals with reviews of board and computer games. Eventually I plan to add behind the scenes videos of my writing / game design projects and also interviews to the youtube channel. You can also find me on twitter @kaiherbertz.

As for plugging things that are not related to me, I want to give a shout out to the Day[9] community. The host Sean “Day[9]” Plott mostly discusses the game Starcraft2 on his channel, but I’m of the opinion that his Q&A and story time videos are interesting for everyone. If you want to check out his videos, I highly recommend daily #342

Thank you very much for your time 🙂


One Response to Nano Spotlight: Kai Herbertz

  1. […] I’ve already received the interview questions and will send him my answers this weekend. Once the spotlight with my answers is up, I’ll link to it […]


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