Tell me a little about your Nano experience so far:
I’ve been participating in Nanowrimo for at least six years. The first few times I attempted it, I did not even come close to the 50K word goal. Three years ago, I purchased a $20 Alphasmart 3000, since I could not afford a laptop. I went to write-ins for the first time using it to write my stories. I made my 50K goal that year and I learned a great deal about the craft of writing by talking with the other writers at the event.
This is my second year at being the Nanowrimo ML for my region, South Orange County, CA. It means that Nanowrimo begins a month or two before hand for me. I, and my co-ML Rosie, meet to plan a kick-off party, a midnight write-in on November 1st, and find hosts for the various write-in in our area. We also do a few joint events with North Orange County, CA. It certainly adds to my workload in general each November. As an ML I am required to host a write-in once a week for the entire month and as an ML, I like to attend most of the write-ins in our area to show support to our hosts. I’m taking up more of the duties for our region, now that I have a year experience under my belt.
What are you writing about this year?
I am working on book III of my steampunk trilogy. I put off writing a huge battle scene because I’ve never written about war and I’m researching methods of how to organize the scene and ways to make the action more believable. This should take up most of my word count this November. I also have a few political scenes to complete.
Who’s the best character in your Nano novel?
My book is an ensemble cast. I have seven main characters, each of which has aspects that I enjoy writing about and aspects that I find a challenge. There is an assassin, a rogue, a heroine, a beautiful schemer, an insane queen, a woman that builds a business, and a prince who develops a conscious. I’m not sure which one I would call “the best”. I think that between my beta-readers, it is split between the assassin, the beautiful schemer and the prince.
What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Never give up. Never surrender. Seriously. Writing a novel is a huge undertaking and it can seem overwhelming if you haven’t done it before. Nanowrimo is a great boost to helping you get through the rough draft. Use the energy and support of your fellow wrimos to help you realize your dream of publishing a book.
Sneaky Ninja question! What is your favorite movie – you have to pick just one!
This is a tough question. I love movies and I’ve had many favorites down through the years. I would say that the film that has had the most influence on my life is “Star Wars: A New Hope”. I saw it when it first came out in the theaters, I was all but twelve years old at the time, and I was blown away by not only the story, but by the new faster editing and directing style of George Lucas. Then and there, I was inspired to become a filmmaker and a storyteller. I wanted to go to USC and study film the way that Lucas did.
I never made it to USC, I had to settle for a less expensive filmschool, but I followed my dream and ended up producing and directing hundreds of corporate and municipal productions, even a movie or two. Along the way, I lost sight of my original love of telling stories, by taking on too many talk shows, live events and other less interesting work. That is what drew me back to novel writing and what keeps me there today. I want to tell stories again.
Today, I have upgraded to an Alphasmart Neo and regularly go out to coffeehouses to write throughout the year. I write articles for art magazines, publish short stories in literary magazines, write articles for my writing blog, No Wasted Ink, and continue to work on my steampunk trilogy. It is a great time to be a writer. You should join in the adventure.
My writer’s platform is the blog, No Wasted Ink. It features author interviews, book reviews of classic literature and famous science fiction or fantasy novels, articles about the craft of writing and how to market yourself as an author, plus announcements of my work as it publishes in magazines or will be made available for sale on Amazon. My blog has been around for two years and has a growing following.