Vanessa Knipe NaNoWriMo Interview

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a widow with an Autistic teenage son. I had to take to writing when my husband was killed because I couldn’t work night shifts at the NHS with a toddler. I have six published books, 4 with a US indie publisher and 2 with a UK indie publisher.

How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

I have participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2007. I have succeeded each year.

What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

I am writing the 4th book in my Six book space saga. Two great theocracies of Genetically Modified Humans fight over the crumbling remains of the Congress of Human Colonised Worlds. In book 4 a world hit by a planetbuster, which sets off every volcano on the planet, is colonised by the GM humans designed to live in those extreme conditions. The other theocracy of GM humans seeks to drive the colonists from the planet.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

I insist on writing at least 2000 words every day in November. I put a song with a pounding, racing beat on repeat and my fingers move in time to the rhythm. If anyone wanted to attempt NaNoWriMo, I would suggest finding a group on social media who can groan along with you and encourage you when you are down.

If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?

My website.
My facebook page.  
My amazon page.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

NaNoWriMo is a great way to get a first draft out. Writing is a lonely business but for November you have company and encouragement.

Jeffery Cook NaNoWriMo Interview

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Boulder, Colorado, settled down in the Seattle area a decade or two ago, and in between lived all over the U.S. and Canada. My wife, our housemate, and I have three large dogs. They’re rescues from a PAWS animal shelter, now the beneficiaries of the charity anthologies I’m heading up with Writerpunk Press.

I’m the author of the alternate-history/Emergent Steampunk epistolary series Dawn of Steam along with a YA Fantasy series, a YA sci-fi thriller, and a decidedly not-YA urban fantasy.

How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

This is my 7th NaNoWriMo. I’ve succeeded in the word-count goal every time, though I haven’t always published the results. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as dramatic as my first, in 2009. My editor-now-turned-co-writer loves to go on about how much I lost sleep and turned off the more grammatical parts of my brain to write the rough drafts of the Dawn of Steam trilogy.

Each year, I have appreciated how supportive the Seattle-area NaNoWriMo community and the international community have been.

What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

This year’s primary NaNo project (I’m actually multi-tasking on a few stories) is A Fair Fight, the third book of my YA Fantasy series, the Fair Folk Chronicles. The first, Foul is Fair, was released this year, and the second, Street Fair, is coming out in January.

Having seen our ADHD Faerie Princess through adventures involving two of the Four Treasures of Ireland in two Lost Cities on two holidays (Halloween and the Summer Solstice), my co-writer Katherine and I are working on sending her questing after another in time for May Day of her senior year of high school. Throughout the series, we’ve tried to go a little beyond Celtic mythology into world folklore, particularly touching on Hawaiian menhune, but A Fair Fight is our opportunity to really broaden things a little.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

This time around, I’m just trying to find some calm within the general storm of marketing six books and the charity anthologies while living in a noisy house. I do a lot of my writing in the wee hours of morning when everyone else in the house has gone to bed.
There are several important things to remember to get through NaNoWriMo.

One is that, as the late Sir Terry Pratchett said, the first draft is just you telling yourself the story.  Another is to make sure to find the time to write every day, even if some days you can only manage a little while. Another is to set relaxation rewards for after you’ve gotten some writing done.

One particular caution is not to worry too much about how everyone else is doing. The community motivation of NaNo is great, but there’s no point dwelling on the people who are faster or may just have more time on their hands. It’s your own goal that matters.

And in the end, have fun with it.

If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?

www.clockworkdragon.net is a great consortium of speculative fiction writers with whom I’m involved.

My official author facebook is www.facebook.com/dawnofsteamtrilogy, but my personal account is easily found for friending through things like the Writerpunk community. Writerpunk also has a site at www.punkwriters.com

My amazon author page is  http://www.amazon.com/Jeffrey-Cook/e/B00IRMC3H6/
www.authorjeffreycook.com is having longterm update and coding issues, but should be fixed eventually.

And on Twitter, @jeffreycook74

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Once More Unto the Breach: Shakespeare Goes Punk 2 is coming out at the beginning of December. It is the follow up to this spring’s Sound & Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk. In the first anthology, alongside colleagues with a Cyberpunk Macbeth and a Dieselpunk Othello, Katherine and I did our Steampunk version of “The Winter’s Tale,” with 500% more being pursued by a bear. For Once More… we did more dieselpunk adaptations. Katherine helped me write “Dogs of War,” a Mad-Max-like rendition of “Julius Caesar,” and I helped her write an “As You Like It” with an alternate-Dust-Bowl twist.

All profits go to PAWS. The first anthology has been used to fund a large dog kennel for a year, and we hope to double that next year.

Cheryce Clayton NaNoWriMo Interview

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

Cheryce Clayton, writer

Oh, more?

I once named a company PoshRat, it means half-blood and out of culture in Romani. I can remember my great grandfather speaking Choctaw, I’ve spent more years living on Reservations than off, I speak a few words, I go to a couple of PowWows a year, and I know how to bead. And yet I always feel like I’m on the outside looking at a circle of old friends gathered around a fire, not quite sure how to join in and feeling too tall to blend in.

As a writer?

I am not defined as a writer by the facts that that I am a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, that I have spent my life as a trans / bi-sexual woman, that I write speculative fiction, horror, and erotica, that I live with chronic pain, or that I am a survivor of violence.

I am defined as a writer by the stories I write and my first book Obligations is a gender confused story of crossed cultures and the myths of childhood that haunt and hold us back, my webcomic Tales from the Zombpocalypse: Living in the Quarantine Zone starts seven years after the hyped zombie apocalypse as life goes on in a new normal, and the story LowRez is as much a coming of age tale on a future Reservation as my attempt to look forward and project the current Idle No More stand into the cultural vanishing point.

How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

Last year was my first NaMo. Yes. The Quiet Ones is at the copy editor right now and I’m planning on a January release.

What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

I wanted to write two separate novellas, but it’s looking like the first project is going to go long. Surviving the Trans-Human Mechaphilia Riots is a mystery noir / cyberpunk story about a beat up old Marine turned gumshoe trying to solve a murder before he gets murdered with a bit of tastefully written erotica thrown in. It’s a straight line plot /1st person POV which is a challenge for me as I usually write complex head hopping plots with multiple flashbacks.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

I have a dedicated writing time 5 days a week. Just write. The difference between a pro and a dreamer is typing The End, everything else can be fixed in the edit.

If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?

http://www.amazon.com/Cheryce-Clayton/e/B00O07C20K/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

https://sixpointpress.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/cheryceclayton/

https://www.facebook.com/TalesfromtheZombieApocalypse/

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I have a bit of a canned rant about NaMo; as a ghost writer, several of my past contracts have been people who finished a NaMo novel, bragged it up to friends, and then paid to get it rewritten into something readable.  I’ve also seen too many newer writers give up on writing when they perceived themselves as a failure for not completing 50K words on schedule.  NaMo is a good tool for learning and reinforcing good writing habits but its just a tool and if it doesn’t work for you that doesn’t  mean anything bad about you. Scribner doesn’t work for me, but it’s a great tool for others.

My webcomic TZA: Living in the Quarantine Zone will be restarting soon – go catch up on the backstory!

Daniel Moore NaNoWriMo Interview

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a freelance writer, working primarily for business clients, though I’ve written for just about every market. I’ve been writing fiction on and off since I was about seven or so. Genres shifted for me a lot, especially as my reading interests matured along with me, but there hasn’t been an era in my life where I haven’t tried to utilize storytelling as an art in some way.

How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

NaNoWriMo and I have something of a shaky relationship. I’ve attempted it in the past with great ambition, but there’s only so much one can actually get done in thirty days, even less if they have daily obligations. But that’s a big part of learning to write as an art form, I believe. Looking at stories purely from the position of imagining, the plot can easily be lost under grandiose set pieces and actions that can overcook a narrative and make it largely unusable for most audiences. Learning to write a lean manuscript is a process every writer has to go through, and it’s the only way to complete this challenge with your sanity in tact.

What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

This year’s attempt has not yet been titled. It’s something I generally struggle until I reach that moment when I consider a piece to be “done.”

What I’m working on now is an attempt at melding archaic notions of the occult with modern (and soon-to-be) technological advancements, and see how both superstition and science shape societies, peoples, and realities. I’ve always been fascinated by the seemingly combative nature with which science and the supernatural are presented by evangelists of each. And while one is empirical and the other is rooted in faith of the unknown, it doesn’t necessarily influence all people in the same way. That, to me, is an interesting breeding ground for both conflict and exploration. What else could be better suited for telling a good story?

Without giving too much away, as I hope to get this one to market at some point in the coming year, this story will explore seats of power caught in the pull of developments in technology and debunked superstitious notions that were once believed essential for governmental control. This will also be approached by someone in the population that would be controlled by those same powers.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

Scheduling helps. Dedicating a set amount of hours for a certain number of days a week is a tested method for success. I liken building a manuscript to the process an athlete goes through. Yes there are many things you must do throughout the day, some spontaneous, others promoted by love for the sport. But in order for an athlete to remain in shape, they need a proper diet and a strict regimen they’re willing to stick to. Same applies here. I write six days a week, read daily, and take one day to simply turn my mind off from everything associated with my work.

Even if I love my writing, I need a break from it to  maintain my sanity.

If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?

I’m a writer and editor with Neon Dystopia where I cover technology, pop culture as it relates to technology and human interaction, and occasionally drift off to more esoteric topics. And, like everyone else on earth, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter.

JJ Shelton NaNoWriMo Interview

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

Grinning and unrepentant Code-Monkey by day, Photographer by night, and writer everywhere in between. I live in Philadelphia, PA and work for an indie publisher in Phoenix, AZ called Spiral Ink Comics writing Hooded Cobra. I’m finishing up the script for Issue #6 at the same time as I work on NaNo this year.
How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

I’ve made four attempts in the past and had three successes. 2015 marks my fifth time participating.
What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

Hooded Cobra: Ring of Fire (working title) is a novelization of the first six issues of the comic Hooded Cobra: The Den of Serpents. The story mixes Sumerian legend with a touch of science fiction and modern day conspiracy theory to construct a political landscape littered with secret organizations and shadow governments readily manipulating and destroying human lives to their own ends. Roughly 6,000 years ago the Anunnaki came to Earth to mine gold to save their atmosphere and created humans to provide labor. Eventually the Anunnaki left, leaving behind two factions — one following Enlil who believed humans were a mistake that needed to be eradicated, and another following Enki with a desire to protect mankind. Living deep underground, the world is unaware of their existence.

The followers of Enki — here referred to as “The Den of Serpents” — use human agents known as “Hooded Cobras” to affect the world around them so as to maintain their secrecy. As the followers of Enlil work to exterminate between 40% and 70% of the world’s population in one, fell swoop the book focuses on two agents in particular — an ex-marine (a deserter) named “R.J.” and his diminutive, twin Desert-Eagle wielding counterpart known as “Kensa” — as they work to put a stop to the coming storm.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

I have a routine that I follow even when I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo. For me it’s sitting at the computer with Rant Radio Industrial streaming through my headphones, and a distraction-free word processor set to full screen. I stay connected in case I need to do research, but otherwise it’s mostly typing whatever words come to mind.

If I were to offer any advice it would be to write first, edit later. The words don’t have to make sense necessarily–nor do they have to be perfect–but the do have to be on the page for them to count. Get a routine going, get comfortable, and–if you have to–write whatever comes to mind. Write about your bad day, your good day, your significant other’s cooking… Just get writing. From there just have faith. The words will come.

If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?

My Author’s Facebook Page — “JJ Shelton” — is here: https://www.facebook.com/js2072/
I’m on NaNoWriMo.org as “withoutsin”.
You can watch what’s happening with Spiral Ink Comics here: https://www.facebook.com/SpiralInkComics/

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

3.13.3.1-1.1.1.12-2.15.1.10

NaNoWriMo Interviews Recap

Last week we ran four more interviews with writers who are participating in NaNoWriMo this month or who have in the past. The writers interviewed were Axel Kohagen on Monday, Anna L. Davis and Amanda L. Baker on Wednesday, and Dawn Chapman on Friday. Anna L. Davis even held a contest for an early copy of her book Open Source in the comments of her interview. The winner of that contest was Larry Nevenhoven. Congratulations, Larry!

If you’re interested in looking back at the interviews we posted the previous week, you can check out the recap post from last Monday right here.

Check back later today for another NaNoWriMo interview.

Dawn Chapman NaNoWriMo Interview

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

My name’s Dawn Chapman. I’m from the UK and happily married to my long suffering, non-writer husband, Paul. We live in a bungalow, with our IRN parrot and 30 Koi all of which are spoiled rotten by me.

How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo every year from 2010, when they stopped ScriptFrenzy. I used to be a part of that event every April, but they closed it down. So, November became my writing month. I succeeded in 2010, failed in 2011, and then won every year since. Only more recently, this year, taking up Camp NaNoWriMo in April.

What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

I really wasn’t going to write this year, I’ve a lot on, with TSK Productions Ltd. and could do without pushing myself, but as part of our ‘Members only Section’ for the main Secret King website, we’re running short snippets of our TSK characters, some of which I penned this year as my camp nano project.
And this one particular character and her story just stuck in my head. She’s from far into the future of TSK but is hounding me to get her story out there and to write. So, I took a little time in October and plotted out her novel, with maybe the intention of actually writing it.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

I know I have a lot on this month, so I attempted a 10k day on the 1st of the month. I use the nano chat rooms a lot and have made some amazing friends from all over the world in there. In particular, the rooms tagged #melbnano #PhillyWrimos, #nanoelsewhereau #swissnanos, and #HuNoWriMo the latter being a room which my local region are having a competition with. However, I’m a friendly person and have found they’re just as amazing as everyone else, they helped me win my 10k day. My plan now is to just try and do the min word count though, I tend to write more at the weekends, but I have a day job and that takes up lots of my energy during the week.

My tip would be write little and often. Set yourself a timer, and go, then take a break and go again. The chat room ‘bot’ Timmy is great for this, and the encouragement of others helps to. But if you’re on your own, timing is everything.

If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that? 

I can be found at and followed at the following places. I’m about the internet a lot, with my writing and other hobbies.

Websites
Production Website: http://www.tskproductions.com/

Main TSK Website: http://www.thesecretking.com/

Personal: www.kanundra.com

Twitter
Production: https://twitter.com/ProductionsTSK
TSK: https://twitter.com/TeamSecretKing

Facebook
TSK Productions Ltd: https://www.facebook.com/TSKProductionsLtd

My AuthorPage:
https://www.facebook.com/Dawn-Chapman-550448201632777/

The Secret King Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Secret-King/836723299691777

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

NaNoWriMo 2012 was my defining year, I penned TSK- Letháo then, finishing the 84k by my birthday in December. In January I dedicated all my time to revising that novel, putting my script writing aside. It took me two years, through beta, then copy and proofing, and then for us as a company to publish it in Sep 2015. But we’re very proud of our work and have put our best foot forward. The rest of the series is shaping up very nicely. We’re also extatic to be publishing our constructed language’s grammar and dictionary as an extra before Xmas this year, written by the talented, Trent Pehrson. Watch this space… more to come.

Amanda L. Baker NaNoWriMo Interview

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 40-something, a high school and college English teacher. For fun, I grade essays and raise dogs. I live in the southeastern US. I have two Master’s degrees.

How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

This is my 8th attempt, and I’ve finished 6 times. None of them are very good. 😀

What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

I am writing a novel based on a number of different students I’ve had over the years, a young man who is a product of the foster care system and the struggles and triumphs inherent in that. In the past, I’ve written science fiction, psychological thriller, teacher humor, and adventure/rescue kind of thing. All fiction.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

I am writing my novel with 12 of my students. We have a chart on the wall of my classroom with the numbers from 1,000 to 50,000 on it in 5,000 word increments. As we hit the next set of numbers, I move up the student’s (or my) marker. If we start to fall behind, we challenge each other.

If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?

I don’t publish anything. YET. 😀

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

IT’S FUN. And, for one month, I get to say to my family, “Nope, not today. I’m writing.” It helps inspire my students to look at writing as fun and enjoyable again, a nice break from the daily grind of nonfiction rhetorical essays and high-stakes testing. Many of my former students who have done this with me (they write for extra credit) say that they aren’t worried about long projects, essay tests, etc… after this. The fear of fast writing is GONE.

Anna L. Davis NaNoWriMo Interview

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

I tried for a long time to be a mostly normal woman, before finally accepting that I’m not, and will never be, what society deems normal. On the surface, my life appears typical. I’m married with two kids, and I spend a lot of time in carpool lanes. However, there’s a part of me that’s always writing, usually something twisted and based in future tech. I’d rather watch The Terminator than go to the mall. I love coffee and despise laundry. Sometimes I spill coffee on my clothes and I’m forced to do more laundry—a cruel twist of fate, in my opinion.

How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

This is my third year to participate, but the first year I’m going to attempt all 50k words. The first two years I used the positive energy of NaNo to build momentum and meet my own word count goals for the Enhancement Series. This year I’m starting a new series that’s captured my thoughts to the extent that I need to get it down on paper. Ever feel that way? Like the story MUST come out? That’s where I’m at right now.

What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

This WIP is different for me in that, unlike OPEN SOURCE and the other books in the Enhancement Series, it’s not straight sci-fi. In theory, it’s a coffeeshop mystery with a sci-fi element. My main character is Hazel Monroe, a barista by day and a covert analytical coffee chemist by night, who’s trying to create a form of modified coffee that helps people see the good in their lives. I’m thinking of it like a cross between Breaking Bad, the Matrix, and Friends. So yeah, I have to get it written or I’m just going to die. NaNoWriMo to the rescue.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

I printed out a November calendar and posted it near my computer, just for keeping track of word count. Every night before bed I review what I wrote that day, so my subconscious mind can continue to write while I sleep. I listen to lots of loud music and go where the muse tells me to go. My advice? Let your life be unbalanced for a while. Creative work demands it, especially during a focused season like NaNoWriMo. But don’t forget to buy groceries. Also, get some rest.

If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?

My Facebook page is a good way to find me. I’m also very active on Twitter —it’s my favorite way to “meet” people with similar interests. Sometimes I get caught up in a hashtag storm (#OpenSource, #cybersecurity, #IoT, #Singularity, #AI, #cyber, #scifi, #cyberpunk, and oh yeah…#coffee #amwriting).

For a taste of my random musings (including my award-winning sci-fi short story “Upgrade” that started the Enhancement Series), drop by my website: www.annaldavis.net.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Look for my debut novel OPEN SOURCE, releasing this January. It’s about a struggling, technophobic reporter named Ryker Morris in a future Dallas culture of hackable brain implants, sexy chipped socialites and violent cyborgs. OPEN SOURCE is the first book in my Enhancement Series (available for preorder: http://amzn.to/1Kbtyhp).

A big thank you to David Stegora and Dark Futures for having me here. And best of luck to all my fellow NaNoWriMo warriors.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS. All comments posted here within 24 hours (by Thurs. 11/12, 10:00 am CST) will be entered in a drawing for a free proof copy of OPEN SOURCE.

Axel Kohagen NaNoWriMo Interview

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Axel Kohagen. I’m 37, and I’ve spent my life in professions where I communicate and form connections with people. At the same time, on my own, I’ve written stories to communicate the things inside my head I couldn’t share otherwise. Collaborating with author Roy C. Booth for the past few years has helped to write better and share my thoughts more clearly.

How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

I’ve completed NaNoWriMo three times in four attempts. The most recent time stalled in mid-November, but I am proud to say I returned to it when my life returned to normal and I finished the novel at around 66,000 words. Usually, I prefer to finish on November 25th.

What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

I’m taking a year off from NaNoWriMo to promote Orphans, a work that started as my first completed NaNoWriMo novel. I really liked what I wrote, but I knew it needed more to reach an audience. Roy C. Booth and I collaborated to flesh out several storylines and clean up the plot. This July, Orphans was released by Dark Fantasy Press and can be found on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

I’m a strong believer in pacing. Do the math early on, set a word count per day, and then don’t deviate from it unless you’re left with no other choice due to an emergency. You can write alone or in company, in the dark or in the light, with or without music… You just have to keep your fingers on the keyboard until you hit the magic number. Once in a while, treat yourself to a snack, game, or trip to the local bar. It keeps your brain from rebelling.

If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?

I’m easy to find on Facebook, or you can check out my website. You can find stories and novels from Roy. C Booth and myself on Amazon.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

The greatest gift NaNoWriMo can give you is freedom from second-guessing. Time is short, so you owe it to yourself to write it just like it comes to your head. Some of Orphans most frightening moments, particularly in the book’s climax, benefited from seeing the deadline approach so quickly I had to go with my first instinct. The whole book is better because of this forced courage.