Nanowrimo Spotlight: Kristin James

November 27, 2014

Hey everybody! I’m in a bit of a hurry to make it to a write-in tonight, so it’s a good thing I’ve got this really terse spotlight to share with you! It comes from Kristin, who blogs at missoverture and can be found on the Nano site as witchykristy.

How long have you been participating in Nanowrimo?
I’d be considered a NaNo veteran as I’ve been doing it since 2008, and won every year. 🙂 It’s fun to meet new people in the chats every year and at write ins because were all so like minded.

What are you writing about this year?
This year I have been writing about a civil war between two cursed races.

What is your favorite book – you have to pick just one!
In all honesty, my favorite book at the moment is Misery by Stephen King, though I am partial to The Hunger Games.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
For advice, I’ll say dedicate two hours a day to writing to hit your goal–if you’re like and type at 130 WPM, you could even just do an hour!

Sneaky Ninja question! Do you smoke? Have you ever??
I currently smoke, indeedy.

Anything else you want to say?
I have a book coming out next year called Crows among Doves–it’s a supernatural romance novel.

Thanks for dropping by!

Nanowrimo spotlight: Written Things

November 21, 2014

Good afternoon, friends and followers. My next spotlight interviewee seems like a ‘Just the Facts’ kinda lady, so let’s get right to finding out the facts about her! She’s Fan T C on Nanowrimo and has a blog at Written Things.

Have you participated in Nanowrimo before?
This is my second year participating in NaNo. I won my first year and still look back wondering how I did it. This year has been more of a struggle. I first found out from an English teacher who participated. I was too intimidated to try it at first, but then, one year, I felt gutsy and ready for a challenge. Some of my favorite memories involved writing buddy emails and people on the forums. We had a lot of laughs together.

What are you writing about this year?
This year, I am writing a fantasy mystery novel, a murder mystery, to be exact. I’m not exactly sure how it’s going. It always baffled me how Sherlock Holmes could do it, so I have no idea how I’m going to unearth these clues.

What is your favorite book – you have to pick just one!
Inkheart is by far my favorite book. It involves a girl whose father can read books to life. This poses complications as he reads the villain out and his wife into the story. But the writing is so beautiful, the characters are so real, and sometimes I whisper the words out loud just in case I have a touch of Silvertongue.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
There comes a point when you feel like giving up. It starts in your brain and ends in your fingers. I’d recommend you not let that happen, because once it’s in your brain, it’s hard to get out. Winning isn’t everything, but you always have to try.

Sneaky Ninja question! Where do you get ideas for characters and how do you develop them?
I’ll admit, some characters are the product of real dreams. I used to dream a lot as a kid. I dreamed of girls who lived with wolves and boys racing through spaceships. A lot of my characters come from imagination. I let them drift through my thoughts until they’re comfortable, then I pry and poke until they spill their life stories.

fantcI’m not a big blogger. I only started one so I could blog through NaNo and then as I was going through the process of publishing my novel, “Clockwork Dreams”. But I find blogging gives me a way to express my thoughts and throw them out into the universe. A blogger once told me it’s not about the views or the comments or the followers that make a blog, it’s whether or not you enjoy it. I enjoy it very much and I don’t pressure myself to post at any given time.

Nanowrimo Spotlight: By J.E. Hunter

November 20, 2014

Good morning, and welcome to another Nanowrimo spotlight interview. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Eve, who can be found online at By J.E. Hunter.

How much history do you have with Nanowrimo?
I began NaNoWriMo in 2006, once I got a job that had a bit of work-life balance and allowed me to go back to writing – something I hadn’t spent time doing since high school, which at that point had been about six years. For some reason, I often find myself traveling in November. I think it’s just a great time of year to see other parts of the world. So I’ve done NaNo in Peru, New Zealand, Greece, and England, along with many times at home in Canada. One of my favourite NaNo memories is from New Zealand. I spent a lot of time there trekking, and after one particularly long day, I remember getting to the cabin (in the middle of nowhere), setting up my bunk for the night, and just curling up with my notebook to get my word count in the for the day. It was pouring rain and muscles were cramping up from hiking over twenty kilometres that day, but I was determined to write those words.

What are you writing about this year?
This year I’m writing and adventure novel. Inspired by my travels, particularly to Peru. I’m trying to make it scary/mysterious, and hoping it doesn’t come out too hokey-pokey.

What is your favorite book – you have to pick just one!
My favourite book at the moment is the Historian. Probably because at this moment I’m trying to emulate the same atmosphere in the story I’m writing.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Just open up your word processor or notebook everyday. Even if you intend to do absolutely no writing. I find that just seeing the document, the work in progress, is enough to get my fingers moving again, even when I’m utterly exhausted.

Sneaky Ninja question! What is your favorite genre to write in?
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Nanowrimo Spotlight: Tracey Lynn Tobin, No Page Left Blank

November 18, 2014

Hello friends and followers. It’s a little late here, but I don’t want to go to bed until I’ve shared another spotlight interview with you. So, say welcome back to Tracey, who was a spotlight victim last year! Tracey goes by Toreshi on the Nanowrimo website, and you can find her website at No Page Left Blank.

How much Nano experience do you have?
Well I’m a bit of a veteran at this point, having participated 6 years in a row (including this one). I love NaNo because it gives me an excuse to focus outrageous amounts of time and energy on writing, which is what I would choose to do if I didn’t have to worry about money.

My first NaNo was definitely my favorite because the experience was shiny and new and exciting, but every year has had its charms. If I were to pick a favorite moment, it would be when I won NaNo 2010, because that manuscript made me realize that I was going to, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be published one day, even if I had to take the reins into my own hands.

What are you writing about this year?
This year I’m actually doing a NaNo rewrite, of sorts. I am taking a fantasy novel that I wrote (but never finished) a few years back, and I am completely reworking and rewriting it to make it a four-part series. I’ve grown a lot as a writer over the past few years, so I feel I now know how to fix the problems with my original manuscript and make it something that people will enjoy reading.

What is your favorite book – you have to pick just one!
There are a lot of possibilities, but if I’m honest my absolute favorite book of all time is “Invitation to the Game” by Monica Hughes. I found it at a book fair when I was in the fourth or fifth grade, and since then I’ve re-read it more times than any other book I own. It is a wonderful, whimsical futuristic story that blew my mind as a kid and still amazes me today.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Don’t look for time to write. Accept that time is the most difficult thing in the world to find, and learn how to just DO.

The other day while I was scribbling in a notebook during my lunch break a coworker asked me how I find the time to write. I looked at my notebook, which was flanked by my food and my work radio, and said, “Do I look like I have TIME to write? I don’t find time…I just do it anyway.”

Sneaky Ninja Question! What would you do all night if you couldn’t get to sleep?
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Nanowrimo Spotlight: Ele-Beth Little

November 14, 2014

Hey everybody! Sorry I haven’t had a new spotlight out since Monday. Week 2 has hit in Nano-land, after all, and I’ve been busy with a few other things. 😉 At least my word count is a solid 28k. And–here’s Ele-Beth!

Have you participated in Nanowrimo before?
I’ve attempted nanowrimo twice, unsuccessfully. I’m currently working towards a Creative Writing Ma, and part of it involves completing a novel, so thats what promoted me to try again this year – as well as the networking between other writers/ support.

What are you writing about this year?
This year I’m writing about a young woman’s quest to track down her mother. Terri is an English teacher, but she’s had an unsettled ‘hippy’ background. Her mother, Catherine, left her with her aunt when she was six. She’s remained in touch, sporadically, documenting her adventures through Europe. But, when she loses contact, Terri grows concerned and decides this might be the time to try and find her. Her overland journey, which takes her through Spain to the Algarve, runs parallel with a kind of psychological journey or ‘untangling’ of influences (societal and familial). This surfaces in her experiences of various subcultures, squats, and an anarchist collective. The closer she comes to finding her mother, the more estranged from her she feels.

What is your favorite book – you have to pick just one!
‘Fun Home’ by Alison Bechdel

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Enjoy it, it’s never going to be perfect in the first draft (especially if it’s written in just a month) so make friends with imperfection and move on, you can always come back to it later to edit. Creative active characters who push the plot forward. Even if your character is somewhat passive or introvert, they have to want things, and the clearer their goals are the easier it is to understand them – and to put obstacles in the way. A tip that springs to mind from my writing class is to limit how much you explain to the reader – the reader likes to participate in the story so you have to make a space and invite them in, and to do this you need to leave gaps.

Sneaky Ninja question! What was your favorite thing to do when you were a kid?
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Nanowrimo Spotlight: Al Stegall

November 8, 2014

Good morning! Nanowrimo started on a Saturday morning this year, and here we are, back at Saturday morning, ready to go again. If you’re participating, I hope you have a great wordcount to show for the week. Today’s spotlight, Al, can be found under yangnome on the Nano site. And I’m pleased to host an interview with the man behind a key element of Nanowrimo lore–but more on that later.

How long have you been doing Nanowrimo?
2014 is my 11th NaNo season and 10th year as ML in Monterey, CA. Overall, NaNo has been a wonderful experience (if not, why would I keep subjecting myself to it year after year?). Sometime in late Oct 2004, I read someone’s internet post about Nano, clicked on a link to the site and signed up. At the time, I believe the NaNoWriMo slogan was something about writing your one day novel now. The basic premise was that many people have a story they’d like to tell one day, why not sit down and make that dream a reality. In 10th grade (about 13 years or so before my first NaNo) my teacher had us write the first chapter of our one day novel. This idea had stuck with me over the years, so I decided to use NaNoWriMo to sit down and write the thing. On Nov 1st at midnight, I started working on my novel and within a few hours I had knocked out about 6,000 words—far more than the 1667 requirement. Then I went to bed and never opened the document again.

I’d written myself into a corner and since I didn’t have a community around me for encouragement, I didn’t continue. Over the year though, the idea of writing a novel (and particularly NaNoWriMo stuck with me. I knew if I was going to succeed, I’d need to find others like me to help bolster each other along. A got in touch with NaNo HQ and arranged to start a region in my home town. That next Oct, I reworked my concept to something slightly different, with similar themes, but a more workable story. I started anew on Nov 1 and within about 7 days (taking a couple days off) I’d crossed the 50k line and pressed on to finish the novel at about 79k words. That was both a blessing and a curse. It showed me that the 50k goal was easily achievable, but that knowledge also fed into my natural propensity to procrastinate. Over the last ten years, we’ve built a great supportive community in our region and each year help push each other to success.

My favorite NaNo memory is a conglomeration of memories between 2005 and now. That story I worked on in 2005, was a very dark and gritty novel about a political prisoner in a north Korean prison camp. That novel forced me to go into some dark places. One night, I was participating in an online word war chat when I wrote a scene where the MC witnessed a prison guard bash another prisoner with a shovel, leaving her for dead. It was a pretty graphic and depressing scene and after the 30 minute word sprint, to clear my head a bit during the break I shared what had happened in the scene. We went back to do another sprint and upon returning, another member of the chat had unexpectedly had a character killed with a shovel. Then, another sprint and a shovel death unexpectedly appeared in another novel. Read the rest of this entry »

Nanowrimo Spotlight: Mandy Eve-Barnett

November 7, 2014

Hello wrimos, friends and followers! We’re nearly a week into November already, can you believe it? Today I’m shining the spotlight on Mandy, whose Nanowrimo profile is mandyb, and has a website at

What are you writing about this year?
This will be my fifth NaNoWriMo and I am more nervous than previous years as the genre is a new venture for me and I am unsure I can pull it off. This is mostly due to my being a fanatic Stephen King reader! I am not sure the story I am planning is a ‘real’ genre but it is an erotic thriller. The idea came from three real news stories and I merged some of the details into one. My protagonist flees a crime in blind panic, thinking he will return. However, life does not go down that path. I will leave the rest to your imagination. Working title : The Giving Thief

What is your favorite book – you have to pick just one!
A tough choice for an avid reader of King novels but I chose Ferney by James Long. It is a reincarnation story and I re-read it regularly. I have researched reincarnation and experienced regression too – fascinating.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Don’t panic about achieving those 50K words…it is a process, enjoy it – no matter if you succeed or not, you have a body of work to build upon. Remember it is only a starting point not the finished product – that takes at least a year (or two!)

Sneaky Ninja question! Do you tend to avoid conflict with other people or face it head-on? Read the rest of this entry »

Nanowrimo Spotlight: Nasim Mansuri

November 6, 2014

Good morning friends and followers! I hope you’re enjoying the spotlight interviews, because I’ve got a new one. Nasim can be found as valeh on, blogs at, and tweets @nasimwrites.

What’s your background with Nanowrimo like?
I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo since 2008, which means that I completed my first-ever novel on the night before my thirteenth birthday. I think it was one of the best birthdays of my life.

I had heard of NaNoWriMo from some family friends earlier that year, but hadn’t really paid much attention. Sometime in October, though, someone posted a link to the site on a Lord of the Rings fanatics forum, which I practically lived in at the time, and I was instantly in love with the idea. I’ve done NaNo five times since then and won four of those times, completing three novels (yes, I cheated on the last one… I just added 50,000 more words to my novel from the year before), and I intend to win for a fifth time this year!

I’m not sure what initially prompted me to do this crazy 30-day typing marathon (I say typing, because sometimes it doesn’t really feel like writing with all the half-asleep gibberish that comes from sitting on the computer until 4 a.m. just trying to get your day’s count to 1,665 words), but I’m very sure of why I continued to do it. Every year is a new adventure, both for me and for the characters that are born with each novel. I’ve learned that there’s a certain pattern to successful writing in my case, and I’ve continued to expand my knowledge about myself and the world around me with each new story. I love the Viking hats (I used to have one), the plot bunnies (I actually sew plot bunnies for each plot), and the desperate #NaNoWriMo hashtags on twitter that get more incoherent as everyone’s time zone gets nearer to dawn wherever they live.

I’ve had all sorts of weird experiences: one year, I woke up with my laptop still on my stomach and found a creepy smiley face centered at the bottom of my NaNo document… I’m not entirely sure how it got there, and the memory still creeps me out if I think about it too much. I’ve had to juggle finals and novel writing at the same time every single year so far, and somehow managed to survive the stress of it. I’ve written ‘really’ and ‘seemed’ more than twenty times each in the same page and forced myself to just ignore such an abomination. And most of all, I’ve enjoyed the amazing support of my friends and family, as well as my fellow insane writers online, who have never failed to give me advice and support when I’ve asked for it –and sometimes, I don’t even have to ask.

What are you writing about this year?
Read the rest of this entry »

Nanowrimo Spotlight: DJ Weller

November 3, 2014

Greetings, friends and followers. How’s your word count looking today? I had a 5k weekend, not bad at all. Let’s take a look at DJ in Florida, who has a triple threat of blogs to share with you: freelance, baseball, and diabetes.
Have you done Nanowrimo before, DJ?

This is my second NaNo. I completed my first one last year and I have a 50,116 word mess to show for it. I was planning on revising it and editing it by now, but I have had some health issues that prevented that. Then I was going to do the revisions during NaNo this year until the idea for my next book popped into my head. My favorite memory from last year’s NaNo is when my characters decided to add a plot twist. That twist is going to involve changing some of the earlier chapters, but it will make the book better in the long run.

What are you writing about this year?
I am writing a Science Fiction novel that is set on a planet with 4 moons, 2 of which have rebelled against the government and instituted their own government. The main character, Sparks, had just left the military and is applying for a job with the planetary police force. During the application process, he starts to see discrepancies in the way that punishment is meted out. His discoveries lead to big changes, both for himself and for the planetary system.

What is your favorite book – you have to pick just one!
My favorite book is the unabridged version of The Stand by Stephen King. I really like the way King develops characters that are so realistic that you feel that you know them. This book is over 1100 pages long, giving him plenty of room to develop many characters. Then, when the characters are introduced, disaster strikes and we see how each of the characters react. The changes that they go through are realistic and believable as well as drastic.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
My advice to WriMos is to keep writing. Do not delete anything. If you change your mind about a chapter, just move it somewhere else, but do not delete it. It was something that you wrote, so it should count when you validate. Also, listen to your characters. They come up with some good ideas.

Sneaky Ninja question! Tell us something that’s frightened you.
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Nanowrimo Spotlight: Nicohle Christopherson, Author of Write Accountable

October 31, 2014

Good morning! Nanowrimo has already started for some lucky writers in certain parts of the world, but here it’s still going to be about twenty-four hours before I start my Nano-ing. And today I’m shining the spotlight on wrimo Nicohle, who you can find on the web at Write Accountable. Nicohle, how long have you been participating in Nano?

My NaNoWriMo experience is limited to NaNo’13 and CampNano attempts. While I won NaNo’13, by a landslide (150k+), I found CampNano to be difficult. Setting my own goals made it too easy to give up, I think. Plus, my support structure for it had all but vanished. However, I wouldn’t trade any of my attempts for the world. NaNoWriMo has given me valuable experience, and proven to me that being an Author is something I can do, something I can strive for!

What are you writing about this year?
This year, I am a NaNoRebel. What that means is, instead of the traditional fifty thousand words, I am doing something else entirely! While my goal is still 50k, I’m taking the first two chapters of my 2013 victory novel, and turning them into short novels, instead. The goal is to have them publish worthy by december! A hard goal, but I’m going to get my name out there!

blackswanWhat is your favorite book – you have to pick just one!
Oh, that’s a close one. There are a lot that have stuck with me over the years. But I think the one that influenced me the most, honestly, would be Mercedes Lackey’s The Black Swan. It’s a retelling of the old Swan Lake story, This time, from Odile’s perspective. It drove home to me how important it is to see things from the supposed villain’s perspective. And how just a little change in the narrative can provide a much more pleasant outcome to a classic tale.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
Just power through it. Fall in love with your story a million times. And if it’s boring, CHANGE IT. I ended up with a completely different story by the time I was done with Nano, and I might again this time! So, let NaNoWriMo help you grow, and don’t worry about winning or losing.

Sneaky Ninja question! Are you more of an optimist, pessimist, or exactly in-between?
Oh No, I can’t believe I didn’t see it! No, but really, I fully consider myself an optimist. I’m one of those people that may see a glass as half empty, but realizes that hey, there’s a faucet, and we can always just refill it.

Nicohle Christopherson is an up-and-coming author, with her soon to be released Kurylian Saga as her subject for this NaNoWriMo. You can find more work by her at Write Accountable, a blog she updates once or twice a week, at least. She haunts twitter @NicohleC.

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